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Why do dogs have different coats? Experts explain – and give grooming tips for different types

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-hazel-402495">Susan Hazel</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mia-cobb-15211">Mia Cobb</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Dog hair comes in many varieties, from shaggy to short, curly to straight. If you live with a dog, you live with their hair – on your couch, in your clothes, it’s everywhere!</p> <p>Beyond colour, have you ever wondered what’s behind the differences in coat type?</p> <p>We actually know quite a lot about why dogs have different coats, and it comes down to their genes.</p> <h2>What are the main coat types in dogs?</h2> <p>The three main features of dog coats are how long the hairs are, whether they are curly or straight, and whether they have extra flourishes. The flourishes are called “furnishings”, and can include a hairy moustache and shaggy eyebrows.</p> <p>Combinations of these three features result in seven different coat types in dogs: short, wire, wire and curly, long, long with furnishings, curly, and curly with furnishings.</p> <p>We know from a <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.1177808">study of more than 1,000 dogs with varying coats</a> that differences in only three genes are responsible for this variety.</p> <p>The gene responsible for long hair (called FGF5) is <a href="https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/patterns">recessive</a>, meaning dogs must have two copies of the mutated gene to have long hair. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1402862111">In humans</a>, the same gene has been identified in families with excessively long eyelashes.</p> <p>Curly coats in dogs are related to a gene called <a href="https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/tests/details/173/">KRT71</a>, which affects keratin, a protein involved in hair formation. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2974189/">Mutations in this gene</a> in cats result in hairless (Sphynx) or curly-haired (Devon Rex) breeds.</p> <p>The gene responsible for furnishings (<a href="https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/gene/rspo2/">RSPO2</a>) is involved in establishing hair follicles. <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/hair-follicle">Hair follicles</a> are small pockets in the skin that grow hair.</p> <p>Variations in these three genes could explain the coat type in most (but not all!) of the dogs tested. For example, the long coat of the Afghan hound is not explained by these three genes. Further study is needed to identify less common mutations and genes controlling the coat in these dogs.</p> <p>The earliest dog breeds would have been short-haired, as a result of the “wild-type” genes. Later changes would have arisen through mutation and deliberate selection <a href="https://theconversation.com/managing-mutations-of-a-species-the-evolution-of-dog-breeding-96635">through modern breeding practices</a>.</p> <p>If all three mutations are present, the dog has a long, curly coat with furnishings. An example is the Bichon Frisé.</p> <h2>What else varies in dog coats?</h2> <p>Dog coat types can also be single or double. In a double-coated breed such as a Labrador, there is a longer coarse layer of hairs and a softer and shorter undercoat. Wolves and ancestral dogs are single-coated, and the double coat is a result of a <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/10/5/323">mutation in chromosome 28</a>.</p> <p>In the Labrador, the mutation was probably selected for as they were bred to <a href="https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2023/exec/0525n07/">retrieve fishing nets in Canada</a>. The double coat is a great insulator and helps them to stay warm, even in icy water.</p> <h2>Why does it matter what kind of coat a dog has?</h2> <p>We know with climate change our world is going to get hotter. Dogs with a double coat are less able to tolerate heat stress, as their hair prevents heat loss.</p> <p>In a study of dogs <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/avj.13296">suffering heat-related illness</a>, most of the 15 breeds at higher risk had double coats. The death rate in these dogs was 23%. We can only imagine how it must feel going out on a 40 degree day wearing a thick fur coat.</p> <p>Dogs with a double coat shed more hair than dogs with a single coat. This means even short-haired breeds, like the Labrador retriever, can shed an astonishing amount of hair. If you can’t tolerate dog hair, then a dog with a double-coat may not suit you.</p> <p>When we think of wool we think of sheep, but in the past <a href="https://www.si.edu/stories/woolly-dog-mystery-unlocked">woolly dogs were kept for their wool</a> that was <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adi6549">woven by Indigenous groups</a> and used to make blankets.</p> <p>A dog’s coat also affects how much time and effort is needed for grooming. Dogs with long or curly hair with furnishings are likely to need more time invested in their care, or visits to a professional groomer.</p> <p>Designer dogs (cross-bred dogs often crossed with a poodle, such as groodles), are likely to be curly with furnishings. In a US study, people with designer dogs reported meeting their dogs’ maintenance and grooming requirements was <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/12/23/3247">much harder than they expected</a>.</p> <p>It’s not just bank balances and the time needed that can suffer. If people are unable to cope with the demands of grooming long-haired dogs, lack of grooming can cause welfare problems. A study of animal cruelty cases in New York found <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2022.827348/full">13% involved hair matting</a>, with some hair mats causing strangulation wounds and 93% of affected dogs having long hair.</p> <h2>How can you prevent problems?</h2> <p>If you have a curly- or long-haired breed of dog, it will help to train them to like being brushed from an early age. You can do this by counter-conditioning so they have a positive emotional response to being groomed, rather than feeling anxious. First show the brush or lightly brush them, then give them a treat. They learn to associate being brushed with something positive.</p> <p>If you take your dog to the groomer, it’s very important their first experience is positive. A scary or painful incident will make it much more difficult for future grooming.</p> <p>Is your dog difficult to groom or hard to get out of the car at the groomers? It’s likely grooming is scary for them. Consulting a dog trainer or animal behaviourist who focuses on positive training methods can help a lot.</p> <p>Keeping your dog well groomed, no matter their hair type, will keep them comfortable. More important than looking great, feeling good is an essential part of dogs living their best lives with us.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232480/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-hazel-402495">Susan Hazel</a>, Associate Professor, School of Animal and Veterinary Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mia-cobb-15211">Mia Cobb</a>, Research Fellow, Animal Welfare Science Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-dogs-have-different-coats-experts-explain-and-give-grooming-tips-for-different-types-232480">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Family & Pets

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Savvy mum shares her unique packing hacks

<p dir="ltr">A savvy mother and experienced traveller has shared her ultimate hacks for packing your suitcase when heading on your next holiday. </p> <p dir="ltr">Melbourne mum Chantel Ibbotson, who goes by the name Mama Mila online, shared the helpful hacks with her 2.8 million followers, with many people praising her ingenuity.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her go-to tips ranged from keeping your luggage smelling fresh, utilising your space, and how to prevent breakages. </p> <p dir="ltr">One tip Chantel shared, that has been labelled a “game changer”, involves placing necklaces through a straw to prevent them from tangling. </p> <p dir="ltr">One follower commented on the video saying, “I used your straw tip for necklaces last time I travelled and it was awesome.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C81L4KYSeAA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C81L4KYSeAA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Chantel Mila Ibbotson (@mama_mila_au)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The mum-of-two also showed her followers how a simple button can be used to keep pairs of earrings together by fastening each earring through one hole in the button.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chantel also recommended hanging packing cubes that can be purchased online as a great solution for “making packing and unpacking so quick and easy”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The influencer also suggested spraying perfume on cotton pads to keep your suitcase smelling fresh, as well as placing cotton pads in makeup compacts to prevent breakage.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another tip was to pack a separate bag, whether it's a plastic bag or a dust bag, to hold your dirty laundry. </p> <p dir="ltr">This tip allows travellers to easily find clean clothes while also keeping dirty, smellier clothes separate in their own bag.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video racked up thousands of views, with many saying they will try out the unique tips next time they travel. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Travel Tips

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Heading to Bali or somewhere tropical these holidays? Here’s what you need to know about dengue fever

