100 Free Travel Tips

As a travel geek, I have gained a lot of learnings and experience from 60 countries, three war zones, 1064 flights, multiple long distance train, bus and boat journeys and 21 suitcases!  One of my motivations for blogging is sharing what I have learnt so that travel is easier and safer for others. Here are 100 of my travel tips arranged in ten key categories: Planning Booking Travel Tools Accommodation Money Luggage En Route Attitude Safety and Security At Your Destination Any suggestions or requests welcomed. 1.  Planning Stop Wishing and Do it- Life’s Bucket…

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Madness: Malaysia refuses checked baggage

Imagine arriving at the airport for your European vacation or business trip to find that you airline is NOT accepting checked luggage. Malaysia Airlines passengers on all flights from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to London, Paris and Amsterdam were told  from Tuesday January 5th that Economy Class passengers could only take luggage weighing seven kilograms (about 15 pounds) onboard, while Business and First class passengers could board with carry-on bags that weighed 14 kilograms (about 31 pounds). I understand passengers could book their luggage on but it would arrive separately! The outcry was significant as you can…

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Qantas 747 flies with five engines

In an exciting manoeuvre, last Wednesday, Qantas flight 63 took off from Sydney, Australia to Johannesburg, South Africa with five engines on the 747 instead of the usual four. The extra engine was not used to power the flight. It was merely being transported to Johannesburg to be swapped with a defective engine on a 747 which then operated QF64 back to Sydney. I never knew that the 747 could be used in this way. Its wing, apparently, has anchor points under it, which allow for a supporting strut to be attached.  A winching mechanism added to the strut  lifts the extra engine…

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The airlines that vanished in 2015

  Over 50 carriers failed in 2015. Many of them, frankly won’t be missed. I have flown none of them (and in some cases it seems no one else flew them either!). There were some very long standing airlines that went under and a couple that lasted just a short time including one that had planes in the air for under month. Man dream of being a Richard Branson but for every successful startup there are hundreds of shuttered dreams. To survive, I believe an airline needs to have seven things: A demonstrated diversified real market. “build it…

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Plane goes back in time for NY

As a travel geek, quirks of timing excite me! Hawaiian Airlines 458, for example, left Japan on January 1st 2016 and arrived in Honolulu on December 31st, 2015. The A330 left at ten minutes past midnight right at the start of the New Year. Crossing the date line, the plane touched down at 1125am local time in Honolulu on the last day of their 2015. The plane was scheduled for 1155pm. Passengers were served a brunch as they travelled back in time!    

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Five Charities for a better world

This might sound Pollyanna-esque but as a traveller, I want to see a better world. I travel to learn more about this world and further the lot of myself and others. I support the work of others in creating a better world. As I come to the start of the year, I wanted to share five international charities that travellers should consider supporting as part of our travel adventures. (I also encourage people to support the charitable group I work for but that is a different story!) The Railway Children  First came across them in India. Linked to…

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Happy New Year

Thanks for journeying with me in 2015. I  had a much quieter year for travel with only three flights a month! The lowest since 2003! I flew just six airlines in the whole year- my lowest number for a decade!  Two new airlines were added to my collection last year:  Nok Air and Thai Smile! This brings me to 1064 flights in my life with 90 airlines (see right for my lifetime stats). I have now been to a total of 6o countries-entering/departing 48 by plane, four by bus, two by ship and six by train. I also had one major…

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Airline fined for using ladder for passengers

34 passengers on a charter flight with Aero Contractors arriving at Nigeria’s Bauchi State International Airport from Abuja last Saturday used a builder’s ladder instead of airstairs to exit their chartered Boeing 737-500. (registration 5N-BLG). The video has gone viral. The airline has said that impatient passengers used the ladder, against the company’s wishes, when they found that the stairs were out of order. The paasnegres were on their way to a wedding and the group included the groom himself. The Nigerian government launched an investigation concerned that the passengers were ‘at high risk’ of serious injury. The result…

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Taking Notes en Route

The older I get, the more I realise, I will not remember the name of the random person I met on the airport bus or the book they recommended or the walking tour guide’s name, or the artist whose sculpture I loved. I need to record it in some way on the spot. I used to write it down in my diary or travel journal but in this electronic age, there are my three favourite note programs. These are my top three: Evernote has been stable mate. It allows me to photograph things and imbed them…

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