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Why you should be wary of charging your phone in an airport

<p dir="ltr">While charging stations at airports can often be life-savings before boarding a flight, it turns out these handy outlets can be leaving you vulnerable. </p> <p dir="ltr">Many people have fought over a spot to charge up your devices at the last minute before embarking on a holiday, but next time you leave home with your phone or laptop needing some more juice, think again. </p> <p dir="ltr">Emily Stallings, co-founder of tech retailer <em><a href="https://www.getcasely.com/">Casely</a></em>, says that by plugging your phone into a power outlet at a public USB charging station, you're at risk of data breaches and malware infection.</p> <p dir="ltr">"If a device gets infected, it could end up leaking sensitive information or even stop working properly," she told <em><a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/charging-phone-at-the-airport-danger-expert/57d141df-33ba-4a50-89e5-26f6f2a0c18d">9Travel</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">These public USB ports have often been compromised by cybercriminals, who then use these unsecured ports to steal sensitive information transmitted between devices.</p> <p dir="ltr">"From personal emails to financial data, the information intercepted through these compromised ports could lead to identity theft, financial loss, and other serious consequences," explains Stallings.</p> <p dir="ltr">The best way to get around this threat, without letting your phone run out of battery, is to pack a portable charging device in your carry-on bag every time you travel.</p> <p dir="ltr">With your own cord and power bank, it's far less likely that any sneaky hackers will be able to access your device's data.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stallings says you can also enable security features such as USB Restricted Mode on your device, for those moments when you're desperate for a charger and have to rely on public ports. </p> <p dir="ltr">"This adds an extra layer of protection against potential data breaches and malware infections when charging from public USB ports."</p> <p dir="ltr">"By activating USB Restricted Mode or similar security features, you restrict data transfer over USB connections, effectively preventing unauthorised access to your device's data while charging in public spaces."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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Costly mistakes to avoid when travelling

<p dir="ltr">While travelling the world is an exciting and joyous way to spend your time, getting caught up in devious scams can sour even the best holiday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Whenever you hit the road, there are a few measures you can take to avoid being hit by hackers and sneaky scammers, and enjoy your holiday to the fullest. </p> <p dir="ltr">When it comes to online scams, some countries are more vulnerable than others, as NAB Executive, Group Investigations Chris Sheehan says.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Just like you'd plan visas and check the weather at your destination, it's also vital to be aware of common scams in the countries you're visiting so you can recognise the red flags and protect yourself," he said. </p> <p dir="ltr">When travelling in a new country, it’s important to be wary of accommodation or booking website impersonation scams, ticket scams for major events, as well as overcharging or wrong charge scams.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The pressure to act now is a red flag in ticket and accommodation scams, while overcharging or wrong charging scams play on distraction and a lack of detail," Chris says.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Letting your bank know where and when you're travelling can help with more accurately monitoring your transactions for suspicious activity while you're away."</p> <p dir="ltr">Another thing to be wary of when on holiday is to avoid posting your real-time location on social media, or inadvertently sharing sensitive travel documents can expose you to serious risks.</p> <p dir="ltr">Broadcasting your whereabouts can make you vulnerable to various risks, including burglary, stalking, and other personal safety threats, while criminals can take advantage of the information you share to target you or your unoccupied home.</p> <p dir="ltr">Travel expert Trevor Cooke from <a href="https://earthweb.com/">EarthWeb</a> says its best to wait until you’ve moved on until you share your location online. </p> <p dir="ltr">"If you really want to share the location of where you travelled to, wait until you're already at the next location or back home," he says.</p> <p dir="ltr">"By delaying your posts, you can still share your experiences without compromising your safety."</p> <p dir="ltr">Another thing to keep in mind when you’re next hitting the road is to be wary about unknowingly posting personal information online, such as your boarding pass. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Many people don't realise how much personal information is on your boarding pass and other temporary travel documents," says security expert Trevor.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Boarding passes, for instance, contain sensitive data such as your full name, frequent flyer number, and a barcode that can be scanned to reveal even more information. This data can be used by criminals for identity theft, unauthorised access to your accounts, and other malicious activities."</p> <p dir="ltr">"To protect yourself, always double-check that any picture you upload does not include your boarding pass, travel itinerary, hotel receipts, or any other sensitive information," Trevor adds.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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How do airplanes fly? An aerospace engineer explains the physics of flight

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/craig-merrett-1509278">Craig Merrett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/clarkson-university-4276">Clarkson University</a></em></p> <p>Airplane flight is one of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century. The <a href="https://airandspace.si.edu/explore/stories/wright-brothers">invention of the airplane</a> allows people to travel from one side of the planet to the other in less than a day, compared with weeks of travel by boat and train.</p> <p>Understanding precisely why airplanes fly is an ongoing challenge for <a href="https://www.clarkson.edu/people/craig-merrett">aerospace engineers, like me</a>, who study and design airplanes, rockets, satellites, helicopters and space capsules.</p> <p>Our job is to make sure that flying through the air or in space is safe and reliable, by using tools and ideas from science and mathematics, like computer simulations and experiments.</p> <p>Because of that work, flying in an airplane is <a href="https://usafacts.org/articles/is-flying-safer-than-driving/">the safest way to travel</a> – safer than cars, buses, trains or boats. But although aerospace engineers design aircraft that are stunningly sophisticated, you might be surprised to learn there are still some details about the physics of flight that we don’t fully understand.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=381&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=381&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=381&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=479&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=479&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=479&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A diagram of an airplane that shows the four forces of flight." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The forces of weight, thrust, drag and lift act on a plane to keep it aloft and moving.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/airplane-cruise-balanced-forces/">NASA</a></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>May the force(s) be with you</h2> <p>There are <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/stem-content/four-forces-of-flight/#:%7E">four forces</a> that aerospace engineers consider when designing an airplane: weight, thrust, drag and lift. Engineers use these forces to help design the shape of the airplane, the size of the wings, and figure out how many passengers the airplane can carry.</p> <p>For example, when an airplane takes off, the thrust must be greater than the drag, and the lift must be greater than the weight. If you watch an airplane take off, you’ll see the wings change shape using flaps from the back of the wings. The flaps help make more lift, but they also make more drag, so a powerful engine is necessary to create more thrust.</p> <p>When the airplane is high enough and is cruising to your destination, lift needs to balance the weight, and the thrust needs to balance the drag. So the pilot pulls the flaps in and can set the engine to produce less power.</p> <p>That said, let’s define what force means. According to <a href="https://ca.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/4079abf0-7a4b-4f49-80ad-c69cd06a80f9/newtons-second-law-of-motion/">Newton’s Second Law</a>, a force is a mass multiplied by an acceleration, or F = ma.</p> <p>A force that everyone encounters every day is <a href="https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/what-is-gravity/en/#:%7E">the force of gravity</a>, which keeps us on the ground. When you get weighed at the doctor’s office, they’re actually measuring the amount of force that your body applies to the scale. When your weight is given in pounds, that is a measure of force.</p> <p>While an airplane is flying, gravity is pulling the airplane down. That force is the weight of the airplane.</p> <p>But its engines push the airplane forward because they create <a href="https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/what-is-thrust/">a force called thrust</a>. The engines pull in air, which has mass, and quickly push that air out of the back of the engine – so there’s a mass multiplied by an acceleration.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-wh3fJRdjo">Newton’s Third Law</a>, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. When the air rushes out the back of the engines, there is a reaction force that pushes the airplane forward – that’s called thrust.</p> <p>As the airplane flies through the air, the shape of the airplane pushes air out of the way. Again, by Newton’s Third Law, this air pushes back, <a href="https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/what-is-drag/#:%7E">which leads to drag</a>.</p> <p>You can experience something similar to drag when swimming. Paddle through a pool, and your arms and feet provide thrust. Stop paddling, and you will keep moving forward because you have mass, but you will slow down. The reason that you slow down is that the water is pushing back on you – that’s drag.</p> <h2>Understanding lift</h2> <p><a href="https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/what-is-lift/">Lift</a> is more complicated than the other forces of weight, thrust and drag. It’s created by the wings of an airplane, and the shape of the wing is critical; that shape is <a href="https://howthingsfly.si.edu/media/airfoil#:%7E">known as an airfoil</a>. Basically it means the top and bottom of the wing are curved, although the shapes of the curves can be different from each other.</p> <p>As air flows around the airfoil, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO75jDwGCdQ">it creates pressure</a> – a force spread out over a large area. Lower pressure is created on the top of the airfoil compared to the pressure on the bottom. Or to look at it another way, air travels faster over the top of the airfoil than beneath.</p> <p>Understanding why the pressure and speeds are different on the top and the bottom is <a href="https://airandspace.si.edu/multimedia-gallery/lift-and-copjpg">critical to understand lift</a>. By improving our understanding of lift, engineers can design more fuel-efficient airplanes and give passengers more comfortable flights.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=385&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=385&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=385&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=484&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=484&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=484&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A diagram that shows how the airfoil of a plane works." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Note the airfoil, which is a specific wing shape that helps keep a plane in the air.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/illustration/how-airplanes-fly-royalty-free-illustration/1401215523?phrase=airfoil+diagram&amp;adppopup=true">Dimitrios Karamitros/iStock via Getty Images Plus</a></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>The conundrum</h2> <p>The reason why air moves at different speeds around an airfoil remains mysterious, and <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/video/no-one-can-explain-why-planes-stay-in-the-air/">scientists are still investigating</a> this question.</p> <p>Aerospace engineers have measured these pressures on a wing in both wind tunnel experiments and during flight. We can create models of different wings to predict if they will fly well. We can also change lift by changing a wing’s shape to create airplanes that fly for long distances or fly very fast.</p> <p>Even though we still don’t fully know why lift happens, aerospace engineers work with mathematical equations that recreate the different speeds on the top and bottom of the airfoil. Those equations describe a process <a href="https://howthingsfly.si.edu/media/circulation-theory-lift">known as circulation</a>.</p> <p>Circulation provides aerospace engineers with a way to model what happens around a wing even if we do not completely understand why it happens. In other words, through the use of math and science, we are able to build airplanes that are safe and efficient, even if we don’t completely understand the process behind why it works.</p> <p>Ultimately, if aerospace engineers can figure out why the air flows at different speeds depending on which side of the wing it’s on, we can design airplanes that use less fuel and pollute less.</p> <p><!-- 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><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/craig-merrett-1509278"><em>Craig Merrett</em></a><em>, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/clarkson-university-4276">Clarkson University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>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/how-do-airplanes-fly-an-aerospace-engineer-explains-the-physics-of-flight-222847">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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The one in-flight activity to avoid to conquer jet lag

