Preventing a Pickpocket Ruining Your Trip

Pickpockets have been around since the dawn of money. A skilled pickpocketer can have relieved their victim of money, watch, passport, identification and credit cards and have moved on,  before that person has noticed anyone is close to them. Pickpockets have a large variety of ways of operating and are always coming up with new schemes, so it’s almost impossible to totally protect yourself. There are some things that can reduce your risk Assume you may be next. Many people travel thinking they will be exempt from losing stuff but experiments have shown that we…

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Best Airlines in the World (my reactions and comments)

Who is the best airline you have flown? Chances are, it is not US carrier! Each year at the Paris Air Show, Skytrax releases their rankings of airlines including world’s best airlines, best cabin crew, most improved etc. Of this year’s Top 100 airlines, I have flown exactly half of them. How Reliable is Skytrax? Skytrax claims its World Airline Awards to be “the global benchmarks of airline excellence” with almost 20 million travellers from 105 countries voting on 320 airlines between August 2016 and May 2017. Yet each year I question some of their statistics. This…

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#Auschwitz, the most sobering place on the planet

Remembering my visit Auschwitz. Over 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives here. Verdict: My Overall Rating: 100% Global Ranking: Listed Tenth Museum in the world by TripAdvisor. In 1979, the concentration camp was designated as one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.  Why it should be visited: History, Negatives: Crowds Would I return?:  Yes.  I would choose a period that is as “off seasons” as possible. It is a dilemma about the crowds because in reality, every human should come here. In fact, all politicians should come and see this place (and Hiroshima), before taking…

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Yes, Quokka made it as a Qantas aeroplane name!

I love the fact that Qantas names their planes. It is a custom that dates back to the very first small planes that bore the Qantas name back in the 1920s.  For their new 787 Dreamliners, Qantas invited the public to participate. A risky move after the UK got names for polar research ship vessel of Boaty Mcboatface. 60,000 suggestions were sent to Qantas and then 45,000 votes were cast to choose the eight names which are here in alphabetical order: Boomerang- an aboriginal hunting weapon Dreamtime- the Aboriginal understanding of creation Great Barrier Reef Great Southern Land…

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Inside Voices Please

I have just endured two four hour journeys listening to people shout at each other in a confined space. The context was I was travelling on a train in an Asian country where people speak in very low volumes. When they take a mobile phone call, they carefully do all they can to minimise noise. In this space, we were assaulted by people from a different cultural background whose speech volume was in complete disregard to those around them. Oblivious to the glances, glares and smouldering stares, they spoke at this volume for the entire…

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Spectacular, Stunning Stonehenge

Verdict: My Overall Rating: 95% Global Ranking: Listed seventh amongst Historical Landmarks to See Before You Die (I have seen 32 of the top 50) Why it should be visited: History, Spiritual place Negatives: Traffic, Crowds Would I return?: Yes, in a heartbeat. Bear in mind that there are many other stone circles through which have fewer crowds Location and Orientation Stonehenge is probably one of the most famous stone monuments in the world. It sits on a chalky plain north of the Salisbury, England about 88 miles south-west of London.   Archaeologists and historians believe that the site…

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All about Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions

Thank you for the comments and feedback on last weeks’ post on how to prepare for a potential disaster when you are travelling (terror related or natural disaster). One of the things I encouraged you to do was to “Know the contact number(s) for the Embassy, High Commission or Consular office in the city you are visiting“. A few people indicated confusion over what an embassy is and what it can do. Like most people. I rarely encounter embassies, except for where I have friends working for one or I go to a Festival or…

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162nd Blog in Top 1000+ Travel Bloggers

The Top 1000+ Travel bloggers started in April 2014 with 1000 travel bloggers and 700 additional bloggers have since joined the community. The main objective of this success tracking program is to give each blogger a regular personal score that reflects as accurately as possible their success in their activity – in this case, blogging about travel.   The #travel1k score has been designed to measure digital & online influence. The scoring algorithm is not perfect but it is an interesting measure. For a numbers nerd like me, it is fascinating! My ranking is 162nd…

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A 787 called Quokka could continue a long Qantas tradition

Quokkas are a small marsupial, found on some small islands off the coast of Western Australia. Related to the kangaroo and Wallaby, the cat sized Quokka was voted the “world’s happiest animal“. Now this animal’s name may grace the side of a Qantas plane. Earlier this month, Qantas Airways called on Australians to suggest names which reflect “the true spirit of Australia” for its first eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners They got 10,000 entries with 40,000 names! Just  20 names were shortlisted: Boomerang, an aboriginal hunting weapon Cooee: a shout used in Australia, usually in forest areas to…

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What to do to prepare for a potential disaster while travelling

After the terrorist events across the world this past week, I think it is prudent to be prepared for a situation where you experience a natural or human emergency.  (This is coming from someone who has lived in two war zones and travelled through multiple other war areas and disasters!) Check travel warnings for natural disaster warnings, violence, political unrest and wars before you travel. It amazes me that I talk to tourists who arrive in a country oblivious that only weeks before there was a coup or hurricane or earthquake!  Check Your Perception: despite the…

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