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The must-visit winter travel destinations

<p dir="ltr">As winter rolls around, many people are looking to flee the confines of their chilly homes and routines in search of sunshine and adventure. </p> <p dir="ltr">Aussies have been already planning their getaways to follow the sun, as <a href="about:blank">Booking.com</a>'s latest search data has revealed the top ten international holiday spots for this year.</p> <p dir="ltr">The results show that while many travellers are heading to tropical destinations this winter, others are searching for a different kind of holiday. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>10. Kuta, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While Bali has long been a popular tourist destination for Aussies, many chose to head to Indonesia to enjoy the sandy beaches and escape the winter chill. </p> <p dir="ltr">With winter temperatures hovering around 25°C each day, there's no better place to escape the cold.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>9. Paris, France</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In 2024, Paris is on many people’s travel lists ahead of the Olympics in July. </p> <p dir="ltr">With charming restaurants, trendy boutiques, chic cafes, and amazing museums on offer, as well as warm temps, there’s no better time to head to Paris. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>8. Ubud, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Another Bali region to make the list, Ubud is an inland paradise amongst rice paddies and lush jungle.</p> <p dir="ltr">The food heaven destination is also known for its gorgeous climate, making it a perfect holiday spot. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>7. Queenstown, New Zealand</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">For those who don’t want to venture too far from home, Queenstown is an amazing spot for anyone seeking an active holiday.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the only spot on the list which isn't about escaping winter, Queenstown - and New Zealand in general - is often visited by keen skiers and those looking to amplify their winter travels. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>6. Canggu, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Another Bali spot making the list, Canggu is a beachside area surrounded by terraced rice paddies and known for good surf.</p> <p dir="ltr">Accommodation in the area ranges from beachside villas and gorgeous guesthouses, with something for everyone. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Singapore</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While Singapore has long been a default stopover city for travellers on their way to Europe, it's also a great destination in its own right.</p> <p dir="ltr">With a stunning mix of old town charm and modern skyscrapers, it's the perfect place for a mid-week getaway or long weekend.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Legian, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Legian Beach is right next to the popular spot Kuta, though is a bit more relaxed and laid-back, and perfect for travellers who want to chill out.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to booking.com, Legian has become increasingly popular with travellers in the last year.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. London, England</strong> </p> <p dir="ltr">For anyone embarking on a Euro summer, London is a must-see destination for any keen traveller.</p> <p dir="ltr">There's something in London for everyone, from amazing museums and sprawling markets, to iconic landmarks and rich history.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. Tokyo, Japan</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While tourism in Japan has surged in recent years, there’s a good reason why, as many travellers are flocking to the nation to experience its rich culture. </p> <p dir="ltr">On top of it being an affordable destination, the unique experience has Aussies heading to Japan in droves, with Tokyo seeing a 25 per cent search increase among Aussies in the last year. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>1. Seminyak, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Unsurprisingly, a Bali destination has topped the list, as Seminyak offers luxury hotels and villas, high-end dining, and famous beach clubs.</p> <p dir="ltr">Located between Canggu and Kuta, Seminyak has long hosted thousands of tourists looking to escape the cold, with travellers and locals alike basking in the picturesque sunsets. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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Air travel exposes you to radiation – how much health risk comes with it?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-j-jorgensen-239253">Timothy J. Jorgensen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/georgetown-university-1239">Georgetown University</a></em></p> <p>In 2017, <a href="http://www.independent.ie/business/world/18-million-miles-and-counting-the-globes-top-business-traveller-35666790.html">business traveler Tom Stuker</a> was hailed as the world’s most frequent flyer, logging 18,000,000 miles of air travel on United Airlines over 14 years.</p> <p>That’s a lot of time up in the air. If Stuker’s traveling behaviors are typical of other business flyers, he may have eaten 6,500 <a href="http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=689041">inflight meals</a>, drunk 5,250 <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1708-8305.2009.00339.x">alcoholic beverages</a>, watched thousands of <a href="http://www.iata.org/publications/store/Pages/global-passenger-survey.aspx">inflight movies</a> and made around 10,000 visits to <a href="http://blog.thetravelinsider.info/2012/11/how-many-restrooms-are-enough-on-a-plane.html">airplane toilets</a>.</p> <p>He would also have accumulated a radiation dose equivalent to about 1,000 <a href="https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=safety-xray">chest x-rays</a>. But what kind of health risk does all that radiation actually pose?</p> <h2>Cosmic rays coming at you</h2> <p>You might guess that a frequent flyer’s radiation dose is coming from the airport security checkpoints, with their whole-body scanners and baggage x-ray machines, but you’d be wrong. The <a href="http://www.aapm.org/publicgeneral/AirportScannersPressRelease.asp">radiation doses to passengers from these security procedures</a> are trivial.</p> <p>The major source of radiation exposure from air travel comes from the flight itself. This is because at high altitude the <a href="http://www.altitude.org/why_less_oxygen.php">air gets thinner</a>. The farther you go from the Earth’s surface, the fewer molecules of gas there are per volume of space. Thinner air thus means fewer molecules to deflect incoming <a href="http://www.space.com/32644-cosmic-rays.html">cosmic rays</a> – radiation from outer space. With less <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/earth/atmosphere_and_climate/atmosphere">atmospheric shielding</a>, there is more exposure to radiation.</p> <p>The most extreme situation is for astronauts who travel entirely outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and enjoy none of its protective shielding. Consequently, they receive high radiation doses. In fact, it is the accumulation of radiation dose that is the limiting factor for the maximum length of manned space flights. Too long in space and <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/hrp/bodyinspace">astronauts risk cataracts, cancer and potential heart ailments</a> when they get back home.</p> <p>Indeed, it’s the radiation dose problem that is a major spoiler for <a href="http://www.space.com/34210-elon-musk-unveils-spacex-mars-colony-ship.html">Elon Musk’s goal of inhabiting Mars</a>. An extended stay on Mars, with its <a href="http://www.space.com/16903-mars-atmosphere-climate-weather.html">extremely thin atmosphere</a>, would be lethal due to the high radiation doses, notwithstanding Matt Damon’s successful Mars colonization in the movie <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej3ioOneTy8">“The Martian</a>.”</p> <h2>Radiation risks of ultra frequent flying</h2> <p>What would be Stuker’s cumulative radiation dose and what are his health risks?</p> <p>It depends entirely on how much time he has spent in the air. Assuming an <a href="http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2002/JobyJosekutty.shtml">average flight speed</a> (550 mph), Stuker’s 18,000,000 miles would translate into 32,727 hours (3.7 years) of flight time. The radiation dose rate at typical <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-truths/why-do-planes-fly-so-high-feet/">commercial airline flight altitude</a> (35,000 feet) is about <a href="https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html">0.003 millisieverts per hour</a>. (As I explain in my book <a href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10691.html">“Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation</a>,” a millisievert or mSv is a unit of radiation dose that can be used to estimate cancer risk.) By multiplying the dose rate by the hours of flight time, we can see that Stuker has earned himself about 100 mSv of radiation dose, in addition to a lot of free airline tickets. But what does that mean for his health?</p> <p>The primary health threat at this dose level is an increased risk of some type of cancer later in life. Studies of atomic bomb victims, nuclear workers and medical radiation patients have <a href="https://doi.org/10.17226/11340">allowed scientists to estimate the cancer risk</a> for any particular radiation dose.</p> <p>All else being equal and assuming that low doses have risk levels proportionate to high doses, then an overall cancer risk rate of <a href="http://www.imagewisely.org/imaging-modalities/computed-tomography/medical-physicists/articles/how-to-understand-and-communicate-radiation-risk">0.005 percent per mSv</a> is a reasonable and commonly used estimate. Thus, Stuker’s 100-mSv dose would increase his lifetime risk of contracting a potentially fatal cancer by about 0.5 percent.</p> <h2>Contextualizing the risk</h2> <p>The question then becomes whether that’s a high level of risk. Your own feeling might depend on how you see your background cancer risk.</p> <p>Most people <a href="http://www.who.int/whr/2002/chapter3/en/index4.html">underestimate their personal risk of dying from cancer</a>. Although the exact number is debatable, it’s fair to say that <a href="https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/lifetime-probability-of-developing-or-dying-from-cancer.html">about 25 percent of men ultimately contract a potentially fatal cancer</a>. Stuker’s 0.5 percent cancer risk from radiation should be added to his baseline risk – so it would go from 25 percent to 25.5 percent. A cancer risk increase of that size is too small to actually measure in any scientific way, so it must remain a theoretical increase in risk.</p> <p>A 0.5 percent increase in risk is the same as one chance in 200 of getting cancer. In other words, if 200 male travelers logged 18,000,000 miles of air travel, like Stuker did, we might expect just one of them to contract a cancer thanks to his flight time. The other 199 travelers would suffer no health effects. So the chances that Stuker is the specific 18-million-mile traveler who would be so unlucky is quite small.</p> <p>Stuker was logging more air hours per year (greater than 2,000) than most pilots typically log (<a href="http://work.chron.com/duty-limitations-faa-pilot-17646.html">under 1,000</a>). So these airline workers would have risk levels proportionately lower than Stuker’s. But what about you?</p> <p>If you want to know your personal cancer risk from flying, estimate all of your commercial airline miles over the years. Assuming that the values and parameters for speed, radiation dose and risk stated above for Stuker are also true for you, dividing your total miles by 3,700,000,000 will give your approximate odds of getting cancer from your flying time.</p> <p>For example, let’s pretend that you have a mathematically convenient 370,000 total flying miles. That would mean 370,000 miles divided by 3,700,000,000, which comes out to be 1/10,000 odds of contracting cancer (or a 0.01 percent increase in risk). Most people do not fly 370,000 miles (equal to 150 flights from Los Angeles to New York) within their lifetimes. So for the average flyer, the increased risk is far less than 0.01 percent.</p> <p>To make your exercise complete, make a list of all the benefits that you’ve derived from your air travel over your lifetime (job opportunities, vacation travel, family visits and so on) and go back and look at your increased cancer risk again. If you think your benefits have been meager compared to your elevated cancer risk, maybe its time to rethink flying. But for many people today, flying is a necessity of life, and the small elevated cancer risk is worth the price.<!-- 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/78790/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/timothy-j-jorgensen-239253">Timothy J. Jorgensen</a>, Director of the Health Physics and Radiation Protection Graduate Program and Professor of Radiation Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/georgetown-university-1239">Georgetown 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/air-travel-exposes-you-to-radiation-how-much-health-risk-comes-with-it-78790">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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How one widow has changed how women solo travel