<p dir="ltr">While many people love to travel and explore new destinations, there’s no doubt that the worst part of a holiday is often the long-haul flight. </p> <p dir="ltr">With many holidays, especially ones overseas, a drastic change of timezones can mean jet lag is unavoidable, but there are a few things you can do to make life easy when you land. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to one travel expert, how you feel when you disembark often boils down to your in-flight activities. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sarah Built, who has worked up a lifetime of long-haul travel as the Etihad Airways Vice President of Sales for Australasia, told <em><a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/flight-tips-how-to-avoid-jet-lag/db8fbda1-2318-44c0-b9fe-e14d11dec70c">9Travel</a></em> that there is one thing she always avoids onboard in order to land at her destination feeling fresh: alcohol. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Whilst the allure of coffee, cocktails and snacks is real (particularly if you're travelling with kids), they can actually contribute to dehydration and worsen jet lag," she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">Instead of that in-flight beer glass of wine, Sarah says to drink water (with lime added for a twist) or herbal tea to boost your hydration and lessen that groggy mid-flight feeling.</p> <p dir="ltr">Drinking water is obviously also the key to staying hydrated, as Sarah says it's important to start drinking extra water the day before your flight, so you're going in prepared.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I carry a reusable water bottle to keep fluids up during the journey (most airports will have water stations for you to refill easily)," she says, which means you won't need to pay for an overpriced bottle at the airport.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue, and you want to be able to hit the ground running on arrival, so always remember to drink plenty of water," she advises.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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Here’s what happens to your body during plane turbulence – and how to reduce the discomfort it causes

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p>This week has seen another barrage of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/jan/22/uk-weather-storm-jocelyn-to-follow-isha-with-more-strong-winds-and-heavy-rain">unsettled weather</a> sweep across the UK, with many flights delayed or cancelled. Some of those who were fortunate enough to take off found themselves arriving at destinations that weren’t on their boarding passes – such as passengers travelling from Stansted to Newquay who eventually diverted to <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/storm-isha-creates-flight-diversion-142821278.html">Malaga</a>.</p> <p>One thing that was consistently described by passengers was that parts of the flights and the attempted landings were some of the most unnerving they’d ever experienced, due to turbulence.</p> <p>Turbulence results from uneven air movement, which is <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2023GL103814">increasing</a> in frequency. If you turn your hair dryer on at home and hold it still, the air moves at a constant rate, but once you begin drying your hair and moving the hairdryer around, the air movement becomes uneven, that is to say, turbulent.</p> <p>Although turbulence may be unnerving and make you feel unwell, it is important to recognise that it is very common and typically <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18018437/">nothing to worry about</a> if you’re in your seat with your seatbelt fastened.</p> <h2>How the body detects and responds to turbulence</h2> <p>The body recognises itself within any environment. Its relationship with objects in terms of distance and direction is called <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780123750006003414">spatial orientation</a>.</p> <p>When flying, this is typically moving forwards, ascending, some turns and a descent. However, turbulence disrupts this relationship and confuses the sensory information being received by the brain – it makes the body want to respond or recalibrate.</p> <p>Our inner ears play a pivotal role in all this. It consists of complex apparatuses that undertake more than hearing. These include the cochlea, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279394/">three semi-circular canals</a>, <a href="https://radiopaedia.org/articles/utricle-ear?lang=gb">the utricle</a> and <a href="https://radiopaedia.org/articles/saccule-ear-1?lang=gb">the saccule</a>.</p> <p>The cochlea is responsible for hearing. It converts <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531483/">sound energy into electrical energy</a> that is then “heard” by the brain. The remaining structures are responsible for the balance and position of the head and body. The semi-circular canals are positioned in a vertical (side to side), horizontal and front-to-back plane, detecting movement in a nodding, shaking and touching ear-to-shoulder direction.</p> <p>Attached to these canals are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532978/">the utricle and saccule</a>, which can detect <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10792/">movement</a> and <a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(05)00837-7.pdf">acceleration</a>.</p> <p>All of these apparatuses use microscopic hair cells in a specialised fluid called <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531505/">endolymph</a> that flows with the head to create a sense of movement. When the plane encounters turbulence, this fluid moves around, but unpredictably. It takes <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518976/">about ten to 20 seconds</a> for the fluid to recalibrate its position, while the brain struggles to understand what is going on.</p> <p>When the aircraft hits turbulence, the balance apparatus <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2023.949227/full">cannot distinguish</a> the movement of the plane from that of the head, so the brain interprets the aircraft movement as that of the head or body. But this doesn’t match the visual information being received, which causes sensory confusion.</p> <p>The reason the inner ear causes so much confusion is because during flights you are devoid of your primary sensory tool relative to the external environment – your sight and the horizon.</p> <p>Eighty per cent of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518976/">spatial information</a> comes from your eyes during flight. However, you only have the seat in front of you or the cabin as a reference point, which means your inner ear becomes the dominant sensory message to the brain during turbulence and disrupts the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545297/">“vestibulo-ocular reflex”</a>. This reflex keeps your vision <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130651/">aligned</a> with your balance or expected position.</p> <p>Vision is the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777262/">most valued</a> of the senses and one-third of the brain is attributed to its function, reinforcing its importance in spatial orientation.</p> <p>This sensory mixed messaging often results in things like dizziness and sweating as well as gastrointestinal symptoms, such as <a href="https://www.airmedicaljournal.com/article/S1067-991X(02)70038-2/fulltext">nausea and vomiting</a>.</p> <p>Motion sickness can be triggered by turbulence and although research into specific airsickness is limited, other modes that induce motion sickness suggest that <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16018346/">women</a> are <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26466829/">more susceptible</a> than men, particularly in the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16235881/">early stages</a> of the menstrual cycle.</p> <p>The turbulence also causes an increase in your heart rate, which is already higher than normal when flying because of a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15819766/">decrease in oxygen saturation</a>.</p> <h2>What about the pilots?</h2> <p>Commercial pilots accrue thousands of hours at the controls, they are subject to the same forces as the passengers.</p> <p>Over time, they can <a href="https://academic.oup.com/milmed/article/180/11/1135/4160573">adapt to these forces</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15828634/">experiences</a>, but they also have a couple of additional resources that most passengers don’t.</p> <p>They have the view out of the cockpit windows, so have a horizon to use as a reference point and can see what lies immediately ahead.</p> <p>If it is cloudy or visibility is low, their instruments provide additional visual <a href="https://www.faa.gov/sites/faa.gov/files/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak/19_phak_ch17.pdf">reference</a> to the position of the aircraft. This doesn’t mean they are immune to the effects of turbulence, with some studies reporting up to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26540704/">71% of trainee pilots</a> reporting episodes of airsickness.</p> <h2>How to reduce the discomfort</h2> <p>A window seat can help, or even looking out the window. This gives the brain some sensory information through visual pathways, helping calm the brain in response to the vestibular information it is receiving.</p> <p>If you can get one, a seat towards the front or over the wing reduces the effects of turbulence.</p> <p>Deep or rhythmical breathing can help reduce motion sickness induced by turbulence. Focusing on your breathing <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25945662/">calms the nervous system</a>.</p> <p>Don’t reach for the alcohol. While you may feel it calms your nerves, if you hit turbulence it’s going to interfere with your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7610847/">visual and auditory processing</a> and increase the likelihood of vomiting.</p> <p>If you suffer from motion sickness and are worried about turbulence while flying, then there are also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6241144/">drugs that can help</a>, including certain <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/cinnarizine/about-cinnarizine/">antihistamines</a>.</p> <p>Finally, it’s important to remember that although turbulence can be unpleasant, aircraft are designed to withstand the forces it generates and many passengers, even frequent fliers, will rarely encounter the most severe categories of turbulence because pilots actively plan routes to avoid it.<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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221780/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>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/heres-what-happens-to-your-body-during-plane-turbulence-and-how-to-reduce-the-discomfort-it-causes-221780">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Do red bags get loaded onto a plane first? Travel hack goes viral

