Travel

Tag Archives for Travel.

Eighty Times around the World

Jules Verne’s character Phileas Fogg traveled by steamer, train, elephant and horse around the world to demonstrate it was possible to do so. It took eighty days. Today, I completed my 80th navigation of the globe. This is a touch over two million miles (3.2 million kilometres), a feat which has taken me just over half a century of flying. This is what it looks like: I have flown to 62 of the 80 countries, I have visited. The rest I have reached by bus, train, car and in one case foot. Importantly, my travels…

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Air India calls for nationalistic onboard announcements

As the current Indian-Pakistan tension heats up and with an election looming, India’s national airline has told its crew to conclude every in-flight announcement with the patriotic phrase, “Jai Hind” (Hail the motherland). This does not inspire me to fly Air India. I am sorry I don’t want to hear “God bless America”, or “Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi”, or “Rule Britannia or, “Isten, áldd meg a magyart! (“God bless the Hungarians!”) or “Vive la France”, or “Chi Chi Chi!, Le Le Le! Go Chile!” or any other nationalistic sentiment when I fly. It…

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The Phenomenon of Begpackers: Backpackers, do not beg

As I turned the corner toward Ben Thanh Market, the Central Market in Saigon, Vietnam last Friday, I was stunned to see two European backpackers sitting by the side of the road with a sign written on cardboard. One was singing a song while the other was playing a small set of drums. The sign invited people to give them money to finance their further travel. They call these people beg packers and I have now seen them in Auckland, New Zealand; Berlin, Germany; Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia; Bangkok, Thailand; Pnom Penh and Siam Reap…

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My 2019 Travel Plans -What are yours?

What are your travel plans for 2019? At this stage I plan to visit  15 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Pacific. . I plan to visit two new countries this year- probably the two will be in Eastern Europe. In Asia, I have plans to go to Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.There will be at least two diversions to Europe, one of which will involve Christmas markets! The Pacific will see me travel around Australia and New Zealand and across to the Americas. I have now flown 105 airlines. I…

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Air Malta, CityJet, LEVEL, Qantas , Wizz CEO and WOW win 2018 Excellence Awards

The CAPA – Centre for Aviation was launched in 1990, to build aviation knowledge. I find them a great go to site for good deep air research. Since 2003, their annual Awards for Excellence  have been intended to showcase success and industry leadership. Their 2018 winners were announced this week in Berlin at the 2018 CAPA World Aviation Outlook Summit. I wish I had been there for the buzz, the award announcements and the wonderful city that is Berlin. Being in two places is hard to do! And the winners this year were: Airline of…

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4,000 hours of flying: 71 times around the earth

Stepping off my Malaysia airlines flight yesterday at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, I discovered that I have hit a milestone. I have flown  just over 4,000 hours in my life. According to Flightmemory, this is five and a half months I have sat inside tubes of metal. To be extra nerdy, I have flown the equivalent of 71 times around the earth or seven times the distance to the moon. Coincidentally, in the next month, I will celebrate a half century of flying. My first flight was, as a very young child from Kirkwall, Orkney…

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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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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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Laughing through the new British Airways Safety Video -for a good cause

Just watched the new British Airways safety video which will be rolled out onto their aircraft on September 1st, 2017. This safety video was produced in collaboration with Comic Relief, who are a major charity based in the UK, with a vision of a just world, free from poverty. Ten British celebrities are depicted auditioning for a coveted part in the new BA safety video in front of comedian Asim Chaudhry character Chabuddy G. There are eight sketches advertising the safety features and procedures on the aircraft. It starts with Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was nominated for…

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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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