<p>After Yvonne Vickers' husband passed away in 2014, she thought her opportunities to travel and see the world had slipped away. </p> <p>Yvonne had always been a keen traveller and went on trips with her married friends after becoming a widow, but she "got over being the third wheel", she admitted to <a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/cruising-solo-female-older-passengers/9553953c-84e8-418a-9c2b-8c9b847b9ba4" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>9Travel</em></a>. </p> <p>Still wanting to see the world on her own terms, Yvonne took to Facebook where she created a group seeking like-minded women who share her passion for adventure. </p> <p>Now, the Find A Female Cruise or Travel Buddy is an ever-growing group that has connected thousands of women looking for travel companions. </p> <p>Whether they're single, widowed, or just married to someone who doesn't want to travel, the group is open to women across the globe to join.</p> <p>Thanks to her newfound community, Yvonne has taken 41 cruises and dozens of land trips since her husband's death, all while making friends for life, and the rest of the group's members are in the same boat.</p> <p>"It's wonderful to get feedback from ladies saying that it's helped to change their life," Yvonne said. "That's the rewarding part of it for me."</p> <p>Members can make a post in the group, detailing a cruise sailing or trip that they have their eye on booking, to see if anyone else would like to join them.</p> <p>"We have a lot of widows in our group who are cashed up and want to travel but don't have anyone to travel with or share their experiences with," Yvonne said. "The group gives them the opportunity to be able to do that."</p> <p>"There are also a lot of ladies who are married but their husbands don't want to travel. It gives them the opportunity to be able to travel."</p> <p>Yvonne says that cruising is a perfect way for older females to travel, especially if they're on their own.</p> <p>"It's a really safe way to travel as a solo female," she says, also noting that it's an easy way to get around and see places. Recently, she did a 35-day trip around Hawaii with a group of women from the group.</p> <p>For the Find A Female Cruise or Travel Buddy group, there's even more fun trips on the horizon.</p> <p>Yvonne just came back from a trip to Japan with 14 group members, and is heading to Bali in August with a friend she made through the group.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine News \ Facebook</em></p>

Cruising

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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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4 ways to avoid foot pain when travelling

<p>Whether it’s caused by a hectic day of sightseeing or a mad rush through the airports, there’s nothing quite as annoying as foot pain when you’re on holidays. And when you consider how easy it is to avoid (so long as you take the correct preventative measures) you’ll feeling like kicking yourself for putting up with it for all these years.</p> <p>Here are four ways to avoid foot pain when travelling.</p> <p><strong>1. Choosing the right pair of shoes  </strong></p> <p>Out of all the fashion statements, shoes are probably responsible for more chronic foot pain than anything else. So make sure you choose the right pair of shoes for your trip. For example, if you’re going to be walking around all day sightseeing it might be an idea to ditch the stiletto heels for a pair of joggers (even if they’re not quite so aesthetically pleasing).</p> <p>Dr Robert Mathews from Cremorne Medical in NSW says, “I recommend wearing supportive shoe such as running shoes. If you want to wear something more stylish then consider buying some gel insoles to slip in your shoes, you can get a wide variety of these from your local chemist.“</p> <p><strong>2. Manage your feet on flights</strong></p> <p>Foot swelling can become quite a big problem on long haul flight, so managing your feet becomes crucial. Simple, preventative measures anyone can take, like wearing support stocks, standing up every so often to move around or even just flexing your feet and wriggling your toes, can make a big difference and greatly reduce the chance of swelling.</p> <p><strong>3. Slip, slop and slap</strong></p> <p>So many island holidays have been soured by the blistering pain of sunburnt feet. If you’re staying at a resort or near a beach and your feet are exposed, don’t forget to apply sunscreen everywhere. Otherwise you’re going to want to have some aloe vera gel handy!</p> <p><strong>4. Take time to rest</strong></p> <p>While you’re probably in a mad rush to see everything, fear of missing out can put significant strain on your feet. So make sure you set aside plenty of time every day to put your feet up and rest. It also might be worth considering some extra pampering, like a foot bath or even a half hour massage. You are on holidays after all, so why not treat yourself!</p> <p>Dr Matthews adds, “It may also be worth taking with you some thick band aids in case you develop any blisters from long walks.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Tips