<p>One TikTok user has racked up over 75 million views for their hack which warns travellers against buying red suitcases.</p> <p>The reason behind it? He claims that red suitcases are always loaded onto a plane first - meaning that they will be the last ones to come out at the baggage carousel. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@airportlife_/video/7359248989134327072" target="_blank" rel="noopener">viral video</a> showed a plane's cargo being loaded, with all the red bags being loaded first. </p> <p>Many commenters have shared their theories on why this might be the case. </p> <p>"If the red are at the back then they are less likely to get left behind when unloading," one wrote. </p> <p>"So that it's easier to check if there is any bag left at end corner of loading area and prevent missing out black bags at dark corners, maybe," another added. </p> <p>However, a spokesperson for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has debunked this theory and claimed that the video is "nonsense" and "was made purposefully to mislead or provide false information".</p> <p>They also said that there was simply not enough time for their baggage handlers to sort suitcases out by colour. </p> <p>The question of "Do red bags get loaded onto a plane first?" also made its way to Reddit, after the video went viral, and one user who claimed to be a ramp worker denied the theory. </p> <p>"If we had taken the time and brain power to load bags based on colour I'd still be loading flights from 2015." </p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

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10 best airports for sleeping

<p>Sleeping in airports isn’t exactly luxury, but sometimes when you’re stuck between flights you’re all out of options. We’ve taken a look at the 10 best airports to sleep in. While you might not be able to get your full set of 40 winks, at least you can catch a little bit of shut eye at these airports.</p> <p><strong>10. Taipei Taoyuan International Airport – Taiwan</strong></p> <p>You might want to bring along an eye mask or sunglasses, but you can definitely get a bit of shut-eye between flights at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. This airport makes the list but it is quite busy so it’s an idea to have some earplugs or even a pillow if you’re serious about sleeping.</p> <p><strong>9. Stockholm Arlanda International Airport – Sweden</strong></p> <p>Nothing ruins an airport nap like missing your international flight! Travellers sleeping at Stockholm Arlanda International Airport needn’t be concerned though as there have been reports of travellers leaving post-it notes with stickers that say “Wake me at 5:00am”. Beats an alarm clock!</p> <p><strong>8. Tallinn International Airport – Estonia</strong></p> <p>This international airport is fast gaining a reputation as a good place to catch some sleep, but it’s advised that you make sure you sleep near other travellers. The website says, “Make sure they are actual travellers and not homeless people – it is sometimes hard to tell in certain airports.”</p> <p><strong>7. Tokyo Haneda International Airport – Japan</strong></p> <p>Due partly to its proximity to the rest of town, Tokyo Haneda International Airport is a very popular airport to sleep at, to the point where the site says, “If you are staying at a busy airport overnight, you'll have to get there early if you want a good spot, especially during the summer season.”</p> <p><strong>6. Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport – Portugal</strong></p> <p>While this airport provides a great option for travellers looking to catch up on a little bit of shut-eye, they still have to be creative. The website recommends heading, “behind ticket counters, under and behind seats, in wheelchairs and on luggage conveyor belts,” to get some sleep.</p> <p><strong>5. Vienna International Airport – Austria</strong></p> <p>This airport sports a grand-spanking new terminal with some nice cots for you to catch up with some shut eye in peace and privacy. There are also lots of power sockets around the place if you need to charge devices or even if you were looking to check out the latest <a href="../news/news/">O</a>ver 60 article  on your tablet!</p> <p><strong>4. Munich International Airport – Germany</strong></p> <p>If you’re looking to catch up on some sleep at the home of Oktoberfest you’re in luck – Munich International Airport is set up pretty well for dozing travellers, relatively safe and asides from the odd security officer asking to see your boarding pass you will generally be left alone.</p> <p><strong>3. Helsinki International Airport – Finland</strong></p> <p>There is a range of options for sleepy travellers at Helsinki International Airport including the famous GoSleep airport sleeping pods. These handy capsules measure in at 1.8 metres by 0.6 metres, and can be rented for as little as $12 to ensure you get some peace and quiet as you sleep. </p> <p><strong>2. Seoul Incheon International Airport – South Korea</strong></p> <p>This huge international airport is a marvel in and of itself and provides a state of the art, luxurious place to get a little bit of shut eye between naps. What is even better is the fact that there have been reports of, “a few generous vendors giving away their unsold food to airport sleepers.”</p> <p><strong>1. Changi International Airport – Singapore </strong></p> <p>When you look at the inclusions this airport has sheerly designed to enhance customer comfort you can see why there’s no question Changi International Airport came out at number one. Enjoy massage chairs, low-lit relaxation zones, armrest-free seating and handy charging outlets.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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4 ways to avoid foot pain when travelling

<p>Whether it’s caused by a hectic day of sightseeing or a mad rush through the airports, there’s nothing quite as annoying as foot pain when you’re on holidays. And when you consider how easy it is to avoid (so long as you take the correct preventative measures) you’ll feeling like kicking yourself for putting up with it for all these years.</p> <p>Here are four ways to avoid foot pain when travelling.</p> <p><strong>1. Choosing the right pair of shoes  </strong></p> <p>Out of all the fashion statements, shoes are probably responsible for more chronic foot pain than anything else. So make sure you choose the right pair of shoes for your trip. For example, if you’re going to be walking around all day sightseeing it might be an idea to ditch the stiletto heels for a pair of joggers (even if they’re not quite so aesthetically pleasing).</p> <p>Dr Robert Mathews from Cremorne Medical in NSW says, “I recommend wearing supportive shoe such as running shoes. If you want to wear something more stylish then consider buying some gel insoles to slip in your shoes, you can get a wide variety of these from your local chemist.“</p> <p><strong>2. Manage your feet on flights</strong></p> <p>Foot swelling can become quite a big problem on long haul flight, so managing your feet becomes crucial. Simple, preventative measures anyone can take, like wearing support stocks, standing up every so often to move around or even just flexing your feet and wriggling your toes, can make a big difference and greatly reduce the chance of swelling.</p> <p><strong>3. Slip, slop and slap</strong></p> <p>So many island holidays have been soured by the blistering pain of sunburnt feet. If you’re staying at a resort or near a beach and your feet are exposed, don’t forget to apply sunscreen everywhere. Otherwise you’re going to want to have some aloe vera gel handy!</p> <p><strong>4. Take time to rest</strong></p> <p>While you’re probably in a mad rush to see everything, fear of missing out can put significant strain on your feet. So make sure you set aside plenty of time every day to put your feet up and rest. It also might be worth considering some extra pampering, like a foot bath or even a half hour massage. You are on holidays after all, so why not treat yourself!</p> <p>Dr Matthews adds, “It may also be worth taking with you some thick band aids in case you develop any blisters from long walks.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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10 questions you must ask before booking a tour

