Travel Tips

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How to house swap safely

<p>House swapping is a fun way to live like a local overseas.</p> <p>Here are some tips to help you swap.</p> <p><strong>How to start</strong></p> <p>Join a reputable house swapping site with homes available in the cities you want to visit. While it costs nothing to browse properties, you will need to pay an annual subscription fee (around US$75) to communicate with potential home swappers and to have your own home profiled on the website. The swapping itself is free so no other money should change hands.</p> <p><strong>Secure insurance</strong></p> <p>Having the right insurance is your responsibility. As soon as you discuss travel arrangements, call your home and car insurance company. Also ensure the home you are staying in is properly covered and check who carries the cost of any extra premium fee if the swap takes place.</p> <p><strong>Do your homework</strong></p> <p>Arrange a call with your swappers to “meet” them. Ask for and provide references. Ensure you have the name of a local trusted friend or family member of theirs you can contact in case of emergency. Provide the same, plus a local doctor, hospital, pharmacy, vet, mechanic and your travel details.</p> <p><strong>Consider pets</strong></p> <p>Taking care of the house owner’s pet can often be part of the deal. Leave clear instructions and enough supplies for the whole period of the swap.</p> <p><strong>Be thoughtful</strong></p> <p>Leave basic supplies like milk and bread. Write a welcome note and share local favourites. Lock away valuables and make it clear what is OK to use (bed linen, pantry staples) and what is not OK to use (wine collection). Reports of theft or damage are rare in the house swapping community, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/How-to-House-Swap-Safely">Reader’s Digest.</a></span> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">offer.</a></span></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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8 ways to de-stress while travelling

<p>Make your journey a little less bumpy with these tips.</p> <p><strong>1. Plan out your time </strong></p> <p>If you’re always missing transport connections, look at how you are allotting your time. Your travel guide may say it takes 40 minutes to get to the airport. Allow at least an extra 20 minutes so you arrive feeling fresh and calm.</p> <p><strong>2. Escape briefly</strong></p> <p>Slip away from the hustle and bustle once in a while. Most cities have botanic gardens, and there are always nature trails where you can enjoy the local scenery.</p> <p><strong>3. Avoid unnecessary tech accessories </strong></p> <p>Smartphones, tablets or computers remind us of home. Leave as much technology behind as you can and allow yourself to feel a sense of freedom from everyday life.</p> <p><strong>4. Do just one thing a day </strong></p> <p>For example, if you’re sightseeing, choose one place to visit (instead of four) and make a day of it with lunch or coffee in a nearby cafe.</p> <p><strong>5. Bring snacks </strong></p> <p>Have a bag of non-perishable snacks on hand (try protein bars, dried fruit and nuts, juice boxes or pretzels). Unexpected delays on a long journey will be more stressful if you’re hungry.</p> <p><strong>6. Once in a while, do nothing</strong></p> <p>Lie down and just unwind.</p> <p><strong>7. Stretch</strong></p> <p>Long bouts of sitting on planes and trains take a toll on your circulation. Lift your knees and stretch your calves for 30 seconds. This reduces the risk of blood clots that can result from sitting too long in one position.</p> <p><strong>8. Keep perspective</strong></p> <p>Your troubles are often smaller than they seem. To remind yourself of that, keep a picture of the Earth taken from space, a starry night or the ocean, and look at it whenever you feel overwhelmed. Amid countless stars and the crashing of waves against the shore, how important is getting to that third museum, really?</p> <p>What are your tips for de-stressing while travelling? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/destress-while-travelling"><strong>Reader’s Digest</strong></a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S"><strong>offer</strong></a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Are you guilty of this? Qantas cracks down on sneaky passengers

<p>Qantas has announced that the airline will be cracking down on passengers who try to dodge the carry-on baggage rules.</p> <p>Currently, Qantas allows for passengers to take two 7kg bags on domestic and international flights.</p> <p>However, some customers have been ignoring the weight restrictions and choosing to check in online, in order to avoid weighing their overloaded bags at the terminal.</p> <p>Now, Qantas has revealed that it will be placing a “renewed focus” on carry-on weights to ensure the system is “fair” for all passengers.</p> <p>Over the past few weeks, auditing has been implemented on the busiest flight routes in Australia.</p> <p>A Qantas spokesman said: “Qantas offers the most generous amount of cabin baggage of any Australian airline and we know customers like the convenience of not having to check in luggage.”</p> <p>“But we’re getting feedback from regular flyers who say all customers need to be reminded about how much luggage they can take on board. So we’re renewing our focus to keep cabin baggage within the ­allowances and to ensure everyone has their fair share of space.’’</p> <p>The spokesman said enforcing the carry-on weight limit will help reduce delays and lessen the safety risk of overcrowded cabin bins.</p> <p>If a Qantas passenger is found with carry-on that is oversized, it will be moved to the cargo hold.</p> <p>Other airlines have also been targeting passengers who push the boundaries with their carry-on luggage.</p> <p>Earlier this year, Jetstar introduced a new policy to allow customers to purchase an extra 3kg of carry-on baggage.</p> <p>Virgin Australia said the airline warns customers about carry-on restrictions at various stages before they depart on their flights.</p> <p>Do you always to stick to your carry-on weight restrictions? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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5 tips on avoiding crowds while travelling