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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>

Travel Tips

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3 common travel illnesses (and how to avoid them)

<p>Nobody wants to fall sick when they’re on holidays but it happens and is actually quite common. Not every travel illness is foreseeable, but the most prevalent ones usually can be managed if you’re prepared and know what to look out for. Here are three of the most common illnesses travellers experience and what you can do to avoid them.</p> <p><strong>Traveller’s diarrhoea</strong></p> <p>It may be an unpleasant topic of conversation, but as diarrhoeais the most common travel sickness, it’s important to be prepared. It is estimated diarrhoeais experienced by almost half of travellers at some point on their holiday, but mainly by those visiting developing countries. It’s contracted by eating or drinking contaminated food and water and in severe cases can last for days.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How to avoid it</span>:</em> Stick to bottled or purified water, freshly cooked meals and fruits and vegetables you can peel yourself. Talk to your doctor for antibiotics you can take in case you are struck with traveller’s diarrhoea.</p> <p><strong>Motion sickness</strong></p> <p>Whether it’s by boat, plane, or car, many travellers experience motion sickness. This occurs when your eyes see motion but your body doesn’t register it, leading to a conflict of the senses. It often results in nausea, vomiting, headaches, and sweating.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How to avoid it</span>:</em> If flying, try to sit near the wings of plane. If cruising, get an outside cabin in the middle of ship, and if in a car, sit up front. Don’t play with your devices, as looking at a small screens often exacerbates the problem; instead try to look far to the horizon. Have a light meal before travelling and avoid spicy, greasy or rich foods. You can talk to your doctor about over-the-counter medication that can help motion sickness as well.  </p> <p><strong>Bug bites</strong></p> <p>There are all sorts of infectious diseases like malaria, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever you can pick up from bug bites, especially in developing nations. While you should always talk to your doctor about the types of vaccines you need to take for your travel destination, it is always advisable to protect against insect bites.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How to avoid it</span>:</em> Apply insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants where possible and try to avoid outside activity around dust and dawn when mosquitos are active. If sleeping outdoors, it is advisable to use curtain nettings.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Travel Tips

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As you travel, pause and take a look at airport chapels

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/wendy-cadge-343734">Wendy Cadge</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/brandeis-university-1308">Brandeis University</a></em></p> <p>Flying home? It is very likely there is a chapel or meditation room tucked away somewhere in one of the airports you’ll pass through. <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/06/most-of-the-busiest-u-s-airports-have-dedicated-chapels/">Sixteen of the country’s 20 largest airports</a> have chapels, as do many more around the world.</p> <p>I am a <a href="http://www.wendycadge.com/">sociologist</a> of contemporary American religion and have written <a href="http://www.wendycadge.com/publications/airport-chapels-and-chaplains/">two recent articles</a> about airport chaplains and chapels. My interest in airport chapels started as simple curiosity – why do airports have chapels and who uses them? After visiting a few – including the chapel at Logan, my home airport here in Boston – I have concluded that they reflect broader changing norms around American religion.</p> <h2>How airports came to have chapels</h2> <p>The country’s first airport chapels were intended for staff rather than passengers and were established by Catholic leaders in the 1950s and 1960s to make sure their parishioners could attend mass.</p> <p>The first one in the U.S., Our Lady of the Airways, was built by Boston Archbishop Richard J. Cushing at Logan airport in 1951 and it was explicitly meant for people working at the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srx025">airport</a>. A neon light pointed to the chapel and souvenir cards handed out at the dedication read, “We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us away from all dangers, O glorious and blessed virgin.”</p> <p>Our Lady of the Airways inspired the building of the country’s second airport chapel, Our Lady of the Skies at what was then Idlewild – and is today John F. Kennedy airport in New York City.</p> <p>Protestant chapels came later. The first was in New York – again at JFK. It was designed in the shape of a Latin cross and was joined by a Jewish synagogue in the 1960s. These chapels were located at a distance from the terminals: Passengers wishing to visit them had to go outside. They were <a href="https://books.google.com/books/about/Exploring_Interfaith_Space.html?id=on5YNwAACAA">later razed</a> and rebuilt in different area of JFK.</p> <p>In the 1970s and 1980s, Protestant chapels opened in Atlanta, and in several terminals of the Dallas airport in Texas.</p> <h2>Becoming more inclusive</h2> <p>By the 1990s and 2000s, single faith chapels had become a <a href="http://www.tciarchive.org/4534.article">“dying breed.”</a> Most started to welcome people from all religions. And many were transformed into spaces for reflection, or meditation for weary travelers.</p> <p>The chapel at San Francisco International Airport, for example, known as the <a href="https://www.flysfo.com/content/berman-reflection-room-0">Berman Reflection Room</a> for Jewish philanthropist Henry Berman who was a former president of the San Francisco Airport Commission, looks like a quiet waiting room filled with plants and lines of connected chairs. A small enclosed space without any religious symbols or obvious connections to things religious or spiritual is available for services.</p> <p>The scene at the <a href="http://www.atlchapel.org/">Atlanta</a> airport chapel is similar, with only a few chairs and clear glass entrances, to provide space for quiet reflection.</p> <p>Some airports, such as JFK, continue with their “Our Lady” names, indicating their faith-based origins.</p> <p>Others include religious symbols and objects from a range of religious traditions. The chapel in <a href="https://cltairportchapel.org/">Charlotte</a>, North Carolina, for example, has multiple religious texts alongside prayer rugs, rosary beads and artistically rendered quotes from the world’s major religions.</p> <p>Pamphlets on topics ranging from grief to forgiveness are available for visitors to take with them at the Charlotte airport.</p> <h2>Different airports, different rules</h2> <p>As these examples show, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srx025">no two airports</a> have negotiated chapel space in the same way. What is permissible in one city is often not in another. Often, it is local, historical and demographic factors, including the religious composition of the region, that influence decisions. These could even be based on who started the chapel, or how much interreligious cooperation there is in a city.</p> <p>Certain airports such as Chicago’s <a href="http://www.airportchapels.org/">O'Hare</a> have strict rules regarding impromptu religious gatherings whether inside the chapel or out. Some use their public address systems to announce religious services. Others prohibit such announcements and do not even allow airport chaplains to put out any signs that could indicate a religious space.</p> <p>If they are included in airport maps, chapels tend to be designated by the symbol of a person bent in prayer. But even then, they can be difficult to spot. About half of the existing chapels are on the pre-security side of the airport and the other half accessible only after passengers pass through security.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srx025">Only four large American airports</a> – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York’s LaGuardia – do not have chapel spaces, although opening such a space is under consideration. In the interim, at LaGuardia, a Catholic chaplain holds mass in a conference room.</p> <h2>What’s the future?</h2> <p>The reasons for these spaces and their variations are idiosyncratic and intensely local. These chapels reveal a range of approaches to contemporary American religion and spirituality.</p> <p>So on your travels, keep an eye out for these chapels. Note their similarities and differences and recognize how important local histories are to how church-state issues are resolved – at airports and beyond.<!-- 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/87578/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/wendy-cadge-343734">Wendy Cadge</a>, Professor of Sociology and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/brandeis-university-1308">Brandeis University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </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/as-you-travel-pause-and-take-a-look-at-airport-chapels-87578">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

