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How will we travel the world in 2050?

<p>If the aviation industry was a country, it would rank among the world’s <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/aviation_en">top ten emitters</a> of carbon dioxide (CO₂). Aviation emissions have risen by 70% since 2005 and as demand increases in rich and poorer countries, they’re forecast to increase by between 300% and 700% by 2050.</p> <p>Arresting this incline will be the first step towards a sustainable system of international travel – but how could it be done? A frequent flyer tax would be relatively easy to implement but it could mean <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-cant-expand-airports-after-declaring-a-climate-emergency-lets-shift-to-low-carbon-transport-instead-120740">the richest can still afford to fly</a> while the poorest are priced out.</p> <p>Most plane passengers are already relatively wealthy. Only <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/to-fly-or-not-to-fly-the-environmental-cost-of-air-travel/a-42090155">18% of the world’s population</a> have ever flown and in any given year, an elite 3% of the world flies. That’s about 230m people, but flights carried four billion passengers in 2017. So the average flyer takes eight return flights and aeroplanes rack up <a href="http://www.darrinqualman.com/global-air-travel-climate-change/">seven trillion air miles each year</a>.</p> <p>Rationing might be a fairer and more effective alternative.</p> <p><strong>Flight rationing</strong></p> <p>Every person could be allocated a maximum number of “flight kilometres” each year. This allowance would increase the longer a person abstained from flying. The first year allocation would be 500km, then the following year it would be 1,000km and would double every year. It would take seven years to accumulate enough to fly from the UK to Australia and back.</p> <p>Buying a ticket for a flight of any distance would reset the allocation rate to year one, but the kilometres saved in a “flight bank” could still be used. Anyone not travelling could exchange their flight kilometres for money, but anyone exceeding their ration could be fined or banned from flying for some time.</p> <p>Expanded and improved high-speed rail lines could also replace many flights. These journeys could be as fast as aeroplanes in some instances and <a href="https://theconversation.com/southampton-to-shanghai-by-train-one-climate-change-researchers-quest-to-avoid-flying-120015">emit 90% less CO₂</a>. Solar-powered train journeys are already a reality in Australia. The Byron Bay Company uses solar panels on trains and platforms to power onboard batteries and <a href="https://byronbaytrain.com.au/">exported 60,000kWh</a>to the grid last year.</p> <p>Coupling low-carbon train travel with flight rationing would limit emissions in the short term, but people are accustomed to travelling half the world in a matter of hours, often at relatively low cost. The demand won’t go away, so what could replace carbon-intensive air travel?</p> <p><strong>Electric aeroplanes</strong></p> <p>Most electric plane designs are grounded on the drawing board, but there are some flight-ready aircraft. The world’s first all-electric commercial airliner was unveiled in Paris in June 2019. The craft is called Alice and it carries nine passengers for up to 650 miles (1,040km) at 10,000ft (3,000 metres) at 276mph (440km/h) on a single charged battery. It’s expected to enter service in 2022.</p> <p>The fossil fuel costs of small aircraft are about <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48630656">US$400 per 100 miles</a>. For Alice, the costs are projected to be as little as US$8 for the same distance, and if the electricity is from renewable energy – perhaps generated by solar panels at the airport – then the plane could be zero-carbon.</p> <p>How much energy each battery can store is <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/towards_the_battery_of_the_future_FB20_en.pdf">increasing rapidly</a>. But there are also strategies which can make electric planes <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/stem-awards/electrical/hybrid-electric-propulsion/">more efficient</a>. Capacitors are lightweight batteries that can hold a huge charge but only for short periods. They could be used for takeoff – the largest energy requirement of a flight – then more traditional batteries could power the majority of the flight.</p> <p>Innovation could deliver mass electric flight in the next few decades, but an alternative to fossil fuelled flight exists right now.</p> <p><strong>Bring back the zeppelin?</strong></p> <p>For as long as humans have <a href="http://www.historyofballoons.com/balloon-history/montgolfier-brothers/">taken to the skies</a> we’ve had a low carbon alternative to burning vast amounts of fossil fuels to keep us up there – balloons. The <a href="https://www.airships.net/hindenburg/disaster/">Hindenburg disaster</a> may have condemned the industry to relative obscurity for almost a century, but it has never really gone away.</p> <p>The balloons of most modern airships are filled with helium rather than the explosive hydrogen used in the Hindenburg. <a href="https://www.naturphilosophie.co.uk/helium-lighter-air/">Concentrated helium is lighter than air</a> and when divided into gas sacks, the vessel can stay aloft if any are breached while propellers powered by flexible solar panels can help navigation.</p> <p>Extracting enough helium fuel will be energy-intensive and there’s a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/science/helium-shortage-party-city.html">looming global shortage</a>. Luckily, advances made since the Hindenburg now allow airships to fly on cylinders packed with hydrogen jet fuel, which is cheaper, lighter, and relatively abundant.</p> <p>Using hydrogen for fuel has become a lot safer since the 1930s – so much so that it’s now being considered for <a href="https://www.theengineer.co.uk/domestic-hydrogen-appliances/">use in the home</a>. Unlike jet aircraft, once airships are aloft they don’t need lots of energy to keep them there. At that point, the energy costs become <a href="https://www.withouthotair.com/cC/page_281.shtml">comparable with rail travel</a>.</p> <p>Airships won’t get passengers to their destinations very fast – the Hindenburg set the current record for a transatlantic crossing at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/20/hindenburg-zeppelin-new-york-frankfurt-archive-1936">just under 44 hours</a> – but they do allow time to <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/6818676/airlander-10-blimp-luxury-bedrooms-en-suite-travel-plane/">enjoy stunning vistas</a>. Think of them instead as air cruises. In the romantic era of early commercial flight, airships were expected to become “<a href="https://medium.com/predict/flying-hotels-the-romantic-age-of-air-travel-blimps-zeppelins-dirigibles-63346f507bc7">flying hotels</a>” that could accommodate dining rooms and ballroom dances.</p> <p><strong>Orbital rings</strong></p> <p>There’s one more option, but you might struggle to believe it’s possible within the next thirty years. Still, the materials needed to build it already exist. An orbital ring is a strong steel cable in orbit just above the atmosphere – 80km above Earth. It rotates, creating forces which try to make the ring fly apart into space, while gravity tries to pull it down to Earth.</p> <p>If the ring is spun at the correct speed, the two forces balance one another, allowing it to rotate seemingly weightlessly. A “cuff” can be built around the cable which would hold itself in place, unmoving, by magnetic repulsion. The structure would be connected to the ground by cables, with an elevator giving access to the ring in less than an hour.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/can-magnetically-levitating-trains-run-at-3-000km-h-27615">Two Maglev train tracks</a> – which use magnets to move trains along without friction – on the underside of the ring and another on the outside could transport passengers at incredible speeds, reaching the other side of the world in 45 minutes.</p> <p>If these options sound unrealistic, then remember that our current course of expanding carbon-intensive air travel is unrealistic for avoiding catastrophic climate change. Bold ideas are one thing, we need radical action to revolutionise how we travel the world.</p> <p><em>Written by John Grant and Keith Baker. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/how-will-we-travel-the-world-in-2050-121713"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Why leaving your phone at home this holiday will make you feel better