<p>Don’t let the frustration of dealing with pushy travellers ruin your trip.</p> <p><strong>1. Book tickets in advance </strong></p> <p>Purchase tickets online before you leave home and skip the crowds and endless lines at your destination. Smart travellers can avoid the queue when visiting abroad – the London Eye, Britain’s Houses of Parliament, Italy’s Vatican Museums, and the Louvre in Paris all help you keep your cool with online ticket sales.</p> <p><strong>2. Talk to people </strong></p> <p>Your hotel’s concierge or the assistant at the tourist office know their city’s attractions inside and out. Have a chat and get their take on the best times to visit popular sites.</p> <p><strong>3. Sign up for special tours</strong></p> <p>Often special organisations get after-hours or behind-the-scenes access to famous places. You’ll get a guided tour and beat the rush. A note of caution – these tours can be costly, but if large crowds routinely ruin your experience, splashing a little extra cash will save your sanity.</p> <p><strong>4. Visit during the week </strong></p> <p>For shorter lines, fewer people, and better opportunities to interact and enjoy the attraction, stop by during the week. In many cases, you’ll have the place to yourself. Take it one step further, and head to museums, galleries or tourism hot spots after 2pm when visiting school groups will have returned to class.</p> <p><strong>5. Watch the weather </strong></p> <p>Spooked travellers often cancel their plans when there are reports of a storm on the approach. While some travel advisories are the real deal, sometimes they’re not as bad as they sound. By keeping an eye on weather broadcasts, brave souls can often score great last-minute deals or empty attractions.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><strong><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/tips-on-avoiding-crowds">Reader’s Digest</a></strong></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>offer.</strong></span></a></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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World’s best airlines for 2019

<p>Singapore Airlines has officially been named the best carrier in the world for 2019.</p> <p>The airline has garnered praise from <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.airlineratings.com/news/worlds-best-airlines-2019/" target="_blank"><em>AirlineRatings.com</em></a> – a website that rates carriers on safety and passenger experience.</p> <p>Singapore Airlines currently flies the longest international flight in the world, starting at Singapore and landing in New York.</p> <p>Last year, Air New Zealand brought in first place, while Qantas came in at third.</p> <p>This year, Qatar Airways has nabbed fourth place and sitting closely behind is Virgin Australia at fifth place.</p> <p>The top 10 do not feature any UK or US airlines.</p> <p><strong>Top 10 best airlines overall</strong></p> <ol> <li>Singapore Airlines</li> <li>Air New Zealand</li> <li>Qantas</li> <li>Qatar Airways</li> <li>Virgin Australia</li> <li>Emirates</li> <li>All Nippon Airways</li> <li>EVA Air</li> <li>Cathay Pacific Airways</li> <li>Japan Airlines</li> </ol> <p>Dubai airline Emirates, who is regularly seen taking the top spot, came in at sixth while All Nippon Airways came in at seventh, Cathay pacific at ninth and Japan Airlines at tenth.</p> <p>According to Australian based <em>AirlineRatings.com</em>, Singapore Airlines took home the top spot because it proved to be the best in each category, including staff and safety.</p> <p>The website considered the carrier to be “gold standard”.</p> <p>The airline’s first-class cabins also beat their competitors, as the “suites” have been commended for being the “equivalent of a small hotel room”.</p> <p>Qatar Airways is considered to have the best business class, and the credit goes to their Q-suites which features a double bed. They have also been named the best for catering.</p> <p>The best premium economy cabin is found in Air New Zealand while the best economy class went to Korea Air.</p> <p>Qantas was praised for their lounges and domestic flights, while Qantas Link won regional airline of the year.</p> <p>Showing the most amount of improvement was Philippine Airlines, with Virgin Australia having the best cabin crew. Emirates was awarded for their in-flight entertainment, which was considered the best when compared to other carriers.</p> <p><strong>World’s best airlines 2019</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Airline of the year:</strong> Singapore Airlines</li> <li><strong>Best long-haul airline: </strong>Emirates (Middle East), EVA Air (Asia-Pacific), Lufthansa (Europe) and Delta (Americas)</li> <li><strong>Best low-cost airline:</strong> Westjet (Americas), AirAsia/AirAsia X (Asia-Pacific) and Wizz (Europe)</li> <li><strong>Best first class:</strong> Singapore Airlines</li> <li><strong>Best business class:</strong> Qatar Airways</li> <li><strong>Best premium economy:</strong> Air New Zealand</li> <li><strong>Best economy:</strong> Korea Air </li> <li><strong>Best lounges: </strong>Qantas</li> <li><strong>Best catering:</strong> Qatar Airways</li> <li><strong>Best in-flight entertainment:</strong> Emirates</li> <li><strong>Best domestic class:</strong> Qantas</li> <li><strong>Regional airline of the year:</strong> QantasLink</li> <li><strong>Most improved airline:</strong> Philippine Airlines</li> <li><strong>Best ultra-low-cost carrier:</strong> VietJet</li> <li><strong>Best cabin crew:</strong> Virgin Australia</li> </ul> <p><em>AirlineRatings.com</em> is backed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and uses a seven-star rating system to rank 450 different airlines based on their safety and in-flight experience.</p> <p>Which airline is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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How to keep your personal items safe while travelling