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The unique travel hack that is guaranteed to help beat jet lag

<p dir="ltr">Experts have revealed how to beat jet lag on your next overseas holiday, and it all comes down to your modes of transport. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sleep researchers said it's good news for cruise lovers, as exposure to sea air and bright natural light improves sleep to cure the annoying condition quickly.</p> <p dir="ltr">Some experts say to avoid travelling by plane all together, and always opt for cruising holidays instead. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, if you have to travel to your cruise by plane, being on board is a great way to tackle the dreadful feeling, compared with holidaying on land, Panache Cruises said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dr Lindsay Browning, expert at Trouble Sleeping said exposing yourself to bright lights at the right time after a long-haul flight is one of the most powerful things we can do to boost and help shift circadian rhythm, and being on a ship is the perfect place for that.</p> <p dir="ltr">"As a general rule, you want to get lots of bright light exposure during the daytime and avoid light at night," Browning said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"When travelling on a cruise ship, you will naturally get a lot of bright light exposure during the day, helping your circadian rhythm.”</p> <p dir="ltr">"Further, when travelling by ship you will have a cabin with a proper bed and curtain, enabling you to sleep at night when you want to."</p> <p dir="ltr">The company claimed research showed how prolonged exposure to sea air can improve blood oxygen levels, boost vitamin D, and improve breathing leading to higher-quality sleep, helping to rid travellers of pesky jet lag so they can enjoy their holidays. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Tips

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94-year-old grandma takes on huge travel challenge

<p>"Grandma Joy" Ryan was 91 when she first got her passport, and she hasn't stopped travelling since. </p> <p>Now aged 94, she is embarking on a new global challenge with her grandson Brad Ryan, 42, with the intergenerational duo planning to travel to all seven continents in the world together. </p> <p>"I don't have many years left, [so] you hop to it," Grandma Joy told <em>CNN Travel</em>. </p> <p> "If you slow down, you don't get anything done."</p> <p>The pair, who are from the US, have already travelled to three continents, visiting Banff National Park in Canada last year to "represent North America well beyond just our own country", and Africa in 2023, visiting both Amboseli National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. </p> <p>Their most recent trip was to South America, where they travelled to Ecuador, and spent time in  the Galapagos Islands, as well as Chile. </p> <p>"It was amazing to see those huge tortoises," Grandma Joy recalled. "They could raise their shells up just like a convertible or something."</p> <p>Prior to travelling the world together, the grandma-grandson duo were actually estranged for around a decade due to a family rift that occurred after Ryan's parents divorced. </p> <p>After reconnecting in 2010, Ryan was telling his grandma about his previous hiking adventures on the Appalachian Trail and Mount Kilimanjaro, when he learnt that his grandmother "had never set eyes on a mountain."</p> <p>"That was one of her lifelong regrets," he said. </p> <p>"Her travel had been limited to just a few road trips to Florida with my grandfather when he was alive.</p> <p>"Her view of the world was always what she saw on the Travel Channel or just on the news."</p> <p>That conversation stuck with him and the pair embarked on their first journey together in 2015, when Ryan decided to take a weekend road trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. </p> <p>"At 85, she saw her first mountain, climbed her first mountain and went camping for the first time and fell off the air mattress a couple of times and didn't complain," he said. </p> <p>He added, that having to move more slowly as he was travelling with his grandma, meant that he was able to appreciate everything in a more meaningful way. </p> <p>"I wasn't rushing through the places that I was visiting. I was really taking the time to appreciate smaller details.</p> <p>"The lens through which she is seeing the world is very different to most people my age. She doesn't visit a place thinking, 'Well, I'll be back again,' so there's more presence."</p> <p>They kept the adventure going and decided to travel to the 62 other US National Parks, and while it took them almost eight years with two-month long breaks between each trip, Grandma Joy made history last year. </p> <p>She became the oldest person to visit all 63 National Parks in the US. </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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CsU_w4-rqyP/?utm_source=ig_embed&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/p/CsU_w4-rqyP/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Grandma Joy’s Road Trip — Brad and Joy Ryan (@grandmajoysroadtrip)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"Being an old person sitting on the porch, this makes you feel like, 'Well maybe I did accomplish something.' So I enjoyed every bit of it," she said. </p> <p>Ryan himself is very proud of his grandmother's achievement, and after going viral with their national parks quest in 2023, he said that travelling with her has been a life-changing experience. </p> <p>"She shattered my preconceived notions about what it means to be an older person,"  he said. </p> <p>"Because she wasn't just sitting in the passenger seat looking out the window, although we did that too."</p> <p>He then described how Grandma Joy went ziplining at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in West Virginia and whitewater rafting at Wrangell St. Elias National Park in Alaska at the age of 91, and how she reminded him of all the possibilities that come with getting older. </p> <p>"I think we all have this sort of innate dread about getting older," he said. </p> <p>"And we think about the limitations instead of the possibilities. She [Grandma Joy] reminds us of the possibilities that still exist."</p> <p>While the pair are currently "still recovering" from their latest trip to South America, they shared their plan to visit Australia later this year, and hope to  "hop over to Asia" after. </p> <p>Once they've ticked off Australia and Asia off their list, they plan to visit Europe and hope to end their trip in Antarctica. </p> <p>"Antarctica is the one that's like the wildcard," Ryan said. "We would love that, but getting there is challenging.</p> <p>"I'd like to end big, and I think Antarctica would be the cherry on top of this adventure."</p> <p>The duo document all their adventures on their Instagram account, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/grandmajoysroadtrip/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">grandmajoysroadtrip</a> and despite people wondering when they would wrap it up, Grandma Joy's "willing spirit" keeps her going. </p> <p>"I just take one step at a time, one day at a time, and thank the Lord every morning for giving me one more day," she said. </p> <p>"I try to be an optimist. The glass is half full, not half empty. And the people that you meet along the way lift your spirits.</p> <p>"You see people in worse shape than you, and I just think 'I've got a lot to be thankful for.'</p> <p>"Not everybody's lucky enough to have a grandson that's willing to drag them around."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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Everything you need to know before you travel to Vietnam