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cameron-webb-6736">Cameron Webb</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>If you’re looking to escape the Australian winter for your next holiday, don’t forget where there’s warmth, there will also be mosquitoes.</p> <p>In turn, tropical destinations can be hot spots of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. In fact, Australian health authorities have warned travellers to Bali <a href="https://www.health.wa.gov.au/Media-releases/2024/May/Dengue-fever-warning-for-Western-Australian-travellers">to be aware</a> of the risk of dengue, with cases surging in the region.</p> <p>So here’s how to protect yourself and your family on holidays.</p> <h2>What is dengue?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue">Dengue virus infection</a> (commonly known as dengue fever, or just dengue) is caused by viruses spread by the bite of a mosquito. The mosquito species that typically transmit dengue are <em>Aedes aegypti</em> and <em>Aedes albopictus</em>.</p> <p>There are four strains of dengue virus. Each has the potential to cause illness that can range from <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/signs-symptoms/index.html">mild to severe and potentially life threatening</a>.</p> <p>Symptoms <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/dengue.aspx">typically include</a> rash, fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue. People also often report abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.</p> <p>While infection with just one of these viruses can make you sick, subsequent exposure to other strains can have more <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-are-antibodies-and-why-are-viruses-like-dengue-worse-the-second-time-68227">serious health implications</a>. In these cases, symptoms can also include the presence of blood in vomit, bleeding gums and breathing difficulties.</p> <p>Dengue infection must be confirmed via a blood test, but there are <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dengue-fever">no specific treatments</a>. Most people will recover on their own however <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/treatment/index.html">staying hydrated is crucial</a> and pain relief can help with symptoms. If more severe illness occurs, seek urgent medical care.</p> <h2>Are travellers at risk?</h2> <p>The disease is now endemic in around 100 countries and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/areas-with-risk/index.html">an estimated 4 billion people</a> are considered at risk. Asian countries represent <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue">around 70%</a> of the global disease burden. Even <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-the-paris-olympics-could-become-a-super-spreader-event-for-dengue-231853">Europe is at risk</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-outbreak-news/item/2023-DON498">One of the worst years</a> on record was 2023, but the burden of dengue continues to grow. In the first four months of 2024, Indonesia reported <a href="https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-outbreak-news/item/2024-DON518">three times as many cases</a> of dengue compared to the same period in 2023.</p> <p>Dengue is not a new risk to Australian travellers. Before COVID disrupted international travel, the number of Australians returning from tropical destinations with dengue <a href="https://europepmc.org/article/med/23692160">was steadily increasing</a>.</p> <p>For example, between 2010 and 2016, there was an average <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2414-6366/3/1/9">annual increase of 22%</a> of travellers returning to Victoria with dengue. Almost half of these people contracted the illness in Indonesia. Bali is well documented as posing <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article/25/1/tay061/5065180?login=false">a risk of dengue</a> to travellers.</p> <p>International travel restrictions due to COVID <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article/31/2/taae014/7577676">abruptly stopped this trend</a>. But now Australians are again embracing international travel, <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13303747/Worrying-reason-Aussie-travellers-Bali-coming-sick.html">cases are rising once more</a>.</p> <p>Bali isn’t the only destination with <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2024/06/30/dengue-puerto-rico-mosquito-climate-change/">a surge in dengue</a>, but we know it’s a popular holiday destination for Australian travellers. There’s little doubt plenty of families will be heading to Bali these school holidays.</p> <h2>How about the risk in Australia?</h2> <p>Not all mosquitoes can spread dengue viruses. This is why the risk is different in Bali and other tropical regions compared to Australia.</p> <p>Although there are more than 40 Australian mosquito species known or suspected to be transmitting local pathogens, such as <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1005070">Ross River virus</a>, Australia is generally free of local dengue risk due to the limited spread of <em>Aedes aegypti</em> and <em>Aedes albopictus</em>.</p> <p>While <em>Aedes aegypti</em> is found in <a href="https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/diseases/mosquito-borne/dengue/virus-fever">parts of Queensland</a>, thanks to interventions by the <a href="https://www.worldmosquitoprogram.org/en/global-progress/australia/cairns-and-surrounds">World Mosquito Program</a> and local authorities dengue risk is low. These interventions include the release of laboratory-bred mosquitoes that prevent mosquitoes in the environment <a href="https://www.worldmosquitoprogram.org/en/work/wolbachia-method">spreading viruses</a>, as well as <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115309096">community education</a>. But <a href="https://theconversation.com/after-decades-away-dengue-returns-to-central-queensland-117821">local cases</a> occasionally occur.</p> <p><em>Aedes albopictus</em> is not currently found <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-we-kept-disease-spreading-asian-tiger-mozzies-away-from-the-australian-mainland-72873">on the Australian mainland</a> but is present in the islands of the Torres Strait. A dengue outbreak <a href="https://www.torres-cape.health.qld.gov.au/about-us/news/further-cases-of-dengue-fever-on-mer">has occurred</a> there this year.</p> <h2>Keep mozzies away during the day, not just at night</h2> <p>While there is a vaccine available, it’s not recommended for <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.5694/mja2.50471">short-term travellers</a>. There are <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/atagi-advice-on-the-use-of-dengvaxiar-for-australians">strict eligibility criteria</a> for its use, so speak to a health professional for advice.</p> <p>For the majority of travellers, preventing mosquito bites is the only way to prevent disease.</p> <p>But there are differences in the behaviour of dengue mosquitoes that mean the normal measures to avoid mosquito bites may not be as effective.</p> <p>During the Australian summer, mosquitoes found in local wetlands can be <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-worst-year-for-mosquitoes-ever-heres-how-we-find-out-68433">incredibly abundant</a>. We tend to need to reach for the repellent and cover up to stop bites as soon as the sun starts going down.</p> <p><em>Aedes aegypti</em> and <em>Aedes albopictus</em> <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0010818">can aggressively bite people</a> but they’re not as abundant as the swarms of summer mosquitoes back home.</p> <p>They also bite during the day, not just at night. So for those travelling to Bali or other areas at risk of dengue, putting insect repellent on <a href="https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/global-dengue-fever-outbreaks">throughout the day</a> is recommended.</p> <h2>What to pack for protection</h2> <p>If you’re staying in a major resort, there’s likely to be a mosquito control program in place. This may include minimising available water for mosquito breeding in combination with insecticide use. Mosquitoes are also less likely to be an issue in air-conditioned accommodation.</p> <p>But if you’re planning to spend time out and about visiting local villages, markets, or in nature, it’s best to protect against bites.</p> <p>Light coloured and <a href="https://www.health.wa.gov.au/Media-releases/2024/May/Dengue-fever-warning-for-Western-Australian-travellers">loose fitting clothing</a> will help stop mosquito bites (and help keep you cool). Covered shoes can help too – dengue mosquitoes <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/02/22/465594861/why-zika-spreading-mosquitoes-love-ankles">love smelly feet</a>.</p> <p>Finally, it’s best to take some insect repellent with you. There may not be any available at your destination, and formulations on sale might not have been through the same thorough testing as products <a href="https://www.apvma.gov.au/">approved in Australia</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233670/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cameron-webb-6736"><em>Cameron Webb</em></a><em>, Clinical Associate Professor and Principal Hospital Scientist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/heading-to-bali-or-somewhere-tropical-these-holidays-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-dengue-fever-233670">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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We know what to eat to stay healthy. So why is it so hard to make the right choices?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nina-van-dyke-822557">Nina Van Dyke</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/victoria-university-1175">Victoria University</a></em></p> <p>A healthy diet <a href="https://www.who.int/initiatives/behealthy/healthy-diet">protects us</a> against a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.</p> <p>From early childhood, we receive an abundance of <a href="https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/healthy-diet/healthy-diet-fact-sheet-394.pdf?sfvrsn=69f1f9a1_2&download=true">information</a> about how we <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating">should eat</a> to be healthy and reduce our risk of disease. And most people have a <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/1479-5868-11-63.pdf">broad understanding</a> of what healthy eating looks like.</p> <p>But this knowledge <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001209216310584?casa_token=6CZgCmT1RMgAAAAA:sSRsj2o6swVfvoBxMIVrMTxqdczSAiFwfTCYzYQ8U3z4ey_WLQ6knpmk8WRH77zugAS3wEAQrA">doesn’t always result</a> in healthier eating.</p> <p>In our new research, we set out to <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/s12889-024-18432-x.pdf">learn more</a> about why people eat the way they do – and what prevents them from eating better. Lack of time was a major <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/obr.12472?casa_token=1D1mi-l0TR0AAAAA:dgebTQx-wgw7jbREfdawxZ5AZSDRztvrt8t1tuKyDy1x2mmXlyLDY8z9NbUf0v4hnh80HY_RbAk08Q">barrier</a> to cooking and eating healthier foods.</p> <h2>How do you decide what to eat?</h2> <p>We spoke with <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/s12889-024-18432-x.pdf">17 adults</a> in a regional centre of Victoria. We chose a regional location because less research <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/s40900-020-0179-6.pdf">has been done</a> with people living outside of metropolitan areas and because rates of obesity and other diet-related health issues are <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-and-remote-health">higher</a> in such areas in Australia.</p> <p>Participants included a mix of people, including some who said they were over their “most healthy weight” and some who had previously dieted to lose weight. But all participants were either:</p> <ul> <li>young women aged 18–24 with no children</li> <li>women aged 35–45 with primary school aged children</li> <li>men aged 35–50 living with a partner and with pre- or primary-school aged children.</li> </ul> <p>We selected these groups to target <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022318212803669">ages and life-stages</a> in which shifts in eating behaviours may occur. Previous research has found younger women <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1470-6431.2007.00642.x?casa_token=33QKWwhc2ogAAAAA:ZvJ6wfXiRC_6eoqvoxD121JOSKSPmIRHcrdiGl2uHzkq5pY6VVPL6WI2DhmxQ2q9i6bBGvLiFl8afQ">tend to</a> be particularly concerned about appearance rather than healthy eating, while women with children often shift their focus to providing for their family. Men <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/obr.12472?casa_token=KakMB6hAOQ0AAAAA:fLnpoxZQiiJIdEkg_TOcCq8hBwZef1iZETZKTiG5W6zW2x_PYzK0oLeOg5F9arKThq9RzMWEi4x4Xw">tend to be less interested</a> in what they eat.</p> <p>We asked participants about how they decided what food to eat, when, and how much, and what prevented them from making healthier choices.</p> <h2>It’s not just about taste and healthiness</h2> <p>We found that, although such decisions were determined in part by taste preferences and health considerations, they were heavily influenced by a host of other factors, many of which are outside the person’s control. These included other household members’ food preferences, family activities, workplace and time constraints, convenience and price.</p> <p><a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2767106">Healthy eating</a> means consuming a balanced diet rich in nutrients, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, while limiting processed foods, added sugars and excessive salt. Healthy eating also includes how we eat and <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244292">how we think about</a> food and eating, such as having a positive relationship with food.</p> <p>One 35- to 45-year-old woman, for example, said that time constraints and family preferences made it difficult to prepare healthier food:</p> <blockquote> <p>I love the chance when I can actually get a recipe and get all of the ingredients and make it properly, but that doesn’t happen very often. It’s usually what’s there and what’s quick. And what everyone will eat.</p> </blockquote> <p>One of the 35- to 50-year-old men also noted the extent to which family activities and children’s food preferences dictated meal choices:</p> <blockquote> <p>Well, we have our set days where, like Wednesday nights, we have to have mackie cheese and nuggets, because that’s what the boys want after their swimming lesson.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/joss.12649?casa_token=gsnU9O_G2GQAAAAA:mV2vtHlnEd0jqBGJPFkfml_ecLIDqwSlH5xksSwt4eQb_FP_UShyAKm9sLNnKy6Mkf2q9aKAlDEixA">Research shows</a> that children are often more receptive to new foods than their parents think. However, introducing new dishes takes additional time and planning.</p> <p>An 18- to 24-year-old woman discussed the role of time constraints, her partner’s activities, and price in influencing what and when she eats:</p> <blockquote> <p>My partner plays pool on a Monday and Wednesday night, so we always have tea a lot earlier then and cook the simple things that don’t take as long, so he can have dinner before he goes rather than buying pub meals which cost more money.</p> </blockquote> <p>Despite popular perceptions, healthy diets are not more expensive than unhealthy diets. A <a href="https://preventioncentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/1702_FB_LEE_4p_final_lr.pdf">study</a> comparing current (unhealthy) diets with what the <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/the-australian-dietary-guidelines">Australian Dietary Guidelines</a> recommend people should eat found that the healthy diet was 12–15% cheaper than unhealthy diets for a family of two adults and two children.</p> <p>However, learning and planning to prepare new types of meals <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/3/877">takes effort and time</a>.</p> <p>Simply educating people about what they should eat won’t necessarily result in healthier eating. People want to eat healthier, or at least know they should eat healthier, but other things <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00394-017-1458-3.pdf">get in the way</a>.</p> <p>A key to improving people’s eating behaviours is to make it easy to eat more healthily.</p> <p>Policy changes to make healthy eating easier could include subsidising healthier foods such as fresh produce, providing incentives for retailers to offer healthy options, and ensuring access to nutritious meals in schools and workplaces.</p> <h2>So how can you make healthier food choices easier?</h2> <p>Here are five tips for making healthy choices easier in your household:</p> <ol> <li> <p>If certain days of the week are particularly busy, with little time to prepare fresh food, plan to cook in bulk on days when you have more time. Store the extra food in the fridge or freezer for quick preparation.</p> </li> <li> <p>If you’re often pressed for time during the day and just grab whatever food is handy, have healthy snacks readily available and accessible. This could mean a fruit bowl in the middle of the kitchen counter, or wholegrain crackers and unsalted nuts within easy reach.</p> </li> <li> <p>Discuss food preferences with your family and come up with some healthy meals everyone likes. For younger children, <a href="https://healthykids.nsw.gov.au/downloads/file/campaignsprograms/NewFoodsFussyEaters.pdf">try serving</a> only a small amount of the new food, and serve new foods alongside foods they already like eating and are familiar with.</p> </li> <li> <p>If you rely a lot on take-away meals or meal delivery services, try making a list ahead of time of restaurants and meals you like that are also healthier. You might consider choosing lean meat, chicken, or fish that has been grilled, baked or poached (rather than fried), and looking for meals with plenty of vegetables or salad.</p> </li> <li> <p>Remember, fruit and vegetables taste better and are often cheaper when they are in season. Frozen or canned vegetables are a <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/the-cost-of-fresh-fruit-and-veggies-is-rising-is-canned-or-frozen-produce-just-as-healthy/tzuhnfrnr">healthy and quick alternative</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231489/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> </li> </ol> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nina-van-dyke-822557">Nina Van Dyke</a>, Associate Professor and Associate Director, Mitchell Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/victoria-university-1175">Victoria University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-know-what-to-eat-to-stay-healthy-so-why-is-it-so-hard-to-make-the-right-choices-231489">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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The surprising reason commercial planes are painted white