<p>In a recent case reported out of Singapore, two men onboard a flight to Jakarta were apprehended after being suspected of stealing cash from fellow passengers mid-flight.</p> <p>These cases are known as in-flight, or mid-flight thefts, and they’re not as rare as you may think. The perpetrators are often part of criminal syndicates and they work in pairs or groups to keep from getting discovered. While staying alert is important, there are also tips you can heed to ensure you don’t fall victim to such crimes.</p> <p><strong>1. Keep cash and valuables close to you at all times</strong></p> <p>Keep your valuables such as cash, your ID and passport, and jewellery in a small bag that you can place under the seat in front of you. Rest your feet on your bag to make sure no one gets close to it and bring this bag with you whenever you leave your seat. It takes just a few seconds for experienced thieves to swipe your bag so never give them the opportunity by leaving it unattended.</p> <p><strong>2. Label your bag</strong></p> <p>Make sure your bag is easily identifiable, so thieves can’t just switch it out with a similar looking bag. This is especially important if you have a black, nondescript bag. For example, you can sew a patch on it or write your initials on the bag.</p> <p><strong>3. Stow your carry-on bag where you can see it</strong></p> <p>When placing your bag in the overhead compartment, make sure it’s right above or across from your seat so you can keep an eye on it at all times. To ensure you get prime real estate, try to board the flight early.</p> <p><strong>4. Don't make your bag compartments easily accessible</strong></p> <p>Place your bag with the zip side facing down or inwards so it can’t be easily reached. For added security, lock your bag. Thieves are always looking out for easy targets and won’t spend too long fiddling with a locked bag as it may draw attention to themselves. If you’re stowing your jacket or coat, remove any valuables from the pockets.</p> <p><strong>5. Don't keep valuables in your carry-on bag </strong></p> <p>Even though you’ve got your carry-on stowed away within your line of sight and your pockets are inaccessible, that still doesn’t mean that you should keep any valuables in there. Refer to tip no. 1.</p> <p><strong>6. Have different hiding spots for your cash and cards </strong></p> <p>Keep your cash or credit cards in different hiding places. For example, you can divide your cash into three portions and keep some in your small bag, some in a pair of jeans that’s rolled up in your checked baggage, and some in your toiletries bag. This way, should you lose one stash, you will not be left with absolutely no cash.</p> <p><strong>7. Use an RFID-blocking wallet of bag</strong></p> <p>Lots of credit or bank cards and passports come embedded with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips that store information for wireless transmission. Thieves have been known to use RFID scanners to skim and steal this information. You can buy wallets or bags that block RFID in order to prevent this new type of theft. </p> <p><em><strong>This article first appeared in </strong></em><span><strong><em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/7-tips-keep-your-personal-items-safe-while-travelling">Reader’s Digest</a></em></strong></span><em><strong>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </strong></em><span><strong><em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></em></strong></span><em><strong>.</strong></em> </p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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5 reasons to travel Britain with a group

<p>London, Belfast, Dublin and Edinburgh – these great British cities are better with a group. </p> <p>Here are five reasons why we love British group tours.</p> <p><strong>1. You have someone to explore with</strong></p> <p>Group tours allow you to form life-long friendships built on common interests. Imagine walking the streets of Stratford-Upon-Avon with someone who shares your love of Shakespeare. Or tasting whisky in Edinburgh Castle with someone who appreciates Scotch. The toe-tapping sound of a fiddle in an Irish pub is always more fun when you have someone to dance with. Friendships formed on group tours are friendships based on common interests. Often these are the friendships that will last a lifetime. </p> <p><strong>2. All the details are taken care of</strong></p> <p>London can be overwhelming, but with a group tour, you don’t need to navigate The Tube or find good-quality accommodation. It’s all done for you. Group tours allow you to spend more time understanding Britain’s history and culture and less time on the pesky stressful details. You can have a driver help after you’ve savoured a pint in a Dublin Pub and a ferry to Ireland all pre-organised. No need to worry about where to eat or what to see – just expect great food, great tea and great ale. </p> <p><strong>3. Tried and tested knowledge of the destination</strong></p> <p>Tour guides in Britain have incredible minds for historical events, cultural facts and local anecdotes. They have built up their knowledge of Scotland, England and Ireland over many years. They know the best restaurants, the fastest way to get from one destination to another and the history of every landmark you will see. Ask questions of your tour guide and you will quickly find they are one of the biggest advantages of a group tour. </p> <p><strong>4. You’ll see and do things you can’t do on your own</strong></p> <p>Tour companies have insider knowledge. They can use their clout to get you to the front of the line at museums, the best seats on the train and they know the best places to take photographs. Plus – you can get them to take photos of you. </p> <p><strong>5. Safety should anything go wrong</strong></p> <p>You can rest assured that a group tour company has a plan to keep you safe. You will always have a tour leader to speak to about your concerns.  </p> <p>Have you travelled to Britain with a group tour? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/why-you-should-group-tour-england-ireland-and-scotland/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>My Discoveries</strong></span></a>. </em></p>

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The secret hotel rooms you don't know about

<p>Celebrities are some of the most followed people on this earth, with their every move being tracked and revealed to the world. So how exactly do they manage to avoid the spotlight when checking into hotel rooms?</p> <p>People have questioned how it’s possible that certain celebrities manage to not only take the perfect scenic shots in the country they’re visiting, but also have complete seclusion with no eager fans watching their every move.</p> <p>And the answer to that has been revealed. Hotels have secret, ultra-luxurious rooms for their VIP guests. And if you’re wondering how you can possibly get your hands on one of these rooms, you most likely can’t.</p> <p>Unless you’re filthy rich or famous, these rooms are not available to mere mortals as they usually aren’t advertised and aren’t on the books. To keep the rooms private and exclusive, you won’t be finding the luxury suites advertised on booking.com.</p> <p>If you still don’t believe it, then have a look at Take the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon, not far from Reykjavik, Iceland.</p> <p>The resort is known to remain above the thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon and is a popular tourist hot-spot if you fancy taking a dip into a sulphur-rich pool. While the website claims the hotel has 62 suites, in actual fact they have 63.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHgdp9gJ2r/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHgdp9gJ2r/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Will you be visiting us this winter? #TheRetreatBlueLagoon #BlueLagoonIceland #Iceland #luxurytravel #luxuryspa</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/retreat.bluelagoon/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> The Retreat at Blue Lagoon</a> (@retreat.bluelagoon) on Oct 19, 2018 at 7:01am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The extra suite takes up a massive two floors and features everything you would ever need on a getaway. A kitchen and dining area, a hidden deck, sauna, spa and a completely private, closed off area of the Blue Lagoon so you can swim without sharing the waters with normal folk.</p> <p>The conditions include a two-night minimum stay and is priced at a whopping $15,700 a night.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BllCGE9gLg5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BllCGE9gLg5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Come to a place in the heart of a volcanic frontier. #TheRetreatBlueLagoon #BlueLagoonIceland #Iceland #luxuryhotel #luxurytravel</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/retreat.bluelagoon/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> The Retreat at Blue Lagoon</a> (@retreat.bluelagoon) on Jul 23, 2018 at 8:08am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The suit is completely isolated, with guests not even being able to spot it from other parts of the hotel, which is why celebrities tend to favour the overpriced stay because it gives them something nothing else can: privacy.</p> <p>Speaking to the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ausbt.com.au/why-hotels-don-t-talk-about-their-secret-vip-only-rooms" target="_blank">Australian Business Traveller</a></em>, Mar Masson, the director of marketing for The Retreat’s parent company said, “No-one ever needs to know you’re there.</p> <p>“It’s not visible to other guests, and there is nothing that indicates it is there.”</p> <p>And it isn’t only The Retreat that offers the luxury of having a lavish suite all to yourself, as the NoMad in Los Angeles and Hotel Bennett in Charleston, North Carolina, also keep their most expensive rooms a secret from those who can’t afford it.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BhfFkjwAUDy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BhfFkjwAUDy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">I'm headed to Charleston to get this Luxury Spa project started! Get Ready for another Salamander Hotels &amp; Resorts masterpiece - Hotel Bennett . #hotelbennett #salamanderhotels</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/cindi_packard_moreno/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Cindi Moreno</a> (@cindi_packard_moreno) on Apr 12, 2018 at 2:37pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The Hotel Bennett only allows guests to book the room if they have an invitation, and 21 Boulevard – a hotel in Las Vegas – gives you access to the penthouses after you drop over a million dollars on the tables in the high-roller rooms.</p> <p>So, what if you want to book a room but aren’t famous? Well if you have the cash to spare then you can experience the luxury after receiving the green light from hotel management.</p> <p>All you need to do is email the manager and request the most private room in the building. Once you get the go-ahead, you can experience the life of a celebrity for a night or two. </p>