<p>A tour can be a memorable experience, for the right and wrong reasons. Here are 10 questions you must ask yourself before booking one on your next holiday.</p> <p><strong>1. Are there minimum or maximum group sizes?</strong></p> <p>This applies for two reasons. Firstly, you need to decide how many people you’d like to travel with. Small group tours will have no more than a dozen or so while larger tours could be up to 50. The size will drastically impact your tour experience, affecting everything from the mode of transport to the type of meals. Secondly, you need to know if there’s a minimum group size needed for the tour to run. If you’re the only one who books you may find it cancelled.</p> <p><strong>2. What is your cancellation/refund policy?</strong></p> <p>As a rule of thumb, you should ask this question about any kind of travel you book before you hand over your cash. With a tour, make sure you find out their policies around inclement weather, too few passengers or if you need to cancel. And as always, travel insurance is your best friend.</p> <p><strong>3. Are you available for support throughout?</strong></p> <p>One of the good things about travelling with a tour is that you’ll have the services of at least one guide. It’s also good to know if the tour office itself is available for assistance when you’re on the road. This comes in handy if you have to make changes, get sick or are unhappy with the experience.</p> <p><strong>4. Do you have any reviews I can read?</strong></p> <p>If you can’t find the tour company on TripAdvisor or a similar review site, ask the company if they have any testimonials from previous customers. Before you make your final decision, it’s nice to know what other people have said about the tour and its style.</p> <p><strong>5. What experience/qualifications do the guides have?</strong></p> <p>Many tour companies now pride themselves on using locals or people who have lived in a country for many years to guide tours. You don’t want to be stuck with someone who just reads from a guidebook – you can do that yourself for half the price. Find out what they know before you go.</p> <p><strong>6. How active is it?</strong></p> <p>There is a huge spectrum when it comes to tours, ranging from coach journeys with very little walking to active treks where you cover hard ground every day. Make sure you find out exactly what will be involved and if that suits your abilities and fitness level. And be realistic – you and the tour group will suffer otherwise.</p> <p><strong>7. What is the demographic?</strong></p> <p>You don’t want to get stuck on a tour with a bunch of 25 year olds who are just looking for the pub. Most people prefer to travel with people around their own age and in similar demographics (such as solo travellers, seniors, families etc), so make sure you find out who is likely to be in your group before you book.</p> <p><strong>8. Is everything included or will I have to pay for extras?</strong></p> <p>You should be able to get a detailed break down of exactly what is – and what isn’t – included in the price. What looked like a good deal can quickly become very expensive if you have to pay for day excursions, admission fees, alcohol or other surprises.</p> <p><strong>9. How much time do you spend in each place?</strong></p> <p>Are you looking to tick many famous sites off your list or do you want to have the time to immerse yourself in a destination? When you’re looking at an itinerary, ask questions about how long you will actually be spending at each place to ensure that you get enough time to really enjoy it.</p> <p><strong>10. Will I get any free time on my own?</strong></p> <p>After many days as part of a group, it’s nice to have some time on your own. You can explore sites that aren’t on your itinerary, try a new restaurant or just have a well deserved nap. Find out how rigid the schedules are and if there will be some time to do your own thing.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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10 tips for a better night’s sleep in a hotel room

<p>From noisy neighbours to unbearable bedding, a good night’s sleep in a hotel room can be hard to come by. Here are 10 tips to help you get decent shut eye.</p> <p><strong>1. Book a room midway down a hallway</strong></p> <p>This is generally the quietest part of the floor, way from ice and wending machines, laundry facilities, exits, closets and any other places where sudden noises might occur.</p> <p><strong>2. Try to avoid rooms facing a pool</strong></p> <p>While the view is something to admire, pools can also be the sight of noise generating late-night gathering and any sounds generally echo loudly off the water.</p> <p><strong>3. Inquire at the front desk about pillow options</strong></p> <p>If the wrong pillow gives you back or neck pain have a chat to the front desk when checking in. Most hotels stock pillows of varying firmness, and can offer a better fit.</p> <p><strong>4. Pack earplugs and eyeshades</strong></p> <p>When you’re struggling to get to sleep the tiniest noise or ray of light can end up being a huge distraction. Nip this in the bud by packing earplugs and eyeshades.</p> <p><strong>5. Turn your mobile phone off</strong></p> <p>Mobile notifications can be a huge distraction (particularly when they’re coming from friends and family in different time zones). Turn your phone off, and enjoy the bliss. </p> <p><strong>6. Make use of your ‘do not disturb’ sign</strong></p> <p>If you’re planning to sleep in make sure you put your ‘do not disturb’ sign on the outside doorknob, otherwise you might get a rude awakening from a housekeeper.</p> <p><strong>7. Report any noises immediately</strong></p> <p>Sometimes a quick pound of the wall will quiet down a noisy neighbour, but this doesn’t always work. If the people in the room next to you won’t keep quiet, make sure you let the front desk know and they can take the necessary actions.</p> <p><strong>8. Adjust the room temperature</strong></p> <p>Most people sleep better in a cooler room, so make sure you adjust the temperature to whatever is the best fit for you to get sleep. Even just opening the window a tiny little crack can make a big difference in terms of your overall comfort levels.</p> <p><strong>9. Ask the front desk about blackout shades</strong></p> <p>Particularly if you’re staying in a city that’s full of lights, noises and distractions, blackout shades can provide you with a level of peace and comfort that will help you sleep.</p> <p><strong>10. Consider bringing your own sheets</strong></p> <p>Particularly if you’ve got skin sensitives, it’s generally a good idea to bring your own sheets (if you’ve got enough space). The familiar scent and feel will really help you sleep.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Catriona Rowntree shares her Europe travel hacks she picked up from locals

<p dir="ltr">After decades of hosting <em>Getaway</em>, Catriona Rowntree has learned a thing or two about travelling. </p> <p dir="ltr">Along the way, the 52-year-old has picked up some must-know secrets from locals that every traveller should know before heading to Europe.</p> <p dir="ltr">While in Mallorca in Spain, Rowntree quizzed locals on how to make the most out of her experience, and what faux pas to avoid. </p> <p dir="ltr">She was given advice on the best way to start a day at the markets, told why you should never rent an Airbnb or buy seafood on a Monday, why takeaway coffee is a bad idea and the secret to a longer, healthy life. </p> <p dir="ltr">The TV host shared a little known secret when it comes to buying fresh fish, and said travellers should not buy fish on Monday, because fishermen don’t fish on Sundays, meaning fish purchases on Mondays won’t be fresh. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The life expectancy of a Spaniard is 84, they're a healthy lot, loving a Mediterranean diet, a dollop of sun and a good climate,” she added. </p> <p dir="ltr">The presenter also discovered that all the locals she has spoken to don't like Airbnb accommodation and prefer for tourists to stay in hotels. </p> <p dir="ltr">“All the locals I've spoken to say that's what's pushing them out of their apartments as the town centres are slowly gentrified,” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The average wage is low, most locals rent, sadly landlords prefer the higher fee of an Airbnb. Not cool!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Catriona's final tip is not to get your coffee takeaway, but rather sit down in a cafe, enjoy your coffee and take it slow. </p> <p dir="ltr">“People sit down to enjoy their coffee, they don't get a takeaway: 'If you can't sit for five minutes and talk to a person what's wrong with you!',” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">Catriona said she was told by a local that the best way to start your day is to explore the markets by getting a hot chocolate and some churros. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Not every day as you'll be round, but market day for sure," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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How to avoid 6 common tourist scams