<p dir="ltr">Up until the middle of the last century, airplanes would fly through the sky unpainted as shiny silver tubes. </p> <p dir="ltr">But now, we are so used to seeing plane bodies being painted white, with the exception of the airline’s logo and a splash of colour on the plane’s tail. </p> <p dir="ltr">But this drastic look isn’t just about style and uniformity, as there is a simple reason why plane bodies are left plain. </p> <p dir="ltr">First of all, white paint jobs will show wear and tear a lot quicker on huge commercial planes and while this might not be ideal for a car or house, it's perfect for planes.</p> <p dir="ltr">From takeoff to landing, a plane goes through a lot. While the aircrafts are always deemed safe for flying, it'll likely suffer minor cosmetic damages as it hurtles through the sky at 900 kilometres per hour.</p> <p dir="ltr">Due to the frequent minor chips and scratches a plane has inflicted, using the white paint helps engineers and maintenance teams to spot any of these issues with ease. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another reason that white is uniform in the skies is because white paint is going to fade at a much slower rate than a darker shade. </p> <p dir="ltr">As planes fly above the clouds, they're exposed to a lot of UV rays which speeds up the process of the paint fading.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lastly, it's been found that birds can spot planes against the sky easier when they're painted all-white, as sometimes in rare occasions, birds can pose a safety risk.</p> <p dir="ltr">It wasn’t until 50 years ago that airlines started painting their planes, with Air France being credited for starting the movement in the 1970s. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Since Air France introduced the first 'Euro-white' livery in 1976, the all-white fuselage look has become increasingly standard for the world's airlines," aviation historian Shea Oakley told Travel + Leisure. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Travel Tips

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‘Sleep tourism’ promises the trip of your dreams. Beyond the hype plus 5 tips for a holiday at home

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Imagine arriving at your hotel after a long flight and being greeted by your own personal sleep butler. They present you with a pillow menu and invite you to a sleep meditation session later that day.</p> <p>You unpack in a room kitted with an AI-powered smart bed, blackout shades, blue light-blocking glasses and weighted blankets.</p> <p>Holidays are traditionally for activities or sightseeing – eating Parisian pastry under the Eiffel tower, ice skating at New York City’s Rockefeller Centre, lying by the pool in Bali or sipping limoncello in Sicily. But “<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/inspiration/pillow-menus-and-sleep-gummies-the-new-hotel-trend-that-s-putting-guests-to-sleep-20230823-p5dyu5.html">sleep tourism</a>” offers vacations for the sole purpose of getting good sleep.</p> <p>The emerging trend extends out of the global wellness tourism industry – reportedly worth more than <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogersands/2023/11/17/the-global-wellness-tourism-sector-surpasses-814-billion-market-share/">US$800 billion globally</a> (A$1.2 trillion) and <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1018497/global-market-size-of-the-wellness-tourism-industry/">expected to boom</a>.</p> <p>Luxurious sleep retreats and sleep suites at hotels are popping up <a href="https://www.countryandtownhouse.com/style/health-and-beauty/sleep-retreats/">all over the world</a> for tourists to get some much-needed rest, relaxation and recovery. But do you really need to leave home for some shuteye?</p> <h2>Not getting enough</h2> <p>The rise of sleep tourism may be a sign of just how chronically sleep deprived we all are.</p> <p>In Australia more than one-third of adults are not achieving the recommended <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352721816301292?via%3Dihub">7–9 hours</a> of sleep per night, and the estimated cost of this inadequate sleep is <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/41/8/zsy083/5025924">A$45 billion</a> each year.</p> <p>Inadequate sleep is linked to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.2147/NSS.S134864">long-term health problems</a> including poor mental health, heart disease, metabolic disease and deaths from any cause.</p> <h2>Can a fancy hotel give you a better sleep?</h2> <p>Many of the sleep services available in the sleep tourism industry aim to optimise the bedroom for sleep. This is a core component of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4400203/?ref=askdoctorjad.com">sleep hygiene</a> – a series of healthy sleep practices that facilitate good sleep including sleeping in a comfortable bedroom with a good mattress and pillow, sleeping in a quiet environment and relaxing before bed.</p> <p>The more people follow sleep hygiene practices, the better their <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08964280209596396">sleep quality and quantity</a>.</p> <p>When we are staying in a hotel we are also likely away from any stressors we encounter in everyday life (such as work pressure or caring responsibilities). And we’re away from potential nighttime disruptions to sleep we might experience at home (the construction work next door, restless pets, unsettled children). So regardless of the sleep features hotels offer, it is likely we will experience improved sleep when we are away.</p> <h2>What the science says about catching up on sleep</h2> <p>In the short-term, <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-it-possible-to-catch-up-on-sleep-we-asked-five-experts-98699#:%7E:text=We%20can%20catch%20up%20on,and%20we%20cannot%20resist%20sleep.">we can catch up on sleep</a>. This can happen, for example, after a short night of sleep when our brain accumulates “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07420528.2012.675256">sleep pressure</a>”. This term describes how strong the biological drive for sleep is. More sleep pressure makes it easier to sleep the next night and to sleep for longer.</p> <p>But while a longer sleep the next night can relieve the sleep pressure, it does not reverse the <a href="https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/pdf/10.5664/jcsm.26918">effects of the short sleep on our brain and body</a>. Every night’s sleep is important for our body to recover and for our brain to process the events of that day. Spending a holiday “catching up” on sleep could help you feel more rested, but it is not a substitute for prioritising regular healthy sleep at home.</p> <p>All good things, including holidays, must come to an end. Unfortunately the perks of sleep tourism may end too.</p> <p>Our bodies do not like variability in the time of day that we sleep. The most common example of this is called “<a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/12/4543">social jet lag</a>”, where weekday sleep (getting up early to get to work or school) is vastly different to weekend sleep (late nights and sleep ins). This can result in a sleepy, grouchy start to the week on Monday. Sleep tourism may be similar, if you do not come back home with the intention to prioritise sleep.</p> <p>So we should be mindful that as well as sleeping well on holiday, it is important to optimise conditions at home to get consistent, adequate sleep every night.</p> <h2>5 tips for having a sleep holiday at home</h2> <p>An AI-powered mattress and a sleep butler at home might be the dream. But these features are not the only way we can optimise our sleep environment and give ourselves the best chance to get a good night’s sleep. Here are five ideas to start the night right:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> avoid bright artificial light in the evening (such as bright overhead lights, phones, laptops)</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> make your bed as comfortable as possible with fresh pillows and a supportive mattress</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> use black-out window coverings and maintain a cool room temperature for the ideal sleeping environment</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> establish an evening wind-down routine, such as a warm shower and reading a book before bed or even a “<a href="https://theconversation.com/turns-out-the-viral-sleepy-girl-mocktail-is-backed-by-science-should-you-try-it-222151">sleepy girl mocktail</a>”</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> use consistency as the key to a good sleep routine. Aim for a similar bedtime and wake time – even on weekends.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231718/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, Senior postdoctoral research fellow, Appleton Institute, HealthWise research group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, Adjunct Research Fellow, Appleton Institute of Behavioural Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sleep-tourism-promises-the-trip-of-your-dreams-beyond-the-hype-plus-5-tips-for-a-holiday-at-home-231718">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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How to buy a home: 7 tips for negotiating like a pro