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The $7 item pregnant Duchess Meghan never travels without

<p>After landing in Sydney and announcing their pregnancy to the world, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex have caused quite the stir, and now, it’s been revealed what the Duchess carried with her on her flight Down Under.</p> <p>Travelling with Australian airline, Qantas, Meghan is said to have brought with her an Aussie cult classic, and it only costs a mere $7.</p> <p>In a resurfaced interview with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.allure.com/story/meghan-markle-suits-beauty-tips" target="_blank"><em>Allure</em></a> magazine, the Duchess revealed that she never travels anywhere without a bottle of Tea Tree oil.</p> <p>“The one thing I cannot live without when I’m travelling is a small container of Tea Tree oil,” she told <em>Allure</em>.</p> <p>“It’s not the most glamorous thing, but if you get a cut, a mosquito bite, a small breakout, no matter what it is, it’s my little cure-all.</p> <p>“It’s inexpensive, it’s small enough to carry on, and I bring it with me all the time.”</p> <p>Having been an Aussie favourite for decades, Tea Tree oil is the cure to almost every problem, and it comes from a myrtle tree that is native to Queensland and NSW. The all-rounder oil works as an antiseptic to cure cuts, grazes and blemishes.</p> <p>The oil is known for its affordable price, with many places retailing the natural remedy for $7. And if it’s good enough for the Duchess, then it’s good enough for us!</p> <p>Do you use Tea Tree oil? If yes, what do you use it for? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

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This airline has just introduced a new feature that will make flying less stressful

<p>Naturally, one in seven passengers get nervous before stepping on a plane but now, a new program is offering people the support they need to beat the nerves.</p> <p>From early next year, Virgin passengers will be able to identify themselves as a nervous traveller by ticking a box while booking their flight.</p> <p>Those travellers will then be able to receive extra support to cope with their flight, including receiving information about easing anxiety, to having cabin crew drop by to check on them.</p> <p>Virgin Australia’s public manager of operations Libby Armstrong said there was a range of ways travellers could be assisted with their individual fears.</p> <p>Some people may want to know when the aircraft was last serviced, while others want to be assured that they wouldn’t be moved from their seat.</p> <p>“Travelling is stressful, and I think it’s the lack of control people have about travelling,” she said.</p> <p>“If we can give back a bit of control, that will make all the difference.”</p> <p>A new initiative by Virgin Australia will also let nervous flyers receive extra support to cope with their stress mid-flight through meditation.</p> <p>The airline has announced their new in-flight entertainment app with not-for-profit group Smiling Mind to ease flying nerves for passengers.</p> <p>Smiling Mind has created meditation programs now available on Virgin Australia’s in-flight entertainment to fight flying anxiety and foster mindfulness in the air.</p> <p>Ms Armstrong said: “Seven people on every single one of our Boeing 737s experience overwhelming levels of anxiety.</p> <p>“On a scale of 1 to 10, that’s a 8 to 10. That’s something like 2600 people every single day who are crippled by fear.</p> <p>“We see it every day. Panic attacks … it can be that serious.”</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.news.com.au"><strong><u>news.com.au</u></strong></a>, clinical psychologist and Smiling Mind chief executive Addie Wootten said that sitting on a flight was the perfect opportunity to focus on mental wellbeing.</p> <p>“Often people who are nervous flyers are fearful of what might happen — what if we hit turbulence, what if we don’t make it on time, what if something happens,” Dr Wootten said.</p> <p>“Mindfulness is a practice that helps us learn to not worry so much. To notice those things are happening, but bring our minds back to what we’re doing right now.</p> <p>“It will help them connect with their body, regulate their breathing and slow down the heart rate — which we know is accelerated when people are anxious — and then learn how to stop the thinking or the worrying.”</p> <p>However, Dr Wootten believes the meditation app will benefit all travellers – whether they are feeling anxious or not.</p> <p>“Often people talk about (a flight) being their one bit of downtime in the day, so if we can help them cultivate that mindfulness and hopefully end the flight feeling calmer than when they started, that’s a win for us,” she said.</p> <p>Do you get nervous flying? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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The new airport rule that changes everything at check-in