<p>Often when people are on holidays their focus is on relaxing or seeing the sights of the area. But if you don’t keep your wits about you, it’s possible you might end up losing everything to scammers who will do anything to get their hands on your belongings.</p> <p>Here we have six common scams to look out for while you are travelling abroad.</p> <p><strong>Scam 1:</strong> You are in a busy bar in a tourist friendly area when some locals ask where you’re from and offer to buy you a drink. Without thinking, you accept the drink and then find yourself waking up hours later without any of your belongings as you’ve had your drink spiked.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> If people seem too friendly, be aware that they may be scammers. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know, and don’t leave your drink unattended to use the bathroom.</p> <p><strong>Scam 2:</strong> You are about to put your handbag and computer on the conveyer belt to go through the scanner. The people in front of you walk through the metal detector and while one goes through, the other sets off the alarms. They step back into where you are standing and take their time removing wallets and coins from their pockets. While you are waiting for your turn to walk through the metal detector, the other person has taken your belongings and is long gone.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Don’t place your items on the conveyer belt until there is no one else waiting in front of you to go through the metal detector.</p> <p><strong>Scam 3:</strong> In a busy area such as after a concert or a busy night like New Year’s Eve it can be impossible to get public transport or a taxi back to your hotel. A friendly looking guy comes by and offers you a lift for a reasonable fee using his private car. The scam itself can then range from being charged an exorbitant amount when you arrive at your hotel – or you could even find yourself robbed and dropped by the side of the road with no way home.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> However tempting it is, never get in the car with an unlicensed taxi driver. This is even more important to note if you are travelling alone.</p> <p><strong>Scam 4:</strong> While you are waiting with your luggage for a train or bus, a passer-by appears to drop their wallet and walk off without noticing. You might try to do the right thing by grabbing the wallet and running after the person to return it. By the time you get back, your luggage is missing.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> When travelling alone, never leave your items unattended even if it means you don’t help someone when you normally would. This is especially true in airports where baggage will quickly be confiscated if left alone.</p> <p><strong>Scam 5:</strong> You’re taking in the sights when a couple of men dressed as policemen approach you. They demand to see your wallet and let you know that counterfeit money has been given to tourists in the area. When your wallet is returned it has had much of the contents removed.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Police would never demand to see your wallet. If something doesn’t feel right, suggest that you continue the discussion at the nearest police station as you don’t feel comfortable. Most likely they will not push their luck.</p> <p><strong>Scam 6:</strong> You receive a phone call in your hotel room late at night from someone claiming to be from the front desk. They apologise for the late call but request that you just confirm your credit card details as their system is playing up. You read out the numbers and hang up. Before too long your credit card has rung up a huge bill as this was a scammer calling you, not a staff member.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Organise payment in person by letting the caller know that you will come down to the front desk to discuss it.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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3 common travel illnesses (and how to avoid them)

<p>Nobody wants to fall sick when they’re on holidays but it happens and is actually quite common. Not every travel illness is foreseeable, but the most prevalent ones usually can be managed if you’re prepared and know what to look out for. Here are three of the most common illnesses travellers experience and what you can do to avoid them.</p> <p><strong>Traveller’s diarrhoea</strong></p> <p>It may be an unpleasant topic of conversation, but as diarrhoeais the most common travel sickness, it’s important to be prepared. It is estimated diarrhoeais experienced by almost half of travellers at some point on their holiday, but mainly by those visiting developing countries. It’s contracted by eating or drinking contaminated food and water and in severe cases can last for days.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How to avoid it</span>:</em> Stick to bottled or purified water, freshly cooked meals and fruits and vegetables you can peel yourself. Talk to your doctor for antibiotics you can take in case you are struck with traveller’s diarrhoea.</p> <p><strong>Motion sickness</strong></p> <p>Whether it’s by boat, plane, or car, many travellers experience motion sickness. This occurs when your eyes see motion but your body doesn’t register it, leading to a conflict of the senses. It often results in nausea, vomiting, headaches, and sweating.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How to avoid it</span>:</em> If flying, try to sit near the wings of plane. If cruising, get an outside cabin in the middle of ship, and if in a car, sit up front. Don’t play with your devices, as looking at a small screens often exacerbates the problem; instead try to look far to the horizon. Have a light meal before travelling and avoid spicy, greasy or rich foods. You can talk to your doctor about over-the-counter medication that can help motion sickness as well.  </p> <p><strong>Bug bites</strong></p> <p>There are all sorts of infectious diseases like malaria, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever you can pick up from bug bites, especially in developing nations. While you should always talk to your doctor about the types of vaccines you need to take for your travel destination, it is always advisable to protect against insect bites.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How to avoid it</span>:</em> Apply insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants where possible and try to avoid outside activity around dust and dawn when mosquitos are active. If sleeping outdoors, it is advisable to use curtain nettings.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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The truth about hotel bathrobes

<p>When the time comes to check out of a hotel, it is hard to resist the urge to search the room for any freebie items that can we can slip into our suitcase.</p> <p>Robes and slippers are the hotel items that cause the most confusion among guests about whether they can take them home without any consequence.</p> <p><a href="https://www.escape.com.au/travel-advice/to-steal-or-not-to-steal-what-you-can-and-cant-take-from-hotel-rooms/news-story/7fa7f374957edf51512c0c5dc62f4ed2" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Escape</span></strong></em></a> has revealed that robes are off limits for most hotels and that guests will also be hit with an extra charge if one goes missing.</p> <p>Hotel bathrobes are laundered and then reused for the next guest.</p> <p>However, most hotels do not mind if slippers are taken by guests because they will not be used again.</p> <p>“Slippers won’t be used again,” explained Hotels.com marketing manager David Spasovic. </p> <p>“So you may as well stash them away for you to use on your next flight – they’re ideal for wearing on a long haul. Hold back on the robe though.”</p> <p>There are plenty other items that are up for the taking at hotel rooms, but it is important to make sure you don’t get too carried away.</p> <p>“The general rule of thumb is that if it can't be reused then it can be taken,” said David. </p> <p>“Miniature toiletries, shower caps, combs, disposable razors and toothbrushes. These are all goodies that can be swiped.”</p> <p>Pier One Sydney Harbour Hotel’s general manager, Kim Mahaffy said, “We expect guests to either use or to take consumable items, including soap. But preferably not two dozen from the housekeeping cart!”</p> <p>As a general guide, pillows, towels, robes, bed sheets and electrical items cannot be taken from hotels.</p> <p>But slippers, soap, shampoo and conditioner, tea and coffee and pens, are up for grabs.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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As you travel, pause and take a look at airport chapels