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/park-thaichon-175182">Park Thaichon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p>The main purpose of negotiation is to find a mutually acceptable solution for buyers and sellers. Good negotiations greatly improve relationships between buyers, sellers and agents. They also help avoid future problems and conflicts.</p> <p>Negotiating skills become even more important for home buyers in a “seller’s market”, where demand from buyers exceeds supply from sellers. That’s <a href="https://propertyupdate.com.au/australian-property-market-predictions/">currently the case</a> in all Australian capital cities and major regional cities such as Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and others.</p> <p>Many home buyers mistakenly believe negotiation only occurs during the signing of the sale contract. However, it involves distinct stages: <em>pre-negotiation</em> and <em>during negotiation</em>.</p> <p>So how can people maximise their chances of successfully negotiating a purchase in a seller’s market? I offer the following tips.</p> <h2>Be someone the seller’s agent wants to do business with</h2> <p>Buyers often communicate solely with the seller’s agent, rather than directly with the seller. It’s crucial to ensure the agent views the buyer positively. Ultimately, it’s the agent who presents offers to the seller for their decision.</p> <p>It’s important, then, to understand what might motivate the seller’s agent to choose your offer. The key performance indicator for the agent often revolves around closing a property sale at a reasonable price within a certain time.</p> <p>This means price is a crucial factor. However, other factors can influence the seller’s agent and seller.</p> <p>For example, having pre-approved finance can increase the agent’s confidence in the buyer. If the buyer appears serious, can make quick decisions and makes a good impression, the agent may be more motivated to push for them, even if their offer is slightly lower than others without pre-approved finance.</p> <h2>Be a big fish (for the seller’s agent)</h2> <p>The next strategy is to give the seller’s agent extra incentive to favour you and your offer. <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/MIP-09-2019-0489/full/html">Our research</a> in customer behaviour suggests businesses value customers who make frequent purchases or engage them for long-term services.</p> <p>For example, the agent would be pleased to learn that the buyer might be interested in buying another property in the near future or in using their rental service for the new property. You have an advantage if you can position yourself as someone who could provide them with extra business.</p> <h2>Point to competing options</h2> <p>In a positive manner, let the seller’s agent know you are considering two or three properties, and this specific property is among those you are inclined to make an offer on.</p> <p>In certain situations, it may stimulate competitive pricing when multiple properties of similar quality are available in the same area. Make it clear to the agent you will choose the property that offers you the best overall value.</p> <p>While this strategy might not necessarily lower the price in a seller’s market, it can prompt the agent to have a fuller discussion with you.</p> <h2>Think beyond price</h2> <p>The next set of tips focuses on the <em>during negotiation</em> stages. It can be challenging for buyers to negotiate a lower price in a market with low supply and high demand. You might have to “think outside the price box”.</p> <p>Buyers often have a specific price range or fixed budget in mind when they start discussions with a seller. However, other factors besides price can influence a property’s overall value.</p> <p>So if a seller won’t adjust the price, consider negotiating for other concessions that could reduce your expenses.</p> <p>These may include:</p> <p><strong>Settlement period</strong></p> <p>Consider the expenses associated with the settlement period. A shorter settlement period could enable buyers to move into the property sooner and save on rent. For example, if a buyer is paying $600 per week in rent, an early settlement could save them around $2,400 per month.</p> <p><strong>Insurance costs after contract signing</strong></p> <p>In many states, buyers’ <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/home-insurance/home-insurance-cost">home insurance cover</a> is required to begin from the date of contract signing. It’s reasonable for buyers to include a special condition requesting the seller to bear the insurance costs until settlement. On average, home insurance may amount to about $140 per month.</p> <p><strong>Cleaning expenses</strong></p> <p>Consider negotiating a condition stipulating that the seller must ensure the property is professionally cleaned by settlement. Failure to do so could result in a $500 adjustment in the buyer’s favour at settlement.</p> <p>In some states, like Queensland, sellers are not obligated to deliver a clean property. Based on typical end-of-lease cleaning charges, internal cleaning of a four-bedroom property could cost <a href="https://firstcallhomeservices.com.au/service-menu/bond-exit-end-lease-cleaning/">$455 to $590</a>.</p> <p><strong>Building and pest inspection costs</strong></p> <p>Buyers should always include a 14-day pre-purchase inspection clause for <a href="https://www.topdogpestcontrol.com.au/building-pest-inspections-gold-coast/">building and pest inspections</a> in their offer. Although they may cost $300 to $600, these inspections provide a clear report that could lead to negotiations after contract signing if they find any issues with the property.</p> <h2>Be careful with your first offer</h2> <p>Don’t present the first offer in writing. It can be challenging to negotiate down the price once it has been written in an offer document.</p> <p>Instead, the buyer should begin by testing the expected price of the property. As well as obtaining property reports from multiple banks, the buyer could talk with the seller’s agent in person about a price range that would be agreeable to the seller.</p> <p>You could include phrases like “a price that will make the seller happy” or “a price that will make the seller accept the offer”. While the agent might not provide a specific price, this talk can provide a guideline for the buyer. All properties up for auction or private sale should have an expected price set, which may or may not be discussed with potential buyers.</p> <p>It’s also advisable to consult a solicitor before submitting an offer or signing a contract. They can offer valuable suggestions to smooth the purchase process and identify any issues.</p> <h2>Use the power of 900</h2> <p>Buyers often submit offers with round numbers, such as $700,000 or $750,000. In a competitive seller’s market, aim to submit an offer with a number that stands out from the rest, yet remains within your budget.</p> <p>An example of such a number is $900. For instance, comparing $700,000 to $700,900, the extra $900 makes the offer feel closer to $710,000.</p> <h2>Write a personalised letter</h2> <p>It’s true the most important point of selling a house for many sellers is price. But they are human and have emotions. Finishing a purchasing offer with a personal letter to the seller can make a difference.</p> <p>Often that $3,000 to $20,000 could be a lot of money for a buyer, but it may not be as much for someone selling a house for $700,000 or $1,000,000. Write the letter to express your feelings about the property in a way that makes it clear you will care for it. Most people selling their home would prefer to have someone look after it well.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226237/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/park-thaichon-175182">Park Thaichon</a>, Associate Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-buy-a-home-7-tips-for-negotiating-like-a-pro-226237">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Why you should be wary of charging your phone in an airport

<p dir="ltr">While charging stations at airports can often be life-savings before boarding a flight, it turns out these handy outlets can be leaving you vulnerable. </p> <p dir="ltr">Many people have fought over a spot to charge up your devices at the last minute before embarking on a holiday, but next time you leave home with your phone or laptop needing some more juice, think again. </p> <p dir="ltr">Emily Stallings, co-founder of tech retailer <em><a href="https://www.getcasely.com/">Casely</a></em>, says that by plugging your phone into a power outlet at a public USB charging station, you're at risk of data breaches and malware infection.</p> <p dir="ltr">"If a device gets infected, it could end up leaking sensitive information or even stop working properly," she told <em><a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/charging-phone-at-the-airport-danger-expert/57d141df-33ba-4a50-89e5-26f6f2a0c18d">9Travel</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">These public USB ports have often been compromised by cybercriminals, who then use these unsecured ports to steal sensitive information transmitted between devices.</p> <p dir="ltr">"From personal emails to financial data, the information intercepted through these compromised ports could lead to identity theft, financial loss, and other serious consequences," explains Stallings.</p> <p dir="ltr">The best way to get around this threat, without letting your phone run out of battery, is to pack a portable charging device in your carry-on bag every time you travel.</p> <p dir="ltr">With your own cord and power bank, it's far less likely that any sneaky hackers will be able to access your device's data.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stallings says you can also enable security features such as USB Restricted Mode on your device, for those moments when you're desperate for a charger and have to rely on public ports. </p> <p dir="ltr">"This adds an extra layer of protection against potential data breaches and malware infections when charging from public USB ports."</p> <p dir="ltr">"By activating USB Restricted Mode or similar security features, you restrict data transfer over USB connections, effectively preventing unauthorised access to your device's data while charging in public spaces."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Tips

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Costly mistakes to avoid when travelling