<p>What did we do before smartphones? Our devices have become an essential tool for modern life, even when we’re on holiday. In fact, technology is <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02508281.2005.11081482">revolutionising tourism</a>. We navigate with Google Maps, we use TripAdvisor to find good restaurants, we share our travel experiences on Instagram, and we instantly message people back home. Imagine if all of these things were taken away from you.</p> <p>That’s what we did to 24 people who volunteered for our <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0047287519868314">interview-based study</a> on what it’s like to give up your smartphone and travel digital-free. With a growing concern about the negative impact digital technology can have on people’s wellbeing, <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-14343-9_58">especially on holiday</a>, we wanted to find out if a digital detox would help. But we found that disconnecting on holiday comes with emotional challenges of its own.</p> <p>We asked our volunteers to keep a diary of their emotions and feelings before they disconnected, during their trip, and after re-connecting when they returned home. We also conducted interviews after their digital-free journeys.</p> <p>Individuals who choose to disconnect on holiday tend to be looking for some therapeutic rehabilitation. But we found the digital-free journey was not always easy. Travellers experienced different levels of emotions due to technology disconnection. Feelings of anxiety started to build with the anticipation of disconnecting, with worries about what would happen. One participant said: “To be honest, two days before the trip I was a little bit nervous about it.”</p> <p>The negative emotions escalated in the first few days of the disconnected holiday with a mixture of frustration, worry, isolation, and anxiety. The feelings were especially overwhelming for some tech-savvy travellers who were used to technology in their daily lives. They struggled to settle into a new environment without their usual support of technology. One participant mentioned their anxiety around safety: “There is a chance that I might be in danger or have an accident, and my family cannot reach me.”</p> <p>Travellers at this stage were forced to travel in an old-fashion manner, navigating using a printed map, talking to strangers, and reading printed bus timetables. Two of our participants even gave up at this stage as they found the emotional experience unbearable.</p> <p>The strength of emotions was not the same for everyone. In the research, we discovered several influencing factors. It was easier to disconnect in rural destinations, if participants had travel companions, if they had fewer work commitments back home, if they had strong motivations for disconnecting, or if their reliance on technology in daily life was low.</p> <p>Our participants overcame the initial emotions and then started to enjoy the digital-free experience. They found themselves more immersed in the destination, created more valuable moments with their travel companions, and had many more memorable and authentic encounters with locals.</p> <p>They felt free, happy, excited, and relieved. One participant said: “I feel quite good that I made it this far without technology. I feel quite liberated.” Without the disruptions of digital technologies, they were fully engaged with their holiday experience, demonstrating that a digital-free holiday can contribute to wellbeing.</p> <p><strong>Reconnecting to normal life</strong></p> <p>All detoxes must come to an end, and our travellers had to face reconnecting to technology at the end of their holidays. Many started to feel anxious or guilty, but others, although they enjoyed the disconnected experience, felt excited to reconnect.</p> <p>Interestingly, first time digital-free travellers felt disappointed as they anticipated the things they missed out on while disconnected, but then realised they had not missed much. Many reevaluated their relationships with technology. One of our participants stated:</p> <p>“It was rather disappointing turning my phone back on. Seeing Facebook likes and messages I had, I felt how superficial they were. Not important stuff. I started to think why am I so addicted to counting my likes and reading comments that don’t really have a huge impact on my life? Technology, especially Facebook, has become my life”.</p> <p>Understanding the emotions of tourists can also provide insights for tour operators and destination management organisations when developing either off-the-grid packages or tech-savvy tour products. Understanding what triggers consumers’ negative and positive emotions can help companies improve products and marketing strategies.</p> <p>Digital-free travel provides an opportunity for many travellers to re-examine their relationships with technology. Many participants reflected on their addictions and “<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563216304125">fear of missing out</a>”, and considered bringing this digital-free idea into their daily life, or do it more during their holidays.</p> <p><em>Written by Brad McKenna, Lena Waizenegger and Wenjie Cai. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/leave-your-phone-at-home-this-holiday-and-youll-feel-better-after-you-feel-worse-121278"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The more you eat, the further you fly

<p>The more you dine out, the more points you will be able to save up for flights and upgrades under a new initiative by the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.</p> <p>As of Thursday, travellers can receive rewards by making reservations at select restaurants around the world.</p> <p>Members of the loyalty program will be able to earn 100 points per person for every booking made in one of the 18,000 restaurants across 12 countries.</p> <p>The new point system, which was launched in partnership with restaurant booking platform Quandoo, came after Qantas ended its agreement with Dimmi and Rockpool Dining Group restaurants.</p> <p>“We know how much our frequent flyers like to dine out, so rewarding them with Qantas Points for eating at their favourite local restaurant or somewhere special while they are on holiday is going to be a real drawcard,” said Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.</p> <p>“Food and wine constantly rank as some of the top interests for our members … the ability to now earn points for booking restaurants overseas is a great addition to people’s travel experience and helps get them closer to their dream trip.”</p> <p>Frequent Flyers can start earning points by booking through the platform on August 15.</p> <p>The announcement follows the airline’s rewards program overhaul in June, when the airline unveiled that it will make more reward seats available while increasing<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.travelweekly.com.au/article/qantas-unveils-tasty-frequent-flyer-change/" target="_blank">the number of points required to upgrade to a premium cabin</a>.</p> <p>Qantas said the changes represented the biggest transformation that the Frequent Flyer program has seen in its 32-year-history.</p> <p>The loyalty program overhaul, which affects its 12.7 million members, will be rolled out over the next 12 months.</p> <p>Qantas’ collaboration with Quandoo came after Virgin Australia<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.australianfrequentflyer.com.au/velocity-opentable/" target="_blank">ended its restaurant booking partnership with OpenTable in July</a>. Members of the airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program are no longer able to earn 300 points for every table booking made on the OpenTable platform.</p>

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Drivers' new parking hack turns heads

<p>A video has had people scratching their heads as it shows a four wheel drive pulling off a parallel park with an extra feature added for ease.</p> <p>The video, which has been shared on social media, shows a driver in Cairo, Egypt with a fifth wheel built into his car.</p> <p>Many people were quick to tag their friends and wonder how it was done.</p> <p>"I know a lot of people who could benefit from this though," another said.</p> <p>"Everyone one needs this in their life, even those who have mastered the not so difficult task of parallel parking," another commented said.</p> <p>"How many times have you been behind some idiot who hasn't for the life of them have the slightest idea on how to parallel park if their life depended on it?" one person asked.</p> <p>"Or better and cheaper still, learn how to bloody park," another said, followed by a tearful laughing emoji.</p> <p>The wheel can be raised and lowered for easy parking in tight spots.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xzD0scGdwQY"></iframe></div> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"> <p>Although this is a new concept to some, the fifth wheel concept was already invented back in the 1930’s in California by a driver who was sick of the same problem. Despite filing a patent for the additional wheel idea, the concept never caught on and did not make it into the manufacturing of cars.</p> </div>

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How to protect your private data when you travel to the United States

<p>On January 30 – three days after US President Donald Trump signed an <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states">executive order</a> restricting immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries – an American scientist employed by NASA <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/12/14583124/nasa-sidd-bikkannavar-detained-cbp-phone-search-trump-travel-ban">was detained at the US border</a> until he relinquished his phone and PIN to border agents. Travellers are also reporting <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-muslim-immigration-ban-facebook-check-iraq-sudan-syria-mana-yegani-a7551256.html">border agents reviewing their Facebook feeds</a>, while the Department of Homeland Security <a href="https://fcw.com/articles/2017/02/07/kelly--dhs-social-media-border.aspx">considers requiring social media passwords as a condition of entry</a>.</p> <p>Intimidating travellers into revealing passwords is a much greater invasion of privacy than inspecting their belongings for contraband.</p> <p>Technology pundits have already recommended steps to prevent privacy intrusion at the US border, including <a href="https://qz.com/912950/never-bring-your-phone-on-an-international-flight-unless-you-want-us-border-control-and-customs-to-take-your-data/">leaving your phone at home</a>, <a href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/14/reg_guide_to_data_security_when_entering_us/">encrypting your hard drive</a> and <a href="https://www.wired.com/2017/02/guide-getting-past-customs-digital-privacy-intact/">enabling two-factor authentication</a>. However, these steps only apply to US citizens. Visitors need a totally different strategy to protect their private information.</p> <p><strong>The problem</strong></p> <p>Giving border agents access to your devices and accounts is problematic for three reasons:</p> <ol> <li>It violates the privacy of not only you but also your friends, family, colleagues and anyone else who has shared private messages, pictures, videos or data with you.</li> <li>Doctors, lawyers, scientists, government officials and many business people’s devices contain sensitive data. For example, your lawyer might be carrying documents subject to attorney-client privilege. Providing such privileged information to border agents may be illegal.</li> <li>In the wake of revelations from <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/long-list-what-we-know-thanks-private-manning/">Chelsea Manning</a>and <a href="http://harvardpolitics.com/united-states/the-nsa-leaks-a-summary/">Edward Snowden</a>, we have good reason to distrust the US government’s intentions for our data.</li> </ol> <p>This problem cannot be solved through normal cybersecurity countermeasures.</p> <p>Encryption, passwords and two-factor authentication are useless if someone intimidates you into revealing your passwords. Leaving your devices at home or <a href="https://www.howtogeek.com/213295/how-to-wipe-securely-erase-your-devices-before-disposing-of-or-selling-them/">securely wiping them</a>before travelling is ineffective if all of your data is in the cloud and accessible from any device. What do you do if border agents simply ask for your Facebook password?</p> <p>And leaving your phone at home, wiping your devices and deactivating your social media will only increase suspicion.</p> <p><strong>What you can do</strong></p> <p>First, recognise that lying to a border agent (including giving them fake accounts) or obstructing their investigation will land you in serious trouble, and that agents have sweeping power to deny entry to the US. So you need a strategy where you can fully cooperate without disclosing private data or acting suspicious.</p> <p>Second, recognise that there are two distinct threats:</p> <ol> <li>Border agents extracting private or sensitive data from devices (phone, tablet, laptop, camera, USB drive, SIM card, etc.) that you are carrying.</li> <li>Border agents compelling you to disclose your passwords, or extracting your passwords from your devices.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Protecting your devices</strong></p> <p>To protect your privacy when travelling, here’s what you can do.</p> <p>First, use a cloud-based service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or Box.com to backup all of your data. Use another service like Boxcryptor, Cryptomator or Sookasa to protect your data such that neither the storage provider nor government agencies can read it. While these services are not foolproof, they significantly increase the difficulty of accessing your data.</p> <p>Next, cross the border with no or clean devices. Legally-purchased entertainment should be fine, but do not sync your contacts, calendar, email, social media apps, or anything that requires a password.</p> <p>If a border agent asks you to unlock your device, simply do so and hand it over. There should be nothing for them to find. You can access your data from the cloud at your destination.</p> <p><strong>Protecting your cloud data</strong></p> <p>However, border agents do not need your device to access your online accounts. What happens if they simply demand your login credentials? Protecting your cloud data requires a more sophisticated strategy.</p> <p>First, add all of your passwords to a password manager such as LastPass, KeePass or Dashlane. While you’re at it, change any passwords that are easy to guess, easy to remember or are duplicates.</p> <p>Before leaving home, generate a new master password for your password manager that is difficult to guess and difficult to remember. Give the password to a trusted third party such as your spouse or IT manager. Instruct him or her not to provide the password until you call from your destination. (Don’t forget to memorise their phone number!)</p> <p>If asked, you can now honestly say that you don’t know or have access to any of your passwords. If pressed, you can explain that your passwords are stored in a password vault precisely so that you cannot be compelled to divulge them, if, for example, you were abducted while travelling.</p> <p>This may sound pretty suspicious, but we’re not done.</p> <p>Raise the issue at your workplace. Emphasise the risks of leaking trade secrets or sensitive, protected or legally privileged data about customers, employees, strategy or research while travelling.</p> <p>Encourage your organisation to develop a policy of holding passwords for travelling employees and lending out secure travel-only devices. Make the policy official, print it and bring it with you when you travel.</p> <p>Now if border agents demand passwords, you don’t know them, and if they demand you explain how you can not know your own passwords, you can show them your organisation’s policy.</p> <p>This may all seem like an instruction manual for criminals, but actual criminals will likely just create fake accounts. Rather, I believe it’s important to provide this advice to those who have done nothing illegal but who value their privacy in the face of intrusive government security measures.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Ralph. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-protect-your-private-data-when-you-travel-to-the-united-states-73909"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Why is air colder the higher up you go?