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/wendy-cadge-343734">Wendy Cadge</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/brandeis-university-1308">Brandeis University</a></em></p> <p>Flying home? It is very likely there is a chapel or meditation room tucked away somewhere in one of the airports you’ll pass through. <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/06/most-of-the-busiest-u-s-airports-have-dedicated-chapels/">Sixteen of the country’s 20 largest airports</a> have chapels, as do many more around the world.</p> <p>I am a <a href="http://www.wendycadge.com/">sociologist</a> of contemporary American religion and have written <a href="http://www.wendycadge.com/publications/airport-chapels-and-chaplains/">two recent articles</a> about airport chaplains and chapels. My interest in airport chapels started as simple curiosity – why do airports have chapels and who uses them? After visiting a few – including the chapel at Logan, my home airport here in Boston – I have concluded that they reflect broader changing norms around American religion.</p> <h2>How airports came to have chapels</h2> <p>The country’s first airport chapels were intended for staff rather than passengers and were established by Catholic leaders in the 1950s and 1960s to make sure their parishioners could attend mass.</p> <p>The first one in the U.S., Our Lady of the Airways, was built by Boston Archbishop Richard J. Cushing at Logan airport in 1951 and it was explicitly meant for people working at the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srx025">airport</a>. A neon light pointed to the chapel and souvenir cards handed out at the dedication read, “We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us away from all dangers, O glorious and blessed virgin.”</p> <p>Our Lady of the Airways inspired the building of the country’s second airport chapel, Our Lady of the Skies at what was then Idlewild – and is today John F. Kennedy airport in New York City.</p> <p>Protestant chapels came later. The first was in New York – again at JFK. It was designed in the shape of a Latin cross and was joined by a Jewish synagogue in the 1960s. These chapels were located at a distance from the terminals: Passengers wishing to visit them had to go outside. They were <a href="https://books.google.com/books/about/Exploring_Interfaith_Space.html?id=on5YNwAACAA">later razed</a> and rebuilt in different area of JFK.</p> <p>In the 1970s and 1980s, Protestant chapels opened in Atlanta, and in several terminals of the Dallas airport in Texas.</p> <h2>Becoming more inclusive</h2> <p>By the 1990s and 2000s, single faith chapels had become a <a href="http://www.tciarchive.org/4534.article">“dying breed.”</a> Most started to welcome people from all religions. And many were transformed into spaces for reflection, or meditation for weary travelers.</p> <p>The chapel at San Francisco International Airport, for example, known as the <a href="https://www.flysfo.com/content/berman-reflection-room-0">Berman Reflection Room</a> for Jewish philanthropist Henry Berman who was a former president of the San Francisco Airport Commission, looks like a quiet waiting room filled with plants and lines of connected chairs. A small enclosed space without any religious symbols or obvious connections to things religious or spiritual is available for services.</p> <p>The scene at the <a href="http://www.atlchapel.org/">Atlanta</a> airport chapel is similar, with only a few chairs and clear glass entrances, to provide space for quiet reflection.</p> <p>Some airports, such as JFK, continue with their “Our Lady” names, indicating their faith-based origins.</p> <p>Others include religious symbols and objects from a range of religious traditions. The chapel in <a href="https://cltairportchapel.org/">Charlotte</a>, North Carolina, for example, has multiple religious texts alongside prayer rugs, rosary beads and artistically rendered quotes from the world’s major religions.</p> <p>Pamphlets on topics ranging from grief to forgiveness are available for visitors to take with them at the Charlotte airport.</p> <h2>Different airports, different rules</h2> <p>As these examples show, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srx025">no two airports</a> have negotiated chapel space in the same way. What is permissible in one city is often not in another. Often, it is local, historical and demographic factors, including the religious composition of the region, that influence decisions. These could even be based on who started the chapel, or how much interreligious cooperation there is in a city.</p> <p>Certain airports such as Chicago’s <a href="http://www.airportchapels.org/">O'Hare</a> have strict rules regarding impromptu religious gatherings whether inside the chapel or out. Some use their public address systems to announce religious services. Others prohibit such announcements and do not even allow airport chaplains to put out any signs that could indicate a religious space.</p> <p>If they are included in airport maps, chapels tend to be designated by the symbol of a person bent in prayer. But even then, they can be difficult to spot. About half of the existing chapels are on the pre-security side of the airport and the other half accessible only after passengers pass through security.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srx025">Only four large American airports</a> – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York’s LaGuardia – do not have chapel spaces, although opening such a space is under consideration. In the interim, at LaGuardia, a Catholic chaplain holds mass in a conference room.</p> <h2>What’s the future?</h2> <p>The reasons for these spaces and their variations are idiosyncratic and intensely local. These chapels reveal a range of approaches to contemporary American religion and spirituality.</p> <p>So on your travels, keep an eye out for these chapels. Note their similarities and differences and recognize how important local histories are to how church-state issues are resolved – at airports and beyond.<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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/87578/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/wendy-cadge-343734">Wendy Cadge</a>, Professor of Sociology and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/brandeis-university-1308">Brandeis University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>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-you-travel-pause-and-take-a-look-at-airport-chapels-87578">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Does hosting the Olympics, the World Cup or other major sports events really pay off?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ivan-savin-678930">Ivan Savin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/escp-business-school-813">ESCP Business School</a></em></p> <p>After a long battle, <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240213-paris-booksellers-stay-olympics-macron-bouquiniste-france">Paris’s beloved <em>bouquinistes</em> will be staying put</a> this summer. The decision, announced on 13 February by the French government, came after considerable public backlash to the police prefecture’s original plan to move part of the iconic Seine booksellers elsewhere for the inauguration of the Olympics Games on 26 July.</p> <p>Meanwhile, less than six months away from the event, Parisians continue to grumble over a <a href="https://www.ouest-france.fr/jeux-olympiques/cest-aberrant-ce-maire-vient-dapprendre-que-sa-ville-accueillera-les-jeux-de-paris-ab1fa968-cfd1-11ee-89c0-6cefac77e04a">lack of consultations</a> with locals, warnings of <a href="https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20231130-paris-vehicle-traffic-to-be-heavily-restricted-during-2024-olympic-games">gridlocked traffic</a>, closed metro stations, extensive video surveillance and other grievances. So for host countries, what was the point of the Olympics, again?</p> <p>In academia, the debate about the potential positive and negative effects of large-scale sporting events is ongoing. Although these events are often associated with substantial economic losses, the long-term benefits are the main argument in favour of hosting them. These include the development of material and soft infrastructure such as hotels, restaurants or parks. Big games can also help put the host region on the map as an attractive place for sports and cultural events, and inspire a better entrepreneurial climate.</p> <h2>The pros and the cons of big sporting events?</h2> <p>The cost of these benefits, as the Parisians have realised, is steep. Host countries appear to suffer from increased tax burdens, low returns on public investments, high construction costs, and onerous running cost of facilities after the event. Communities can also be blighted by noise, pollution, and damage to the environment, while increased criminal activity and potential conflicts between locals and visitors can take a toll on their quality of life. As a result, in the recent past several major cities, including Rome and Hamburg, <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/6-cities-that-rejected-the-olympics/a-46289852">withdrew their bids to host the games</a>.</p> <p>A common feature of the economics of large-scale sporting events is that our expectations of them are more optimistic than what we make of them once they have taken place. Typically, expenditure tends to tip over the original budget, while the revenue-side indicators (such as the number of visitors) are rarely achieved.</p> <p>When analysing the effect of hosting large-scale sporting events on tourist visits, it is important to take into consideration both the positive and negative components of the overall effect. While positive effects may be associated with visitors, negative effects may arise when “regular” tourists refuse to visit the location due to the event. This might be because of overloaded infrastructure, sharp increases in accommodation costs, and inconveniences associated with overcrowding or raucous or/and violent visitors. On top of that, reports of poverty or crime in the global media can actually undermine the location’s attractiveness.</p> <h2>When big sporting events crowd out regular tourists</h2> <p>In an <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1527002523120639">article published in the <em>Journal of Sports Economics</em></a> with Igor Drapkin and Ilya Zverev, I assess the effects of hosting large-scale sporting events, such as Winter and Summer Olympics plus FIFA World Cups, on international tourist visits. We utilise a comprehensive dataset on flow of tourists covering the world’s largest destination and origin countries between 1995 and 2019. As a first step, we built an econometric model that effectively predicts the flow of tourists between any pair of countries in our data. Subsequently we compared the predicted tourist inflow in a hypothetical scenario where no large-scale sporting event would have taken place with the actual figures. If the actual figures exceed the predicted ones, we consider the event to have a net positive impact. Otherwise, we consider that it had a “crowding out” effect on “regular” tourists. While conducting this analysis, we distinguished between short-term (i.e., focusing just on the year of the event) and mid-term (year of the event plus three subsequent years).</p> <p>Our results show that the effects of large-scale sporting events vary a lot across host countries: The World Cup in Japan and South Korea 2002 and South Africa 2010 were associated with a distinct increase in tourist arrivals, whereas all other World Cups were either neutral or negative. Among the Summer Olympics, China in 2008 is the only case with a significant positive effect on tourist inflows. The effects of the other four events (Australia 2000, Greece 2004, Great Britain 2012, and Brazil 2016) were found to be negative in the short- and medium-term. As for the Winter Olympics, the only positive case is Russia in 2014. The remaining five events had a negative impact except the one-year neutral effect for Japan 1998.</p> <p>Following large-scale sporting events, host countries are therefore typically less visited by tourists. Out of the 18 hosting countries studied, 11 saw tourist numbers decline over four years, and three did not experience a significant change.</p> <h2>The case for cautious optimism</h2> <p>Our research indicates that the positive effect of hosting large-scale sporting events on tourist inflows is, at best, moderate. While many tourists are attracted by FIFA World Cups and Olympic games, the crowding-out effect of “regular” tourists is strong and often underestimated. This implies that tourists visiting for an event like the Olympics typically dissuade those who would have come for other reasons. Thus, efforts to attract new visitors should be accompanied by efforts to retain the already existing ones.</p> <p>Large-scale sporting events should be considered as part of a long-term policy for promoting a territory to tourists rather than a standalone solution. Revealingly, our results indicate that it is easier to get a net increase in tourist inflows in countries that are less frequent destinations for tourists – for example, those in Asia or Africa. By contrast, the United States and Europe, both of which are traditionally popular with tourists, have no single case of a net positive effect. Put differently, the large-scale sporting events in Asia and Africa helped promote their host countries as tourist destinations, making the case for the initial investment. In the US and Europe, however, those in the last few decades brought little return, at least in terms of tourist inflow.<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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/222118/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ivan-savin-678930">Ivan Savin</a>, Associate professor of quantitative analytics, research fellow at ICTA-UAB, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/escp-business-school-813">ESCP Business School</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>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/does-hosting-the-olympics-the-world-cup-or-other-major-sports-events-really-pay-off-222118">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Elephant tourism often involves cruelty – here are steps toward more humane, animal-friendly excursions