<p dir="ltr">While travelling the world is an exciting and joyous way to spend your time, getting caught up in devious scams can sour even the best holiday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Whenever you hit the road, there are a few measures you can take to avoid being hit by hackers and sneaky scammers, and enjoy your holiday to the fullest. </p> <p dir="ltr">When it comes to online scams, some countries are more vulnerable than others, as NAB Executive, Group Investigations Chris Sheehan says.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Just like you'd plan visas and check the weather at your destination, it's also vital to be aware of common scams in the countries you're visiting so you can recognise the red flags and protect yourself," he said. </p> <p dir="ltr">When travelling in a new country, it’s important to be wary of accommodation or booking website impersonation scams, ticket scams for major events, as well as overcharging or wrong charge scams.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The pressure to act now is a red flag in ticket and accommodation scams, while overcharging or wrong charging scams play on distraction and a lack of detail," Chris says.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Letting your bank know where and when you're travelling can help with more accurately monitoring your transactions for suspicious activity while you're away."</p> <p dir="ltr">Another thing to be wary of when on holiday is to avoid posting your real-time location on social media, or inadvertently sharing sensitive travel documents can expose you to serious risks.</p> <p dir="ltr">Broadcasting your whereabouts can make you vulnerable to various risks, including burglary, stalking, and other personal safety threats, while criminals can take advantage of the information you share to target you or your unoccupied home.</p> <p dir="ltr">Travel expert Trevor Cooke from <a href="https://earthweb.com/">EarthWeb</a> says its best to wait until you’ve moved on until you share your location online. </p> <p dir="ltr">"If you really want to share the location of where you travelled to, wait until you're already at the next location or back home," he says.</p> <p dir="ltr">"By delaying your posts, you can still share your experiences without compromising your safety."</p> <p dir="ltr">Another thing to keep in mind when you’re next hitting the road is to be wary about unknowingly posting personal information online, such as your boarding pass. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Many people don't realise how much personal information is on your boarding pass and other temporary travel documents," says security expert Trevor.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Boarding passes, for instance, contain sensitive data such as your full name, frequent flyer number, and a barcode that can be scanned to reveal even more information. This data can be used by criminals for identity theft, unauthorised access to your accounts, and other malicious activities."</p> <p dir="ltr">"To protect yourself, always double-check that any picture you upload does not include your boarding pass, travel itinerary, hotel receipts, or any other sensitive information," Trevor adds.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Travel Tips

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How do airplanes fly? An aerospace engineer explains the physics of flight

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/craig-merrett-1509278">Craig Merrett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/clarkson-university-4276">Clarkson University</a></em></p> <p>Airplane flight is one of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century. The <a href="https://airandspace.si.edu/explore/stories/wright-brothers">invention of the airplane</a> allows people to travel from one side of the planet to the other in less than a day, compared with weeks of travel by boat and train.</p> <p>Understanding precisely why airplanes fly is an ongoing challenge for <a href="https://www.clarkson.edu/people/craig-merrett">aerospace engineers, like me</a>, who study and design airplanes, rockets, satellites, helicopters and space capsules.</p> <p>Our job is to make sure that flying through the air or in space is safe and reliable, by using tools and ideas from science and mathematics, like computer simulations and experiments.</p> <p>Because of that work, flying in an airplane is <a href="https://usafacts.org/articles/is-flying-safer-than-driving/">the safest way to travel</a> – safer than cars, buses, trains or boats. But although aerospace engineers design aircraft that are stunningly sophisticated, you might be surprised to learn there are still some details about the physics of flight that we don’t fully understand.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=381&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=381&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=381&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=479&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=479&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/577439/original/file-20240222-28-v3tjb4.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=479&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A diagram of an airplane that shows the four forces of flight." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The forces of weight, thrust, drag and lift act on a plane to keep it aloft and moving.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/airplane-cruise-balanced-forces/">NASA</a></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>May the force(s) be with you</h2> <p>There are <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/stem-content/four-forces-of-flight/#:%7E">four forces</a> that aerospace engineers consider when designing an airplane: weight, thrust, drag and lift. Engineers use these forces to help design the shape of the airplane, the size of the wings, and figure out how many passengers the airplane can carry.</p> <p>For example, when an airplane takes off, the thrust must be greater than the drag, and the lift must be greater than the weight. If you watch an airplane take off, you’ll see the wings change shape using flaps from the back of the wings. The flaps help make more lift, but they also make more drag, so a powerful engine is necessary to create more thrust.</p> <p>When the airplane is high enough and is cruising to your destination, lift needs to balance the weight, and the thrust needs to balance the drag. So the pilot pulls the flaps in and can set the engine to produce less power.</p> <p>That said, let’s define what force means. According to <a href="https://ca.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/4079abf0-7a4b-4f49-80ad-c69cd06a80f9/newtons-second-law-of-motion/">Newton’s Second Law</a>, a force is a mass multiplied by an acceleration, or F = ma.</p> <p>A force that everyone encounters every day is <a href="https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/what-is-gravity/en/#:%7E">the force of gravity</a>, which keeps us on the ground. When you get weighed at the doctor’s office, they’re actually measuring the amount of force that your body applies to the scale. When your weight is given in pounds, that is a measure of force.</p> <p>While an airplane is flying, gravity is pulling the airplane down. That force is the weight of the airplane.</p> <p>But its engines push the airplane forward because they create <a href="https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/what-is-thrust/">a force called thrust</a>. The engines pull in air, which has mass, and quickly push that air out of the back of the engine – so there’s a mass multiplied by an acceleration.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-wh3fJRdjo">Newton’s Third Law</a>, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. When the air rushes out the back of the engines, there is a reaction force that pushes the airplane forward – that’s called thrust.</p> <p>As the airplane flies through the air, the shape of the airplane pushes air out of the way. Again, by Newton’s Third Law, this air pushes back, <a href="https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/what-is-drag/#:%7E">which leads to drag</a>.</p> <p>You can experience something similar to drag when swimming. Paddle through a pool, and your arms and feet provide thrust. Stop paddling, and you will keep moving forward because you have mass, but you will slow down. The reason that you slow down is that the water is pushing back on you – that’s drag.</p> <h2>Understanding lift</h2> <p><a href="https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/what-is-lift/">Lift</a> is more complicated than the other forces of weight, thrust and drag. It’s created by the wings of an airplane, and the shape of the wing is critical; that shape is <a href="https://howthingsfly.si.edu/media/airfoil#:%7E">known as an airfoil</a>. Basically it means the top and bottom of the wing are curved, although the shapes of the curves can be different from each other.</p> <p>As air flows around the airfoil, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO75jDwGCdQ">it creates pressure</a> – a force spread out over a large area. Lower pressure is created on the top of the airfoil compared to the pressure on the bottom. Or to look at it another way, air travels faster over the top of the airfoil than beneath.</p> <p>Understanding why the pressure and speeds are different on the top and the bottom is <a href="https://airandspace.si.edu/multimedia-gallery/lift-and-copjpg">critical to understand lift</a>. By improving our understanding of lift, engineers can design more fuel-efficient airplanes and give passengers more comfortable flights.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=385&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=385&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=385&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=484&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=484&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579698/original/file-20240304-24-6df49v.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=484&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A diagram that shows how the airfoil of a plane works." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Note the airfoil, which is a specific wing shape that helps keep a plane in the air.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/illustration/how-airplanes-fly-royalty-free-illustration/1401215523?phrase=airfoil+diagram&amp;adppopup=true">Dimitrios Karamitros/iStock via Getty Images Plus</a></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>The conundrum</h2> <p>The reason why air moves at different speeds around an airfoil remains mysterious, and <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/video/no-one-can-explain-why-planes-stay-in-the-air/">scientists are still investigating</a> this question.</p> <p>Aerospace engineers have measured these pressures on a wing in both wind tunnel experiments and during flight. We can create models of different wings to predict if they will fly well. We can also change lift by changing a wing’s shape to create airplanes that fly for long distances or fly very fast.</p> <p>Even though we still don’t fully know why lift happens, aerospace engineers work with mathematical equations that recreate the different speeds on the top and bottom of the airfoil. Those equations describe a process <a href="https://howthingsfly.si.edu/media/circulation-theory-lift">known as circulation</a>.</p> <p>Circulation provides aerospace engineers with a way to model what happens around a wing even if we do not completely understand why it happens. In other words, through the use of math and science, we are able to build airplanes that are safe and efficient, even if we don’t completely understand the process behind why it works.</p> <p>Ultimately, if aerospace engineers can figure out why the air flows at different speeds depending on which side of the wing it’s on, we can design airplanes that use less fuel and pollute less.</p> <p><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/craig-merrett-1509278"><em>Craig Merrett</em></a><em>, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/clarkson-university-4276">Clarkson University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-do-airplanes-fly-an-aerospace-engineer-explains-the-physics-of-flight-222847">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

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The one in-flight activity to avoid to conquer jet lag

<p dir="ltr">While many people love to travel and explore new destinations, there’s no doubt that the worst part of a holiday is often the long-haul flight. </p> <p dir="ltr">With many holidays, especially ones overseas, a drastic change of timezones can mean jet lag is unavoidable, but there are a few things you can do to make life easy when you land. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to one travel expert, how you feel when you disembark often boils down to your in-flight activities. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sarah Built, who has worked up a lifetime of long-haul travel as the Etihad Airways Vice President of Sales for Australasia, told <em><a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/flight-tips-how-to-avoid-jet-lag/db8fbda1-2318-44c0-b9fe-e14d11dec70c">9Travel</a></em> that there is one thing she always avoids onboard in order to land at her destination feeling fresh: alcohol. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Whilst the allure of coffee, cocktails and snacks is real (particularly if you're travelling with kids), they can actually contribute to dehydration and worsen jet lag," she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">Instead of that in-flight beer glass of wine, Sarah says to drink water (with lime added for a twist) or herbal tea to boost your hydration and lessen that groggy mid-flight feeling.</p> <p dir="ltr">Drinking water is obviously also the key to staying hydrated, as Sarah says it's important to start drinking extra water the day before your flight, so you're going in prepared.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I carry a reusable water bottle to keep fluids up during the journey (most airports will have water stations for you to refill easily)," she says, which means you won't need to pay for an overpriced bottle at the airport.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue, and you want to be able to hit the ground running on arrival, so always remember to drink plenty of water," she advises.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Travel Tips

