Onscreen, Zoe Saldana has done it all. She’s explored the final frontier in Star Trek, played an alien hunter in Avatar, and danced like nobody was watching in Center Stage. But in her real life, the 38-year-old mother-of-two finds herself confronting the challenge that moms everywhere face: How do you travel well with a caravan of kids?
The actress has recently partnered with Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways to turn air travel into a pleasant part of the journey. Read on for Saldana’s travel tips below.
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Why did you decide to strike up this partnership with All Nippon Airways?
Travel is a very big part of our lives. We’re constantly moving; we live a very nomadic life, and our children have no choice but to travel with us. So partnering with an airline like All Nippon Airways felt great and natural to me because now that I’m a family of five, and I feel like the journey is just as important as the destination. So picking a good airline that will provide a good experience all around throughout that journey when you’re with your kids and you have family members with you, it just makes all the difference, especially when you’re going on a week’s worth of vacation, you want that flight to be part of the experience of vacationing. So we’ve become quite wise at choosing how we fly as well.
How do your children respond to that nomadic lifestyle? Is it just what they’ve always known?
It is what they’ve always known, but they’re very vocal about, they know, not digging the fact that they’re being contained or being inspired to stay in their seat for a long time, so you get really creative, and you fill their time with a lot of activities that way they stay curious and they stay busy and they don’t idle too much. But I have to take it back to All Nippon Airways. We just went to Tokyo, all of us as a family, and we’re starting to do those lengthy trips with our boys so picking the right airline is very important because it can either be a very exhausting trip where we spend two days our of our vacationing recovering from it, or just slipping right into vacation mode. Having flight attendants that are super serviceable and very patient and accommodating makes a world of difference when traveling with family on lengthy trips.
What are your essential travel tips?
On long trips, I feel that the amenities kit is essential. On a 12 hour flight, that little extra that you’re able to give yourself with an amenities kit is super important. I love to travel to places where I’m able to absorb the culture and get everything that I need, not just as a tourist, but as a person. I like to imagine what it would be like if I was a local. So what ANA did was tailor their cuisine to the destination. And it’s elevated food that’s really delicious. So by the time you get to your destination, you’ve had a little taste of it and you’re super excited to just start your vacation. So that was a treat for me.
This interview has been edited and condensed.