Travel Tips

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Couple on “world’s longest honeymoon” share their story

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After their dream wedding in 2011, Mike and Anne Howard made the radical decision to quit their jobs and leave their life in New York behind for the ultimate honeymoon.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Their plan was to see the world and now, over a decade on, the couple are still on the road visiting every corner of the globe. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Documenting their travels on their </span><a href="https://www.honeytrek.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">blog</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has become a way of life, as they use it to keep their family and friends updated while on the world’s longest honeymoon. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As their HoneyTrek brand began as a way to stay connected to loved ones back home, they have turned it into a career as travel bloggers, book authors and travel photographers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, despite sharing their idyllic life with their online following, Mike and Anne have assured </span><a href="https://7news.com.au/travel/married-couple-mike-and-anne-howard-on-worlds-longest-honeymoon-tell-of-most-challenging-moments--c-5362530"><span style="font-weight: 400;">7Lifestyle</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that their journey is not always sunshine and roses. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CTpeQkYLJUe/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CTpeQkYLJUe/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Mike &amp; Anne - HoneyTrek.com (@honeytrek)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They were hit hard with the realities of travelling with Covid, as the pandemic worked its way into every corner of the world. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the pandemic was in the early stages, the couple were heading to Italy, right as the country declared a Covid emergency in March 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It hadn’t really sunk in what was going on,” Mike said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple decided to travel to Poland, thinking coronavirus was just “an Italy thing”, but were met with the hard reality of global travel restrictions once they arrived. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After three months of being stuck in Poland, they were finally able to return to the United States. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9927pBHJyb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9927pBHJyb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Mike &amp; Anne - HoneyTrek.com (@honeytrek)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As well as dealing with the struggles of Covid, the couple have come up with their own way to not be constantly living in each other's pockets. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s good to have a few things that are your own, you know I like to take more walks than he does and he likes to have more podcasts than I do,” Anne explains.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We have a few things which are ‘your thing’, and we prioritise maintaining friendships outside the relationship.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We also love to meet new people and so we have a pretty global friend circle at this point, so it’s not as isolating as you may think,” she says.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Instagram @honeytrek</span></em></p>

Travel Tips

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The world’s most famous streets

<p><strong>Champs-Élysées</strong></p> <p><span>When it comes to famous streets, the Champs-Élysées is surely one of the most recognisable in the world. Running through Paris’ 8th arrondissement, it attracts throngs of tourists not only for its historical significance, but also for the chic little cafés and shops located throughout the avenue. </span></p> <p><span>Its western end leads all the way to the Arc de Triomphe, one of the city’s most popular monuments, which visitors can climb for a breathtaking shot of the Champs Elysées before them.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYT2u6bIbbF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYT2u6bIbbF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by ChampsElysees_Paris (@champselysees_paris)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Ginza</strong></p> <p><span>Tokyo’s fashion district was built up from the ashes of an 1872 fire, and then rebuilt after a series of bombings during World War II left the area practically in ruins. </span></p> <p><span>Nowadays, it’s the booming epicentre of Tokyo, housing hip restaurants and art galleries, important names in fashion from Caroline Herrera to Chanel, as well as flagship electronic stores like Sony and Apple. </span></p> <p><span>It’s reminiscent of Broadway in the midst of New York City’s Times Square but with a culture and identity all its own.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRgiVaOhIjh/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRgiVaOhIjh/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Japan Photos Daily (@japandailies)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Lombard Street</strong></p> <p><span>This famous street in San Francisco is truly one of the city’s coolest spots to visit. After all, with a one-block stretch on Russian Hill that includes eight sharp turns, the “crookedest street in San Francisco” is sure to pique even the most travelled tourist’s curiosity. </span></p> <p><span>With a city known for its steep hills, this design was originally meant to allow cars to go down the road safely and slowly. Slow indeed: the recommended speed limit is 8 km per hour. If you’ve got a car in tow on your California excursion, we highly recommend a drive down Lombard if you can. </span></p> <p><span>It won’t be a speedy thrill ride, but it certainly will be a fun time trying to navigate each turn.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CN2jNfFhJbW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CN2jNfFhJbW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by San Francisco ❤️ California 🇺🇸 (@san_francisco_live)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Abbey Road</strong></p> <p><span>The iconic pedestrian crossing that was featured on the Beatles album cover in 1969 has since become one of the most famous streets in the world. </span></p> <p><span>Since the record’s release, many fans have made the pilgrimage to central London’s Abbey Road to mimic the image of John, Paul, George and Ringo crossing the street.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY8q3Qct6Xt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY8q3Qct6Xt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by @photographicmemoryshow</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Fifth Avenue</strong></p> <p><span>A fashionista’s paradise, Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is one of the world’s most famous streets for luxury shopping. </span></p> <p><span>Particularly between 49th and 60th Streets, this avenue is lined with showrooms for the best-known (and most expensive) designer brands: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Armani, Versace and more. Visitors looking for sartorial finds are wise to come to New York City with a loaded wallet. </span></p> <p><span>For a film buff, a stop at the Tiffany &amp; Co. headquarters comes standard, with a coffee and croissant in hand to imitate Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in <em>Breakfast at Tiffany’s</em>.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY-C_MKvBsN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY-C_MKvBsN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by 𝐃𝐀𝐈𝐊𝐈 𝐊𝐔𝐑𝐈𝐓𝐀 (@jayden_radio)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>La Rambla</strong></p> <p>Barcelona’s most famous street, La Rambla is a hub for both residents and visitors alike.</p> <p>The kilometre-long, tree-lined pedestrian street is home to numerous, bars, cafés, restaurants and kiosks selling everything from flowers to souvenirs.</p> <p>From sunrise to late night, the street is often very crowded, with many simply sitting on the many benches to chat and people watch, while tourists come to drink from the Font de Canaletes fountain which supposedly ensures you will one day return to the city.</p> <p>A must-see is the Joan Miro mosaic that’s set into the promenade as well as one of Barcelona’s oldest hotels, Hotel Oriente.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CT4nLvOgHAW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CT4nLvOgHAW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Barcelona Dreaming (@barcelonadreaming)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Santa Monica Boulevard</strong></p> <p>For all the California dreamers in the world, Santa Monica Boulevard is where they long to be.</p> <p>Lined with palm trees, the 4.5-kilometre thoroughfare runs through West Hollywood, dotted with shops, cafés, bars and restaurants, making its way all to the Santa Monica Pier with a welcoming view of the Pacific Ocean.</p> <p>It’s pretty hard to believe that, as late as the 1980s, Santa Monica Boulevard was not landscaped, with practically nothing but abandoned railroad tracks.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKbmGWCAkc5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKbmGWCAkc5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Official LuxAway Competitions (@luxawaycompetitions)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Orchard Road: Singapore</strong></p> <p>The home of Singapore’s most famous shopping precinct, this 2-kilometre-odd-long road dates back to the 1830s, although it was then unnamed, eventually getting its famous moniker due to the fact that it once led to a number of fruit orchards as well as nutmeg and pepper plantations.</p> <p>Today, Orchard Road offers visitors thousands of businesses which include all kinds of shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and nightclubs.</p> <p>The official residence of Singapore’s president can be found at the eastern end of Orchard Road and the stunning Singapore Botanic Gardens towards the western end.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CL1q7tBDNxq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CL1q7tBDNxq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Lemjay Lucas Photography (@lemjaylucas)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Bourbon Street</strong></p> <p><span>The heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, Bourbon Street comes alive at night – and we’re not only talking about Mardi Gras! </span></p> <p><span>Lined with strip clubs, bars, restaurants and shops, it’s practically a non-stop party on weekends, allowing visitors to get the most of NOLA’s nightlife. </span></p> <p><span>A bar crawl with friends is essential, and with traditional Louisiana music as the soundtrack to your night, it’s bound to be one you’ll never forget.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CEa35GuFIp7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CEa35GuFIp7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Eileen Chauff Romero (@iluvnola2)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Via Monte Napoleone</strong></p> <p><span>Milan: it’s one of the major fashion capitals of the world. </span></p> <p><span>Via Monte Napoleone (the latter half of its name was due to Milan being the capital of the Napoleonic Italian Republic at the start of the 19th century) is a street steeped in history, which also happens to house a slew of popular boutiques, from world-renowned brands like Bulgari and Dior to upscale local Italian designers. </span></p> <p><span>It’s a fashion mecca for budding designers and everyday fashionistas alike.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYoP2xpovVn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYoP2xpovVn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Viktoriya Gorokhova (@viktorissima)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Hollywood Walk of Fame</strong></p> <p><span>Stretching block after block (after block) on Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles boasts more than 2,500 pink stars on its sidewalks, honouring a myriad of celebrities for their achievements in the entertainment industry. </span></p> <p><span>With approximately 10 million visitors every year, many tourists pose for the requisite ground shot alongside the star of their favourite celebrities, both past and present. </span></p> <p><span>And, on your way from one end of the boulevard to the other, a stop at TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theater) where many celebrities have left their mark – literally – is a must.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ9xMeQLqdj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ9xMeQLqdj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Hollywood Walk Of Fame (@hwdwalkoffame)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Royal Mile</strong></p> <p><span>Located in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Royal Mile is a collection of connecting streets exactly one mile long, that includes Castlehill, Lawn market, Abbey Strand and noteworthy landmarks such as St Giles’ Cathedral and the Heart of Midlothian, a beautiful heart-shaped mosaic in the road.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_sVs7qjbsA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_sVs7qjbsA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Royal Mile (@royalmile_edinburgh)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/travel/destinations/the-worlds-most-famous-streets?pages=2" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

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Woman avoids baggage fees with genius neck pillow hack