<p><strong><em>Why is air colder the higher up you go? Shouldn’t it be hotter as you’re getting closer to the Sun? – Flynn, age 6, Sydney.</em></strong></p> <p>Thank you Flynn, that’s a great question. A lot of people have probably wondered this.</p> <p>As you may know, hot air rises. So why is it so cold at the top of a mountain?</p> <p>Well, it helps if you imagine the ground here on Earth as a big heater. It keeps us warm, and if you move away from the heater you feel cold.</p> <p>So what “heats up” the heater? The light and warmth from the Sun. Scientists call this light and warmth “radiation”.</p> <p><strong>Light and warmth travel from the Sun</strong></p> <p>The light and warmth from the Sun travel through space towards Earth and pass through our atmosphere. (The “atmosphere” is what we call the swirling air that surrounds our planet.)</p> <p>But the atmosphere isn’t very good at holding onto the warmth from the Sun. The heat just slips straight through it. (For the adults reading: that’s because air at higher altitudes thins out as the gas particles expand and lose energy.)</p> <p>Eventually, the heat from the Sun hits the ground and the ground soaks it up. This especially happens in forests and oceans, which are very good at absorbing heat. Other places, like snow fields, are more likely to reflect the radiation – meaning it bounces back toward the Sun instead of being soaked up by the ground.</p> <p><strong>Up, up, up</strong></p> <p>The higher up you go, the further you are away from the “heater” that is keeping us all warm – the ground that has absorbed the warmth from the Sun. At the top of mountains, it can get so cold people could die within minutes without special protection. That’s because the air up there is just really bad at “holding onto” the radiation coming from the Sun, and the warmth passes straight through it on its journey toward the ground.</p> <p>And all the way up in space, there is a lot more radiation from the Sun, and astronauts wear special suits to protect themselves from it. But there’s also no air in space, which means there’s really nothing much at all to “hold onto” the warmth of the Sun and make the temperature around you feel warm.</p> <p>So if you were unlucky enough to be caught in space without a suit, you would freeze to death before the Sun’s radiation would get you.</p> <p><em>Written by Zoran Ristovski and Branka Miljevic. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-why-is-air-colder-the-higher-up-you-go-116822"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Maldives: The ultimate retirement holiday

<p>The Maldives. It’s a country the world associates with paradise: the polished white sand, the overwater villas and probably most of all, the shallow, is-it-Photoshopped, turquoise waters.</p> <p>Well I can tell you this first off – it isn’t Photoshopped. Amazingly, the water really is that colour. It looks just like it does in the photographs, but better, because you’re actually there.</p> <p>The first resort in the Maldives opened relatively recently, in 1972. <a href="http://www.soneva.com/soneva-fushi/">Soneva Fushi</a> was opened by Sonu Shivdasani and Eva Malmström Shivdasani in 1995, and now the group has <a href="http://www.soneva.com/soneva-jani/">Soneva Jani</a> and a two-bedroomed yacht, <a href="http://www.soneva.com/soneva-in-aqua/">Soneva In Aqua</a>. Because I’m a glutton, I decided to try out all three. This, ladies and gents, might just be the ultimate retirement holiday.</p> <p>It’s pouring with rain when I land at Soneva Jani (this is the tropics after all), but once I’m in my over-water villa it’s hard to care. My room has its own, private 12-metre pool, outdoor and indoor bathrooms, an upstairs deck for stargazing, and glass flooring areas dotted throughout, so you can watch the fish swim about below.</p> <p>In the morning I climb down a ladder straight into the Indian ocean and swim through crystalline water over reefs teaming with fish. I wander around the barely touched island (Soneva is all about sustainability – they desalinate their water, recycle their glass, are carbon-neutral and they like to leave things looking as natural as possible). At night, movies are shown at their outdoor cinema, with a screen poking out of the azure waters, and big, comfy daybeds to recline on.</p> <p>Picked up by speedboat, I take the bumpy 1.5 hour trip to another perfect tropical island: the group’s oldest property, Soneva Fushi. Again, I can’t help gushing over the room (the Maldives is really all about the room and its immediate surrounds, because that’s where you spend most of your time).</p> <p>It’s huge and thatched in the traditional way, with three living rooms (two outside, one inside), a plunge pool and the ocean accessed through a private pathway just a few metres away. But the best bit is the bathroom, which is the size of my unit in Sydney (seriously) and all outdoors. The shower sees you walking on raised paving suspended over your own miniature lake – again, seriously – to a rain shower set within the palms.</p> <p>You certainly won’t go hungry. I eat my weight in fresh sashimi and local king crab claws grilled in front of my eyes at a Japanese barbecue; and they have complimentary cheese, ice-cream and chocolate rooms at each resort – God help your cholesterol.</p> <p>Because the Maldives is a desert island destination and each resort is an island, there isn’t much to do – or actually, anything to do – outside of your resort. It’s basically a sunbake/eat/drink/swim sort of place. If you need some action though, Fushi and Jani both offer activities like snorkelling with a marine biologist (highly recommended) and stand-up paddle-boarding. Definitely go canoeing in a traditional, wooden, Maldivian canoe – it’s easier than it looks, as long as you stay in the shallows.</p> <p>To complete my trip, I hop on Soneva in Aqua, the resorts’ custom-built yacht, for a night. Captain Aaron takes me out to a secluded island where we spot reef sharks playing with giant stingrays and watch a tropical storm roll in over the empty horizon. I snorkel on a remote sandbank, swimming past turtles, octopi and every single fish from Finding Nemo. I dine on coconut-rich Maldivian tuna curry mopped up with roti on the deck (you can even help catch the fish off the back of the boat if you like) and drink fresh watermelon juice while watching the sunset from my dolphin net, hanging over the side of the boat.</p> <p>Everything I need is taken care of thanks to my own personal butler at each property. It’s so fancy it’s almost a bit insane to be living it – but if not for your retirement, when would you?</p> <p><em>Written by Freya Herring. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/the-maldives-the-ultimate-retirement-holiday.aspx"><em>Wyza</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Good news: The number of tigers in India has increased

