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Why fly LAX when there’s Ontario International Airport

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ontario International Airport. The opinions and text are all mine.

Just freshly recovered from the jet lag following our Japan trip, we’re already itching to hop on a plane and head to another destination this year. With most of our family living in Asia, it’s quickly become one of my go-to areas to fly to internationally. In a few weeks, we’re heading back to the other side of the globe for a week long trip to my motherland… Taiwan!

Every year during Chinese New Year, my huge extended family finds time to get together, eat good food, and ring in good fortune for the coming year. I take every opportunity I get to head back, especially during this celebratory time of year. I might be biased, but Taiwan has some of the most delicious food in the world. And although it’s a very small country, there’s so much left of it that I want to explore. Last February, we scuba dived with sea turtles in Kenting and ate our way through most of Tainan & Taichung.

The only rough thing about traveling internationally from Southern California is that LAX is usually a huge pain to deal with. Endless traffic mixed with huge crowds at the airport make traveling that much more stressful than it already is. As a huge lover of travel, I’m always looking for ways to make my precious time abroad as stress-free as possible (and cheap as possible).

So when the Ontario International Airport (ONT) team let me know about their recently launched direct flights to Asia via China Airlines, I was super stoked to see what new travel options there were! In a few weeks, we’ll have the opportunity to fly direct to Taipei with China Airlines out of Ontario International Airport, a flight path (amongst others to Asia) that is new as of March 2018.

Today, we were lucky enough to get a private tour of the airport and see what renovations are being made as this rapidly growing travel hub gets even more popular. We also got a sneak peek at what our travel experience will be on the day of the flight!

The best part? We were greeted by ONT’s Paw Squad as soon as we arrived, and these little ones escorted us throughout the entire trip. (The ONT team certainly knows the way to my heart!)

This group of cuties is normally hard at work, acting as therapy dogs and spreading joy to travelers passing through the airport. They even give out mini Paw Squad stuffed animals to kids around the airport to make their travel experiences that much better!

As soon as I saw Terminal 2 (where most of the long leg flights depart from), I knew this was going to be a way more peaceful trip than the last time we flew to Taiwan. The layout of the airport makes it easy to park and walk just a few steps across the street into the main entrance where the ticketing counters are. There’s even services that will valet your vehicle, park for you, and even pick up your check-in luggage from you outside at the curb!

After breezing through security, we took a walk down to the gate where our flight will depart in a few weeks. Along the way, the Ontario International Airport team shared with me their plans to expand out a large potty area for traveling dogs, modernize the decor of the terminal, and even add duty free stores now that there are more international flights coming through via China Airlines.

While there are quite a few renovations being made, the airport terminal was already clean, bright, and filled with gorgeous views of airplanes lined up neatly against the San Gabriel Mountains. And best of all… no crazy crowds.

On our way back from the gate, we passed by the terminal’s lounge and got a quick tour of the space.

Fully equipped with plush reading chairs and every type of snack you’d need pre-flight, the Escape Lounge is also lined with a wall of windows that opens out to that gorgeous view of the airport exterior. You can lay back, relax, and sip on some tea as you enjoy the beautiful scenery of Southern California.

We grabbed a few bites of the tapas available, and YES they were delicious. I can’t wait to come back and raid the kitchen before we leave for our flight to Taiwan.

This really is the perfect place to kick off your getaway, eat some delicious food prepared by an on-site chef, and unwind before hopping on a long flight halfway across the world. There’s even a stash of Cup Noodles (one of my guilty pleasures). No flight to Asia is complete without one of these ;)

We wrapped up the day by taking a drive around the airfield and seeing the plans for building out the international terminal at ONT.

As excited as I was to have the opportunity to get a preview of what our trip will start off with in a couple weeks, I’m really even more stoked now knowing there is another airport option that offers equally cheap direct flights to some of my favorite places.

Huge thanks to the Ontario International Airport and China Airlines teams for sharing this exciting new travel option with us! Stay tuned for our posts in the coming weeks as we get ready to fly out to Taiwan.

Emily is a Los Angeles based content creator with a passion for photography, videography, and storytelling. Through @emwng, you'll find photos and videos of people, places, delicious food, and of course, her two fluffy sidekicks Kokoro and Chibi.

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