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While many travellers love to take advantage of cheap airline seats, the deals often come hand in hand with hefty baggage fees.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One savvy TikTok user has devised a unique way to avoid the extra charges for luggage, using a travel neck pillow. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The traveller, who shares videos under the name @anayotothe on TikTok, uses the cheap neck pillow as a secret carry-on bag to get out of those pesky extra fees. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Trying the Spirit and Frontier pillow hack cuz I ain't tryna pay $60 for a carry on," the woman wrote on the video, referencing two American airlines.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She captioned the video, “My flight is in three hours let’s see how this goes!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The woman picked up the travel pillow for just $9 from the US supermarket Walgreens, and proceeded to take the pillow stuffing out of the case. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She then stuffed all the clothes that wouldn’t fit in her backpack into the pillowcase, which could still be used to stay comfortable during her flight. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Everything fits except for this shirt!" the woman exclaimed, while showing followers her clever technique.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After sharing the video with her followers, the woman later confirmed that she boarded her flight successfully with her hidden carry-on luggage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"On the way to Vegas and the way back, I didn't have to pay, with my travel pillow and my backpack," she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While dozens of people commented to thank the savvy traveller for the tip, others also questioned if it was worth it to save money. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When questioned about her methods, the woman responded, "It took five minutes, also it was an hour flight… there was no reason I should pay $300 for a flight if you can just take one of the budget airlines."</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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Why major airlines are flying empty planes

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In order to keep prized departure and landing times at major airports, some of Europe’s biggest airlines have been forced to fly empty planes. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Europe’s second largest air carrier, Germany-based Lufthansa, reported they had operated over 18,000 “ghost flights” through winter, despite the devastating pollution effects of these flights directly opposing Europe’s climate goals. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg shared news of the “ghost flights” on twitter, adding, “The EU surely is in a climate emergency mode…”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Due to severely decreased demand for air travel, Lufthansa called for more short-term flexibility on airport time slots. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Without this crisis-related flexibility, airlines are forced to fly with planes almost empty, just to secure their slots,” it said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Still operating in a pre-pandemic mindset, the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule forces airlines to use at least 80% of their allocated slots to keep their flight times. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These rules ensure major airlines are not able to hog valuable flying times, which boxes out smaller airlines from emerging.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">News of the ghost flights has prompted Stefan De Keersmaecker, a senior spokesperson of the European Commission, to refute these claims online. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stefan cited data from Eurocontrol which reported the first weeks of traffic in 2022 was at 77% of pre-pandemic rates. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In addition to the lower slot use rates, companies may also request a ‘justified non-use exception’ – to not use a slot – if the route cannot be operated because of sanitary measures, e.g. when new variants emerge during the pandemic,” he shared on Twitter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“EU rules therefore do not oblige airlines to fly or to keep empty planes in the air. Deciding to operate routes or not is a commercial decision by the airline company and not a result of EU rules.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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The best hotels around the world for book lovers

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Book lovers rejoice! In recent years, a number of themed hotels have popped up around the world, with book fiends relishing in the targeted accommodation. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You can now curl up with a good book and relax on your holiday, all while being surrounded by like-minded readers. </span></p> <p><strong>Gladstone’s Library, North Wales</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This library was built specifically to house four-time British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone’s book collection. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Leaving his books as a legacy to the public, an accommodation wing was also added at the former prime minister’s request. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Travellers can enjoy enchanting rooms covered with book-themed wallpaper and everything a guest could need to start writing their own stories. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CXGUVd9AYjO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CXGUVd9AYjO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Gladstone's Library (@gladstoneslibrary)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Library Hotel, New York</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With each room stocked with more than 100 books, this hotel is every bibliophile’s dream accommodation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Each room and its books is categorised according to the Dewey Decimal System, meaning you could be staying in a room themed by philosophy, history or the arts. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Along with several designated reading rooms throughout the hotel, it’s easy for a book lover to get lost in the endless stories within the thousands of bookcases. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CSNMOEwAxZi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CSNMOEwAxZi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Library Hotel (@libraryhotel)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Hazlitt’s Hotel, London</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Georgian hotel in London’s famous Soho Square dates back to 1718, and reflects the intellect and poetry of the era. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All bedrooms and common areas are filled to the brim with historic books, as well as boasting an impressive library. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The hotel also has an Honesty Bar, where patrons can drink with each other and indulge in stories from the past. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CVFOIa3IZrq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CVFOIa3IZrq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Hazlitt's Hotel (@hazlittshotel)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Book and Bed, Tokyo</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the style of a typical Japanese capsule hotel, Book and Bed is the perfect place to meet like-minded book lovers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beds are built into the walls among the bookshelves, with thousands of books at the fingertips of each guest. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Branded as “the bookstore where you can stay the night”, the hostel boasts special quiet reading corners for travellers to immerse themselves within the pages of over 4,000 books. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CF9giYeHJhP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CF9giYeHJhP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by BOOKANDBEDTOKYO®︎ (@bookandbedtokyo)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Travel Tips

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The world’s greatest department stores

<p><strong>Galeries Lafayette, Paris</strong></p> <p><span>A Paris institution, Galeries Lafayette houses cutting-edge fashion, jewellery and accessories, home decor and cosmetics, as well as a renowned food section that will have gourmands salivating. </span></p> <p><span>But beyond the shopping, the store is known for its Belle Époque architecture; sign up for a free guided tour of the neo-Byzantine coloured glass dome, rooftop terrace and Art Nouveau staircase.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CTjiAsNIHQN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CTjiAsNIHQN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Galeries Lafayette (@galerieslafayette)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele, Milan</strong></p> <p><span>Designed in 1860 and built between 1865 and 1877, the Galleria consists of two intersecting covered streets in the centre of Milan, joined by an octagonal space topped with a glass dome connecting the Duomo and Teatro Alla Scala. </span></p> <p><span>Home to some of the city’s oldest shops and restaurants, this predecessor of modern shopping malls is worth a visit for the people watching alone.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CLgwB9oMFFK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CLgwB9oMFFK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (@galleriavittorioemanuele)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Le Bon Marche, Paris</strong></p> <p><span>The oldest department store in Paris and, some say, the first in the world, Le Bon Marché was designed by Gustav Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel) and opened in 1852. </span></p> <p><span>The food department, La grande épicerie de Paris, stocks more than 5,000 local and global products – think French artisanal jams, Spanish ham and Welsh mineral water – for the discerning picnicker.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CX5mh6No6WE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CX5mh6No6WE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche (@lebonmarcherivegauche)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Detsky Mir, Moscow</strong></p> <p>Famous since Soviet times, “Children’s World” was Europe’s largest children’s department store when it opened in 1957, and the dream destination of countless Russian children for its endless selection of toys and games, plus a working carousel.</p> <p>Closed for extensive renovations between 2008 and 2014, the fully refurbished store is once again open for business.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7WtHzxiK5t/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7WtHzxiK5t/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by ... и это все о Нём... 💔🙏🏻❤️ (@olgaisole)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Selfridges, London</strong></p> <p><span>At 4 hectares, Selfridges’ Oxford Street flagship store is the second-largest shop in England (beaten for the top spot by Harrods) and has the stock to show for it. </span></p> <p><span>Be sure to check out the famous window displays, which have been photographed and featured in magazines including Vogue and Dwell, and take a break from endless shopping to check out the Art Deco main entrance and in-store art exhibitions.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYhoL7-N3Bm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYhoL7-N3Bm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Adam Gagliani Saunders (@agaglianiphoto)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Takashimaya, Kyoto</strong></p> <p><span>With roots that can be traced back to a Kyoto kimono shop that opened in 1831, the Takashimaya chain operates stores in Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. </span></p> <p><span>Western brands are well represented but you won’t want to miss the collections of Japanese ceramics, new and recycled kimonos and Kyoto souvenirs. </span></p> <p><span>Head to the basement for the food section, where you’ll find beautiful sweet and savoury Japanese delicacies to admire and enjoy.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYbTj67JGrC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYbTj67JGrC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ti (@tidaltastic)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>La Rinascente, Florence</strong></p> <p><span>Among the best-known stores in Florence, this six-floor department store houses everything you’d expect from a luxury shopping centre, plus traditional Tuscan goods including terra cotta, olive oils and wrought iron (just try getting that railing in your suitcase). </span></p> <p><span>Don’t miss the rooftop terrace for a cappuccino, an Italian pastry and a fantastic view of the city, including the world-famous Duomo.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CXULcAIK3pQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CXULcAIK3pQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sergio Biancalani (@sergiobiancalani)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Isetan, Tokyo</strong></p> <p><span>Reflecting the lives of its more than 30 million customers a year, the historic Isetan shop hosts Western and Japanese designer brands alongside kimonos and accessories. </span></p> <p><span>Some of the world’s most famous pastry chefs are represented in the basement food hall, which also houses a huge chocolate section. English-speaking assistance is available for visiting shoppers and the rooftop gardens are a must-visit.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CD-X7edJctz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CD-X7edJctz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Isetan The Japan Store KL (@isetanthejapanstore)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>El Corte Ingles, Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona</strong></p> <p><span>Europe’s biggest department store chain, El Corte Inglés – the name translates as “the English cut” – has its flagship store in Madrid with an outpost, its largest store, in Lisbon. </span></p> <p><span>The latter spreads across nine floors and includes restaurants and a 14-screen movie theatre – the perfect place to while away a rainy day on holiday. </span></p> <p><span>Shop here for Spanish and Portuguese souvenirs including flamenco dolls and embroidered shawls.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYjIKUTNcZ-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYjIKUTNcZ-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Luca Grella (@lucke94)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Harrods, London</strong></p> <p><span>With more than 90,000 square metres of selling space spread over 300-plus departments, you’d be hard pressed not to find something to buy in Harrods, the world’s most iconic department store. </span></p> <p><span>Got cash to burn? Book a personal shopper to help you navigate the aisles and zero-in on that perfect find. </span></p> <p><span>From cream tea to tapas, the restaurant selection in this iconic London attraction will leave you satisfied; reviewers rave about the ice cream and the Fresh Fish Market.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGaf7X5M03h/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGaf7X5M03h/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by @LONDON • #ThisIsLondon (@london)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/destinations/the-worlds-greatest-department-stores" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