<p>Many of us may have felt bombarded by boarding announcements as we wait at the airport, listening out for the relevant information for our flight so we don’t miss anything vital. It’s not exactly a relaxing experience, in what can already be a harried experience as all check boxes are ticked for a successful boarding.</p> <p>But next time you visit Sydney International Airport’s T1 terminal, you’ll notice a major change. On September 17, it became a “quiet airport”, ceasing all terminal wide updates over the PA system including flight boarding and closing, and passenger paging, unless they’re “critical”. You’ll see signs noting the change at check-in counters, but all boarding announcements will continue to be made at boarding gates.</p> <p>Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert says the initiative will make for a more relaxing experience for passengers.</p> <p>“Passengers will now be able to relax without being interrupted by constant announcements,” he said in a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.sydneyairport.com.au/corporate/media/corporate-newsroom/announcements-at-t1-international-reduced" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p> <p>“We’re always looking at how we can make the airport experience even more enjoyable for our passengers. This initiative leapt out as one that would make an immediate and material difference and would align us with the practices of the best airports globally.”</p> <p>He said the move brings the airport in line with other leading world airports like Changi, Dubai, Hong Kong and Helsinki.</p> <p>So, you may need to pay extra attention to the flight information display screens for up-to-date information, and you can keep up-to-date on your flight status through the Sydney Airport and airline websites, as well as on the airport’s social media accounts.</p> <p>You can also set an alarm on your mobile phone to make sure you get moving to your gate on time, and get updates on flight delays on your phone using the app for your relevant airline or the TripCase app, which covers all airlines, writes Amanda Woods, for <a href="https://www.escape.com.au/news/shh-quiet-airport-terminals-have-arrived-in-australia/news-story/2302bb29caa12ec70f52d15d620457b6"><em>Escape</em></a>. According to Woods, it’s not just passengers that are effected by the change, with shop assistants enjoying some much-needed peace from terminal-wide announcements.</p> <p>“When I ask one of the airport’s shop assistants if they’ve noticed much of a change with the new Quiet Terminal rules they say their life is so much easier now,” she wrote. “Before they were constantly being interrupted when they were trying to tell a customer something and had to start again when the announcement finished.”</p> <p>Passengers travelling internationally will still be advised of their gate and boarding time when checking in, and you can always approach airport information desks if you have any queries.</p> <p>For now, announcements are set to continue at domestic airports.</p> <p>What do you think of the new "quiet airport" rule? Tell is in the comments below.</p>

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The new rules that could make flying better for everyone

<p>A new rule could remove one of the most irritating things about long haul flights – the ever-shrinking size of the aeroplane seat.</p> <p>As airlines try to squeeze more and more seats onto one flight, passengers have suffered the impact of legroom seemingly disappearing every year.</p> <p>However, a new law could set a global trend to make sure seat and leg room doesn’t get any smaller.</p> <p>The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates civil aviation in the United States, could soon set a minimum requirement for aircraft seat width and legroom.</p> <p>The regulations were part of a FAA funding plan considered by US Congress this week.</p> <p>Last year, the FAA rejected the idea of setting minimum standards for seat width and legroom but it appears Congress is pushing the aviation authority to go ahead with it.</p> <p>Reportedly, both chambers of Congress were passionate about putting an end to the “ever-shrinking” seat crisis in airlines.</p> <p>“Relief could soon be on the way for weary airline passengers facing smaller and smaller seats,” Democratic senator Bill Nelson said.</p> <p>The proposed bill, which Congress have until Sunday to agree on or to extend, will also stop airlines kicking passengers off overbooked flights.</p> <p>This practice was highlighted after Dr David Dao was dramatically dragged from a United Airlines plane in April 2017.</p> <p>The proposed bill will also ban pets from being stowed in the overheard compartment, following another infamous case this year when a family’s beloved French bulldog died mid-flight.</p> <p>Among other changes, the FAA will also make airlines give refunds to passengers for services not received, such as if their in-flight entertainment system didn’t work.</p> <p>It would also ensure pregnant passengers were boarded early on flights.</p> <p>However, the version of the bill that is being revised by Congress removed a provision to regulate what airlines could charge in extra fees, such as for baggage and seating reservations.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/congress-allows-airlines-to-continue-passenger-fees-that-cost-46-billion-last-year/2018/09/22/04fc1c96-be8a-11e8-b7d2-0773aa1e33da_story.html?noredirect=on&amp;utm_term=.97a8e662c720"><strong><em style="font-weight: inherit;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Washington Post</span></em></strong></a>, US airlines were forecast to make $6.5 billion by the end of the year in extra fees.</p> <p>The provision would’ve allowed the US Department of Transport to decide if extra charges became “unreasonable” or out of line.</p> <p>“Airline travellers are being gouged by exorbitant fees, but the airlines will stop at nothing to protect this billion-dollar profit centre,” Democratic senator Edward J Markey said.</p> <p>Which rule will you be most happy to see implemented in airlines? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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5 travel hacks to stretch your holiday budget