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4 things you’re likely doing that are damaging your hearing

<p>Your hearing is a precious gift, so it’s important to take good care of your ears. We’ve got some advice on the things to avoid, and what you can do to protect your hearing.</p> <p><strong>Using cotton tips</strong></p> <p>Though they’re commonly used for the job, cotton tips should never be used to clean out your ears. In fact, no solid object should be put inside your ears. Cotton tips account for around four per cent of all ruptured eardrums.</p> <p>These innocuous-looking objects can also cause bleeding, scratch your ear canal, or trigger an infection. So put them down and step away. Instead, use a commercial ear cleaner, or even just a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, or glycerine to soften the earwax.</p> <p><strong>Don’t wait and see</strong></p> <p>If your hearing in one or both ears suddenly disappears without cause, you need to go and see your doctor as soon as you can. It could be inflammation, infection, or a decrease in blood supply to the area.</p> <p>If you need treatment, you’ll likely need it immediately to have any hope of restoring your hearing.</p> <p><strong>Using eardrops without advice</strong></p> <p>There are many over-the-counter eardrops available to help with things like swimmer’s ear. But in extreme cases, these products can cause deafness. Before you use anything, including a home remedy, get your doctor to check that you don’t have a ruptured eardrum.</p> <p>Some people may be born that way, or have had surgery as a child, or suffered an injury. If the ingredients in these drops make their way inside your eardrum, it can cause a lot of pain, and permanent deafness.</p> <p><strong>Always protect your ears</strong></p> <p>It’s incredibly important to protect your ears from permanent damage. Tiny hairs inside your ears act as hearing receptors, and these can be broken by extremely loud noises. Once they’re gone, they don’t come back.</p> <p>So things like loud music, fireworks, machinery, and artillery are all risky to be around. The best thing you can do is cover up with earmuffs whenever you’re around these things – especially if it’s on a regular basis. For extra safety, use earplugs as well.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Body

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Five tips to help you start new hobbies in retirement

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-bishop-1522973">Alison Bishop</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-east-london-924">University of East London</a></em></p> <p>Retirement can be an exciting but also scary prospect for many. How you fill your time is totally up to you, but with so many choices it can be a bit daunting. But it’s important to make sure you keep active, physically and mentally.</p> <p>Hobbies can <a href="https://www.careuk.com/help-advice/why-are-long-lost-hobbies-important-for-older-people">increase wellbeing</a> by boosting brain function, enhancing social skills and improving fine motor skills. <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/366160647_Psychological_benefits_of_hobby_engagement_in_older_age_a_longitudinal_cross-country_analysis_of_93263_older_adults_in_16_countries">A study carried out in 2022</a> found that spending time on hobbies was associated with lower symptoms of depression and a perceived increase in a person’s sense of health, happiness and overall life satisfaction.</p> <p>However, many older people don’t take up hobbies for all sorts of reasons. This might include fears that they are not as good at something in their older age as they were when they were younger. This fear of trying new things can lead to increased feelings of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338142/">loneliness and isolation</a>.</p> <p>Here are five tips using <a href="https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/ppintroarticle.pdf">positive psychology</a> that could help you or someone in your life if they are scared or nervous about picking up a hobby.</p> <h2>1. Broaden your strengths</h2> <p>Our idea of what we are good at is formed at a very young age and often reflects subjects that we were good at in our school days. Positive psychology’s “<a href="https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths-and-virtues">theory of strengths</a>” encourages us to think more broadly about what constitutes a strength. For instance, it considers curiosity, kindness and bravery as strengths. When applied to choosing a hobby, it means that if you believe one of your strengths is kindness, you could consider working in outreach or charity as a hobby or spending time speaking with people who are housebound.</p> <h2>2. Find activities you already enjoy</h2> <p>The “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1693418/pdf/15347528.pdf?inf_contact_key=9944754ba1372fa9ce5ee1421d8427bc">broaden and build theory”</a> suggests that when we feel positive emotions such joy or love, we are more likely to engage in new activities, thoughts and behaviours. It follows then, that if you look at times in your life when you experience these emotions this could help you start a new hobby. So, if you enjoy walking in the countryside, then the theory suggests that those feelings would enable you to join a rambling club.</p> <h2>3. Remember moments you’ve lost track of time</h2> <p>Another way to identify an activity that would be good to do is by using “<a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/flow-state#what-it-is">flow theory”</a>. This suggests that when we are doing something that we become completely absorbed in, that our brainwave patterns change and we can lose track of time. For this to happen, we need an activity that is meaningful to us to complete, with just the right amount of challenge so that it is not too easy or too hard.</p> <p>An exercise that reveals your personal flow template involves looking back on your life to find as many times as possible when you’ve been doing something and completely lost track of time. Write these down and see if these moments have anything in common. For example, are they all creative activities or all outdoors and physical? This will reveal something about yourself and the type of activity that is aligned with who you are, and could suggest new hobbies.</p> <h2>4. Be kind to yourself</h2> <p>“<a href="https://self-compassion.org/">Self-compassion theory</a>” teaches us the importance of being as kind to ourselves as we would be to a friend. When we are thinking about what we are good at, we can be unkind to ourselves by comparing ourselves unfavourably to others or to an imagined high standard.</p> <p>Self-compassion theory states that our imperfections make us human, and it is our shared knowledge of this that connects us to others. Where a goal in an activity is kindness with ourselves and those doing the activity with us rather than performance, we can access a new more meaningful reason to take part in something.</p> <h2>5. Imagine your perfect day</h2> <p>The last tip from positive psychology involves creating <a href="https://www.thepositivepsychologypeople.com/reflections-on-a-beautiful-day/">a story of the perfect average day</a> and then planning to actually live it. How do your hobbies fit into this? How does this day tap into your broadened idea of your strengths? How does it include kindness to yourself and others?</p> <p>It also helps to identify goals either for retirement more generally or for participating in a hobby. By picturing the perfect average day you can create more meaning and purpose in life by seeing how all the parts of your life fit together. It also reveals short term goals for example, if you plan to go to an art club but can’t get there, then a goal could be asking for a lift from another club member. When these pieces are in place, hope is ignited, and a vision created of how life can go forward so that you really can live your best retired life.<!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-bishop-1522973">Alison Bishop</a>, Lecturer in Positive Psychology Coaching, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-east-london-924">University of East London</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-tips-to-help-you-start-new-hobbies-in-retirement-226764">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Life

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Here’s what happens to your body during plane turbulence – and how to reduce the discomfort it causes