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10 awe-inspiring UNESCO world heritage sites everyone needs to visit

<p><strong>Taj Mahal </strong></p> <p>The Taj Mahal is universally recognised as the greatest masterpiece in Indo-Islamic architecture. The white marble mausoleum was commissioned in 1632 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.</p> <p>Spatial grandeur, arches, domes, relief work and precious stone inlay are among its defining characteristics.</p> <p><strong>Angkor Wat</strong></p> <p><span>Exploring the mysteries Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia is an unforgettable bucket list trip. </span></p> <p><span>Part of one of the most significant archaeological sites in Southeast Asia (the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 14th century), this massive temple complex was originally constructed as a Hindu place of worship for the god Vishnu and is the largest religious structure on the planet!</span></p> <p><strong>Great Barrier Reef</strong></p> <p><span>The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland Australia, is the largest living thing on earth. </span><span>It’s so huge that you can see it from outer space! </span></p> <p><span>Stretching for over 2,300 kilometres, this ecosystem is home to a diversity of marine line, including 400 types of coral, 1500 species of fish, and 4000 varieties of molluscs. </span></p> <p><span>Not surprisingly it’s a magnet for scuba divers.</span></p> <p><strong>Plitvice Lakes National Park</strong></p> <p><span>Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is located halfway between Zagreb and Zadar. </span></p> <p><span>This idyllic oasis is renowned for its 16 crystalline lakes connected by a series of exquisite waterfalls, splendid caves and lush forests. </span></p> <p><span>Each year, more than one million visitors flock to this natural paradise, making it Croatia’s main tourist attraction.</span></p> <p><strong>The Parthenon</strong></p> <p><span>The Acropolis of Athens is an enduring symbol of Classical Greece. </span></p> <p><span>The crown jewel of this hilltop citadel is the Parthenon, a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. </span></p> <p><span>Built by Ictinus and Callicrates, beginning in 447 BCE, this Doric icon is regarded as the most important surviving ancient Greek monument.</span></p> <p><strong>Grand Canyon</strong></p> <p><span>Words don’t do even begin to do justice to the glory of the Grand Canyon. </span></p> <p><span>Formed by Colorado River activity over the past six million years, it’s one of the longest and deepest gorges (averaging 1,600m in depth) on earth. I</span><span>ts immense size and layered red rocks make it a must-see-before-you-die attraction. </span></p> <p><span>Want to bring your four-legged friend along? The Grand Canyon is also pet-friendly!</span></p> <p><strong>Los Glaciares National Park</strong></p> <p><span>Located in the southwest of Santa Cruz province of the Argentine part of Patagonia in a remote area known as the Austral Andes, Los Glaciares National Park is a rugged paradise of granite peaks, lakes and numerous glaciers that cover half the 600,000-hectare expanse. </span></p> <p><span>Traversing this spectacular scenery is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.</span></p> <p><strong>Jeronimos Monastery</strong></p> <p><span>Travel to the Belem district at the entrance to the port of Lisbon to find the Jeronimos Monastery, which dates back to the 15th century. </span></p> <p><span>This highly ornate religious building was constructed and donated to the monks of Saint Hieronymus to pray for sailors on their voyages. </span></p> <p><span>Its cloisters, columns, arcades and complex ornamentation are characteristic of Portuguese Gothic style.</span></p> <p><strong>Old Québec</strong></p> <p><span>Founded by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1608, Québec is among the oldest settlements in North America (and one of the most popular travel destinations in Canada). </span></p> <p><span>Centuries-old charm is on full display in its impeccably preserved historic district, a shining example of a fortified colonial city with cobblestone lanes, churches, convents and landmarks like Château Frontenac and Place Royal.</span></p> <p><strong>Iguazu Falls</strong><span></span></p> <p><span>Stretching 2.7 kilometres across Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu Falls is the largest system of waterfalls in the world. </span></p> <p><span>The sheer size, thunderous sound and spectacle of these 275 individual cascades – including the 82-metre-tall Devil’s Throat – is truly jaw-dropping. </span></p> <p><span>The exotic flora and fauna of the surrounding rainforest add to the allure.</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/culture/10-awe-inspiring-unesco-world-heritage-sites-everyone-needs-to-visit" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

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Invasive species may travel trade routes

<div> <div class="copy"> <p>Invasive species could increase their global presence via China’s developing trade routes, researchers warn.</p> <p>A new study models the distribution and likelihood of invasion of terrestrial vertebrate species along China’s Belt and Road Initiative (<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/regional-integration/brief/belt-and-road-initiative" target="_blank">BRI</a>), a massive infrastructure development project involving six proposed economic corridors and 121 countries.</p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">The largest project of its kind ever attempted, the BRI has an estimated cost of an unprecedented US$4 trillion for road development, shipping routes and ports. </span></p> <p>A research team led by Yiming Li from the Chinese Academy of Sciences used species distribution modelling to assess the introduction risks for a suite of 816 known invasive terrestrial vertebrate species, as well as habitat suitability across the BRI regions.</p> <p>Habitat suitability is an indicator of the likelihood a species will become established after introduction.</p> <p>The findings, reported in a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)31670-1" target="_blank">paper</a> published in the journal Current Biology, reveal that more than two thirds of BRI countries have a lethal combination of introduction risk and high habitat suitability.</p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">“Of particular concern, we find that the majority of both introduction hotspots and areas with high habitat suitability fall along the six proposed Economic Corridors,” says Li.</span></p> <p>The team identified 14 “invasion hotspots” where biosecurity efforts might best be directed. They are located across the BRI countries, from the Caribbean Islands, northern Africa and Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia and New Zealand. Australia is not a member country or signatory to the scheme.</p> <p>One of the 816 <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/100_worst.php" target="_blank">species of concern</a> is the large North American bullfrog, (Lithobates catesbeianus or Rana catesbeiana), which is originally from east of the Rocky Mountains. It is a voracious predator of local frogs and other reptiles, and a carrier of chytrid fungus, which decimates local frog populations. The bullfrog is now established in over 40 countries, and very <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2004/09/news-bullfrogs-invading-nearly-unstoppable/" target="_blank">difficult to eradicate</a> once established.</p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">The findings have prompted the researchers to urgently recommend “the initiation of a project targeting early prevention, strict surveillance, rapid response and effective control of alien species in BRI countries to ensure that this development is sustainable.” This proposed biosecurity plan and its implementation could be funded by the establishment of a dedicated fund, they suggest.</span></p> <p>In separate <a rel="noopener" href="https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0452-8" target="_blank">correspondence</a> to the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, Alex Lechner from the University of Nottingham Malaysia and two colleagues suggest that as the 50-year BRI is still only five years old, there is an opportunity to incorporate biodiversity conservation as one of its core values.</p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">For example, they suggest, the Chinese government could plan and implement a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors across Eurasia, as well as preventing and/or controlling alien species invasion effectively. </span></p> <p>China has embraced renewable energy and technology enthusiastically, and could potentially be a world leader in biodiversity conservation, they write.</p> <em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/sustainability/invasive-species-may-travel-chinas-new-trade-routes/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Tanya Loos.</em></p> </div> </div>

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15 countries that existed 100 years ago but don’t anymore

