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…

Continue Reading »

The Afternoon I almost Died

On Friday June 2nd, 1977, I almost died in a bomb attack on my school bus. The Number 12 in Jerusalem was blown up minutes before I boarded. It was on a spring Friday in the Northern Hemisphere. I walked along the bus route to the terminus and then to the bus station and caught a much later connecting bus, getting home in the dark. (You just get on with life in this moments) My parents were frantic having heard about the bomb blast on the radio. There were, of course, no telephones and no…

Continue Reading »

Celebrating Cebu

Bohol, Boracay, Cebu and Palawan are some of the most popular places in the Philippines for foreign tourists. We checked out Cebu, on this occasion for a special vacation. Verdict: My Overall Rating: 55% My Ranking out of my top 200 Cities: 184th place Global Ranking: Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) ranked Cebu 26th among 28 APEC cities surveyed in 2015. Why it should be visited: Beaches, Food, Spanish history Negatives: Traffic, Traffic, Traffic and Crime, Crime, Crime Would I return?: No- we had a great time here but I would choose to see other Filipino cities first. Location and Orientation Cebu is…

Continue Reading »

Flat Earth Proven with Spirit Level on a Plane

This was so elaborate I thought it was a parody. A guy took a spirit level onto a plane to prove that the earth is flat. My one question is always: If the earth is flat, how come I can get on a plane in Singapore and travel in the same direction before eventually arriving back in Singapore? A flat earth would preclude that as there would eventually be an end or an edge? Fascinating to live in a world where people think the world is flat and scientists involved in conspiracies to cover this…

Continue Reading »

My First Cebu Pacific Flight

Having tried Philippine Airlines for the first time last week, I was determined to try their fast growing competitor Cebu Pacific. Especially, when I was flying from their own hub. Booking: 2/10 Booking with Cebu Pacific was one of the most mind-blowing frustrating experiences of my life. The website froze seven times in mid-booking over three days! I re-booted my computer multiple times and came back to the website. In frustration, I contacted Cebu Pacific who suggested I did not know what I was doing! Having convinced them that I was a tech savvy frequent…

Continue Reading »

Standing in Solidarity against Evil

Like many, I am dismayed with the bombing in Manchester which killed 22 people- mostly children. I am also saddened by the attack on a convoy of buses in Syria which killed 68 children last month. Let us not forget Yemen and South Sudan where more children die daily. Holding hands and singing KumBy Yah is not going to stop these atrocities but nor is bombing to pieces a whole lot of homes, villages and communities. We know neither of those strategies will work. The globe needs a new way forward. One that does not support the…

Continue Reading »

All about SkyTeam- Comparing airlines and Elite Earning

Of the seven airline alliances, Skyteam is the one  I have had the least to do with. You will usually find me on a OneWorld plane before a SkyTeam flight! Of my 1200+ flights, almost half have been on a One World carrier, a fifth with a Star Alliance airline and fewer than ten percent have been via a Skyteam partner. This is caused by three things: Australia and New Zealand have never had a Skyteam member,  I have had elite status with Qantas /One World and Star Alliance carriers for over a decade My concern/perception that…

Continue Reading »

The World from the International Space Station

One of my dreams would be to fly through space. Not sure it will happen in my lifetime! That would take a lot of frequent flyer points to achieve! I found some really cool videos of Earth taken from the International Space Station. Enjoy! 1. This 4k HD space video shows the planet Earth from space views in various orbital paths of the western hemisphere 2. This video of New Zealand was taken by the crew of Expedition 42 on August 12, 2015 from 06:10:29 to 06:16:34 GMT, on a pass over the New Zealand…

Continue Reading »

My First Philippine Airlines flight

My 1.6 million miles of flying has never before included the Philippines or Philippine Airlines! That changed with this, my 1181st flight. PAL became the 96th airline, I have ever flown. (Not long until my 100th airline). Booking: 7/10 PAL’s system feels a little clunky. After selecting date and routing, the airline presented us with a seemingly confusing array of fare choices! It is really both extremely helpful in choosing the right fare and time and completely overwhelming! They do have a helpful summary explaining what each fare type includes: We chose the cheapest fare possible…

Continue Reading »

All about Star Alliance on their 20th Anniversary

Chances are you have seen The Star Alliance symbol on aeroplanes, airline check-in counters, airport lounges or Boarding Passes. Started by just five airlines 20 years old this week, it is the biggest of the six major airline groupings across the world. – The Six Major Airline Alliances These groupings of airlines share sales office, ground support and lounges, code share flights and jointly market their products. The benefit for us, is that the Alliance allows customers to get similar reciprocal benefits across the airline members. By size the alliances are: Star Alliance has 27 member…

Continue Reading »