<p>Indian tiger numbers are up, according to one of the most detailed wildlife surveys ever conducted. Tiger populations have risen by 6%, to roughly 3,000 animals.</p> <p>The <a href="https://projecttiger.nic.in/News/20_Newsdetails.aspx">massive survey</a> may set a new world standard in counting large carnivores. The encouraging results validate India’s impressive investments in tiger conservation.</p> <p><strong>A mammoth effort</strong></p> <p>Large, solitary predators hate being seen. They owe their entire existence to being able to avoid detection by prey and sneak close before attacking.</p> <p>Hence, when we want to count tigers, the tigers don’t help. But accurate population numbers are fundamental to good conservation. Every four years since 2006, the Indian government conducts a <a href="https://projecttiger.nic.in/Index.aspx">national census</a> of tigers and other wildlife.</p> <p>The efforts the project team undertakes to derive the tiger population estimate are nothing short of phenomenal: 44,000 field staff conducted almost 318,000 habitat surveys across 20 tiger-occupied states of India. Some 381,400 km² was checked for tigers and their prey.</p> <p>(There is an application in with the Guinness Book of World Records to see if this is the largest wildlife survey ever conducted anywhere in the world.)</p> <p>The team placed paired camera traps at 26,760 locations across 139 study sites and these collected almost 35 million photos (including 76,523 tiger and 51,337 leopard photos). These camera traps covered 86% of the entire tiger distribution in India. Where it was too dangerous to work in the field (14% of the tigers’ distribution) because of <a href="https://www.news18.com/news/india/myanmar-army-to-continue-crackdown-on-indian-insurgents-2169501.html">political conflict</a>, robust models estimated population numbers.</p> <p><strong>Count the tigers</strong></p> <p>Collecting this volume of data would be an utter waste of time if it were poorly analysed. The teams took advice from some of the world’s foremost experts to sort the photos: pattern matching experts who could identify whether a photo of a tiger taken in the monsoon matched that of a tiger taken in the dry season while walking at a different angle, machine learning experts to speed up species identification, and spatial analysis experts to estimate the populations of tigers and their prey.</p> <p>The research team took this advice and coupled it with their own knowledge of tiger ecology to develop a census that is unique among large carnivore studies.</p> <p>We were fortunate enough to be among the non-Indian scientists invited to review this process. Peer review is a crucial part of any scientific endeavour, and especially important as early Indian tiger surveys were notoriously unreliable.</p> <p><strong>Actual numbers</strong></p> <p>So how did they do? A total of 2,461 individual tigers older than one year of age were photo-captured. The overall tiger population in India was estimated at 2,967 individuals (with an error range of roughly 12%).</p> <p>Out of this, 83.4% were estimated from camera-trap photos, and the rest estimated from robust modelling. Tiger numbers have increased by 6% per year, continuing the rate of increase from the 2014 census. This is a wonderful success for Indian conservation efforts.</p> <p>However not all is rosy. There has been a 20% decline in areas occupied by tigers in 2014 to today, although tigers have moved into some new areas (some 8% of their Indian range is new). The coordinators of the tiger survey – Yadvendradev Jhala and Qamar Qureshi – conclude that while established and secure tiger populations in some parts of India have increased, small, isolated populations and those along corridors between established populations have gone extinct.</p> <p>This highlights the need for conservation efforts to focus on improving connectivity between isolated populations, while incentivising the relocation of people out of core tiger areas, reducing poaching and improving habitat to increase prey resources.</p> <p>This will be no easy task with India’s burgeoning population, but investment from private sector tourist corporations in land acquisition along corridors and the creation of community conservancies could supplement government funding for expanding protected corridors.</p> <p>The success of India’s census has led the governments of Nepal and Bangladesh to employ the same project team to help estimate their own tiger populations. These methods can – and should – be employed for other iconic, charismatic species that can be individually identified, such as jaguars in South and Central America; leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas in Africa, and possibly even quolls in Australia.</p> <p><em>Written by Matt Hayward and Joseph K. Bump. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/some-good-conservation-news-indias-tiger-numbers-are-going-up-121055"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The surprising item the Queen always travels with

<p>When you’re a member of the royal family you can’t just pack light and head out the door.</p> <p>And while others are travelling with crown jewels, beige pumps and plenty of hats, the Queen is forced to take a vial of her own blood, as does Prince Philip and Prince Charles.</p> <p>The blood is for when senior royals fall sick while travelling and is used if a safe supply of blood isn’t available when they require a transfusion.</p> <p>Speaking to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/" target="_blank"><em>Fabulous Digital</em></a>, royal editor Adam Helliker said: “The Queen always travels with a supply of blood which is placed in the responsibility of whichever doctor is on duty and accompanies her on duties and Royal tours.</p> <p>“This means that in a country where speedy access to a reliable blood supply cannot be guaranteed, such as remote parts of Africa, the sovereign and her consort will be able to receive blood transfusions if they were required for a medical emergency.”</p> <p>The blood is taken care of by a personal page.</p> <p>Along with the blood, the Queen also travels with three personal physicians who, before her trip, will research nearby hospitals in case of an emergency.</p> <p>Her blood supply is also “regularly topped up” so she never has to use someone else’s.</p> <p>“She will have kept the supply topped up with regular deposits on the months before a trip abroad,” said Helliker.</p> <p>“So it’s just like someone making voluntary blood donations – the difference being that she will be the only recipient if it’s ever needed – that ‘blue blood’ will never find its way to an ordinary patient.”</p>

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How do penguins stay warm in the freezing cold waters of Antarctica?

<p><strong><em>How can penguins and polar bears stay warm in the freezing cold waters of Antarctica? - Riley, age 8, Clarksville, Tennessee USA.</em></strong></p> <p>Thanks for your question, Riley. The first thing I should probably say is that while a lot of people think polar bears and penguins live together, in fact they live at opposite ends of the Earth. Polar bears live in the northern hemisphere and penguins live in the southern hemisphere.</p> <p>I’m a penguin researcher so I’m going to explain here how penguins can stay warm in Antarctica.</p> <p>There are four species of penguins that live in Antarctica: emperors, gentoos, chinstraps, and Adélies.</p> <p>All these penguins have special adaptations to keep them warm, but emperor penguins might be the most extreme birds in the world. These amazing animals dive up to <a href="https://academic.oup.com/condor/article-abstract/97/2/536/5126161">500 metres</a> below the surface of the ocean to catch their prey, withstanding crushing pressures and water temperatures as low as <a href="https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/index.html">-1.8℃</a>.</p> <p>But their most incredible feat takes place not in the ocean, but on the sea ice above it.</p> <p><strong>Surviving on the ice</strong></p> <p>Emperor penguin chicks must hatch in spring so they can be ready to go to sea during the warmest time of year. For this timing to work, emperors gather in large groups on sea ice to begin their breeding in April, lay their eggs in May, and then the males protect the eggs for four months throughout the harsh Antarctic winter.</p> <p>It’s dark, windy, and cold. Air temperatures regularly fall below -30℃, and occasionally drop to -60℃ during blizzards. These temperatures could easily kill a human in minutes. But emperor penguins endure it, to give their chicks the best start in life.</p> <p><strong>A body “too big” for its head</strong></p> <p>Emperor penguins have four layers of overlapping feathers that provide excellent protection from wind, and thick layers of fat that trap heat inside the body.</p> <p>Have you ever noticed that an emperor penguin’s body looks too big for its head and feet? This is another adaptation to keep them warm.</p> <p>The first place that you feel cold is your hands and feet, because these parts are furthest from your main body and so lose heat easily.</p> <p>This is the same for penguins, so they have evolved a <a href="https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/653666">small beak</a>, small flippers, and small legs and feet, so that less heat can be lost from these areas.</p> <p>They also have specially arranged veins and arteries in these body parts, which helps recycle their body warmth. For example, in their <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1975.tb01398.x">nasal passages</a> (inside their noses), blood vessels are arranged so they can regain most of the heat that would be lost by breathing.</p> <p><strong>Huddle time</strong></p> <p>Male emperor penguins gather close together in big groups called “huddles” to minimise how much of their body surface is exposed to cold air while they are incubating eggs.</p> <p>This can cut heat loss in half and keep penguins’ core temperature at about <a href="https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpregu.00912.2005">37℃</a> even while the air outside the huddle is below -30℃.</p> <p>The biggest huddles ever observed had about 5,000 penguins! Penguins take turns to be on the outer edge of the huddle, protecting those on the inside from the wind.</p> <p>Incredibly, during this four-month period of egg incubation the male penguins don’t eat anything and must rely on their existing fat stores. This long fast would be impossible unless they worked together.</p> <p><strong>Changing habitats</strong></p> <p>Emperor penguins are uniquely adapted to their Antarctic home. As temperatures rise and sea ice disappears, emperors will face new challenges. If it becomes too warm they will get heat-stressed, and if the sea ice vanishes they will have nowhere to breed. Sadly, these incredible animals may <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2280">face extinction</a> in the future. The best thing we can do for emperor penguins is to <a href="https://theconversation.com/2040-hope-and-action-in-the-climate-crisis-117422">take action</a> on climate change now.</p> <p><em>Written by Jane Younger. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-how-can-penguins-stay-warm-in-the-freezing-cold-waters-of-antarctica-116831"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Why is the Sun orange when white stars are the hottest?