<p>Unless you’re a trust fund kid or you have a bottomless bank account, you need to keep to a budget while travelling. Here are 5 hacks to help you stretch your holiday budget.</p> <p><strong>1. Buy travel insurance</strong></p> <p>When you’re planning a trip, you will look at all the ways you can save money, such as not paying for additional baggage or looking for low-cost carriers.</p> <p>However, you should never, ever scrimp on travel insurance.</p> <p>Travel insurance will save you money should you encounter any emergencies while overseas.</p> <p>For example, if you have a medical emergency while travelling, you can seek treatment at the hospital without worrying if you can afford it as you will be able to claim part of the cost.</p> <p>Buy the best travel insurance you can afford and make sure you read the terms and conditions to understand what it covers.</p> <p>Ensure you <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/Top-5-Travel-Insurance-Tips">read the small print carefully</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>2. Make use of free Wi-Fi</strong></p> <p>Unless you need to constantly be on call (and let’s be honest, that kind of defeats the purpose of a holiday), you don’t need to pay for a roaming phone plan or even a local SIM card.</p> <p>You can just rely of free Wi-Fi that’s provided at most cafes and restaurants, and at your accommodation.</p> <p>With apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp for texting and making calls, you don’t have to spend any money to keep in touch with people back home.</p> <p>Check out our tips and tricks for helping stretch your <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/How-to-Manage-Your-Phone-Data-Use">mobile phone dollar further</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>3. Look for free or cheap activities</strong></p> <p>You don’t have to book expensive tour packages to enjoy your vacation.</p> <p>Instead, look for cheap or free activities.</p> <p>This is especially easy to do in larger cities.</p> <p>London, for example, has over 23 free museums, such as the Tate Modern, British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.</p> <p>And the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain, offers free entry for the last two hours of every day.</p> <p>Search online for more such options.</p> <p>And there’s no better way to really get to know a place than to explore its streets.</p> <p>You can check online for free walking tours that are usually organised by experienced guides.</p> <p>You are free to tip the guide any amount you want at the end of the tour.</p> <p>If money is no object, check out these <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/10-leisure-activities-burn-more-calories-you-realise">10 holiday activities that burn calories fast</a></span>. </p> <p><strong>4. Book accommodation with a kitchen</strong></p> <p>This is especially useful in cities where it’s expensive to eat out, such as Paris or London.</p> <p>Even eating in just one meal a day can save you a significant amount of money.</p> <p>The moment you settle in, go for a grocery run to buy ingredients for the duration of your stay.</p> <p>Ingredients like milk, juice, eggs, bread and sandwich meats can help you put together a great and satisfying breakfast.</p> <p>Planning a family trip or solo holiday anytime soon?</p> <p>You may have booked your plane tickets and accommodation, but that doesn’t mean you’re all set to go.</p> <p>Go through this travel checklist to make sure <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/avoid-pre-holiday-anxiety-our-travel-tip-checklist">you’ve got everything planned</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>5. Download apps for good deals</strong></p> <p>If you do want to have a little splurge while on holiday, use apps that can help you locate good deals.</p> <p>Sick of homemade sandwiches for lunch?</p> <p>Treat yourself to a great meal in London by using <span><a href="https://www.bookatable.co.uk/">Bookatable</a></span> by Michelin.</p> <p>The app lets you find good value set meals from popular restaurants and even those owned by celebrity chefs.</p> <p>For example, you can enjoy a meal at a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant for under £28 (AUD$50), which is a steal!</p> <p>Do some research before you reach your destination to find more such apps.</p> <p>Check out these 5 clever mobile travel apps that will assist you on <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/Useful-Travel-Apps">your next big adventure</a></span>.</p> <p><em>Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in </em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/5-travel-hacks-stretch-your-holiday-budget?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest</a></em></strong></span><em>. For more of what you love </em><em>from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span></em></strong><em>.</em></p> <p><em><img width="70" height="71" src="/media/7820287/1-rd-logo.png" alt="1 RD LOGO"/></em></p>

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The simple hack that could slash $500 off your holiday booking

<p>With summer well and truly around the corner, people all over the country are gearing up to book their holidays, reserving accommodation and coordinating itineraries.</p> <p>Which is why you need to get on board with this one woman’s simple hack that could cut down hundreds of dollars off your final bill.</p> <p>Mother-of-two Janica Place, 39, spoke to <a href="https://www.kidspot.com.au/things-to-do/family-travel/family-holidays/the-private-trick-thatll-save-you-money-when-booking-a-family-holiday/news-story/006ff515ffef3a9b35cdb0eaef6dd434"><em>Kidspot</em></a> and revealed how she got a discount of $500 on return flights between Australia and Helsinki for herself and her two children by doing this one simple thing.</p> <p>“I use two devices in order to make sure that prices aren’t being manipulated,” she said.</p> <p>“I search with my computer for instance, and then I book my flights on my phone.”</p> <p>The mother of two was so surprised to see how much cheaper the flights were that she couldn’t believe it until she returned to her computer to check that they were indeed different.</p> <p>“I’ve since booked all my flights that way,” she said.</p> <p>“I had no idea that searching destinations on different devices had such an effect. It’s crazy!”</p> <p>Another simple trick to nab cheap flights is one that is revealed by savvy travellers.</p> <p>All you need to do is clear your “cookies” – which are small computer files that let websites know if you’ve been on their page previously – on your device, so that your details are not stored.</p> <p>When information is stored, then there is a chance that sites may raise their prices as they can see that you’re most likely to book the fare.</p> <p>And this trick doesn’t just work on flights, but on hotels too.</p> <p>Will you be trying out this hack? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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16 travel hacks to save you time and money