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p>This week has seen another barrage of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/jan/22/uk-weather-storm-jocelyn-to-follow-isha-with-more-strong-winds-and-heavy-rain">unsettled weather</a> sweep across the UK, with many flights delayed or cancelled. Some of those who were fortunate enough to take off found themselves arriving at destinations that weren’t on their boarding passes – such as passengers travelling from Stansted to Newquay who eventually diverted to <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/storm-isha-creates-flight-diversion-142821278.html">Malaga</a>.</p> <p>One thing that was consistently described by passengers was that parts of the flights and the attempted landings were some of the most unnerving they’d ever experienced, due to turbulence.</p> <p>Turbulence results from uneven air movement, which is <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2023GL103814">increasing</a> in frequency. If you turn your hair dryer on at home and hold it still, the air moves at a constant rate, but once you begin drying your hair and moving the hairdryer around, the air movement becomes uneven, that is to say, turbulent.</p> <p>Although turbulence may be unnerving and make you feel unwell, it is important to recognise that it is very common and typically <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18018437/">nothing to worry about</a> if you’re in your seat with your seatbelt fastened.</p> <h2>How the body detects and responds to turbulence</h2> <p>The body recognises itself within any environment. Its relationship with objects in terms of distance and direction is called <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780123750006003414">spatial orientation</a>.</p> <p>When flying, this is typically moving forwards, ascending, some turns and a descent. However, turbulence disrupts this relationship and confuses the sensory information being received by the brain – it makes the body want to respond or recalibrate.</p> <p>Our inner ears play a pivotal role in all this. It consists of complex apparatuses that undertake more than hearing. These include the cochlea, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279394/">three semi-circular canals</a>, <a href="https://radiopaedia.org/articles/utricle-ear?lang=gb">the utricle</a> and <a href="https://radiopaedia.org/articles/saccule-ear-1?lang=gb">the saccule</a>.</p> <p>The cochlea is responsible for hearing. It converts <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531483/">sound energy into electrical energy</a> that is then “heard” by the brain. The remaining structures are responsible for the balance and position of the head and body. The semi-circular canals are positioned in a vertical (side to side), horizontal and front-to-back plane, detecting movement in a nodding, shaking and touching ear-to-shoulder direction.</p> <p>Attached to these canals are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532978/">the utricle and saccule</a>, which can detect <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10792/">movement</a> and <a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(05)00837-7.pdf">acceleration</a>.</p> <p>All of these apparatuses use microscopic hair cells in a specialised fluid called <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531505/">endolymph</a> that flows with the head to create a sense of movement. When the plane encounters turbulence, this fluid moves around, but unpredictably. It takes <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518976/">about ten to 20 seconds</a> for the fluid to recalibrate its position, while the brain struggles to understand what is going on.</p> <p>When the aircraft hits turbulence, the balance apparatus <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2023.949227/full">cannot distinguish</a> the movement of the plane from that of the head, so the brain interprets the aircraft movement as that of the head or body. But this doesn’t match the visual information being received, which causes sensory confusion.</p> <p>The reason the inner ear causes so much confusion is because during flights you are devoid of your primary sensory tool relative to the external environment – your sight and the horizon.</p> <p>Eighty per cent of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518976/">spatial information</a> comes from your eyes during flight. However, you only have the seat in front of you or the cabin as a reference point, which means your inner ear becomes the dominant sensory message to the brain during turbulence and disrupts the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545297/">“vestibulo-ocular reflex”</a>. This reflex keeps your vision <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130651/">aligned</a> with your balance or expected position.</p> <p>Vision is the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777262/">most valued</a> of the senses and one-third of the brain is attributed to its function, reinforcing its importance in spatial orientation.</p> <p>This sensory mixed messaging often results in things like dizziness and sweating as well as gastrointestinal symptoms, such as <a href="https://www.airmedicaljournal.com/article/S1067-991X(02)70038-2/fulltext">nausea and vomiting</a>.</p> <p>Motion sickness can be triggered by turbulence and although research into specific airsickness is limited, other modes that induce motion sickness suggest that <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16018346/">women</a> are <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26466829/">more susceptible</a> than men, particularly in the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16235881/">early stages</a> of the menstrual cycle.</p> <p>The turbulence also causes an increase in your heart rate, which is already higher than normal when flying because of a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15819766/">decrease in oxygen saturation</a>.</p> <h2>What about the pilots?</h2> <p>Commercial pilots accrue thousands of hours at the controls, they are subject to the same forces as the passengers.</p> <p>Over time, they can <a href="https://academic.oup.com/milmed/article/180/11/1135/4160573">adapt to these forces</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15828634/">experiences</a>, but they also have a couple of additional resources that most passengers don’t.</p> <p>They have the view out of the cockpit windows, so have a horizon to use as a reference point and can see what lies immediately ahead.</p> <p>If it is cloudy or visibility is low, their instruments provide additional visual <a href="https://www.faa.gov/sites/faa.gov/files/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak/19_phak_ch17.pdf">reference</a> to the position of the aircraft. This doesn’t mean they are immune to the effects of turbulence, with some studies reporting up to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26540704/">71% of trainee pilots</a> reporting episodes of airsickness.</p> <h2>How to reduce the discomfort</h2> <p>A window seat can help, or even looking out the window. This gives the brain some sensory information through visual pathways, helping calm the brain in response to the vestibular information it is receiving.</p> <p>If you can get one, a seat towards the front or over the wing reduces the effects of turbulence.</p> <p>Deep or rhythmical breathing can help reduce motion sickness induced by turbulence. Focusing on your breathing <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25945662/">calms the nervous system</a>.</p> <p>Don’t reach for the alcohol. While you may feel it calms your nerves, if you hit turbulence it’s going to interfere with your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7610847/">visual and auditory processing</a> and increase the likelihood of vomiting.</p> <p>If you suffer from motion sickness and are worried about turbulence while flying, then there are also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6241144/">drugs that can help</a>, including certain <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/cinnarizine/about-cinnarizine/">antihistamines</a>.</p> <p>Finally, it’s important to remember that although turbulence can be unpleasant, aircraft are designed to withstand the forces it generates and many passengers, even frequent fliers, will rarely encounter the most severe categories of turbulence because pilots actively plan routes to avoid it.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221780/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/heres-what-happens-to-your-body-during-plane-turbulence-and-how-to-reduce-the-discomfort-it-causes-221780">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Pilot reveals area with worst turbulence

<p>Pilot and former <em>Bachelor Australia</em> star Jimmy Nicholson has revealed which area in the world has the worst turbulence in a viral video. </p> <p>Nicholson, who has over five years of experience, took to TikTok to explain the areas where pilots can expect the worst turbulence and how he believes that the recent Singapore Airlines <a href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/travel/travel-trouble/victim-identified-after-plane-hits-deadly-turbulence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">horror flight</a> did not actually experience a "sudden drop". </p> <p>In the clip, he explained that pilots can expect the worst turbulence around the equator in what is called the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). </p> <p>“This is where the winds with the northern hemisphere often converge with the winds of the southern hemisphere often causing bad weather and turbulence,” he said. </p> <p>He added that the ITCZ changes throughout the year, with it affecting different areas between January and July. </p> <p>“As you can see here, this is the approximate location of the convergence zone on the 21st of May,” he explained using a graph that showed an area that was “the exact area of where the [Singapore Airlines] incident happened." </p> <p>“As you can see from flightradar, the flight was tracking from Singapore to London and then made a left turn and ended up diverting into Bangkok," he added. </p> <div class="embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; vertical-align: baseline; width: 573px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7371614320200830226&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40jimmy_nicholson%2Fvideo%2F7371614320200830226&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2FowREoIPwwA1lAs31IifkpzBASmJt4iCODZ0sBN%3Fx-expires%3D1716962400%26x-signature%3D%252BkhZRFhuPeWTiEKTMAFYLK0EcTU%253D&key=5b465a7e134d4f09b4e6901220de11f0&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>He said that the 6000 foot drop was not a "sudden" drop as a result of severe turbulence, but a controlled descent. </p> <p>“The plane descended from 37000 feet at six minutes past the hour, down to 31000 feet at 12 minutes past the hour,” he said. </p> <p>“This is not a sudden drop due to turbulence, this is a controlled descent likely because the plane needed to divert into Bangkok, or because they were descending out of the turbulence.</p> <p>“This is a very sad and very rare event,” he continued. “But it is important to remember that these things don’t happen very often." </p> <p>He added that pilots do their best to avoid turbulence, but sometimes it does happen unexpectedly. </p> <p>“This is why pilots always say on the PA when you’re seated make sure you seatbelt is fastened in case we experience an unexpected turbulence.”</p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

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Do red bags get loaded onto a plane first? Travel hack goes viral

<p>One TikTok user has racked up over 75 million views for their hack which warns travellers against buying red suitcases.</p> <p>The reason behind it? He claims that red suitcases are always loaded onto a plane first - meaning that they will be the last ones to come out at the baggage carousel. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@airportlife_/video/7359248989134327072" target="_blank" rel="noopener">viral video</a> showed a plane's cargo being loaded, with all the red bags being loaded first. </p> <p>Many commenters have shared their theories on why this might be the case. </p> <p>"If the red are at the back then they are less likely to get left behind when unloading," one wrote. </p> <p>"So that it's easier to check if there is any bag left at end corner of loading area and prevent missing out black bags at dark corners, maybe," another added. </p> <p>However, a spokesperson for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has debunked this theory and claimed that the video is "nonsense" and "was made purposefully to mislead or provide false information".</p> <p>They also said that there was simply not enough time for their baggage handlers to sort suitcases out by colour. </p> <p>The question of "Do red bags get loaded onto a plane first?" also made its way to Reddit, after the video went viral, and one user who claimed to be a ramp worker denied the theory. </p> <p>"If we had taken the time and brain power to load bags based on colour I'd still be loading flights from 2015." </p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Everything you need to know about tipping in the US