<p><strong>Yugoslavia </strong></p> <p><span>A hundred years ago, World War I wreaked all kinds of havoc on the borders of Europe. Yugoslavia, a southeastern European country created in 1918 as “the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes” and renamed Yugoslavia a decade later, united many culturally and ethnically diverse territories that were part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. </span></p> <p><span>The new nation included the current states of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. </span></p> <p><span>But Yugoslavia was headed for more strife in the 20th century: broken up and occupied during World War II, reunited under a communist leader post-war, followed later by fighting during the 1990s. </span></p> <p><span>Now that the country is officially no longer, much of the region is experiencing greater peace. </span></p> <p><span>Croatia’s coastal city of Dubrovnik doubles for the hit HBO series </span><em>Game of Thrones</em><span>’ King’s Landing, making it such a popular tourist destination that it had to limit the number of visitors.</span></p> <p><strong>Tibet</strong></p> <p><span>Although we associate Tibet with peaceful Buddhist monks and its spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, this region northwest of India has been fought over for centuries. </span></p> <p><span>Tibet was actually its own independent country only from 1912 to 1951, when it was made part of China. </span></p> <p><span>Efforts to ‘free Tibet’ are ongoing, and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama, now retired, still resides in exile in India. </span></p> <p><span>The country is also a destination for adventure seekers and mountaineers because it contains the highest point on Earth, the nearly 8849 metre Mount Everest, which lies on the border of Nepal.</span></p> <p><strong>Neutral Moresnet</strong></p> <p><span>Never heard of Neutral Moresnet? You’re not the only one. </span></p> <p><span>This minuscule country of just over two-and-a-half square kilometres was carved out of an agreement between the Dutch and the Prussians (more on them later) in 1816, so both nations would have access to its zinc mine. </span></p> <p><span>Neutral Moresnet had its own flag and even made its own coins. Efforts were made to turn the tiny nation into a utopia with its own artificial ‘world language,’ Esperanto. </span></p> <p><span>But it fell victim to World War I, and then became part of Belgium. </span></p> <p><span>The present-day residents of the area, however, still celebrate the anniversary of Neutral Moresnet’s creation.</span></p> <p><strong>Newfoundland</strong></p> <p><span>You might think of the rugged island of Newfoundland as part of Canada, but that wasn’t always the case. </span></p> <p><span>The island off North America’s northeastern coast was also previously a British colony, but its isolation created a culture distinct from the surrounding region. </span></p> <p><span>Newfoundland became a self-governing independent nation, although still a British ‘dominion,’ from 1907 until 1934, when it voluntarily chose to go back to being a colony after the Great Depression hit hard. </span></p> <p><span>In 1949, Newfoundland became a Canadian province, now known as Newfoundland and Labrador (interestingly, both names of dog breeds as well!).</span></p> <p><strong>Abyssinia</strong></p> <p><span>This romantic-sounding name was actually the Arab and European moniker for Ethiopia a hundred years ago. </span></p> <p><span>In the ‘Scramble for Africa’ at the end of the 19th century, Italy had tried to snatch it up, but was unable to overthrow its monarchy. </span></p> <p><span>In fact, the country was never colonised and was one of the few independent states in Africa – until the Italians under Mussolini were able to briefly occupy it during the late 1930s. </span></p> <p><span>After World War II, Ethiopia became one of the founding countries of the United Nations. </span></p> <p><span>The country’s rich history also lays claim to the world’s oldest human fossil ever found, and allegedly the biblical Ark of the Covenant (you know, the one in <em>Raiders of the Lost Ark</em>). </span></p> <p><span>The surreal landscape of Ethiopia’s lava lake is one of the most remote places on earth.</span></p> <p><strong>Czechoslovakia</strong></p> <p><span>This eastern European country was another melding of different ethnic groups created in 1918 at the end of World War I. </span></p> <p><span>Part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia was made up of the historical regions Moravia, Slovakia and Bohemia (yes, as in ‘bohemian’). </span></p> <p><span>The Nazi occupation of the area helped propel Europe into World War II; after being liberated by the Soviet Union it became an Eastern Bloc nation in the later half of the 20th century. </span></p> <p><span>Czechoslovakia eventually peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.</span></p> <p><strong>Ceylon</strong></p> <p><span>You probably know of this large island south of India as Sri Lanka, but until 1972 it was called Ceylon. </span></p> <p><span>That’s the name the Europeans gave to it when the island was colonised centuries earlier. Under British control until 1948, it then became an independent nation and threw off its colonial moniker in 1972, when it became Sri Lanka. </span></p> <p><span>After some civil war in the early 21st century, the area is now stable. In 2011, the country decided to change the title of any state institutions still bearing the name Ceylon in an effort to remove any vestiges of colonialism.</span></p> <p><strong>Basutoland</strong></p> <p><span>Now called Lesotho since its independence from Britain in 1966, Basutoland was united as a nation in the 19th century under King Moshoeshoe I, who later applied to the British for help in warding off invaders. </span></p> <p><span>Only one of three countries in the world to be surrounded completely by another (along with the Vatican and San Marino, both enclaves within Italy), Basutoland was located inside what is today South Africa.</span></p> <p><span> Lesotho still has a royal family and is now a constitutional monarchy. Prince Harry, who’s very fond of the country, founded his charity for children in Africa, Sentebale, with Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso.</span></p> <p><strong>Ottoman Empire</strong></p> <p><span>Unlike the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, which still encompassed Turkey and some surrounding areas by 1920, survived World War I. </span></p> <p><span>But not for long – in 1923, after losing most of its other territories, it became the Turkish Republic. Prior to the Great War, though, the empire ruled for more than 600 years over lands that also included parts of eastern Europe, north Africa and the Middle East. </span></p> <p><span>Its influence is still seen today in the culture and architecture of Turkey. For an up-close look, visit Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, which has been wowing shoppers since 1455.</span></p> <p><strong>Sikkim</strong></p> <p><span>Have you heard of this tiny mountain region in the Himalayas? Sikkim was a sovereign monarchy from 1642 until it became an Indian protectorate in 1950, and then a state of India in 1975. </span></p> <p><span>Also bordering Bhutan, Tibet Autonomous Region of China, and Nepal today, Sikkim is dominated by snow-covered mountains, which the people revere as both a god itself and the home of gods. </span></p> <p><span>A footprint of the Yeti, aka the Abominable Snowman, was allegedly found in Sikkim in 1948.</span></p> <p><strong>Persia</strong></p> <p><span>The name of Persia conjures up an ancient Middle Eastern kingdom, one of the oldest civilisations in history. </span></p> <p><span>Since the height of its power in ancient times, the country was oft fought over but still retained its old moniker all the way until 1935, when it officially became Iran. </span></p> <p><span>Today, we mostly think of Persia when speaking of Persian rugs and Persian cats, but its culture is alive and well – unfortunately, continuing unstable international relations (not to mention a certain global pandemic) are keeping Westerners from visiting.</span></p> <p><strong>Siam</strong></p> <p><span>Anyone who’s seen the musical <em>The King and I</em> might wonder where on earth the king of Siam (the real-life King Mongkut, who ruled from 1851 to 1868) actually lived. </span></p> <p><span>The answer? Present-day Thailand, whose new name was adopted in 1939. </span></p> <p><span>Never colonised by Europeans, Siam was an absolute monarchy; after unrest in the 20th century, Thailand is now a constitutional monarchy. </span></p> <p><span>Thanks to its hundreds of islands, clear water and gorgeous coastlines, Thailand is a popular tourist destination today.</span></p> <p><strong>Prussia</strong></p> <p><span>You read right: not Russia, Prussia. </span></p> <p><span>This country, which encompassed land in central and eastern Europe including present-day Germany and Poland, existed in some form all the way until 1947. </span></p> <p><span>The kingdom of Prussia enjoyed much success in the 18th century but started to lose territory in the 19th, until the unification of the German empire placed the Prussian king at its head in 1871. </span></p> <p><span>Although it’s a little complicated where Prussia ends and Germany begins, the defeat of the empire and the abolishment of the Prussian monarchy after World War I extinguished its influence. </span></p> <p><span>But Prussia continued to exist as a German state until the land was divided up and the name formally dismissed after World War II, erasing it from the map forever. </span></p> <p><span>Interestingly, though, the descendants of the defunct monarchy continue to carry their titles – Prince Georg Friedrich Ferdinand of Prussia is the current head of the former ruling family.</span></p> <p><strong>Zanzibar</strong></p> <p><span>The islands of Zanzibar, an archipelago off Africa’s east coast, sound exotically alluring – the name probably makes you think of spices, explorers and adventure. </span></p> <p><span>And for good reason: the area was once an important trading locale, and was established as an independent sultanate in the 19th century. </span></p> <p><span>Although it became a British protectorate soon after, the sultan continued to rule until 1964. Having gained full independence the previous year, Zanzibar then merged with mainland Tanganyika to form present-day Tanzania. </span></p> <p><span>Today, see the highest point in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, before heading for the tropical paradise of the islands’ beaches.</span></p> <p><strong>Sarawak</strong></p> <p><span>Now a state in Malaysia on the island of Borneo, Sarawak is a land full of natural beauty. </span></p> <p><span>Created as a kingdom by the adventurer James Brooke in the 1840s, Sarawak was ruled by his descendants until World War II, when it was occupied by Japan and later ceded to Britain. </span></p> <p><span>In 1963, Sarawak became part of the new country of Malaysia. Interestingly, although Brooke was English, he resisted British imperialism and is largely regarded positively in the country. </span></p> <p><span>Rudyard Kipling’s <em>The Man Who Would Be King</em> was likely based on Brooke, and he’s also the inspiration for the planned upcoming film <em>White Rajah</em>. </span></p> <p><span>The Brooke family is still active in Sarawak through The Brooke Trust.</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/15-countries-that-existed-100-years-ago-but-dont-anymore?pages=1" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

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COVID travel restrictions have created new borders for migrants who want to visit home