<p>You take a holiday to relax. But often many of us feel like we "need a holiday to get over the holiday". </p> <p>The three main causes of post-holiday stress are worries about money, the constant to organise and over-planning activities. </p> <p>So, how do you make it easier on yourself? These travel hacks will help. </p> <p><strong>1. Book a package deal or a tour</strong></p> <p>Leave the organisation to someone else. Package deals often come with significant discounts. You don't need to plan. You just need to turn up and go. </p> <p><strong>2. Use a travel agent</strong></p> <p>Travel agents can do all the organisation for you. Come prepared with your wish-list, your budget and your must-haves and they will do all the research. This takes a great deal of planning stress off your shoulders. It also means that if something does go wrong - the travel agent can help to sort it out.</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> <strong>Go far, far away</strong></p> <p>If you are going on holiday to de-stress, get as far away from home as possible. Remove the possibility that you could "just duck back and get something".</p> <p><strong>4. Find the fast airport security line</strong></p> <p>One airport security line always seems to move faster than the others. Here's how to pick it. Avoid lines with children or families. Scan the passengers - pick the one where the people have removed items such as laptops ahead of the scanners. Avoid lines with large groups. Instead, pick one with more singles. </p> <p><strong>5. Pack your charger in your hand luggage</strong></p> <p>These days many planes have USB ports in the seats. If you pack your charger in your carry-on you will have a fully charged device when you step off the flight. </p> <p><strong>6. Portable power</strong></p> <p>Taking a lot of photos with your phone will zap your batteries power. Don't stress about it. Simply pop a portable phone charger in your bag. You can use it to recharge when needed. </p> <p><strong>7. Packing cells</strong></p> <p>These small plastic or fibre pockets allow you to separate your luggage into different containers. They save you serious time searching through and unpacking your luggage. Keep your underpants in one, your T-shirts in another. If you are travelling with family and share a bag you can colour-code each person's belongings. </p> <p><strong>8. Don't pay twice for insurance</strong></p> <p>Sometimes your travel insurance package will cover car insurance while overseas. If it does, you do not need to pay the insurance for the hire car. Make sure you check your policy</p> <p><strong>9. Have adequate insurance</strong></p> <p>Make sure your travel insurance policy covers as much as possible. You never know when you might need it. </p> <p><strong>10. Carry-on essentials</strong></p> <p>Put all your medications into your carry-on luggage. We also recommend adding a spare pair of underpants and socks, swimwear and a toothbrush.</p> <p><strong>11. Tap into free Wifi</strong></p> <p>Mobile phone data is expensive. Keep a look out for places that have free WiFi and tap into those while overseas. Another great option is to buy a local Sim card at the airport. You can use social media to keep up to date with most friends and family. </p> <p><strong>12. Register with Smart Traveller</strong></p> <p>Always register your details with Smart Traveller. If there is an emergency, the Australian Government can provide assistance faster if they know where you are. </p> <p><strong>13. Reduce jet lag</strong></p> <p>Pick your flight times well to minimise jet lag. The best flights are the ones that arrive in the early evening. That allows you to go to bed in a reasonable time and sleep off the tiredness. Excercise, such as a light walk, will also help. </p> <p><strong>14. Map your destination</strong></p> <p>Download Google maps for your destination before you leave. The GPS in your phone will work without using mobile data and you will be able to quickly navigate foreign streets. </p> <p><strong>15. Bring a water bottle</strong></p> <p>Bottled water costs add up on an overseas trip. Save some of that money by bringing your own water bottle. Fill it up at safe drinking locations. Boil water in your hotel room. </p> <p><strong>16. Pack a medical kit</strong></p> <p>Your first aid kit should include painkillers, electrolyte powder, diarrhoea tablets, Band-Aids and allergy tablets at a minimum. </p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/travel-hacks-to-save-you-time-and-money"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">My Discoveries.</span></strong> </a></em></p>

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The $5 Kmart hack caravanners swear by

<p><span>There is nothing quite like hitting the open road with your caravan, with endless towns to visit and sights to take in.</span></p> <p><span>But no matter where you travel, chances are that you are going to encounter some bumpy roads.</span></p> <p><span>After stocking your caravan kitchen cupboards with various tumblers and wine glasses, the last thing you want is to have them break while rolling around in your cupboards.</span></p> <p><span>To keep your crockery safe, caravanners recommend purchasing a $5 Kmart product before you start your trip.</span></p> <p><span>Caravanners can purchase non-slip matting from Kmart, which can be cut to size depending on the purpose.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><img width="500" height="163" src="/media/7819689/1_500x163.jpg" alt="1 (169)"/><br /></span></p> <p><span>Another option is to buy small slabs of foam and cut out mug and bowl-sized holes.</span></p> <p><span>And if you have any kitchen appliances, pack them in a drawer with towels to avoid any damage.</span></p> <p><span>When you are travelling on rocky roads, it is also guaranteed that anything that is not sealed or stored properly will make a mess.</span></p> <p><span>To avoid this surprise, put a rubber band around any item that can unravel or pop open, even toilet paper rolls. </span></p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><span>It is also important to make sure all cupboards and drawers are latched. To save space inside your caravan, also consider buying collapsible homewares that fold into themselves, such as collapsible washing up tubs.</span></p> <p><span>What is your best caravan hack? Share it in the comments below. </span></p>

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Airport controversially bans common thing many of us do while travelling

<p>Anyone who spends a lot of time at airports knows that travellers sleeping at a terminal is a commonplace sight.</p> <p>But London's Stansted Airport has recently put a controversial motion in place, banning passengers napping inside the terminal and even closing off departures area in the evening to prevent it occurring.</p> <p>In a statement, officials explained: "There are a number of reasons for the periodic overnight closures to the departures area of the terminal building: construction work as part of our £600 million airport transformation programme, and to allow cleaning and other preparations for the next day's flight operations.</p> <p>"This means we've been reminding passengers there are no dedicated sleeping facilities in the terminal and advising they can no longer sleep on the floor overnight, so passengers should not arrive sooner than their scheduled check-in time."</p> <p>A spokesperson said that in the past the airport was seeing as many as 600 passengers staying overnight inside the terminal, with some bringing in "camp beds, sleeping bags and other portable sleeping aids".</p> <p>The spokesperson added: "Feedback shows passengers don't like arriving at the airport for an early flight to find lots of people blocking access and getting in the way of both staff and those travelling.</p> <p>"We don't want people sleeping on the floor or coming with sleeping equipment. There are numerous options available to avoid doing this, both at the airport and close by, with lots of hotels, B&amp;Bs, Airbnb choices, plus 24-hour coach services."</p> <p>The airport stressed that people are still allowed to sleep upright in a chair and in the case of passengers stuck in the terminal following delayed or cancelled departure flights from that day, those who have not been accommodated in a hotel by their airline will be "managed separately outside of these restrictions".</p> <p>What do you think of the ban on sleeping at airports? Are you for or against it? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Top chef’s clever $4 hack to improve the flavour of airline food