<p><strong><em>Why is the Sun orange when white stars are hottest? – Rain, age 6, Toowoomba.</em></strong></p> <p>Hi Rain. Thanks for sending in your excellent question.</p> <p>The reason the Sun shines so bright is that it’s hot. And the colour it glows depends on how hot it is.</p> <p>You are right that a star that glows white is hotter than one that glows orange.</p> <p>And it’s true the Sun often looks orange. But it isn’t really orange. It is white. Well, it’s a bit on the yellow side but it’s mostly white.</p> <p>But even white stars aren’t the hottest.</p> <p><strong>The blue giants that burn bright and briefly</strong></p> <p>The very hottest stars actually glow blue. We call them blue giant stars.</p> <p>These blue giants are around 80 times larger than our Sun – so they are really, really big. They live and die very quickly. They are so hot and so big they burn through their fuel very quickly and last just a few million years.</p> <p>That might sound like a long time but it’s not much compared to how long our Sun will live.</p> <p>When our Sun was a million years old, it was still just a child. It’s about 5 billion years old now and will live to about 10 billion years. So you could say the Sun is now middle-aged. It’s about halfway through its life.</p> <p>So blue giants are hottest, white stars are very hot, but there are also orange stars that burn less hot. There are even red stars, which are a bit cooler again. They are a half or even a quarter the size of our Sun and while they are still burning hot, they are nowhere near as hot as our lovely Sun.</p> <p><strong>So why does the Sun look orange, then?</strong></p> <p>A lot of the pictures we take of the Sun make it look orange because of special filters we use to take the photo. The Sun is putting out so much light that we would not be able to photograph the detail on its surface unless we cut some of the brightness out. That’s what the filters do.</p> <p>At sunrise and sunset, the Sun can look especially orange to our eyes. That’s because, at those times of day, its light has to travel through a lot of the Earth’s atmosphere (the layer of swirling air that surrounds our planet). And all the dust and stuff in the atmosphere makes the light scatter and change so it looks less blue and more orangey-red.</p> <p><strong>Only Bored Astronomers Find Gratification Knowing Mnemonics</strong></p> <p>In the olden days, astronomers used letters to try to sort different types of stars. As we learned more about stars, the order changed, and labels became quite mixed up! Today we still use this naming system to remember the order of stars from hottest to least hot. It goes like this: O, B, A, F, G, K, M. (Some versions have more letters at the end).</p> <p>The O-stars are the blue giants, while our Sun is a “G-class” star. That means it’s not the hottest but it’s not the coolest either.</p> <p>Those letters are hard to remember, so astronomers came up with different tricks to remember it. One memory trick is called a “mnemonic” where you pretend each letter stands for a word. It’s easier to remember a sentence instead of a bunch of letters.</p> <p>One student in my class came up with this mnemonic: “Only Bored Astronomers Find Gratification Knowing Mnemonics” (gratification means something like happiness).</p> <p>Another one I like is: “Orange Butterflies And Frogs Get Knitted Mittens”.</p> <p><em>Written by Belinda Nicholson. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-why-is-the-sun-orange-when-white-stars-are-the-hottest-120216"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Is it true dogs don’t like to travel?

<p><strong><em>Hello. My dad says that dogs don’t like to travel. Is that true? - Ankush, India.</em></strong></p> <p>Hi Ankush. Thanks for the question. The answer depends a bit on the dog and what you mean by travel.</p> <p>Most dogs don’t like to travel, and those that do have usually had to learn to like it.</p> <p>In the wild, being too adventurous could get a dog killed, so dogs may have mostly evolved to be cautious and remain close to what is familiar. That said, dogs may see some kinds of travel as a chance to find things they want – like food or a mate.</p> <p><strong>Home sweet home</strong></p> <p>It’s normal for dogs to value the territory they know well, where they know they can find food, water and shelter easily.</p> <p>It is also home to the thing most precious to them: their social group. That is, the other dogs or humans they know and like. Yes, dogs probably see the humans they live with as their social group.</p> <p>Most dogs have what scientists call a “home range”. That’s the area in which they feel comfortable. At the core of the home range is its den (for example, your dog may see your home and garden as its den). Beyond that core, there’s what we call the periphery – that might be the neighbour’s front yard, the park down the road, and your street.</p> <p>Dogs can recognise their home range by its smell. Have you ever noticed a dog weeing on trees and lamp-posts or scraping his hind-paws against the ground? That’s how dogs mark their territory with their own scent.</p> <p>Many humans love to travel, but for dogs, travelling too far from home comes with risks. Dogs that wander into another’s territory might be outnumbered by other dogs, or overpowered by a stronger individual. Or they may return to their home range only to discover that the social group changed while they were away and they no longer fit in as well as they used to.</p> <p><strong>Travelling with friends</strong></p> <p>When we exercise dogs in unfamiliar areas, they may love the challenge of all those new places and smells to explore. Many dogs are clearly joyful as they explore all this with us, their social groups, but when alone their response may be very different.</p> <p>For domestic dogs, exercise beyond the den (the house and garden) is exciting because it offers so many opportunities: to play, pee and poo in new places, to explore and eat food, to meet and greet new dogs, mark territory and find a mate.</p> <p>So some dogs will take the chance to wander, if they really need to do any of those things.</p> <p><strong>Car travel – a mixed blessing</strong></p> <p>Many puppies and dogs who are not used to cars will get car-sick. But then again, cars can also be a way for dogs to encounter a cascade of odours, see new dogs, or score a stimulating walk in a new territory. Car rides can bring enormous joy to some dogs, once they get used to car travel.</p> <p>For some dogs, hopping into the car is associated with a trip to the park or beach. For others, it reminds them too much of a trip to the vet where they may have had a scary experience, like having an injection.</p> <p>Dogs learn to mistrust the smell of the vet’s waiting room and now some vets use <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168159105002509">calming pheromones in their clinics</a>. Pheromones are special chemicals that can affect mood.</p> <p>So, whether or not dogs like to travel might depend a lot on the individual dogs and their life experience. It may depend on whether travel reminds them of fun-filled trips or fear-filled ones.</p> <p>Despite what some movies ask us to believe, very few dogs ever get the travel bug and want to explore the world. At the end of the day, they’re usually happiest at home.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul McGreevy. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-is-it-true-dogs-dont-like-to-travel-108670"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The medicines to pack for your overseas holiday