<p>In the early days of the pandemic, many countries closed their borders to stop the spread of COVID-19. International travel has continued to be limited with <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52544307">changing caveats</a>, including “essential” travel only, restrictions on travellers from particular countries and vaccination “passports”.</p> <p>While a necessary public health measure, these restrictions have been especially disruptive to migrant families. For these families, travel is a necessary part of fulfilling <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15350770.2020.1787035">familial obligations</a> and maintaining a sense of “<a href="https://www.lexico.com/definition/familyhood">familyhood</a>” and belonging across borders.</p> <p>These policies present a new layer of “everyday bordering” for transnational families. The term “<a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0038038517702599">everyday bordering</a>” describes how policy and media narratives around migration affect migrants’ everyday lives and define who “belongs” in a nation state. In the UK, these borders amplify the state’s “<a href="https://www.jcwi.org.uk/the-hostile-environment-explained">hostile environment</a>”, the Home Office’s immigration policy, aimed at making it as difficult as possible to stay in the UK without adequate documentation.</p> <p>For migrants, their country of origin represents <a href="https://www.movingpeoplechangingplaces.org/locations/home-and-away.html">home</a> and family. Visiting home is important to many people’s wellbeing and allows migrants to be part of <a href="https://www.expatica.com/living/family/family-rituals-442783/">family traditions</a> and religious and <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-09/how-china-s-big-annual-migration-differs-this-year-quicktake">cultural festivals</a>. Travel may also be necessary to fulfil caring obligations for ageing, sick or young relatives.</p> <p>Pandemic aside, the ability to visit home and family has always been constrained by a number of factors, including migration status and travel costs. The impact of these everyday borders on some migrants’ lives has been <a href="https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Addressing-the-pain-of-separation-for-refugee-families.pdf">well-documented</a>.</p> <p>The introduction of COVID-19 travel restrictions has inhibited and added costly and complex border checks into the everyday lives of migrants. This is at a time when the need to maintain transnational family caring practices is particularly important.</p> <h2>Everyday borders</h2> <p>Our fieldwork for the study <a href="https://everydaybordering-familiesandsocialcare.group.shef.ac.uk/">“Everyday Bordering in the UK”</a> aims to understand how immigration legislation – including COVID-19 travel restrictions – has impacted social care practitioners and the migrant families they support.</p> <p>Through interviews, diary entries and ethnographic observations, we explored how families from diverse migratory backgrounds experience everyday bordering. While transnational family practices were not our primary focus, our work has revealed the impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions on transnational family life. This was also supported by our researcher’s own travel experiences when visiting family in Italy.</p> <p>Our research participants consistently discussed and wrote about their family members who do not live in the UK and expressed feeling responsible for their care. This demonstrates how important it is for family members to be able to travel in order to provide care.</p> <p>Some expressed remorse at being unable to travel historically, due to restrictive visa conditions or prohibitive flight costs. Interviews and ethnographic observations from online English language classes also reveal the impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions on fulfilling care practices.</p> <p>One couple from Poland –- whom we call Krystyna and Henryk –- now living in the UK, describe the disruption caused by such restrictions. In March 2020, Krystyna was visiting Poland to help her parents with her ageing grandparents, when travel was first inhibited. She was unable to return to her partner in the UK due to flight cancellations.</p> <p>During this time, Henryk described being “depressed” and alone, saying, "My family isn’t here because they are in Poland, so I spent a few days in bed […] it was a very bad experience in my life."</p> <p>While commercial flights were not available at that time, <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52098067">chartered flights</a> returned many citizens back to their home countries from work or holiday. But these flights did not take into account those in Krystyna’s position – as a Polish citizen – and their transnational caring responsibilities, which are now divided between two countries.</p> <h2>Essential travel</h2> <p>Now that many countries have reopened their borders for travel, governments and airlines have implemented a series of measures and checks to contain the virus. Examples include <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/safe-covid-19-vaccines-europeans/eu-digital-covid-certificate_en">the EU green pass</a>, <a href="https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk">the UK’s passenger locator form</a>, evidence of testing negative for COVID-19 and compulsory quarantine in hotels.</p> <p>These can be costly and hard to access, as our researcher noted in her own experience, "After not seeing my family for over one year, including my mum with a severe disability, we decided to fly to Italy. For the trip, we needed four tests, costing … £160 per person. Italy required a 48-hour test, and not a postal test. For a person living in London there were more, cheaper options but not for people in rural areas. In Italy, we also had to isolate for five days and get a further green pass to access public spaces."</p> <p>For two participants in the English language class, despite wanting to visit their mothers in Turkey and India, these measures were so costly and “complicated” that they said they “didn’t bother to ask for permission”. They realised it would be too difficult to travel, and they cancelled their plans to visit their families.</p> <p>The global emergency of COVID-19 has presented many challenges for governments, and has emphasised the differing needs of populations, including those who are marginalised.</p> <p>Since the initial peak of the crisis in early 2020, many countries, the UK included, permitted carers to move between different households to provide care. While international travel restrictions are an important feature of public health responses, in the context of this health crises, migrant families’ need to travel should also be recognised.</p> <p>Health-related boarding requirements should, we believe, be removed in a timely manner, but governments can do more to support migrant families in the short term. If we consider differing regulations between countries, the current system is too complex, costly and contradictory. There is a need for international agreements to standardise the documentation required to travel and make processes more streamlined and accessible.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This image originally appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/covid-travel-restrictions-have-created-new-borders-for-migrants-who-want-to-visit-home-171461" target="_blank">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

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How coronavirus has changed how we enjoy hotel breakfasts

<p><strong>The new normal in hotel buffets</strong></p> <p><span>Who doesn’t love a good hotel buffet? They are cost-effective, delicious and it doesn’t matter if your eyes are bigger than your stomach. </span></p> <p><span>There is something truly magical about groggily taking the lift down to the hotel lobby to find an expansive breakfast spread in front of you, but while still exciting, these moments will look a little different now due to the coronavirus pandemic. </span></p> <p><span>We spoke to experts to see just what will be different about hotel buffets in a post-pandemic world.<br /></span></p> <p><strong>No more serving yourself</strong></p> <p><span>One major change we might see at hotel buffets post-pandemic is that we won’t be the ones putting the food on our plates. </span></p> <p><span>G</span><span>uests will most likely just point to the food that they want behind plexiglass and servers will place the food on their dish. </span></p> <p><span>“That way, only one person will be holding the serving utensils and guests may not have to wear gloves to prevent the transfer of bacteria,” says Laurie Wilkins, founder of Call Outdoors.</span></p> <p><strong>Hand sanitiser will become a staple</strong></p> <p><span>If you haven’t already noticed, hand sanitiser has become a staple everywhere and hotels are not the exception. Hand sanitising stations will likely be at various access points throughout the buffet. </span></p> <p><span>“These hand sanitisers might also have a foot pump dispenser, so everything is hands-free,” claims Wilkins. </span></p> <p><span>“Since there are many people coming to the restaurant, the surface of hand sanitiser bottles may potentially be unsanitary as well.”</span></p> <p><strong>Breakfast room will be sealed</strong></p> <p><span>Dining rooms will be closed in order to avoid unnecessary congregation and interaction between guests at some large hotel chains, such as Best Western. </span></p> <p><span>Guests will eat in their own private spaces so everyone can maintain distance and limit contact.</span></p> <p><strong>Grab And Go options</strong></p> <p><span>Best Western is also enhancing its “Grab &amp; Go” offerings, meaning that all food and beverage options will be pre-packaged to avoid contamination. </span></p> <p><span>With pre-packaged options, guests will avoid unnecessary touching or breathing on the food and will also have limited contact with servers.</span></p> <p><strong>Waiter service</strong></p> <p><span>“The food will still be mass-produced but, instead of customers going up to grab food, they will order from the staff who will bring the food to you,” explains Raymond Cua, founder of Travelling Foodie. </span></p> <p><span>“This will eliminate the need to have all the food displayed outside which is prone to contamination.” </span></p> <p><span>Having a waitstaff can also prevent unnecessary contact with other guests as the only outside contact people will have is with their server.</span></p> <p><strong>Contactless ordering</strong></p> <p><span>Cua also claims that some hotels may implement contactless ordering with the use of a device rather than having a server physically come to take your order. </span></p> <p><span>That way, the only contact will be the delivery of the food to the table.</span></p> <p><strong>Room service</strong></p> <p><span>“One possible action plan that hotels can do is to use room service as a platform to connect their customers to their hotel buffet offerings,” says Yaniv Masjedi, CMO at Nextiva. </span></p> <p><span>“Customers can choose the food and drinks they like to eat and relay information to the front desk. Then, room service delivers orders. With this set-up, it helps prevent the spread of the virus by eliminating the chances of hotel guests interacting with one another.” </span></p> <p><span>Hotel employees can also leave the food outside the door like many takeout places have been doing to limit face-to-face contact.</span></p> <p><strong>Directional buffets</strong></p> <p><span>For hotels that are still allowing for in-person buffets, guests will only be able to move in one direction while socially distanced – just like many stores that are placing directional arrows on the floor. </span></p> <p><span>“Buffets will become more ‘directional’ with you needing to start on one end, and finish in another, for more traffic flow,” explains Alex Miller, CEO of Upgraded Points.com.</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/travel/travel-hints-tips/what-hotel-buffets-will-look-like-now/" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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Foolproof tips for first-time campers

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When planning a trip, many people prefer to tone it down with a camping holiday in the bush, rather than embark on a city escape. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For first-timers, there’s a lot of things that can either make or break your next camping trip, and it’s always good to be prepared for any situation. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking on </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Today Extra</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, expert organiser Anita Birges has shared her top tips to make your next camping trip a success. </span></p> <p><strong>The tent is everything</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anita recommends picking a tent with “plenty of room”, which can make or break a trip when travelling with large groups or with kids. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In terms of pitching your tent when you reach your destination, Antia advises to pick a shady spot that is clear of hanging branches, and to practice pitching your tent in the </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">backyard before you embark. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anita also recommends staying at a powered campsite that has access to amenities such as toilets and barbecues, especially for first time campers. </span></p> <p><strong>Invest in your mattress</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Camping is no fun if you’re too tired to enjoy it, so invest in some good quality air mattresses that are easy to blow up. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Alternatively, double sleeping bags are a good idea, giving you the chance to snuggle up with your partner on colder nights to keep warm. </span></p> <p><strong>Go all out with extras</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anita recommends going all out with the extras to make sure your camping trip is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Extra items such as a gazebo, folding chairs and compact table are sure to make any trip easier. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As well as these extra luxuries, essentials such as a good-sized esky, first aid kit, cleaning items and an abundance of toilet paper are a must. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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How Covid-19 changed international travel forever