<p>A top chef has revealed a clever trick for improving the taste of airline foods.</p> <p>Jason Atherton, who earned a Michelin star in 2011 at his London restaurant Pollen Street Social and now runs restaurant group The Social Company, spoke to newspaper <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/kB8rESIBU5X87BEb2uEv9L/Cutting-the-room-service-line-and-other-travel-hacks.html">Mint</a> </strong></em></span>about his best travel tips.</p> <p>The British chef, who said he flew around 800,000 kilometres a year, said he tries to avoid eating airline food but when he does he used this tip provided by his friend actor Jude Law.</p> <p>“It was Law who told me to always take Tabasco on a plane,” he said, referring to the spicy sauce you can buy at the supermarket for just $4. </p> <p>“Aeroplane food is always bland, so it’s great to give it kick.</p> <p>“But I just try my hardest not to eat on planes. I can normally do it up to about 12 hours. If I go to Australia, I have to eat, obviously, because it’s 24 hours on a plane for me.</p> <p>“I just eat the protein, drowned in Tabasco, which tastes OK — well, it tastes of Tabasco, to be honest.”</p> <p><img width="397" height="611" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/ca03ff450cb3fcf554c59a087b98b1ab" alt="A small bottle of this in your carry-on bag could take your in-flight meal from “not great” to “not bad”." style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>It makes sense that a spicy sauce improves the flavour of food in pressurised cabin, where both our senses of taste and smell are dulled.</p> <p>The cabin pressure particularly impacts our sensitivity to sweet and salty flavours, which can be diminished by as much as 30 per cent during a flight.</p>

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How to avoid mobile phone bill horror stories when travelling

<p>"I'm sorry, calls to this number are not allowed, please try again later". This. Again. At 1am standing outside what I thought was our Galway Airbnb, but instead was a popular alley for Irish revellers to relieve themselves. Brilliant.</p> <p>After begging a convenience store manager, borrowing a phone and stealing some local wi-fi, we made it to bed before 3am (one-star rating for the Airbnb host, naturally). Such was the power of the phone company when you're on holiday, I still got pinged far-too-high amounts for calls and data used to attempt a check-in at the Irish abode.</p> <p>A reader recently contacted me wanting to avoid such a conundrum by asking for the best SIM cards available in Europe. Thankfully, EU law has recently shielded travellers from harsh cross-border roaming charges by ruling that providers cannot charge excessively for access to rival networks in fellow EU nations.</p> <p>You'll see the kiosks hawking pre-paid SIM packages at many major airports. If you want the dependability a SIM provides, assess your needs and shop around. </p> <p>Better yet, get to know your smartphone better and use the whole range of mobile apps that will soon make international call and text roaming redundant. Organising hotels, taxis, tours, dinner reservations as well as calling home and making your friends and colleagues jealous with holiday snaps can all be done with a wi-fi connections, which are readily available and far cheaper (if not free).</p> <p><strong>Avoid phone bill shock when you're away</strong></p> <ul> <li>Contact your mobile phone company rep about your destination and length of stay to see what add-ons and spending caps may be best.</li> <li>Only purchase local SIMs if you're in the country more than a week, have an unplanned itinerary or will have no free wi-fi at your accommodation.</li> <li>If you're on a per-day bundle, choose a few days to be on-the-grid and turn off your mobile data on other days.</li> <li>Go wi-fi only, in North American, Asian and European cities it's readily available.</li> <li>Embrace apps like Uber, Gett, WhatsApp, OpenTable and TripAdvisor to book taxis, call home and book restaurants and tours using hotel wi-fi and thus limiting calls.</li> </ul> <p>Do you agree with this advice?</p> <p><em>Written by Josh Martin. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

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Why I don’t make travel bucket lists

<p>Do you find your travel bucket lists shelved year after year? Here’s why that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, ditching your version of the travel industry's go-to buzzword will actually make your travels more flexible, fun and maybe more fulfilling.</p> <p>Although the pursuit of new experiences and places is worth aspiring to any day of the year, a travel bucket list is not unlike a shopping list except with tour groups and Instagram updates instead of Apple products, furniture or clothes.</p> <p>Much the same as a weekend shopping adventure, the afterglow from purchasing or, in this case, achieving a trip tends to fade quickly. The appetite is insatiable no matter how far down the list you are with box-ticking. Now you could argue, since experience and memories are more valuable than possessions, why should an abundance be seen as a negative at all? </p> <p>But when you're storming on to item 15 on your Before-I-Die list, yet you can barely recall voyages two or three, then you're doing it for the wrong reasons. A shopping addict by another name.</p> <p>The bucket list, by its very nature, inflates expectations and is often born out of comparison to others' adventures – two ingredients bound to rob you of some satisfaction of the main event when you fly thousands of miles to see it.</p> <p>Which is why – and let me adjust my armchair psychologist's hat here – it's common to hear friends and relatives recount their travel tales with particular enthusiasm for the unexpected village, the hidden beach or the quirky local yet details of the Pyramids, the Great Wall, or Big Ben are retold as blemishes.</p> <p>Bucket lists are simple yet specific, in many cases. They focus us too much on our goals, but when planning an overseas adventure you should be open to new things and, indeed, changes to your plans. They obscure from view the great opportunities that we find on the road and hold us captive to best-laid plans that are no longer fit-for-purpose.</p> <p>One of the best examples of this is the sunken cost fallacy. It's the idea that you shouldn't stick with a plan, idea or investment and deny yourself better savings, benefits or enjoyment simply because you have put money and effort into the original goal.</p> <p>When on holiday, the sunken cost fallacy would be to stick with your hotel and Pink Palace tour instead of taking the invitation to be hosted on a yacht in Monte Carlo.</p> <p>This week I shook off the sunken cost fallacy when offered the chance to go on safari, which meant kissing goodbye to a few hundred dollars' deposit for a ski week (#yolo).</p> <p>Now I find myself 38,000 feet above Mt Kenya on somewhat of a whim because, despite loving all things alpine, money spent shouldn't distract you from once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. First World problems and all that. The examples need not be flashy because the facts remain: whether you take the bus or business class, chronic planning and box-ticking kill spontaneity and embracing new ideas where ever they formulate. Add this one to your list.</p> <p>Do you agree with this advice?</p> <p><em>Written by Josh Martin. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

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