<p dir="ltr">So you’ve booked your flight to Vietnam to experience the best of south-east Asia. </p> <p dir="ltr">When travelling to Vietnam, and other Asian countries, there are a handful of tips and tricks to be aware of to ensure you have a smooth sailing travel experience. </p> <p dir="ltr">In comparison to travelling around Western countries, exploring Vietnam comes with a unique set of circumstances, and being prepared for every situation will make sure your trip is one to remember. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Cash is king</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">When it comes to planning your trip to Vietnam, other than booking your flights, hotels and travel insurance, one of your first priorities should be getting your hands on cash. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Vietnamese Dong is a unique currency to get used to, given that $5 AUD is equal to approximately $82,000 VND. </p> <p dir="ltr">Most of the restaurants, cafes and tourist attractions you’ll be heading to will only accept cash, so make sure you seek out an ATM (most ATMs will let you translate to English) and always have a decent amount of cash on hand. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Go off the beaten track </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Vietnam has so much more to offer than the major cities. </p> <p dir="ltr">While Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have a lot of interesting history, tourist attractions and unique cultural experiences, staying in these cities for the entirety of your Vietnam trip is limiting. </p> <p dir="ltr">Make sure you explore coastal towns such as Hoi An, Hue and Phu Quoc, explore the rolling rice fields of Sapa, and don’t forget to book your cruise around the picturesque Ha Long Bay. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Don't be afraid of the food </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While Vietnamese food is maybe not what you’re used to eating everyday, part of experiencing a different culture is immersing yourself in the food scene. </p> <p dir="ltr">One of the best things you can do when you arrive at your destination is to book a food tour with a local guide (there are many available through TripAdvisor), to take you around and show you a variety of dishes to become accustomed to. </p> <p dir="ltr">Your food tour guide will also help ease your anxiety over ordering food in different places. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another top tip: Restaurants will often be called the name of the dishes they serve. For example, places that sell the delicious Bahn Mi bread rolls will have “Bahn Mi” in their name. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Google Translate is your friend </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While your hotel staff will often speak good English, other vendors at restaurants or markets may not be as fluent. </p> <p dir="ltr">Downloading the Google Translate app on your phone will allow you to communicate with locals quickly and easily, by typing in what you want to say in English, and letting the app read out the sentence in Vietnamese. </p> <p dir="ltr">Also, the app’s camera feature lets you hover your smartphone camera over something written in Vietnamese, before translating it into English in seconds. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Beware of scams</strong> </p> <p dir="ltr">One of the most common scams in Vietnam is taxi scams. Some people will claim to be a taxi and then jack up the prices once they take you to your destination. </p> <p dir="ltr">To avoid this, only get in registered taxis (that actually look like taxis and not just a random car), and download Grab, which is the Vietnamese version of Uber and is just as easy to use. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another common scam is for market vendors to hike up prices for food and souvenirs, so be ready to barter for a better price. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Make friends with the locals </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The Vietnamese people are some of the loveliest, kindest and most accommodating in the world. </p> <p dir="ltr">People on the street, hotel staff and restaurant workers are always happy to help you with queries or concerns, so make the most of their local knowledge and don’t be afraid to approach people with a smile. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

International Travel

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Why you should travel solo this summer

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/claire-mccamley-446927">Claire McCamley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-huddersfield-1226">University of Huddersfield</a></em></p> <p>When you think about booking a summer holiday, you might think of trips with partners, friends or family. The idea of going on holiday alone can be daunting, or even unappealing. It raises all kinds of questions – who will you talk to? Who will you eat with? Will you be safe?</p> <p>There has long been a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0267257X.2015.1073170?journalCode=rjmm20">stigma against solo consumption</a>. Societal norms encourage us to be with someone – leisure experiences are billed as something to <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2019-0584/full/pdf?title=dining-alone-improving-the-experience-of-solo-restaurant-goers">share with others</a>. There may also be a level of guilt or self-indulgence associated with solo travel, feeling as if you are shirking responsibility or abandoning time with family.</p> <p>An increase in <a href="https://www.euromonitor.com/article/single-person-households-to-record-128-percent-growth-by-2030">single-person households</a>, however, means the hospitality industry is now serving solo consumers in addition to families and couples. The continuously <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2020/05/11/is-a-blurred-work-life-balance-the-new-normal/?sh=5c9db6341813">blurred line</a> between work and play, particularly for Millennials and younger generations, makes it easier to work remotely or travel as part of our jobs. We are more transient than ever, and have more opportunities to work and travel alone without feeling completely disconnected from the rest of our lives.</p> <p>In recent years, people have been <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/whats-behind-the-rise-in-solo-travel/">increasingly</a> travelling alone – including younger vacationers. They also share their experiences to a large audience on social media – the hashtag #SoloTravel has over 7 million posts associated with it on Instagram. Solo travellers are taking part in the growing <a href="https://www.futuresplatform.com/blog/solo-economy-new-consumption-patterns">solo economy</a> – new products and services targeting the lone consumer.</p> <p>Hotels, <a href="https://www.ncl.com/uk/en/freestyle-cruise/solo-cruising">cruises</a>, restaurants, tourism <a href="https://www.flashpack.com/">companies</a> and festivals are showing how design, staff and technology can be tailored to accommodate – and even encourage – solo consumption in travel. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14705931211017184">Our research</a> into the experience of solo consumers in coffee shops offers insight into how solo consumption can be as pleasurable and fulfilling as going with a partner or friend. Through <a href="https://www.research.ucsb.edu/sites/default/files/RD/docs/FREEWRITING-by-Peter-Elbow.pdf">freewriting</a> exercises, these consumers shared their own experiences. Their words offer some reasons you should try it too.</p> <h2>Be together, alone</h2> <p>Our research participants highlighted key factors that help them enjoy their solo experience – high seats and window views allowing them to sit back and observe others’ lives without any direct interaction or connection. You don’t need to arrive with others to feel part of a social environment. Alone in a crowded square or on a busy beach, the proximity of other people and their conversations can be a source of comfort, distraction or even entertainment.</p> <blockquote> <p>The seat is important -– I like the window especially a stool and “shelf” table facing out … I see people, imagine their lives, see cars and life pass by. I watch other customers, I watch the street out the window, the cliché of “watching the world pass by”. The setting, context and environment of the café are important to that moment of pause.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Take time for yourself</h2> <p>Being alone can be a <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/14705931211017184">therapeutic experience</a>, a time to process thoughts, feelings and emotions and leave you ready to tackle the world again. Perhaps take time to write, draw or practice another creative activity in your own time. Bask in your own thoughts without feeling pressure to please anyone else or force a conversation.</p> <blockquote> <p>Sitting alone with my thoughts can be a comforting experience; picking a seat, getting comfy…I can find silence with my thoughts and don’t feel any pressure to act for anybody or involve myself in a conversation that doesn’t interest me.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Get out of your comfort zone</h2> <p>Being able to do your own thing, without needing to consider others can be relaxing and can also give you the opportunity to do something you’ve never done before, free of judgement. You might want to go to some sort of class, shop or have a complete chill-out day.</p> <p>Findings from our research indicate that time spent doing things alone can relieve some of the pressures that companions can bring. Alone time gives you the space to experience things in your own time and take in your surroundings without distraction. In doing this, you may find yourself in new situations, away from your comfort zone – an energising and enthralling experience.</p> <h2>Embrace solo traveller culture</h2> <p>Solo travellers have their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278431921002516">own way of doing things</a>, they have a shared behaviour and process and often become a collective in themselves. They acknowledge the process of travelling alone and respect others doing the same, and may even seek out spaces to be alone, together. Solo travellers can engage in a shared experience and dialogue while maintaining their own individualism – helping each other when needed, but also leave one another alone.</p> <blockquote> <p>We search for places where we feel we fit … We are happy to smile at one another. We don’t need to chat to engage. We are happy on our own with a coffee. I am amongst my tribe.<!-- 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/184000/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> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/claire-mccamley-446927"><em>Claire McCamley</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-huddersfield-1226">University of Huddersfield</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</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-you-should-travel-solo-this-summer-184000">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Longing for the ‘golden age’ of air travel? Be careful what you wish for