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After international borders have been closed due to the pandemic for almost two years, travel companies are beginning to stretch their legs again. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With many people keen to travel outside their own four walls for the first time in months, there have been some unexpected road bumps for businesses who rely on tourism. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Travel-based companies, such as Contiki, have been forced into being flexible after being out of operation for almost 24 months. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Contiki have been running global tours since 1962, and suffered immense losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Contiki managing director Katrina Barry told </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-advice/money/contiki-managing-director-addresses-the-impact-of-covid-on-international-travel/news-story/aa2307e290d95f7729bd3c4d7aa300c3"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that the company had long been learning how to adapt to changing circumstances. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Flexibility is the new black,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We absolutely need to pivot and keep your eye sort of close to the ground and that's our job, to be the experts on travel. So we've had to adapt. I don’t think 2022 is going to be exactly like it was prior to Covid, we’re definitely in a transition period. ”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Contiki has noticed a host of changes to global travel, including costs going up “significantly” in parts of Europe, and large numbers of businesses shutting down in Asia. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What we are noticing is there will be supply issues in various countries ... there are so many things across Asia where people live to pay cheque to pay cheque so a lot of businesses have had to close and a lot of families have had to go and find other work,” Ms Barry said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That means there’s not as many restaurants or there’s not quite as many to it than in one particular thing. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And in the Greek Islands, costing has gone up significantly because there are fewer operators and fewer hotels, so we’ve had to build in some of that process. But that’s always been the world.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Travellers have also been forced to fork out more expenses on things such as travel insurance, in case their destination goes into a snap lockdown, trapping holiday-goers away from home. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With vaccine certificates and masks still being the norm in most places, it’s important for travellers to look up certain Covid-19 restrictions before booking that long overdue holiday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With many companies learning how to navigate a post-Covid world, Ms Barry says the one thing that unites us all is the longing to explore all corners of the world, all while wearing a mask, of course. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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The world’s best Christmas displays

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cities all around the world are putting up their Christmas trees to get in the festive spirit, which results in some very impressive displays. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Each year, a 25-metre tree stands tall in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with people flocking from all over the world to see the famous tree and frolic on the ice skating rink beneath it. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In Barcelona, a luminous star is placed on top of the tower of the Sagrada Família basilica to illuminate the city. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The star weighs a total of 5.5 tons and costs around $2.4 million. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Washington D.C has an impressive display on the White House lawn, with one grand Christmas tree overlooking 50 smaller trees: one for each of the United States. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">London’s Natural History Museum boasts an impressive Christmas tree that sits in the middle of an ice skating rink, which will be running for its final year in 2021 after 16 Decembers in operation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In Moscow, ice skaters perform the story of Swan Lake in the iconic Red Square with all the buildings lit up in Christmas lights.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Slovenian capital of Ljubljana showcases a light-covered Christmas tree, with annual markets offering all the festive goodies you could wish for.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vancouver celebrates the festive season with its annual Festival of Lights at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, where more than 15 acres of grass and trees are decorated with over one million lights. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">All image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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6 things to avoid doing at the airport

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As travel finally starts to resume after Covid restrictions ease, many people will be flocking to their closest airport for a long overdue getaway.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But as global travel resets, let’s not go back to bad airport behaviours from a pre-Covid time. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With travel already being a stressful task for many, these unspoken etiquette rules can make life a little easier. </span></p> <p><strong>Don’t misread the dress code</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s an airport, not the red carpet. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Regardless of being more comfortable in more laid back attire, dressing down will also help your fellow travellers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The more layers of clothes, jewellery and accessories you decide to wear will only slow you down at security screening points, along with everyone waiting behind you. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stick with comfort over fashion to make everything easier. </span></p> <p><strong>Don’t think you can cheat the X-ray machine</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Everyone knows the limits to what you can pack in hand luggage before you arrive at the airport. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Accidentally” leaving a prohibited item in your carry-on won’t fly with security, no matter how much you want to keep your full sized items. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These items are bound to be confiscated and disposed of, so look up what you can and can’t take when you book your trip. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And there’s no point arguing with security staff over these measures, no matter how ridiculous you find them because even if you have a point, they’re not letting you take 5 litres of sunscreen to Bali in your hand luggage. </span></p> <p><strong>Don’t judge parents travelling with noisy kids</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even though a screaming child at the airport can massively dampen your excited holiday mood, be patient with your fellow travellers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Judgemental looks or comments are completely unwarranted, when parents know the effect their child’s tantrum is having on you. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You were once the screaming kid kicking your plane seat, so have some compassion for those who are doing their best.</span></p> <p><strong>Don’t try to charm your way into an upgrade</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As charming as you think you might be, the days of random upgrades to first class or access to exclusive business lounges are long gone. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If someone in front of you does seem to bag an upgrade, it’s likely they have a billion frequent flyer points or some kind of platinum membership. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You’re either entitled to these discounts and upgrades or you’re not, so don’t hold your breath for a fancier seat. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite these upgrades rarely being given, staff can also get in serious trouble for giving out unwarranted discounts, so accept the economy ticket you paid for. </span></p> <p><strong>Don’t jump up the second the plane lands</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite being anxious to start your holiday or make your connecting flight, standing up the second the plane pulls in won’t actually get you on it any sooner. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are a lot of elements that have to come before passengers can start boarding, with staff in constant communication to make the process as streamlined as possible. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So sit down, take a breath and wait for your boarding announcement to be called.</span></p> <p><strong>Don’t crowd the baggage carousel </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Crowding the baggage carousel is the number one cardinal sin of airport etiquette, as the domino effect affects every single traveller. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Crowding around means the person behind you can’t see, causing them to step forward and block the view of the person behind them, and so on until everyone is standing on top of each other waiting for their luggage. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Being patient is key in these situations, and realising the carousel moves slowly for a reason will show that there is a very slim chance you’ll miss the opportunity to grab your suitcase. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You can actually retrieve your luggage, even if your legs aren't physically touching the carousel at all times, which makes it easier for everyone. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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Who’s in? Who’s out? The ethics of COVID-19 travel rules