<p>There are few social customs in the US more confusing to travellers than tipping.</p> <p>To most Americans, gratuities are normal, like adding sales tax at the register. To foreign visitors, though, the very idea can induce anxiety or panic.</p> <p>We're notoriously poor tippers. Partly this is accidental ignorance, but partly it is self-righteous rejection of an institution many of us see as unfair. I once had a meal in New York with a woman from Brisbane who refused to tip "on principle." I nodded in agreement ... and then tipped for both of us.</p> <p>The truth is, federal minimum wage for adults in the US is just US$7.25 an hour. In industries where tipping is routine, employers are legally allowed to pay wages as low as US$2.13 an hour.</p> <p>So while travellers may stage a quiet rebellion, refusing to tip, the bereaved party is never going to be the restaurant owners (who earns their profit through the itemised bill), but the poor waiters.</p> <p>Until the US government raises minimum wages to Australian levels (something that will probably never happen), tipping is here to stay. Which means travellers need to accept it, then learn the rules.</p> <p>First rule: After clearing immigration get your hands on a stack of "singles" (US$1 bills). You're going to need them.</p> <p><strong>Getting around</strong></p> <p>In theory, tips should only go to people who are helpful; the more helpful, the more bountiful their reward. In reality, tips are par for the course, and to "stiff" somebody is tantamount to slapping them in the face.</p> <p>If a airport porter helps you with your bags, give them US$1-2 per bag. If they meet you at the gate with a wheelchair, give them US$3-5. </p> <p>For most travellers, the first real test comes with transports away from the airport. If you're lucky enough to have a hotel worker collect you from Arrivals, give them US$10-15 for the effort.</p> <p>If you take a taxi, a little more thought will be required. Many taxis now have seat-back displays that offer "default tipping" amounts at the end of a journey: in New York, 20, 25, and 30 per cent. You should only really tip 30 per cent if the taxi turns out to be the Batmobile, getting you to your destination in record time. Even 20 per cent can sometimes feels a little high. Tipping is subjective: I often manually override the default, leaving 15-20 per cent, or a few extra dollars if I'm paying in cash.</p> <p>If you hire a car and take advantage of valet (all but mandatory in Los Angeles), be prepared to tip the worker US$3-5 upon pick-up, depending on how ritzy the establishment is. A quick rule of thumb: more ritz equals more tip. </p> <p><strong>Hotels</strong></p> <p>If you arrive at the hotel and somebody opens the door for you, that's on the house. If they carry your bags, that is not on the house. Give them US$2-3 a bag.</p> <p>If the hotel has a concierge, their friendliness isn't contingent on your generosity. But if they perform a service for you - book a trip, hire a car, charter a private jet to the Bahamas - acknowledge this effort with US$10-20 at the end of your stay, presented with a handshake.</p> <p>One case where tipping can have a direct impact on the quality of service you receive is housekeeping. Each morning, leave US$2-5 on your pillow with a thank you note. This ensures different cleaners get their due, and it also means cleaners will be extra diligent for the rest of your stay. If you think this is a little rich, keep in mind that these people are picking up your dirty towels, so spare change for a cup of coffee is the least you can do.  </p> <p>One point of confusion with hotel tipping is the in-room dining. Some hotels include a default tip on their dining bills; some include a "service charge," which goes to the hotel, and should not be treated as a tip. If there's no obvious tip included on the bill, slip the server 15-20 per cent when they knock on your door.</p> <p><strong>Dining and drinking</strong></p> <p>Nobody can force you to tip in a restaurant, though they can try to counteract your miserliness by stating on the menu that tips are automatically added to the final charge. This is increasingly common in areas catering to large numbers of foreign travellers; it's also pretty standard when your table has more than six people. </p> <p>If tips have been added by the time you come to hand over your card, no further gratuity is needed. If no tip has been included, you might need to leave some money on the table. How much exactly depends on what kind of table it is.</p> <p>If it is a fast food table, no tip. If it is a table at a restaurant ranging from modest diner to upmarket eatery, 15-20 per cent for the waiter is standard (err on the high side in major cities like New York and San Francisco). If you leave less than 15 per cent, staff will assume you weren't happy with their service.</p> <p>If you leave two pennies on top of the bill - a code - they will know you were very unhappy, and feel bad even as they silently loathe you for being a Scrooge. It is almost never okay to withhold a tip; if you're considering doing that, you should also be considering complaining to the manager.  </p> <p>If it is a very fancy restaurant, perhaps one with Michelin stars, prepare to hand over 25 per cent of the bill (before tax) to the waiter, who will divide it up among his or her support staff. You should also tip the sommelier if they suggest wine, and perhaps the maitre'd, if they gave you a fabulous table.     </p> <p>Always, without exception, tip a bartender a dollar for every drink; bigger tips can mean stronger second cocktails in my experience.</p> <p>As for coffee shops, despite the increasing prevalence of tip jars, and "suggested tips" when paying with a card, this is cheekiness and should only be taken seriously if the barista goes out of their way, like the man who once drew Darth Vader in my cappuccino crema.</p> <p><strong>Everything else</strong></p> <p>This guide covers the most common situations a traveller will have to contend when in the US, though the list is not exhaustive.</p> <p>For example, do you tip a massage therapist? Yes, 10-20 per cent. A hairdresser? Same. Tour guide or hiking leader? 15-20 per cent of the total charge, depending on their performance.</p> <p>That Elvis impersonator who officiated your wedding in a Las Vegas chapel? Same.</p> <p>Tip anyone, in fact, that provides you with a service: 15 per cent is a good default to keep in mind.</p> <p>Just remember, nobody is affronted by the offer of a gratuity, so you shouldn't feel bashful about giving one.</p> <p><em>Written by Lance Richardson. First appeared on <a href="http://Stuff.co.nz" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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10 tips for a better night’s sleep in a hotel room

<p>From noisy neighbours to unbearable bedding, a good night’s sleep in a hotel room can be hard to come by. Here are 10 tips to help you get decent shut eye.</p> <p><strong>1. Book a room midway down a hallway</strong></p> <p>This is generally the quietest part of the floor, way from ice and wending machines, laundry facilities, exits, closets and any other places where sudden noises might occur.</p> <p><strong>2. Try to avoid rooms facing a pool</strong></p> <p>While the view is something to admire, pools can also be the sight of noise generating late-night gathering and any sounds generally echo loudly off the water.</p> <p><strong>3. Inquire at the front desk about pillow options</strong></p> <p>If the wrong pillow gives you back or neck pain have a chat to the front desk when checking in. Most hotels stock pillows of varying firmness, and can offer a better fit.</p> <p><strong>4. Pack earplugs and eyeshades</strong></p> <p>When you’re struggling to get to sleep the tiniest noise or ray of light can end up being a huge distraction. Nip this in the bud by packing earplugs and eyeshades.</p> <p><strong>5. Turn your mobile phone off</strong></p> <p>Mobile notifications can be a huge distraction (particularly when they’re coming from friends and family in different time zones). Turn your phone off, and enjoy the bliss. </p> <p><strong>6. Make use of your ‘do not disturb’ sign</strong></p> <p>If you’re planning to sleep in make sure you put your ‘do not disturb’ sign on the outside doorknob, otherwise you might get a rude awakening from a housekeeper.</p> <p><strong>7. Report any noises immediately</strong></p> <p>Sometimes a quick pound of the wall will quiet down a noisy neighbour, but this doesn’t always work. If the people in the room next to you won’t keep quiet, make sure you let the front desk know and they can take the necessary actions.</p> <p><strong>8. Adjust the room temperature</strong></p> <p>Most people sleep better in a cooler room, so make sure you adjust the temperature to whatever is the best fit for you to get sleep. Even just opening the window a tiny little crack can make a big difference in terms of your overall comfort levels.</p> <p><strong>9. Ask the front desk about blackout shades</strong></p> <p>Particularly if you’re staying in a city that’s full of lights, noises and distractions, blackout shades can provide you with a level of peace and comfort that will help you sleep.</p> <p><strong>10. Consider bringing your own sheets</strong></p> <p>Particularly if you’ve got skin sensitives, it’s generally a good idea to bring your own sheets (if you’ve got enough space). The familiar scent and feel will really help you sleep.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Catriona Rowntree shares her Europe travel hacks she picked up from locals

<p dir="ltr">After decades of hosting <em>Getaway</em>, Catriona Rowntree has learned a thing or two about travelling. </p> <p dir="ltr">Along the way, the 52-year-old has picked up some must-know secrets from locals that every traveller should know before heading to Europe.</p> <p dir="ltr">While in Mallorca in Spain, Rowntree quizzed locals on how to make the most out of her experience, and what faux pas to avoid. </p> <p dir="ltr">She was given advice on the best way to start a day at the markets, told why you should never rent an Airbnb or buy seafood on a Monday, why takeaway coffee is a bad idea and the secret to a longer, healthy life. </p> <p dir="ltr">The TV host shared a little known secret when it comes to buying fresh fish, and said travellers should not buy fish on Monday, because fishermen don’t fish on Sundays, meaning fish purchases on Mondays won’t be fresh. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The life expectancy of a Spaniard is 84, they're a healthy lot, loving a Mediterranean diet, a dollop of sun and a good climate,” she added. </p> <p dir="ltr">The presenter also discovered that all the locals she has spoken to don't like Airbnb accommodation and prefer for tourists to stay in hotels. </p> <p dir="ltr">“All the locals I've spoken to say that's what's pushing them out of their apartments as the town centres are slowly gentrified,” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The average wage is low, most locals rent, sadly landlords prefer the higher fee of an Airbnb. Not cool!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Catriona's final tip is not to get your coffee takeaway, but rather sit down in a cafe, enjoy your coffee and take it slow. </p> <p dir="ltr">“People sit down to enjoy their coffee, they don't get a takeaway: 'If you can't sit for five minutes and talk to a person what's wrong with you!',” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">Catriona said she was told by a local that the best way to start your day is to explore the markets by getting a hot chocolate and some churros. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Not every day as you'll be round, but market day for sure," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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ALDI's epic snow gear sale is back!

<p>Planning a ski trip or a family getaway in the Snowy Mountains? </p> <p>Aldi has got you covered with the return of its popular Snow Gear Special Buys sale set to hit the shelves on May 18. </p> <p>The highly anticipated sale will see more than 70 products on offer with prices starting from just $4.99 and nothing over $100. </p> <p>Rodney Balech, group director for National Buying at Aldi said this year's range is back and “better than ever”. </p> <p>“Whether you’re planning a solo ski trip or a friendly snowball fight with the family, Aldi’s Snow Gear range offers everything you need at an affordable price, without compromising on quality.”</p> <p>“We’re the also introducing more unisex options for kids, making it easier than ever for parents to hand down outfits to save on buying new sizes year after year.” </p> <p>“While price and affordability are on everyone’s minds this year, we have also ensured that every item in our range meets the highest benchmarks.”</p> <p>He also said that they have worked with their partners across the globe to ensure that they create “high quality products across every layer”.</p> <p>“[And] now in more sizes than ever. Each item is embedded with innovative technology that is built to provide top-of-the-line durability and comfort in all conditions, so you can feel assured that both you and your budget will feel great carving down the slopes in this year’s range.”</p> <p>A lot is on offer this year, including Adult’s Premium Ski Jackets for just $99.99 and Ski Pants for $79.99, which can often cost more at other retailers. </p> <p>They have also dropped affordable new snow hoodie for $49.99, which they say is highly waterproof and  "perfect for newcomers to the snow looking to set themselves up with the right gear without having to blow the budget." </p> <p>Gloves, goggles, helmets, thermoboots and kids knitted accessories are also on offer. </p> <p>For those with younger children, Toddler’s Snow Suit will be up for sale for just $34.99 with a few  “mini-me” designs on offer for parents who want to match with their kids. </p> <p>The sizing for teens and young adults have also been extended to give more options for those who are growing up or in between sizes. </p> <p><em>Images: Aldi/ news.com.au</em></p>

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