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-bednarek-144872">Janet Bednarek</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</a></em></p> <p>Long lines at security checkpoints, tiny plastic cups of soda, small bags of pretzels, planes filled to capacity, fees attached to every amenity – all reflect the realities of 21st century commercial air travel. It’s no wonder that many travelers have become nostalgic for the so-called “golden age” of air travel in the United States.</p> <p>During the 1950s, airlines promoted commercial air travel as glamorous: stewardesses served full meals on real china, airline seats were large (and frequently empty) with ample leg-room, and passengers always dressed well.</p> <p>After jets were introduced in the late 1950s, passengers could travel to even the most distant locations at speeds unimaginable a mere decade before. An airline trip from New York to London that could take up to 15 hours in the early 1950s could be made in less than seven hours by the early 1960s.</p> <p>But airline nostalgia can be tricky, and “golden ages” are seldom as idyllic as they seem.</p> <p>Until the introduction of jets in 1958, most of the nation’s commercial planes were propeller-driven aircraft, like the DC-4. Most of these planes were unpressurized, and with a maximum cruising altitude of 10,000 to 12,000 feet, they were unable to fly over bad weather. Delays were frequent, turbulence common, and air sickness bags often needed.</p> <p>Some planes were spacious and pressurized: the <a href="http://everythingnice.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/PanAm-cutawayS.jpg">Boeing Stratocruiser</a>, for example, could seat 50 first class passengers or 81 coach passengers compared to the DC-3’s 21 passengers. It could cruise at 32,000 feet, which allowed Stratocruiser to fly above most bad weather it encountered. But only 56 of these planes were ever in service.</p> <p>While the later DC-6 and DC-7 were pressurized, they still flew much lower than the soon-to-appear jets – 20,000 feet compared to 30,000 feet – and often encountered turbulence. The piston engines were bulky, complex and difficult to maintain, which contributed to frequent delays.</p> <p>For much of this period, the old saying “Time to spare, go by air” still rang true.</p> <p>Through the 1930s and into the 1940s, almost everyone flew first class. Airlines did encourage more people to fly in the 1950s and 1960s by introducing coach or tourist fares, but the savings were relative: less expensive than first class, but still pricey. In 1955, for example, so-called “bargain fares” from New York to Paris were the equivalent of just over $2,600 in 2014 dollars. Although the advent of jets did result in lower fares, the cost was still out of reach of most Americans. The most likely frequent flier was a white, male businessman traveling on his company’s expense account, and in the 1960s, airlines – with young attractive stewardesses in short skirts – clearly catered to their most frequent flyers.</p> <p>The demographics of travelers did begin to shift during this period. More women, more young people, and retirees began to fly; still, airline travel remained financially out-of-reach for most.</p> <p>If it was a golden age, it only was for the very few.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bKqQgNZylLw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Jet planes were introduced in the late 1950s, resulting in shorter flight times. But their ticket prices out of reach for the average traveler.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>People also forget that well into the 1960s, air travel was far more dangerous than it is today. In the 1950s and 1960s US airlines experienced at least a half dozen crashes per year – most leading to fatalities of all on board. People today may bemoan the crowded airplanes and lack of on-board amenities, but the number of fatalities per million miles flown has dropped dramatically since since the late 1970s, especially compared to the 1960s. Through at least the 1970s, airports even prominently featured kiosks selling flight insurance.</p> <p>And we can’t forget hijackings. By the mid-1960s so many airplanes had been hijacked that <a href="http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/hijackers/flying-high.htm">“Take me to Cuba”</a> became a punch line for stand-up comics. In 1971 <a href="http://nymag.com/news/features/39593/index2.html">D.B. Cooper</a> – a hijacker who parachuted from a Boeing 727 after extorting $200,000 – might have been able to achieve folk hero status. But one reason US airline passengers today (generally) tolerate security checkpoints is that they want some kind of assurance that their aircraft will remain safe.</p> <p>And if the previous examples don’t dull the sheen of air travel’s “golden age,” remember: in-flight smoking was both permitted and encouraged.<!-- 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/34177/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/janet-bednarek-144872"><em>Janet Bednarek</em></a><em>, Professor of History, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </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/longing-for-the-golden-age-of-air-travel-be-careful-what-you-wish-for-34177">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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The cheapest places to travel in 2024

<p dir="ltr">With the cost of living continuing to rise, many people are looking for cost-friendly ways to travel the world in 2024. </p> <p dir="ltr">Some destinations are more economic than others, with these somewhat overlooked holiday hotspots showcasing the best of travelling without breaking the bank.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you’re looking for a new adventure this year, these corners of the globe are the cheapest places to travel in 2024.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>The Philippines</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The underrated gem located only a few hours northeast of Australia is one of the cheapest destinations in Asia, it's a wonder why more tourists don’t visit. </p> <p dir="ltr">Not only is it home to over 7,500 picturesque islands, six UNESCO World Heritage Sites and an endless chain of pristine beaches, it's also very affordable with resort accommodation under $100 a night is not hard to find.</p> <p dir="ltr">On top of accommodation, day tours and activities (snorkelling, for example) will set you back around $30 to $40.</p> <p dir="ltr">Flights are also reasonable in cost, with return flights from Sydney to Manila coming in around $600 per person. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Turkey</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Travellers can get to Istanbul from Melbourne and back for approximately $1,300 per person, to visit some of the world’s most historical sites. </p> <p dir="ltr">Turkey is a paradise for those travelling on a budget, with mouthwatering meals can be found regularly for as little as $5, and even less for street food.</p> <p dir="ltr">To make it even better, striking accommodation in the historic Galata region can be as low as $50 a night. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Hungary</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Hungary is regularly dubbed one of Europe’s cheapest tourist destinations, with  accommodation, dining and entertainment costs significantly lower than the neighbouring countries.</p> <p dir="ltr">Expect to part with $60 to $100 a night for a pretty-as-a-picture hotel in the city centre, around $10 to $15 for meals in restaurants, and anywhere between $7 to $30 for activities. </p> <p dir="ltr">There are also tourist passes available that make these costs even cheaper. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Albania</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Located on the western part of the Balkan peninsula, this destination is often overlooked by tourists, making it an ideal budget-friendly destination. </p> <p dir="ltr">The stunning country is home to UNESCO World Heritage sites and turquoise beaches, all while keeping your budget in mind. </p> <p dir="ltr">Beachside accommodation can be found for as little as $70 a night, with prices comparable to Turkey for restaurant meals. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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Seasoned travellers share the most underwhelming tourist attractions