<p>Omicron, the latest COVID-19 variant dubbed a “<a href="https://www.who.int/news/item/26-11-2021-classification-of-omicron-(b.1.1.529)-sars-cov-2-variant-of-concern">variant of concern</a>” by the World Health Organization, has prompted <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/28/world/middleeast/israel-morocco-travel-bans-omicron.html">new travel restrictions in many nations</a>. Although little is known about omicron, scientists have expressed concern that it may be <a href="https://theconversation.com/omicron-why-the-who-designated-it-a-variant-of-concern-172727">more transmissible</a> or vaccine-resistant than previous variants.</p> <p>On Nov. 26, 2021, <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/11/26/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-the-omicron-covid-19-variant/">the United States</a> joined <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/concerns-over-covid-variant-trigger-more-travel-curbs-southern-africa-2021-11-27/">a growing list of nations</a> banning travelers from countries in southern Africa, where the variant was first identified. The U.S. decision followed <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/noncitizens-US-air-travel.html">another recent change</a>, which went into effect on Nov. 8, 2021, requiring non-citizens entering the U.S. by plane to be fully vaccinated, with limited exceptions. Everyone entering by plane, including citizens, must provide a negative COVID-19 test.</p> <p>As bioethicists based in <a href="http://depts.washington.edu/bhdept/nancy-s-jecker-phd">the U.S.</a> and <a href="https://www.ug.edu.gh/phcl/staff/caesar-atuire">Ghana</a>, we explore the intersection of global health and ethics <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2021-107555">in our research</a>. In the U.S. government’s recent rules for entry, we see far-reaching consequences that should prompt policymakers to consider not just science, but ethics.</p> <h2>Buying time?</h2> <p>There are multiple arguments to support travel rules imposing bans or requiring full vaccination. U.S. policy aims to “prevent further introduction, transmission, and spread of COVID-19 into and throughout the United States,” <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/10/25/a-proclamation-on-advancing-the-safe-resumption-of-global-travel-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/">President Joe Biden said</a> as he introduced the vaccination requirement. He noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “has determined that the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19, including preventing infection by the delta variant, is for individuals to get vaccinated.”</p> <p>Ethically, the reason to contain the spread is to protect health and save lives. It could be argued that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s10677-021-10160-0">a country’s first duty is to keep its own people safe</a>. However, many countries manage to protect their people while building in flexibility, such as by testing and quarantining visitors in lieu of travel bans or strict vaccination requirements. France, for example, tailors requirements to infection rates. It considers the U.S. <a href="https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/coronavirus-advice-for-foreign-nationals-in-france/">an “orange” country</a>, meaning unvaccinated Americans must show negative COVID-19 tests and self-isolate for seven days.</p> <p>One argument in favor of travel bans holds that they could slow the spread of the virus and buy time while scientists learn more. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease advisor, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-braces-omicron-prepares-african-country-travel-ban-2021-11-28/">reportedly told the president</a> it would take two weeks to have definitive answers about omicron. A travel ban gives scientists <a href="https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/omicron-travel-bans-snap-defences-buy-time-as-scientists-race-to-decode-new-covid-variant-2626702">more time</a> to assess how well existing vaccines fare against new variants, and to <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/26/pfizer-biontech-investigating-new-covid-variant-jj-testing-vaccine-against-it.html">begin reformulating vaccines</a> if needed.</p> <p>An ethical argument for vaccine requirements is that people should be held accountable for their choices, including refusing vaccination. Yet throughout much of the world, particularly poorer regions, people cannot access vaccines. On average, only 6% of people in low-income countries <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-people-vaccinated-covid?country=High+income%7EUpper+middle+income%7ELower+middle+income%7ELow+income">have received a dose</a> of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 74% in rich countries.</p> <h2>Science in flux</h2> <p>Critics of travel bans and vaccine requirements point out that such controls are hardly foolproof. There is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/jtm/taab123">scant evidence</a> that travel restrictions reduce disease spread, particularly if they are not timed right and paired with <a href="https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aba9757">other prevention strategies</a>. Meanwhile, many studies have highlighted <a href="https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aba9757">the negative consequences</a>of international travel restrictions, such as xenophobia and mental health concerns.</p> <p>Vaccines are currently highly effective at <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-many-lives-have-coronavirus-vaccines-saved-we-used-state-data-on-deaths-and-vaccination-rates-to-find-out-169513">preventing hospitalization and death</a>from COVID-19. But vaccinated people can <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-a-breakthrough-infection-6-questions-answered-about-catching-covid-19-after-vaccination-164909">still be infected</a> and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html">transmit the virus</a>, although they are <a href="https://theconversation.com/no-vaccinated-people-are-not-just-as-infectious-as-unvaccinated-people-if-they-get-covid-171302">less likely</a> than unvaccinated people to be contagious, and less likely to get COVID-19 in the first place. Vaccines could also become less effective if <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8118153/">undercut by new virus variants</a>, though it is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-03552-w">not yet clear</a> if omicron reduces vaccine efficacy. Finally, there is uncertainty about <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02249-2">how long</a> vaccine protection lasts.</p> <p>Banning travelers in response to omicron is intended to keep people safe. But bans could backfire if they are seen as punitive, and could make countries <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/11/28/1059619823/omicron-travel-bans-covid">less likely to share information about new variants</a>. After South Africa reported the omicron variant, its health minister said travel bans had made the country <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/26/south-africa-slams-unjustified-travel-bans-omicron-coronavirus-variant">a scapegoat</a> for a “worldwide problem,” while the foreign ministry claimed, “<a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-59442129">Excellent science should be applauded and not punished</a>.” Targeting African countries with travel bans “<a href="https://www.afro.who.int/news/who-stands-african-nations-and-calls-borders-remain-open">attacks global solidarity</a>,” the World Health Organization’s Africa director said in a statement.</p> <h2>Health and justice</h2> <p>Travel bans and vaccine rules also raise equity concerns, given the dramatic disparity in vaccination rates across the globe. Travel restrictions disproportionately impact people from low-income nations where few vaccines are available.</p> <p>It might appear that requiring vaccination for entry would not leave many people worse off, if people in poorer countries can rarely afford travel. Yet many people traveling to wealthier countries do so for jobs. Pre-pandemic, in 2019, the U.S. <a href="https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/us-temporary-foreign-worker-visa-programs">issued more than 900,000 work-eligible visas</a>.</p> <p>Many opponents of travel restrictions emphasize that new variants <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/26/new-covid-variant-rich-countries-hoarding-vaccines">are not surprising</a>, given how unequally vaccines have been distributed around the globe. When nations in southern Africa protested the new travel ban, they <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/27/world/africa/coronavirus-omicron-africa.html">pointed to previous warnings</a> that the delay in rolling out vaccinations there would <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/11/omicron-coronavirus-variant-what-we-know/620827/">increase the risk</a> of new variants.</p> <p>Equity concerns are intensified by wealthy nations’ partial responsibility for poorer nations’ difficulty accessing vaccines. Early in the pandemic, rich countries struck advance market agreements and secured <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01288-8">as much as 500%</a> of their predicted vaccine need, exacerbating global vaccine scarcity and bidding up prices.</p> <p>Wealthy nations pledged 1.8 billion doses of vaccine to low-income nations through COVAX, a global initiative to equitably distribute vaccines. Yet <a href="https://app.box.com/s/hk2ezb71vf0sla719jx34v0ehs0l22os">only 14% of them have been delivered</a>, according to <a href="https://peoplesvaccine.org/faq/">The People’s Vaccine</a>, an alliance calling for equal access to COVID-19 vaccines.</p> <p>[<em>Research into coronavirus and other news from science</em> <a href="https://theconversation.com/us/newsletters/science-editors-picks-71/?utm_source=TCUS&amp;utm_medium=inline-link&amp;utm_campaign=newsletter-text&amp;utm_content=science-corona-research">Subscribe to The Conversation’s new science newsletter</a>.]</p> <p>Some ethicists have argued that governments should <a href="https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2021-107491">hold off on vaccination requirements</a> for international travelers until there is more universal access to vaccines, or allow alternatives, such as testing or vaccination upon arrival. The U.S. vaccine requirement for visitors does make <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/order-safe-travel/technical-instructions.html">humanitarian exceptions</a> for travelers from countries where fewer than 10% of people are fully vaccinated. Still, it bars entry to people on a tourist or business visa, and citizens of many low- and middle-income nations where vaccination rates are low, but just above the bar.</p> <h2>Do as I say, not as I do?</h2> <p>The U.S. vaccination requirement also sounds hypocritical, because it does not apply to Americans. Unvaccinated citizens are allowed to reenter the country with a negative test result. Though free COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations">just 58% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated</a>.</p> <p>In addition, U.S. rules exclude unvaccinated foreigners from countries with far lower COVID-19 rates. The U.S. has about 210 confirmed <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/covid-cases">cases per million people</a>, but excludes unvaccinated people from countries including India (6 per million), Paraguay (8 per million), Cambodia (2 per million) and Zimbabwe (3 per million), although <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-testing">lack of testing</a> may contribute to low case counts.</p> <p>In our research, we argue global health can be protected by more equitable methods, like <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2021-107824">following the WHO’s recommendation</a> to delay booster shots until 10% of people in every nation have received first shots; expanding vaccine manufacturing through <a href="https://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2021/10/06/medethics-2021-107824">waiving vaccine patents</a>; and showing <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hast.1250">solidarity in the global distribution of vaccines</a> by prioritizing countries with low ability to obtain vaccines.</p> <p>Ultimately, the best way for wealthy nations to protect their own citizens is to vaccinate people across the globe. “If the variant shows up anywhere in the world, you can pretty much count on it being everywhere in the world,” as infectious disease specialist <a href="https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/about-us/cidrap-staff/michael-t-osterholm-phd-mph">Michael Osterholm</a> told <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/26/us/us-officials-are-consulting-with-south-african-scientists-on-the-variant.html">the New York Times</a>. Vaccinating more people reduces the chance of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMsr2105280">new variants appearing that are impervious to vaccines</a>.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/whos-in-whos-out-the-ethics-of-covid-19-travel-rules-172053" target="_blank">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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What not to ask hotel staff when checking in

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A former hotel receptionist has shared the annoying question she would constantly get asked by demanding guests. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Janessa Richard acted out the scenario to her TikTok followers, showing how unreasonable some customers can be, and why hotel staff get so fed up. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Janessa plays both the role of the receptionist and the rude customer in the reenactment, as she begins to demand a price reduction. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I was actually just online, and I saw a rate for $89 and I'm pretty sure we are paying $129, so you're gonna need to match that price if you want to keep us as your guests," Janessa, as the customer, begins.</span></p> <p dir="ltr">Obliging with the customer’s request, she asks the next logical, and very reasonable, request: if she can see the competing price on the customer’s phone.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, the simple question causes the customer to snap back.</p> <div class="embed"><iframe class="embedly-embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2F7003760114041670918&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40janessarichard%2Fvideo%2F7003760114041670918%3Fis_copy_url%3D1%26is_from_webapp%3Dv1%26lang%3Den&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" scrolling="no" title="tiktok embed" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></div> <p dir="ltr">"Well, that's not gonna work because I don't have it on my phone anymore. That was like an hour ago," she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">The receptionist tries to offer a number of different solutions, but the entitled guest refuses to cooperate.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Oh my gosh. Why do you have to make this so complicated? I don't remember what the website was. I just need you to match that rate, or else we're gonna go elsewhere".</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The video concludes with Janessa explaining that they require proof of the cheaper pricing, as she continues to stay calm in conversation. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She captioned the video, "When people don't understand how price matching works".</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The video has racked up over 200,000 views, with many people in the comments empathising with her tolerance of the service industry. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Others who also work in the hotel industry commented their own experiences of dealing with difficult customers with price matching debacles. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While many hotels do offer price matching discounts, as shown by Janessa’s clip, the guest has to show proof of the cheaper rate on a competing website. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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As Aucklanders anticipate holiday trips, Māori leaders ask people to stay away from regions with lower vaccination rates

