Travel Tips (Monday)

Category Archives for Travel Tips (Monday).

Priceline ditches Name Your Own Price Hire Cars

I was an early adopter of the Priceline Name Your Own Price (NYOP) for hotels. The deals that i got made me a huge fan for many years. For example, a Five star e suite in downtown San Francisco for $US99,  a Saturday night Chicago stay for $79 on a baseball game night and a beautiful Conrad Singapore four star stay during the Marathon, 500 metres from the start line for at least 66% off any rate I could find! Sure I did not get loyalty points for those stays but the price difference was…

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The 20 Golden P and O Tickets don’t exist- Travel Scam Alert

People are sharing a competition on Facebook which supposedly means you can win A CRUISE for THREE people. Who would not want that? This is what it looks like… The deal is of course fake. The Golden envelopes are from the 2016 Oscars and contained the winner’s information for that year. The picture is a Los Angeles Times describing how the Oscars envelopes are made. When you follow the link and you add your name etc, you are giving your name details to a scammer. If you or your friends have shared it then you…

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A matter of life and death. Travel Hygiene

On the Bangkok Airport Skytrain, entry through the fare gates is via a round plastic token. The same token is swallowed by the fare gates at the other end. They are then emptied out of the fare gates and either stacked back into automatic machines sold by the human operators who collect coins and notes by hand and distribute the tokens with their hands. Over a year, that same token may be handled by up to a thousand people (i used three times a day). The amount of bacteria and germs that probably float along on…

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How not to get scammed.

The world out there is full of decent, fun human beings. I have met heaps of them over the last few decades. Some are my good friends today. Some people out there see you as walking dollar sign. And the more naive and careless you are, the bigger the dollar signs. Our job as travellers is to not be careless or stupid without being paranoid and fearful. There is a balance there. The most common seven scams I have experienced have been:   The place is closed Your taxi driver or “guide”, or ” new…

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23 Tips to enjoy China Travel

Over one billion people call China home. Four of the top ten cities in the world are in China: Chongqing (30m), Shanghai (24m), Beijing and Guangzhou. Possessing some of the world’s oldest continuous history, tasty foods, interesting sites and diverse cities, China has emerged as a very popular destination. Last year, almost 150 million people travelled to China including myself.    Here is what I have learnt about China: You have to get a visa. Make sure you allow time and money to do it. Ensure you have all of your paperwork in order before applying for the…

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Bali’s Mount Agung Volcano Disrupts- What to do if affected.

 The Indonesian disaster management agency has raised the threat level for Mount Agung (around 75km from Bali’s tourist hub of Kuta) to the highest possible level 4, amid fears of a greater eruption. Ash up to half a centimeter thick has settled on villages around the volcano and masks were distributed on the weekend. Rumbling can be heard up to 12km away. Since July 2017, Agung has been discharging volcanic gases after being inactive since 1964.  Its eruption in 1963 killed 1,549 people when Agung spewed ash ten kilometres into the air with lava flowing seven kilometres from the…

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Easy Wifi Worldwide..travelling happily with Skyroam

I first started travelling when a postcard was the main communication with my friends and family.  Now wifi is more important to me than almost anything. My banking, travel plans, communication are all based on having access to the internet. That is not always easy. Ever had any of these scenarios?: The advertised free wi-fi at the hotel turns out to be only on the 9th floor and you can only get a room on the 26th The Airbnb’s free wi-fi has the speed of a sloth and the reliability of the same (no offence…

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Using User Reviews

User-review sites are a staple of my travel diet. I love Tripadvisor, for hotels! Here is the link to my profile.   Yelp is my go to for city services and restaurants. Airbnb, of course, builds in reviews into its system. Skytrax provides reviews from air travellers about their flight experiences.   I have several rules of thumb with reviews: The more reviews the better. For example, an apartment on Airbnb with 3 reviews is usually skipped by me for one with 20+ I take away the number of worst reviews from the number of best reviews.…

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How many holidays are enough? According to Science

How much vacation have you taken so far this year? If you live in Brazil,  Finland, France, Spain and the United Arab Emirate you are (on average) entitled to 30 days paid holidays per year and on average, those days are fully taken.  At the other end of the spectrum, South Koreans only took eight days of their 15 days and Japanese took 10 of their 20. 37% of US workers had not been on a holiday in more than two years. This comes from Expedia’s Vacation Deprivation® study, an annual study of vacation habits amongst 9,424 employed adults aged 18…

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Malaysia Introduces daily Tourist Tax

The Malaysian government has introduced a 10 Malaysian Ringgitt ($US 2.35) per room per night tax for foreign tourists.  This will be added to your room rate and charged to you. On a seven night trip to Malaysia, you would pay $16. Malaysians will be exempt. According to Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz the tax could reap RM654 million (US$147.47 million) if the country has a hotel occupancy rate of 60% in its eleven million “room nights”. The money will be used to develop the country’s tourism industry. If you want to avoid paying?…

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