<p dir="ltr">When it comes to travelling the world, there are always places and attractions that have been overhyped by those who travelled there before. </p> <p dir="ltr">While some places are known as hotspots for a reason, others can fail to deliver. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sharing some of their experiences, a group of travel writers have shared stories of the times they were left feeling deflated while travelling the world. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Mona Lisa, Paris, France</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While most travellers who visit the world-famous Louvre museum in Paris are destined to join the hoards of people to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa, others have dubbed her underwhelming. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to one travel writer at <em>Stuff Travel</em>, the small dimensions of da Vinci’s masterwork make it difficult to see. </p> <p dir="ltr">They wrote, “You either need to BYO ladder or be over six feet tall to even catch a glimpse over the hordes of tourists waving their cellphones.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“A security barrier also means that it's impossible to appreciate the finer details of the hyper-realistic work - which essentially defeats the point altogether.”</p> <p dir="ltr">They concluded by writing that despite being ‘the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world’, the Mona Lisa is also one of the world's biggest letdowns.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Playa del Carmen, Mexico</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Located in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, this vibrant tourist hotspot is a treat for the senses, or, as others have called it, an overstimulating nightmare. </p> <p dir="ltr">A combination of the blazing heat, suffocating humidity, loud clubs, and seemingly endless floods of tourists, this vibrant destination is not for the faint of heart. </p> <p dir="ltr">One seasoned traveller admitted that while some might find the holiday spot idyllic, for those searching for somewhere a bit less overstimulating, “head a little bit further south to Tulum”. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>That Wānaka Tree, New Zealand</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">One of New Zealand's most popular tourist hotspots, especially on social media, is the picturesque Wānaka tree, located on the South Island. </p> <p dir="ltr">A travel writer made the trip to NZ with her sister to view the stunning landscape, but both women were left severely underwhelmed when they arrived. </p> <p dir="ltr">“From the carpark, over the bridge and down the trail to the lakeside to find That Wānaka Tree had not a single leaf. "Is that it?" my sister blurts out. I must agree, was that it?” the seasoned traveller wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">“A true case of Instagram versus reality.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

International Travel

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To avoid the worst of climate change we have to change how we travel