<p>Despite the emergence of the new Omicron variant, New Zealand will move to a new <a href="https://covid19.govt.nz/traffic-lights/covid-19-protection-framework/">COVID-19 Protection Framework </a> this Friday, with a traffic light system to mark the level of freedoms for each region.</p> <p>Auckland and other parts of the North Island that are battling active outbreaks or have low vaccination rates will start at red, which means hospitality and businesses will be largely open only for fully vaccinated people. The rest of the country will be in orange, which allows for larger gatherings but restricts access for those who remain unvaccinated.</p> <p>From December 15, the Auckland boundary will lift and Aucklanders will be free to travel around the country, despite the ongoing community outbreak in which <a href="https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-data-and-statistics/covid-19-case-demographics#vaccinations-details">23% of cases have been children under 12 and 14% were fully vaccinated</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/434350/original/file-20211129-13-pa5w88.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Map of traffic light COVID-19 Protection Framework" /> <span class="caption">Parts of the North Island will continue to have restrictions in place, particularly for people who remain unvaccinated, once New Zealand shifts to a new system on Friday.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Provided</span>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-NC</a></span></p> <p>To travel outside the Auckland boundary, anyone aged 12 or over will need to be fully vaccinated or have had a negative COVID-19 test within three days of departure. This will reduce the number of infected people leaving Auckland, but cases will spread across the country as people travel to see whānau and go on holidays.</p> <p>As part of our research to build a <a href="https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/news/2021/04/15/super-model-for-team-of-5m.html">population-based contagion network</a>, we used electronic transaction data from previous years to derive movement patterns across the country. We show that during weeks without public holidays, just over 100,000 travellers left Auckland to visit one or more other regions.</p> <p>For the summer period of 2019-2020, close to 200,000 people left Auckland each week, with travel peaking over the Christmas and New Year period. The most common destinations for these trips were Thames-Coromandel (30,000 people), Tauranga (17,000 people) and Northland (15,000 people).</p> <h2>Vaccination remains the best protection</h2> <p>While full (two-dose) vaccination levels in Auckland are almost at 90% — remembering that 90% of eligible people means only about 75% of the total population, with lower rates for Māori — rates are much lower in many places Aucklanders like to visit over summer. This provides much less protection, against both illness and transmission, and any outbreak would be larger and more rapid.</p> <p>Vaccination coverage in these areas is increasing but is unlikely to be at 90% before Christmas. Holiday destinations also have health infrastructure designed for the much lower local population and face additional pressures if visitors get sick.</p> <p> </p> <p>New Zealand’s outdoor summer lifestyle might be an advantage; transmission is greatly reduced outdoors with good air movement. But people should remain mindful anytime they move into an environment with less ventilation, such as using the toilet at the beach or sharing a car. A good rule of thumb is if you can smell perfume in the air then there’s a transmission risk.</p> <p>COVID-19 is passed on through the air we breathe, which is why masking remains important, as long as the mask <a href="https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/proper-mask-wearing-coronavirus-prevention-infographic">fits properly</a>.</p> <p>People planning to travel should reduce their risk of exposure during the two weeks before a trip.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Skip the office party (especially if they are held indoors)</p> </li> <li> <p>consider postponing meetings until after the holidays rather than having them during the days before people are likely to travel around the country</p> </li> <li> <p>if you decide to go ahead, make sure gatherings and parties are outdoors</p> </li> <li> <p>avoid alcohol as it can increase the likelihood of risky behaviour</p> </li> <li> <p>limit yourself to one meeting per week (if someone is infected, you’ll have a better chance to find out and self-isolate before passing it on)</p> </li> <li> <p>use your contact tracer app, always</p> </li> <li> <p>shop online</p> </li> <li> <p>wear a mask anywhere there is a crowd, even outdoors.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Protecting people in regions with lower vaccination rates</h2> <p>Vaccination is the best step to reduce spread and symptom severity. But it’s not perfect. The risk of “breakthrough” infections depends on the intensity of exposure – short exposure to an infected person is less likely to result in infection and meeting indoors poses a higher risk.</p> <p>When people are vaccinated, we’d expect to see most transmission happening in dwellings where people are together for long periods of time. For anyone with a breakthrough infection, vaccination approximately halves the chance of transmitting the virus.</p> <p>Vaccination also reduces the risk of developing symptoms, and greatly reduces the risk of needing hospitalisation. But having milder symptoms can make it harder to detect cases, which means it remains important to get tested.</p> <p>The most popular places New Zealanders like to visit over summer are remote and people living there haven’t had the same easy access to vaccination as those living in bigger cities.</p> <p>Nearly a third of Northland’s eligible population remains unvaccinated, the East Cape is only 65% fully vaccinated and parts of the Coromandel Peninsula are also sitting well under ideal vaccination rates.</p> <p>These places also have fewer testing facilities, which could mean outbreaks become harder to detect and manage. Many rural communities aren’t connected to town supply, so wastewater testing won’t be as useful, and emergency medical attention is harder to access.</p> <h2>Planning to manage COVID infections</h2> <p>Many residents in these remote towns, including <a href="https://waateanews.com/2021/11/18/border-opening-no-christmas-treat-for-taitokerau/">iwi leaders</a>, are <a href="https://tinangata.com/2021/11/21/painting-a-covid-picture/">asking holiday makers to stay away</a>, regardless of vaccination status. Māori are already disproportionately represented in our COVID-19 statistics and have more young people who can’t be vaccinated yet.</p> <p>By travelling to areas with low vaccination rates among the Māori population we risk <a href="https://www.newsroom.co.nz/people-will-die-at-home-covids-unstoppable-summer">compounding tragedy</a> in places where health services would not cope with the level of illness.</p> <p>Anyone choosing to go on holiday after weighing these factors should have a plan for what they’ll do if they or someone on their group develops COVID-like symptoms while away from their usual health support systems.</p> <p>Questions to ask include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Where will you go to get a test?</p> </li> <li> <p>What will you do while you wait for test results?</p> </li> <li> <p>Will it be possible for you to self-isolate while you wait for a test result?</p> </li> <li> <p>Where is the closest medical centre? Do they operate after hours?</p> </li> <li> <p>Is there an ambulance service and how far is the nearest hospital?</p> </li> <li> <p>Is there good phone reception? If not, what will you do in a health emergency?</p> </li> <li> <p>How would you manage an outbreak in your holiday accommodation?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Campers should take extra precautions by wearing masks in shared kitchens and bathrooms and using their own cleaning and hygiene products. They should keep good social distance wherever possible and minimise contact with people they don’t know.</p> <p>Family gatherings will also bring together different generations, with elders who may be more vulnerable and younger people who are more mobile and more likely to be infected. A group of New Zealanders who experienced COVID-19 put together a <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1e2v-rOztBgQfFBKHJN0R59RrinRtq2RmjuFhEZP9JfM/edit#gid=0">management kit</a> with a list of things anyone travelling will find useful.</p> <p><em>We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Kylie Stewart, a member of the team at Te Pūnaha Matatini and the HRC-funded project <a href="https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/news/2021/04/15/super-model-for-team-of-5m.html">Te Matatini o te Horapa</a> — a population-based contagion network for Aotearoa New Zealand.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172682/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dion-oneale-1283438">Dion O'Neale</a>, Lecturer - Department of Physics, University of Auckland; Principal Investigator - Te Pūnaha Matatini, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-1305">University of Auckland</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-sporle-1151937">Andrew Sporle</a>, Honorary associate professor, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-1305">University of Auckland</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-harvey-1284406">Emily Harvey</a>, Principal Investigator, Te Pūnaha Matatini, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-1305">University of Auckland</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/steven-turnbull-1280540">Steven Turnbull</a>, Te Pūnaha Matatini Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-1305">University of Auckland</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-aucklanders-anticipate-holiday-trips-maori-leaders-ask-people-to-stay-away-from-regions-with-lower-vaccination-rates-172682">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Phil Walter/Getty Images</span></span></em></p>

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Cheapest time to book your holiday

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As international and state borders begin to reopen, many people are beginning to entertain the thought of a much-needed holiday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To help with the planning of your getaway, the online travel heroes at </span><a href="https://www.expedia.com.au/?semcid=AU.B.GOOGLE.BT-c-EN.GENERIC&amp;semdtl=a19974562136.b1102228276698.r1.g1kwd-12670071.i1.d1434120385295.e1c.j19071834.k1.f1.n1.l1g.h1e.m1&amp;gclid=CjwKCAiA1uKMBhAGEiwAxzvX9x-giTFyqjpYv8hWrFTFP_kxSMjLrJoF-62qXMPuQ-aQFynkC9aZohoCy6wQAvD_BwE"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Expedia</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> have crunched the numbers to reveal how you can save hundreds by timing your bookings just right. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Analysing data released by the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), the website was able to figure out the cheapest times to book airfares and accommodation. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to booking flights, timing is key, as the data revealed that prices for domestic flights begin to increase about 35 - 42 days before the date of departure. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In order to land the cheapest deal, it’s recommended that you book your flights about three to four months before you travel.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The data also shows that booking domestic flights on a Sunday can save travellers up to 20 percent, as opposed to booking flights on a Friday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Travellers can also save money by timing their accommodation bookings, as making a reservation on a Wednesday is the day when the lowest average daily rate tends to occur. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re thinking about what days to travel, Expedia recommends setting off on a Wednesday rather than a Saturday, as you could save almost 5 per cent. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The ideal day to begin your holiday is Tuesday, as starting your vacation earlier in the week could save travellers up to 10 percent, versus arriving at your destination on a Saturday. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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4 things they don’t tell you before becoming a flight attendant

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While being a flight attendant seems like a dream job for many, the perks can sometimes be outweighed by the parts of the job no one talks about. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While air cabin staff enjoy benefits like free travel, airport perks, lounge access and chic uniforms, there are also a lot of aspects of being a flight attendant that aren’t quite so desirable. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">From in-flight incidents and complaints, to screaming kids and anti-social hours, some cabin staff are feeling the toll of their chosen profession. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Melbourne flight attendant Michelle spoke with </span><a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/recommended/what-you-didnt-know-about-becoming-a-flight-attendant/562b360d-9734-4ba2-a8f3-6c9bf8d17a15"><span style="font-weight: 400;">9Honey</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to chat about the parts of being an air steward that fly well under the radar. </span></p> <p><strong>1. You’ll be exhausted </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Members of the cabin crew are often on their feet for hours at a time, which can take both a physical and mental toll. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It is exhausting, you will feel tired and fatigued like you have never felt before," Michelle tells 9Honey.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Along with this exhaustion, Michelle says that your shifts as a flight attendant don’t really ‘end’, as airline staff often spend nights away from home and are constantly lugging suitcases through airport terminals to start work at ungodly hours. </span></p> <p><strong>2. You’ll miss major life events</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to Michelle, missing big moments in life is such a given that airlines will actually warn you about this when you apply for the job. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"You miss out on a lot, a lot of events," Michelle says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Until you're in it, you don't realise just how much you'll be missing. Weddings, funerals, birthdays and even births."</span></p> <p><strong>3. Friends and family won’t always understand why you’re always away</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once becoming a flight attendant, you become known as “that person” who is always jet-setting and is impossible to pin down. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michelle explains that the exhausting nature of the job can have a habit of pulling you away from events you would usually love to go to. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"A lot of people don't understand the job you do. So many people don't get that you can't just go to an event for a couple of hours when you have a 3am wake-up the next day, or go to an event when your day started at 3am that day. It can be super hard," she says.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Your work colleagues will be constantly changing</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While many people think you work with the same group of attendants, Michelle says this is actually a myth. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Due to the fast-paced role and the busy world of overseas travel, the staff are on a high rotation. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michelle says, "You rarely work with the same person twice, which really sucks, especially if you love the people you worked with on a shift."</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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