<p>When travelling overseas, and in 2016 <a href="http://cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/pdf/annual_report_2016_web_0.pdf">1.2 billion</a> of us did this, we all want a comfortable and pleasurable stay. This involves packing the right clothes for the right conditions and bringing a good book or music playlist. But what medicines should you take?</p> <p>The medicines you need will depend on what your expected needs are and what is available in the country being visited. Common medicines you may need to take include those for sleep, diarrhoea, malaria, pain and anxiety.</p> <p>When deciding what to take, it’s also important to remember that even if a medicine is available at home, its supply may be restricted or even prohibited in the country you are visiting. So, you should check beforehand.</p> <p><strong>Medicines for sleep</strong></p> <p>Sleeping on an aeroplane, while wedged in a tiny chair listening to a crying baby in the distance, can be very difficult for many people. As such, prescription sleeping medicines may be recommended by a doctor for short-term use.</p> <p>Alternatively, over-the-counter sleeping medicines, like the sedating antihistamine <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medical-info/medicine-finder/restavit-tablets">doxylamine</a> are available from a pharmacy. But sedating antihistamines should not be used for <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-medical-association-warns-against-sedating-children-on-long-journeys-20150405-1mesd0.html">children</a> when flying.</p> <p>You should also consider whether you actually need to sleep. If the flight is too long, then being asleep or sedated may prevent you from moving around while flying. Leg movement and stretching is <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/travel.html">recommended</a> when flying to improve blood flow and protect against blood clots.</p> <p><strong>Medicines for diarrhoea</strong></p> <p>Diarrhoea poses the <a href="https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2012/october/parasitic-causes-of-prolonged-diarrhoea-in-travellers/">highest infectious risk</a> for travellers overseas, depending on where you are going. Diarrhoea is associated with <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/travellers-diarrhoea">symptoms</a> of stomach cramps, runny poo and nausea.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medical-info/medicine-finder/buscopan-tablets">Hyoscine</a> is a medicine that may help relieve cramps by relaxing the stomach muscles.</p> <p><a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/otc-medicine-monograph-loperamide-hydrochloride">Loperamide</a> is useful in helping to stop diarrhoea, altogether. This may be particularly important if you’re stuck on a ten-hour flight, or have just set off on that once-in-a-lifetime jungle safari.</p> <p>Otherwise, medical advice often recommends not stopping the diarrhoea. Why? Because this stops your body from flushing out the pathogen that is causing the problem, and keeps the runny poo in, neither of which is a good thing.</p> <p>It’s best to let the diarrhoea pass and remain hydrated, which may include drinking more than just plain water; <a href="https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/rehydration">oral rehydration</a> products may also be needed. These work by replacing all the lost sugars and salts in your body due to diarrhoea. They are available in sachets or effervescent tablets which can be mixed with water, making them easy to carry and use.</p> <p>Sometimes, treatment of diarrhoea will require additional medicines such as antibiotics. Either way you should consult a doctor or pharmacist before using medicines for diarrhoea, especially if it is persistent, if you experience fever, or if you see pus or blood in your wee or poo.</p> <p><strong>Medicines for malaria</strong></p> <p>For particular countries, there are medicines you may need to take before your journey to prevent you from getting sick while on vacation.</p> <p>If you are going to <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/country_table/a.html">certain areas</a> in Africa, India and Central America, for example, you may need to take an antimalarial medicine, such as the antibiotic <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medical-info/medicine-finder/doxylin-tablets">doxycycline</a>. To be effective, these types of drugs need to be taken before, during, and after your travels, so it’s advisable to plan in advance with your doctor when travelling to areas with malaria.</p> <p><strong>Medicines for pain</strong></p> <p>Many of us use <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/otc-medicine-monograph-paracetamol-oral-use">paracetamol</a> and <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/otc-medicine-monograph-ibuprofen-oral-use">ibuprofen</a> for short-term pain relief. Even though they may be available from a pharmacy in some countries, like Australia, they can sometimes be hard to obtain overseas due to language barriers or different rules about how they can be supplied.</p> <p><a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/codeine">Codeine</a> is also often found in pain relief preparations. Some countries have restrictions placed on the supply of codeine. For example, in Australia, codeine-based medicines can only be obtained with a <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medical-info/clinical-topics/over-the-counter-codeine-changes-to-supply">prescription</a></p> <p><strong>Medicines for anxiety</strong></p> <p>Some people experience anxiety when flying. A doctor may recommend prescription medicines like <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medical-info/medicine-finder/valium-tablets">diazepam</a>, along with psychological therapy for those who experience anxiety when flying. A side effect of diazepam is sedation, but this may be welcomed by travellers trying to sleep on a flight.</p> <p><strong>Restrictions on medicines when travelling</strong></p> <p>Some countries require documentation if travelling with certain medicines.</p> <p>For example, in <a href="http://www.hsa.gov.sg/content/hsa/en/Health_Products_Regulation/Consumer_Information/Personal_Import_Regulations/bringing_personal_medication_into_Singapore.html">Singapore</a>, a license is needed for larger quantities or doses of codeine. If travelling to Indonesia with codeine, you may need to apply for a <a href="https://www.kbri-canberra.go.id/menu-customs/taking-prescribed-medicine-to-indonesia#requirements">letter</a> from the embassy or high commission to bring such medicines into the country.</p> <p>Restrictions placed on medicines are not limited to those that require a prescription. In Singapore, nicotine chewing gum that is not <a href="http://www.hsa.gov.sg/pub/faq/faq/faqcategory/bringing-personal-medication-into-singapore.aspx">Singapore-registered</a> is a <a href="http://www.hsa.gov.sg/content/hsa/en/Health_Products_Regulation/Consumer_Information/Personal_Import_Regulations/bringing_personal_medication_into_Singapore.html">prohibited</a> substance.</p> <p><strong>What to remember</strong></p> <p>It’s important to check with your doctor or pharmacist if a medicine is suitable for your needs. Each person is different and not all medicines are safe, especially among children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and the elderly.</p> <p>It is also a good idea to ask your pharmacist about the storage requirements for any medicines you’re taking with you.</p> <p>And remember, regardless of how you purchase the medicine back home, it’s important to check the requirements in your destination. As a general rule, it’s advisable to check with the relevant embassy or high commission and to take your doctor’s prescription or letter, as well as the labelled medicine box with you when travelling.</p> <p><em>Written by Sarira El-Den and Nial Wheate. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/the-medicines-to-pack-for-your-overseas-holiday-90930"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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5 places that have been ruined by tourism

<p>Tourism is both a blessing and a curse. While a healthy amount can boost the economy, too much of it can be harmful to the environment and uproot local populations. Before you book your next trip, consider how your wanderlust is affecting some of the most beautiful places in the world.</p> <p><strong>1. Caño Cristales, Colombia</strong></p> <p>With “the river of five colours,” also known as “the melted rainbow,” waters that are a hallucinogenic concoction of pink, red, green, and blue colours (a result of the unique micro-organisms living in it) and its jaw-dropping waterfalls, Caño Cristales is now overwhelmingly popular.</p> <p>And, it’s only become more so after a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/world/americas/colombia-farc-accord-juan-manuel-santos.html">2016 peace agreement</a> was signed between the government of Colombia and the country’s largest rebel group.</p> <p>The uptick in foot traffic is cause for concern, as it could jeopardise the area’s extremely fragile ecosystem. In 2017, access was restricted to give the river a break.</p> <p>“We decided to implement the restriction because human presence can harm the plants’ reproduction processes,” Faber Ramos, coordinator of the ecotourism program, told the <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-43700833">BBC</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Maya Beach, Thailand</strong></p> <p>The cult classic Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach turned this remote beach in Thailand into a major tourist trap.</p> <p>It’s not hard to see why! The secluded cove features glittering, translucent water, white sands, and limestone cliffs.</p> <p>Then as more and more tourists flocked to the sandy shores, Maya Beach became impossible to enjoy; visitors could hardly walk, never mind lie down.</p> <p>Thailand was forced to close the beach for months in 2018.</p> <p>Though the closure was only supposed to be temporary, it’s now <a href="https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/maya-bay-closure-thailand/index.html">shut down indefinitely</a>.</p> <p><strong>3. Boracay, Philippines</strong></p> <p>The beautiful island of Boracay once was revered for its exclusivity but in recent years mass-market tourism and lack of infrastructure have led to a major downfall.</p> <p>The island underwent a six-month closure to visitors in 2018 to allow authorities to restore it, reports the <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10/26/cesspool-philippine-holiday-island-boracay-reopens-strict-new/">Telegraph</a>.</p> <p>It reopened in October with strict new rules: masseuses, vendors, bonfires, watersports (save for swimming) and the builders of Boracay’s infamous sandcastles are now banned.</p> <p>Also under the new rules, a maximum of 19,200 tourists are allowed on the island at any one time.</p> <p>Many hotels and restaurants have been shut down for not meeting standards, and a mere 160 tourism-related businesses have <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10/26/cesspool-philippine-holiday-island-boracay-reopens-strict-new/">been approved to re-open</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. Machu Picchu, Peru</strong></p> <p>“Machu Picchu is a great attraction, but we are worried about its sustainability,” Sandra Doig, incoming tourism deputy director of PROMPERU, the Commission for the Promotion of Exports and Tourism of Peru told the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/peru-devises-new-rules-to-tackle-the-mounting-crowds-on-machu-picchu/2018/02/02/7ac380d6-061b-11e8-8777-2a059f168dd2_story.html?noredirect=on&amp;utm_term=.becca6347a26">Washington Post</a>.</p> <p>“It is being affected by too many people at the citadel at the same time.”</p> <p>One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the Incan citadel is set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru.</p> <p>Getting there is quite a feat, and yet record numbers of visitors flood the region annually (610,000 from January to July 2018).</p> <p>To combat the masses damaging the site, tourism authorities are attempting to impose strict time slots, advance ticket purchase, and visitor limits.</p> <p><strong>5. Venice, Italy</strong></p> <p>Built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea, the main allure of Venice is its famed canals, while the abundance of delicious food and wine, the culture, and the ornate architecture add to its allure.</p> <p>But over-tourism has chipped away at the city’s vitality.</p> <p>Cruise ships and group bus tours have made infamous sights like St. Marks Square a blur of people and the streets are lined with litter; between the hoards of humans and the rising sea levels, Venice is sinking rapidly and the stonework and carvings on its historic buildings are crumbling.</p> <p>Venetians are finally fighting back, however: Beginning summer of 2019, short stay tourists will be charged <a href="https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/venice-tourist-tax-day-trippers/index.html">up to €10 </a>(about $11.50) to enter the city.</p> <p>Nothing’s worse than that sinking feeling you get when you head off on your adventure and remember you left something important at home.</p> <p><em>Written by Alexa Erickson. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/15-places-have-been-ruined-tourism">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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The scary reason why you should put your phone on airplane mode when flying