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michelle-szydlowski-1495781">Michelle Szydlowski</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/miami-university-1934">Miami University</a></em></p> <p>Suju Kali is a 50-year-old elephant in Nepal who has been carrying tourists for over 30 years. Like many elephants I encounter through my <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/10888705.2022.2028628">research</a>, Suju Kali exhibits anxiety and can be aggressive toward strangers. She suffers from emotional trauma as a result of prolonged, commercial human contact.</p> <p>Like Suju Kali, many animals are trapped within the tourism industry. Some venues have no oversight and little concern for animal or tourist safety. Between 120,000 and 340,000 animals are used globally in a variety of wildlife tourism attractions, including <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0138939">endangered species</a> like elephants. Over a quarter of the world’s <a href="https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/7140/45818198">endangered elephants</a> reside in captivity with little oversight.</p> <p>Wildlife tourism – which involves viewing wildlife such as primates or birds in conservation areas, feeding or touching captive or “rehabilitated” wildlife in facilities, and bathing or riding animals like elephants – is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/14724049.2022.2156523">tricky business</a>. I know this because I am <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=YbweA2MAAAAJ&amp;hl=en">a researcher studying human relationships with elephants</a> in both tourism and conservation settings within Southeast Asia.</p> <p>These types of experiences have long been an <a href="https://kathmandupost.com/money/2021/06/17/tourism-is-nepal-s-fourth-largest-industry-by-employment-study">extremely popular and profitable</a> part of the <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002074">tourism market</a>. But now, many travel-related organizations are urging people not to participate in, or <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2018/04/27/animal-welfare-travelers-how-enjoy-wildlife-without-harming/544938002/">calling for an outright ban on, interactive wildlife experiences</a>.</p> <p>Tourism vendors have started marketing more “ethical options” for consumers. Some are attempting to truly improve the health and welfare of wildlife, and some are transitioning captive wildlife into touch-free, non-riding or lower-stress environments. In other places, organizations are attempting to <a href="https://www.fao.org/documents/card/es/c/b2c5dad0-b9b9-5a3d-a720-20bf3b9f0dc2/">implement standards of care</a> or create manuals that outline good practices for animal husbandry.</p> <p>This marketing, academics argue, is often simply “<a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2017.11.007">greenwashing</a>,” <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2023.2280704">applying marketing labels to make consumers feel better</a> about their choices without making any real changes. Worse, research shows that some programs marketing themselves as ethical tourism may instead be widening economic gaps and harming both humans and other species that they are meant to protect.</p> <h2>No quick fix</h2> <p>For example, rather than tourist dollars trickling down to local struggling families as intended by local governments, many tourism venues are owned by nonresidents, <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/japfcsc.v2i1.26746">meaning the profits do not stay in the area</a>. Likewise, only a small number of residents can afford to own tourism venues, and venues do not provide employment for locals from lower income groups.</p> <p>This economic gap is especially obvious in Nepalese elephant stables: Venue owners continue to make money off elephants, while elephant caregivers continue to work 17 hours a day for about US$21 a month; tourists are led to believe they are “<a href="https://www.cabidigitallibrary.org/doi/book/10.1079/9781800624498.0000">promoting sustainability</a>.”</p> <p>Yet, there are no easy answers, especially for elephants working in tourism. Moving them to sanctuaries is difficult because with no governmental or global welfare oversight, elephants may end up in worse conditions.</p> <p>Many kindhearted souls who want to “help” elephants know little about their biology and mental health needs, or what it takes to keep them healthy. Also, feeding large animals like Suju Kali is pricey, <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14010171">costing around $19,000 yearly</a>. So without profits from riding or other income, owners – or would-be rescuers – can’t maintain elephants. Releasing captive elephants to the jungle is not a choice – many have never learned to live in the wild, so they cannot survive on their own.</p> <h2>Hurting local people</h2> <p>Part of the problem lies with governments, as many have marketed tourism as a way to fund conservation projects. For example in Nepal, a percentage of ticket sales from elephant rides are given to community groups to use for forest preservation and support for local families.</p> <p>Increasing demand for <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Tourism-and-Animal-Ethics/Fennell/p/book/9781032431826">wildlife-based tourism</a> may increase traffic in the area and thus put pressure on local governments to further limit local people’s access to forest resources.</p> <p>This may also lead to <a href="https://www.worldanimalprotection.org/latest/news/un-world-tourism-organisation-urged-create-better-future-animals/">increased demands on local communities</a>, as was the case in Nepal. In the 1970s, the Nepalese government removed local people from their lands in what is now Chitwan National Park as part of increasing “conservation efforts” and changed the protected area’s boundaries. Indigenous “Tharu,” or people of the forest, were forced to abandon their villages and land. While some were offered access to “buffer zones” in the 1990s, many remain poor and landless today.</p> <p>In addition, more and more desirable land surrounding conservation areas in Nepal is being developed for tourist-based businesses such as hotels, restaurants and shops, <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/japfcsc.v2i1.26746">pushing local poor people farther away</a> from central village areas and the associated tourism income.</p> <p>Some activists would like humans to simply release all wildlife back into the wild, but <a href="https://www.cabidigitallibrary.org/doi/book/10.1079/9781800624498.0000">there are multiple issues</a> with that. Elephant habitats throughout Southeast Asia have been transformed into croplands, cities or train tracks for human use. Other problems arise from the fact that tourism elephants have <a href="https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315457413">never learned</a> how to be elephants in their natural elements, as they were <a href="https://www.pugetsound.edu/sites/default/files/file/8342_Journal%20of%20Tourism%20%282009%29_0.pdf">separated from their herds</a> at an early age.</p> <p>So tourism may be vital to providing food, care and shelter to captive elephants for the rest of their lives and providing jobs for those who really need them. Because elephants can live beyond 60 years, this can be a large commitment.</p> <h2>How to be an ethical tourist</h2> <p>To protect elephants, tourists should check out reviews and photos from any venue they want to visit, and look for clues that animal welfare might be impacted, such as tourists allowed to feed, hold or ride captive wildlife animals. Look for healthy animals, which means doing research on what “healthy” animals of that species should look like.</p> <p>If a venue lists no-touch demonstrations – “unnatural” behaviors that don’t mimic what an elephant might do of their own accord, such as sitting on a ball or riding a bike, or other performances – remember that the behind-the-scenes training used to achieve these behaviors can be <a href="https://doi.org/10.21832/9781845415051-014">violent, traumatic or coercive</a>.</p> <p>Another way to help people and elephant is to to use small, local companies to book your adventures in your area of interest, rather than paying large, international tourism agencies. Look for locally owned hotels, and wait to book excursions until you arrive so you can use local service providers. Book homestay programs and attend cultural events led by community members; talk to tourists and locals you meet in the target town to get their opinions, and use local guides who provide wildlife viewing opportunities <a href="https://nepaldynamicecotours.com/">while maintaining distance from animals</a>.</p> <p>Or tourists can ask to visit <a href="https://www.americanhumane.org/press-release/global-humane-launches-humane-tourism-certification-program/">venues that are certified</a> by international humane animal organizations and that <a href="https://www.su4e.org/">do not allow contact</a> with wildlife. Or they can opt for guided hikes, canoe or kayak experiences, and other environmentally friendly options.</p> <p>While these suggestions will not guarantee that your excursion is animal-friendly, they will help decrease your impact on wildlife, support local families and encourage venues to stop using elephants as entertainment. Those are good first steps.<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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/219792/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michelle-szydlowski-1495781">Michelle Szydlowski</a>, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Project Dragonfly, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/miami-university-1934">Miami University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>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/elephant-tourism-often-involves-cruelty-here-are-steps-toward-more-humane-animal-friendly-excursions-219792">original article</a>.</em></p>