<p>Before take-off, flight attendants advise travellers to either turn off their mobile phones or to activate the airplane mode setting.</p> <p>Airplane mode is designed for safety whilst on the flight as well as helping passengers avoid heavy roaming charges.</p> <p>Depending on the mobile device and the plane the passenger is on, the device could automatically connect to the airplane’s antenna and collect roaming fees when not on airplane mode, reports <em>The Sun</em>.</p> <p>This is due to settings on the mobile phone which automatically connect to roaming networks that are available on the plane.</p> <p>A passenger found this out the hard way after revealing to the <em>The Irish Times</em> that he had left his mobile phone on in the overhead compartment without turning it on airplane mode and ended up racking up a fine of AU$409. He received the bill a few weeks later from his provider AT&amp;T.</p> <p>The company said the passenger’s phone connected to the plane’s antenna and used data that was “outside an unlimited international roaming plan,” which resulted in the extra fees.</p> <p>Although this isn’t the case in all circumstances, the airline confirmed the situation, stating that the passenger’s device “may connect to the in-flight roaming network” without connecting to the fee-paying Wi-Fi network.</p> <p>The money is directly billed to the service provider, which is what happened in this case.</p> <p>This is not only possible on airplanes, but also at sea, where extra fees can be accumulated while travelling across the ocean.</p> <p>In 2016 British man Mark Stokes received a $590 bill from UK telco O2 after his phone’s data was roaming while he was aboard a ferry travelling between England and France.</p> <p>Surprisingly, Stokes incurred the extra charges even though he had paid for a “bolt-on” package to be able to use his phone as normal while travelling.</p> <p>According to the BBC, Stokes was a victim of his phone automatically connecting to the ferry’s own mobile network, which works via satellite.</p> <p>The satellite network is not included in the usual mobile networks, meaning that normal phone tariffs aren’t included and therefore, that is how the charges were accumulated.</p> <p>So, keep these tips in mind when travelling, to avoid being caught out with outrageous roaming mobile phone charges while travelling.</p>

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How to cook over a campfire

<p>For fast food, outdoor dining beats takeaway pizza hands down. All you need is dry wood and leaves to feed the flames, a bucket of water to douse them, and permission (check with the local ranger).</p> <p>Once you get the go-ahead, pick a small spot on bare earth or the beach below the tide line, well away from vegetation and tents. Build a lattice or teepee of twigs over kindling in the centre, keeping it small so the fire heats up fast. Ring it with stones, then light it at the base. When the flames have died down but the fire is too hot to hold your hand over, it’s time to get cooking.</p> <p>For the full bushcraft experience, try this simple fish-on-a-stick recipe: push a long stick lengthways through the fish, prop it over the fire using a forked branch for support, and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Easier still, wrap the fish in layers of newspaper, soak the parcel in water and cook it in the ashes. When the paper blackens, the fish should be done.</p> <p>Enjoy – then douse the fire completely and remove the debris.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/camping-caravanning/How-To-Cook-Over-a-Campfire">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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How powerful is your passport?

<p>A passport’s power lies in how many countries it can give you access to, without the need for a visa. Consider it an indication of your global mobility.</p> <p>The Henley Passport Index, which is based on exclusive International Air Transport Authority (IATA) data, looks at 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.</p> <p>It values each passport on whether a visa is required at the travel destination, or if passport holders can get a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit or an electronic travel authority (ETA). The more countries that allow you visa-free entry, the higher your passport’s score.</p> <p>You can view the <a href="https://www.henleypassportindex.com/global-ranking">whole list here</a>.</p> <p>Japan tops the list this year with visa-free access to 189 countries, while Singapore and Germany share second place with 188. Australia and Greece are in sixth place with 183 countries.</p> <p>Malaysia shares ninth place with Hungary and Slovenia with 180 countries, while the Philippines is further down the list in 70th place with visa-free access to 66 countries, together with Tunisia, Azerbaijan and Dominican Republic.</p> <p>Check out the most and least powerful passports</p> <p><strong>The 10 most powerful passports</strong></p> <p>1. Japan (189)</p> <p>2. Germany, Singapore (188)</p> <p>3. Finland, France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Sweden (187)</p> <p>4. Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States (186)</p> <p>5. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland (185)</p> <p>6. Greece, Australia (183)</p> <p>7. Czech Republic, Malta, New Zealand (182)</p> <p>8. Iceland (181)</p> <p>9. Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia (180)</p> <p>10. Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia (179)</p> <p><strong>The 10 least powerful passports</strong></p> <p>91.Kosovo (44)<br />92. Congo, Iran, North Korea (43)<br />93. Ethiopia, Sri Lanka (42)<br />94. Bangladesh, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan (41)<br />95. Nepal (40)<br />96. Eritrea, Palestinian Territory, Sudan (39)<br />97. Yemen (37)<br />98. Pakistan (33)<br />99. Somalia, Syria (32)<br />100. Afghanistan, Iraq (30)</p> <p><em>Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/how-powerful-your-passport"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Who’s a tourist? How a culture of travel is changing everyday life

<p>Every year, on September 27, the global tourism community celebrates <a href="http://wtd.unwto.org/">World Tourism Day</a>. This year’s theme is about community development and how tourism can contribute to empowering people and improve socio-economic conditions in local communities.</p> <p>But who are the people who might visit “communities” and what does it mean – these days – to be a tourist?</p> <p>There are many tourist stereotypes – an overweight Westerner in shorts with a camera dangling around their neck, or maybe a trekking-shoed backpacker hanging out in the Himalayas. Many people think of “tourism” and “holidays” as distinct times of the year when the family travels to the seaside or the mountains.</p> <p>World Tourism Day is an opportunity to discuss how much more encompassing the phenomenon of tourism is than most people might think.</p> <p><strong>What is a tourist?</strong></p> <p>People are more often a “tourist” than they realise. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation broadly defines a tourist as anyone travelling away from home for more than one night and less than one year. So, mobility is at the core of tourism.</p> <p>In Australia, for example, in 2013 <a href="http://www.tra.gov.au/documents/NVS_onepager_Dec2013_FINAL_07032014.pdf">75.8 million</a> people travelled domestically for an overnight trip – spending 283 million visitor nights and $51.5 billion.</p> <p>Reasons for travel are manifold and not restricted to holidays, which makes up only 47% of all domestic trips in Australia. Other reasons include participation in sport events, visiting a friend or relative, or business meetings.</p> <p>Some of the most-visited destinations in the world are not related to leisure but to other purposes. For example, pilgramage tourism to Mecca (Saudi Arabia) triples the population from its normal 2 million <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajj">during the Hajj</a> period every year.</p> <p>Travel, work and leisure: what’s the difference?</p> <p>Tourists are not what they used to be. One of the most pervasive changes in the structure of modern life is the crumbling divide between the spheres of work and life. This is no more obvious than in relation to travel. Let me test the readers of The Conversation: who is checking their work emails while on holiday?</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.gfi.com/blog/survey-worklife-divide-the-gap-has-all-but-disappeared-thanks-to-email-infographic/">recent survey</a> undertaken in the US showed that 44.8% of respondents check their work email at least once a day outside work hours. Further, 29.8% of respondents use their work email for personal purposes.</p> <p>Post-modern thinkers have long pointed to processes where work becomes leisure and leisure cannot be separated from work anymore. Ever-increasing mobility means the tourist and the non-tourist become more and more alike.</p> <p>The classic work-leisure divide becomes particularly fluid for those who frequently engage in travel, for example to attend business meetings or conferences. Conferences are often held at interesting locations, inviting longer stays and recreational activities not only for participants but also for spouses and family.</p> <p>Further, city business hotels increasingly resemble tourist resorts: both have extensive recreational facilities such as swimming pools and spas, multiple restaurants and often shopping opportunities (e.g. <a href="http://www.marinabaysands.com/index.html">Marina Bay Sands, Singapore</a>). And, of course, they offer internet access – to be connected to both work and private “business”.</p> <p>Understanding how people negotiate this liquidity while travelling provides interesting insights into much broader societal changes in terms of how people organise their lives.</p> <p>For some entrepreneurial destinations these trends have provided an opportunity; namely the designation of so-called <a href="http://ro.uow.edu.au/buspapers/137/">dead zones</a> – areas where no mobile phone and no internet access are available. Here the tourist can fully immerse in the real locality of their stay.</p> <p><strong>Fear of missing out</strong></p> <p>The perceived need to connect virtually to “friends” (e.g. on Facebook) and colleagues has attracted substantial psychological research interest, with new terms being coined such as <a href="http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/how-fomo-fear-of-missing-out-is-ruining-my-life/story-fnixwvgh-1226862030711">FOMO (fear of missing out)</a> addiction, or internet addiction disorder.</p> <p>A recent <a href="http://www.tnooz.com/article/facebook-users-cite-travel-most-often-as-their-biggest-life-moments-infographic/">Facebook survey</a> found that this social media outlet owes much of its popularity to travel – 42% of stories shared related to travel. The motivations for engaging in extensive social media use and implications for tourism marketing are an active area of tourism research.</p> <p>Thus, understanding why and what people share while travelling (i.e. away from loved ones, but possibly earning important “social status” points) might provide important insights into wider questions of social networks and identity formation, especially among younger people.</p> <p>Tourism and emigration</p> <p>The increasingly global nature of networks has been discussed in detail by sociologist <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-urry-14141">John Urry</a> and others. They note the growing interconnectedness between tourism and migration, where families are spread over the globe and (cheap) air travel enables social networks to connect regularly.</p> <p>As a result, for many people local communities have given way to global communities, with important implications for people’s “sense of place” and resilience. The global nature of personal networks extends to business relationships where the degree to which one is globally connected determines one’s “network capital”.</p> <p>Urry also noted that mobility has become a differentiation factor between the “haves” and “have nots”, with a small elite of hypermobile “connectors”. Thus travel and tourism sit at the core of a potentially new structure of leaders and influential decision makers.</p> <p><strong>The global ‘share economy’</strong></p> <p>Engaging in this global community of tourists is not restricted to those who travel actively. The so-called <a href="http://www.forbes.com/pictures/eeji45emgkh/airbnb-snapgoods-and-12-more-pioneers-of-the-share-economy/">Share Economy</a>, where people rent out their private homes (e.g. AirBnB), share taxi rides or dinners, has brought tourism right into the living rooms of those who wish to engage with people who they may not meet otherwise.</p> <p>Potentially this parallel “tourism industry” provides a unique opportunity for bringing people together and achieving peace through tourism (see <a href="http://www.iipt.org/">International Institute for Peace through Tourism</a>). A whole new area for research travellers, “guests and hosts” and their economic impacts, is emerging.</p> <p>In a nutshell, tourism is much more than the service industry it is usually recognised for, both in practice and as a field of academic enquiry. Tourism and the evolving nature of travellers provide important insights into societal changes, challenges and opportunities. Engaging with tourism and travel also provides us with an excellent opportunity to better understand trends that might foster or impede sustainable development more broadly.</p> <p><em>Written by Susanne Becken. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/whos-a-tourist-how-a-culture-of-travel-is-changing-everyday-life-30896"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Japanese onsen etiquette

<p>The thought of soaking in a hot spring sounds fantastic, especially after a long day sightseeing or skiing. But before you grab your swimmers and towel and rush off – check these rules on Japanese Onsen etiquette.</p> <p><strong>Yukata on</strong></p> <p>If you are staying at a traditional Japanese Inn, or Ryokan, you should have a yakata in your room. This light cotton kimono should be worn to the onsen, to breakfast and dinner. You can go naked underneath it, or just wear underpants.</p> <p>Make sure you fold the yakata correctly. You need to fold the right side UNDER the left side. Only dead bodies placed in coffins have the yukata folder right over left. Don’t be fooled by the pictures – no one wears the yukata inside the onsen – we’ll get to that soon. If the hotel has a jacket – that can be worn over the top of the yukata for cold days.</p> <p><strong>Grab your towel from your room (and maybe a washcloth)</strong></p> <p>You will need your towel for after your onsen soak. Bring it from your room. Trust us. Otherwise, you may be left trying to dry yourself with a towel the size of a washer. And you will also look silly. If you are going to a public onsen you will also need your own washcloth. Note that the Japanese often carry their own wash clothes to use in public toilets. That’s why you can never seem to find the paper towels – they carry their own.</p> <p><strong>Sexes divide</strong></p> <p>Japanese onsens are strictly gendered. If the hotel has two onsens they will swap the male and female onsens each day to be fair. Children must go with women into the female onsen.</p> <p><strong>When to go</strong></p> <p>We highly recommend going a few times during your stay. You don’t want to miss the best onsen. My Japanese guide tells me you should go before dinner, after dinner and before breakfast. If you drank alcohol at dinner, you should wait at least an hour before going to the onsen. The heat can make you feel faint.</p> <p><strong>Shoes off</strong></p> <p>Before you enter the onsen, you need to remove your shoes. You should take note of how and where the Japanese remove their shoes <a href="https://www.familytravel.com.au/stories/japan-culture-mistakes/?__hstc=224028740.2b4f31e7a1a1fd4ad6142555b1fed403.1559530192640.1560901826457.1560990902411.6&amp;__hssc=224028740.3.1560990902411&amp;__hsfp=4182817123">to avoid making a mistake</a>. If you reach the onsen via indoors, you may need to take off your shoes before you reach the tatami mats.</p> <p>Watch the Japanese guests when they take off their slippers. They back up to the step until their heels touch the edge. They step out of their slippers and up onto the step backwards. Then when it comes to going down, they can effortlessly slip their slippers on and walk away. The picture above shows how NOT to do it. Those shoes should be neatly lined up with the heels pressed against the step.</p> <p>Other times, you will find a bench for slippers at the entrance to the onsen. Look for numbered pegs – sometimes you should clip your slippers together with the peg and then use that number for your clothing basket inside. After you have removed your shoes you will head into the change room. Most onsens will have baskets for your clothes.</p> <p><strong>Strip off and get naked</strong></p> <p>Yes, naked. No swimmers. We know all the onsen pictures make it look like you can cover yourself. That’s just for photos. In real life – you must be naked. Everyone is naked. No one cares. Although if you are travelling with teens and tweens – you are going to have to explain this one.</p> <p><strong>Put your clothes in a basket</strong></p> <p>Find a basket to put your clothes and towel into. Fold them nicely. If you had a numbered peg for your shoes – you should match that number to your basket. If not, pick anyone you want. Leave your towel in the basket. Do not carry it into the onsen. Grab your washcloth – you’re going to need it for the next step.</p> <p><strong>Time to shower</strong></p> <p>Every onsen will have shower taps, soap, shampoo and conditioner. Before you go anywhere near the water, you must cleanse.</p> <p>Sit on the stool and place the bucket on the small step in front of you. Turn the taps on and make sure you wash down every part of your body. Once you’re done, put your washcloth in the bucket. Turn the taps to cold and get the washer nice and soaked with cold water.</p> <p><strong>Put the cold washer on your head</strong></p> <p>Some Japanese ladies like to make it fancy. Others just sit it on top. This cold washer will help you to adjust to the heat of the onsen.</p> <p><strong>Head for the onsen</strong></p> <p>Now, naked and with your washer on your head, you can head for the onsen. If you do feel self-conscious you can wait to put the washer on your head and have it dangle in front to give you a small semblance of privacy. Make sure you check outside doors – sometimes there’s another onsen pool outside, or hidden around the corner.</p> <p><strong>Don’t stay in too long</strong></p> <p>An onsen soak is delightful, but don’t overdo it. You probably want to remain in for about 30 minutes max. You want to take the soak easy. Dip in a little, immerse, then sit back on a step. Get up, out of the water occasionally and change positions or pools. In cold snowy areas, some people like to take the bucket and use it as a water scoop to keep their top half warm.</p> <p><strong>Shower again</strong></p> <p>Once you’ve had enough you need to go back to the showers. Scrub and wash every part of your body before you head back to the change room to dry.</p> <p><strong>Pamper yourself</strong></p> <p>You will often find the change room has hair dryers, body cream and brushes you can use. You can do this naked, in a towel or in your yukata.</p> <p><strong>Time to go</strong></p> <p>Put your wet washer in the collection bin provided. Get dressed into your clothes and head off. Make sure that you put your slippers on correctly as you leave.</p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/japanese-onsen-etiquette/"><em>MyDiscoveries</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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3 travel myths debunked

<p>The world of travel has changed quite a bit over the years, with many tips and tricks people used to rely on to nab bargain deals, now being made redundant. Which is why you should be wary when someone gives advice on how to travel the world for a much more affordable price tag.</p> <p>Here are some top myths debunked</p> <p><strong>Myth 1: Booking directly with the airline gets you the cheapest deal</strong></p> <p>Not true. If you end up doing thorough research, you may find that it’s better to fly from Sydney to Brisbane with Jetstar and return with Tiger Airways. Mixing up your airlines is a great way to ensure you get the best deal, and besides, when you book directly with the airline, you’re unable to compare prices which is why an online comparison tool is a must.</p> <p><strong>Myth 2: Buying a round trip will ensure a better price</strong></p> <p>Not all the time. While this used to be true, most airlines now sell their one-way fares for exactly half the price of a return ticket.</p> <p>There are exceptions though, such as Qantas who offer a more affordable rate on their round-trip fares.</p> <p><strong>Myth 3: If you book on a Tuesday, you’ll get a cheaper price</strong></p> <p>False. Back in the days people used to believe that airlines would announce their best deals on a Monday, which meant Tuesday was the best time to book flights.</p> <p>Now, airlines announce deals at different days and times, so if you want to grab yourself a bargain then sign up to alerts from deal hunting websites.</p>

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