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The unique travel hack that is guaranteed to help beat jet lag

<p dir="ltr">Experts have revealed how to beat jet lag on your next overseas holiday, and it all comes down to your modes of transport. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sleep researchers said it's good news for cruise lovers, as exposure to sea air and bright natural light improves sleep to cure the annoying condition quickly.</p> <p dir="ltr">Some experts say to avoid travelling by plane all together, and always opt for cruising holidays instead. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, if you have to travel to your cruise by plane, being on board is a great way to tackle the dreadful feeling, compared with holidaying on land, Panache Cruises said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dr Lindsay Browning, expert at Trouble Sleeping said exposing yourself to bright lights at the right time after a long-haul flight is one of the most powerful things we can do to boost and help shift circadian rhythm, and being on a ship is the perfect place for that.</p> <p dir="ltr">"As a general rule, you want to get lots of bright light exposure during the daytime and avoid light at night," Browning said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"When travelling on a cruise ship, you will naturally get a lot of bright light exposure during the day, helping your circadian rhythm.”</p> <p dir="ltr">"Further, when travelling by ship you will have a cabin with a proper bed and curtain, enabling you to sleep at night when you want to."</p> <p dir="ltr">The company claimed research showed how prolonged exposure to sea air can improve blood oxygen levels, boost vitamin D, and improve breathing leading to higher-quality sleep, helping to rid travellers of pesky jet lag so they can enjoy their holidays. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Flight attendant reveals how to score a free upgrade

<p dir="ltr">A flight attendant has shared her number one trick for securing an upgrade on your next plane journey. </p> <p dir="ltr">American flight attendant Cierra Mistt revealed the one question you should ask at check-in to score an upgrade to first class, with the hack working almost every time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mistt started her now-viral video by saying her hack to get a free upgrade was top secret. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Let’s look at the big picture. Everyone is flying right now, and no one is more excited about that than commercial airlines,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The majority of airlines are overbooking every single flight they have.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It comes from the last month of me trying to get home and not even being able to get on standby because every single flight has been oversold,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am not talking about one or two seats. I am talking about 10-30 seats that have been oversold.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mistt said this overselling of flights presents an opportunity to travellers.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If everyone does show up, including the extra passengers that were oversold their tickets, the airlines have no choice but to financially compensate,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The flight attendant shared that airlines “normally start off with vouchers for $500 or something”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Normally they say a voucher but you can ask for it in cash,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Depending on the flight and how desperate they are, they will go up to, like three, four, five thousand dollars.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is where the free upgrades come in.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mistt said not only could you ask for a free upgrade in such circumstances, but you could “also ask for other incentives”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“For example, drinks, dinners, breakfast, even a hotel if you have to stay overnight until the next flight,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And, yes, you can also ask to be upgraded to first class.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Her video received more than a million views, with people praising the hack and sharing how it has worked for them. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I got upgraded to first class by doing this,” said one person. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok / Getty Images</em></p>

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Why you should travel solo this summer

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/claire-mccamley-446927">Claire McCamley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-huddersfield-1226">University of Huddersfield</a></em></p> <p>When you think about booking a summer holiday, you might think of trips with partners, friends or family. The idea of going on holiday alone can be daunting, or even unappealing. It raises all kinds of questions – who will you talk to? Who will you eat with? Will you be safe?</p> <p>There has long been a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0267257X.2015.1073170?journalCode=rjmm20">stigma against solo consumption</a>. Societal norms encourage us to be with someone – leisure experiences are billed as something to <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2019-0584/full/pdf?title=dining-alone-improving-the-experience-of-solo-restaurant-goers">share with others</a>. There may also be a level of guilt or self-indulgence associated with solo travel, feeling as if you are shirking responsibility or abandoning time with family.</p> <p>An increase in <a href="https://www.euromonitor.com/article/single-person-households-to-record-128-percent-growth-by-2030">single-person households</a>, however, means the hospitality industry is now serving solo consumers in addition to families and couples. The continuously <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2020/05/11/is-a-blurred-work-life-balance-the-new-normal/?sh=5c9db6341813">blurred line</a> between work and play, particularly for Millennials and younger generations, makes it easier to work remotely or travel as part of our jobs. We are more transient than ever, and have more opportunities to work and travel alone without feeling completely disconnected from the rest of our lives.</p> <p>In recent years, people have been <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/whats-behind-the-rise-in-solo-travel/">increasingly</a> travelling alone – including younger vacationers. They also share their experiences to a large audience on social media – the hashtag #SoloTravel has over 7 million posts associated with it on Instagram. Solo travellers are taking part in the growing <a href="https://www.futuresplatform.com/blog/solo-economy-new-consumption-patterns">solo economy</a> – new products and services targeting the lone consumer.</p> <p>Hotels, <a href="https://www.ncl.com/uk/en/freestyle-cruise/solo-cruising">cruises</a>, restaurants, tourism <a href="https://www.flashpack.com/">companies</a> and festivals are showing how design, staff and technology can be tailored to accommodate – and even encourage – solo consumption in travel. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14705931211017184">Our research</a> into the experience of solo consumers in coffee shops offers insight into how solo consumption can be as pleasurable and fulfilling as going with a partner or friend. Through <a href="https://www.research.ucsb.edu/sites/default/files/RD/docs/FREEWRITING-by-Peter-Elbow.pdf">freewriting</a> exercises, these consumers shared their own experiences. Their words offer some reasons you should try it too.</p> <h2>Be together, alone</h2> <p>Our research participants highlighted key factors that help them enjoy their solo experience – high seats and window views allowing them to sit back and observe others’ lives without any direct interaction or connection. You don’t need to arrive with others to feel part of a social environment. Alone in a crowded square or on a busy beach, the proximity of other people and their conversations can be a source of comfort, distraction or even entertainment.</p> <blockquote> <p>The seat is important -– I like the window especially a stool and “shelf” table facing out … I see people, imagine their lives, see cars and life pass by. I watch other customers, I watch the street out the window, the cliché of “watching the world pass by”. The setting, context and environment of the café are important to that moment of pause.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Take time for yourself</h2> <p>Being alone can be a <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/14705931211017184">therapeutic experience</a>, a time to process thoughts, feelings and emotions and leave you ready to tackle the world again. Perhaps take time to write, draw or practice another creative activity in your own time. Bask in your own thoughts without feeling pressure to please anyone else or force a conversation.</p> <blockquote> <p>Sitting alone with my thoughts can be a comforting experience; picking a seat, getting comfy…I can find silence with my thoughts and don’t feel any pressure to act for anybody or involve myself in a conversation that doesn’t interest me.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Get out of your comfort zone</h2> <p>Being able to do your own thing, without needing to consider others can be relaxing and can also give you the opportunity to do something you’ve never done before, free of judgement. You might want to go to some sort of class, shop or have a complete chill-out day.</p> <p>Findings from our research indicate that time spent doing things alone can relieve some of the pressures that companions can bring. Alone time gives you the space to experience things in your own time and take in your surroundings without distraction. In doing this, you may find yourself in new situations, away from your comfort zone – an energising and enthralling experience.</p> <h2>Embrace solo traveller culture</h2> <p>Solo travellers have their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278431921002516">own way of doing things</a>, they have a shared behaviour and process and often become a collective in themselves. They acknowledge the process of travelling alone and respect others doing the same, and may even seek out spaces to be alone, together. Solo travellers can engage in a shared experience and dialogue while maintaining their own individualism – helping each other when needed, but also leave one another alone.</p> <blockquote> <p>We search for places where we feel we fit … We are happy to smile at one another. We don’t need to chat to engage. We are happy on our own with a coffee. I am amongst my tribe.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. 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More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/claire-mccamley-446927"><em>Claire McCamley</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-huddersfield-1226">University of Huddersfield</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>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/why-you-should-travel-solo-this-summer-184000">original article</a>.</em></p>

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