<p>In September last year I embarked on a 5 week trip throughout Italy and France.</p> <p>We swam in the waters of Cinque Terre, ate the best pizza we’d ever had in Naples, and walked blisters into our feet through the streets of Paris.</p> <p>The marvels of modern aviation meant I completed my 32,000 km round trip in roughly 24 hours each way.</p> <p>But while I budgeted for the monetary costs associated with the trip, I neglected to consider another crucial one – the carbon cost.</p> <p>Humans are changing the Earth’s climate. It is estimated our activities have caused about 1°C of additional  atmospheric warming since the industrial revolution. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">crossing a 1.5°C threshold</a> will unleash devastating climate change impacts on human life and ecosystems.</p> <p>To keep global warming to below 1.5°C, as called for in the <a href="https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Paris Agreement</a>, emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest, halve by 2030, and reach net-zero as soon as possible before 2050. The <a href="https://www.unwto.org/the-glasgow-declaration-on-climate-action-in-tourism" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism</a>, launched at <a href="https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/cop26" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">COP26</a>, commits the tourism sector to these goals.</p> <p>So, what will global tourism look like as it begins to decarbonise? Will it necessitate changing the way I approach travel in the coming decades?</p> <p>Paul Peeters, a professor of sustainable transport and tourism at Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands is one of the principal authors of a report released last year that seeks to <a href="https://pure.buas.nl/ws/portalfiles/portal/27136592/Peeters_Papp_EnvisionTourism_report.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><em>envision tourism in 2030 and beyond.</em></a></p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Tourism and emissions: how big of a contributor is it?</h2> <p>Tourism is a major contributor to climate change. According to Peeters, at least 5% of global CO<sub>2</sub> emissions come from tourism and travel, with some estimates as high as 8-11% if you include indirect (supply chain) emissions.</p> <p>These emissions are inequitable, about half of the global tourism footprint is caused by travel between the richest countries.</p> <p>If global tourism continues unchanged, it’s predicted to increase emissions by 73% by 2050, compared to 2019. In this scenario, the sector will use over 66% of the world’s remaining carbon budget between 2023 and 2100.</p> <p>Peeters says this is not a viable way forward. But it doesn’t mean that tourism will cease to exist, or that we must stop flying altogether.</p> <p>Instead, the modelling he presents finds there is a plausible decarbonisation pathway that allows tourism to continue with similar levels of growth in global revenue, trips, and guest nights compared to 2019, while also achieving net-zero emissions, by 2050.</p> <p>This model is called the Tourism Decarbonisation Scenario (TDS) and it requires us to re-think how we travel.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">How do you put tourism emissions into a holding pattern?</h2> <p>“If you look at the division of the [emissions from] different parts of travel, then in general… transport takes about 75-80%, 20% goes to the accommodation sector,” says Peeters.</p> <p>That 20% also includes activities, like visiting museums or amusement parks.</p> <p>“And then within transport, you see that about more than half of the emissions come from aviation, while at the same time aviation serves about a quarter of all trips,” he says.</p> <p>Each country party to the Paris Agreement – a legally binding international treaty on climate change – is required to establish a <a href="https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/all-about-ndcs#:~:text=Simply%20put%2C%20an%20NDC%2C%20or,and%20adapt%20to%20climate%20impacts." target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Nationally Determined Contribution</a> (NDC). An NDC is an action plan to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts, updated every 5 years.</p> <p>Most of tourism – like accommodation and on-ground transportation – falls within the Paris Agreement and these NDCs and will decarbonise through changes already happening in the legislation of each country. For instance, the transition to electrified forms of travel and accommodation powered by renewable energy. So, as a tourist, I won’t need to change my behaviour there.</p> <p>“But it’s not true for aviation. And the problem is that aviation, in terms of governance, has got an exemption,” says Peeters. Aviation emissions are much harder to reduce.</p> <p>The International Civil Aviation Organization  – ICAO – governs international aviation. It has a long-term aspirational goal for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to achieve these goals is pursuing improvements to <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/science/engineering/hydrogen-fuelled-planes/">aircraft technology</a>, <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/energy/from-refinery-to-biofuel-reactor/">sustainable aviation fuels</a>, and <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/climate/carbon-offsetting-right/">carbon offsets</a>.</p> <p>But Peeters’ modelling says this won’t be enough.</p> <p>“The final technology is low or zero emission aircraft technology,” he says.</p> <p>“But that takes decades to develop and then decades to replace the whole fleet – you are not buying a new aircraft every year like a car.</p> <p>“That technology will come […] much faster actually than 10 years ago, but still it’s at a pace that we will have it by the end of the century fully implemented, not before.</p> <p>“We need an international body that governs the growth of aviation that actually stops it for the next couple of decades, to create a timeframe for the technology we need.”</p> <p>So until sustainable aviation technology can be fully implemented, the key is to slow the rate of growth of aviation.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Further does not equal better</h2> <p>In 2019, nearly all long-distance travel over 16,000 kms return trip was by air. These trips, equivalent to flying return Shanghai to Sydney or further, made up just 2% of all trips in 2019. But they were the most polluting – accounting for 19% of tourism’s total carbon emissions.</p> <p>My roundtrip from Australia to Europe sits in this bracket. I estimate my seats on those planes probably came with a carbon footprint of about 6.4 tonnes of CO<sub>2</sub> altogether. To put that in perspective, the average Australian emits 15 tonnes per year, according to <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/co2/country/australia" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">ourworldindata.org</a>, and I emitted almost half that in just 48 hours.</p> <p>Failing to curb the growth of these longest-haul trips means they will make up 4% of all trips but account for a massive 41% of tourism’s total emissions by 2050. To prevent this, the TDS says we need to cap them at 2019 levels – about 120 million return trips per year.</p> <p>In this scenario, shorter distance trips up to 900km return – that’s roughly equivalent to flying from Rome to Milan in Italy – and those by car, rail, coach, and ferry, would increase to 81% of all trips by 2050.</p> <p>Longer distance trips (return journeys of more than 7,000km, roughly equivalent to return flying Sydney to Perth and further) would also grow less quickly than current rates and account for 3.5% of all trips by 2050 (down from 6.0% in 2019).</p> <p>This could have flow-on benefits, especially for local tourism.</p> <p>“So, you keep the number of trips, and you keep the number of nights – you could even increase that a little bit as a compensation maybe for not being able to travel so far, then you can travel deeper. And that means the total revenues in the sector can grow as we are used to because the number of trips and the number of nights generate most of the revenues,” explains Peeters.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">What curbing the aviation industry could look like</h2> <p>So, what will this mean for my travel habits in the coming years, if further isn’t better?</p> <p>It will likely involve a switch in mindset to consider whether an alternative, less carbon intensive mode of transport exists to reach the destination I have in mind.</p> <p>According to Peeters, even 1 fewer person sitting in an aircraft’s seats can measurably change its emissions.</p> <p>“Aircraft are quite lightweight, half of the weight of an aircraft taking off is not its structure. But it means that if you remove 100 kilograms, even off an Airbus A320, you can measure the difference in fuel consumption. It will save, I calculated it for flights, just a 1,500 km flight, already up to 10 kilograms of CO<sub>2</sub>,” says Peeters.</p> <p>Compare that to a different mode – adding an additional person to an already incredibly heavy train will add perhaps half a kilogram in emissions at most, probably less.</p> <p>It’s a little embarrassing to admit that I’ve never considered the idea of an interstate road trip, taking the car across the border or opting for a coach or train instead of flying, as a viable option for domestic travel in Australia.</p> <p>But it has for other people. <a href="https://flightfree.net.au/about/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Flight Free Australia</a> encourages us to stop flying, and people have already taken their pledge to swear off air travel – whether for the next 12 months or until it’s ‘climate safe’ to do so again.</p> <p>As for Europe… Well, Peeter’s report predicts that ticket prices will increase, with the cost of flying increasing to 0.18 $/pkm in 2050, from 0.06 $/pkm in 2019, caused mainly by mandates for sustainable aviation e-fuels.</p> <p>Entire families have event attempted to make it from one end of the world to another without setting foot on a plane – a months-long journey ultimately <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-22/british-family-travel-australia-without-flying-carbon-footprint/103256280" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">foiled</a> by cyclones north of Darwin.</p> <p>Whether the changes outlined in the <em>Envisioning Tourism in 2030 and Beyond </em>report are made to the aviation industry, already my perspective on flying is changing. Why would I reduce my carbon footprint in other areas of my life, but turn around and negate those efforts by jumping on a plane?</p> <p>It doesn’t mean that I have to give up travel, just change my perspective on what makes a worthy destination.</p> <p>“You see a growing number of people, particularly young people, that say, ‘I stopped flying, whatever happens, I never go anymore’,” says Peeters.</p> <p>“And it makes your life so much easier. You don’t have to choose every time ‘should I fly?’. No, if you can’t get there by train, car, or whatever, you don’t go. And then you go somewhere else, of course, you’re not sitting at home. And you discover that somewhere else is also beautiful.”</p> <div> <p align="center"><noscript data-spai="1"><img decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-198773" src="https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/spai/q_lossy+ret_img+to_auto/cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Cosmos-Catch-Up-embed_728x150-1.jpg" data-spai-egr="1" alt="Sign up to our weekly newsletter" width="600" height="154" title="to avoid the worst of climate change we have to change how we travel 2"></noscript></p> </div> <p><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --></p> <p><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=294884&amp;title=To+avoid+the+worst+of+climate+change+we+have+to+change+how+we+travel" width="1" height="1" loading="lazy" aria-label="Syndication Tracker" data-spai-target="src" data-spai-orig="" data-spai-exclude="nocdn" /></p> <p><!-- End of tracking content syndication --></p> <div class="share-syndicate-wrapper margin-top-1"> <div class="article-sharing"> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> </div> </div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/synergy/to-avoid-the-worst-of-climate-change-we-have-to-change-how-we-travel/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/imma-perfetto/">Imma Perfetto</a>. </em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Travellers with disability often face discrimination. What should change and how to complain

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kelsey-chapman-1345505">Kelsey Chapman</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/elizabeth-kendall-210342">Elizabeth Kendall</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lisa-stafford-1505408">Lisa Stafford</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>Australia’s former disability discrimination commissioner, Graeme Innes, has settled his dispute <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-01-23/adelaide-airport-graeme-innes-disability-discrimination-dispute/103375068">with Adelaide Airport</a>. His complaint to the Human Rights Commission was lodged after being denied access to a body scanner with his assistance dog in <a href="https://graemeinnes.com/2022/05/17/airport-discrimination-dash-i-am-angry-as-hell-and-im-not-going-to-take-it-anymore/">May 2022</a>.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Innes’ experience will resonate widely with Australia’s <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia/contents/people-with-disability/prevalence-of-disability">4.4 million people with disability</a>.</p> <p>“People with disability know how challenging air travel can be, and that experience needs to be more inclusive,” said Innes, who was disability discrimination commissioner for nine years and is on the board of the <a href="https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/governance/board/board-profiles">National Disability Insurance Agency</a>.</p> <p>Experiences like Innes’ have been widely <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/feb/03/australias-airlines-and-airports-urged-to-improve-treatment-of-travellers-with-disabilities">reported</a> and have happened to <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/graeme-innes-fights-to-change-how-disabled-people-are-treated-when-they-fly-20220516-p5alqs.html">prominent Australians with disability</a>. The everyday experience of air travel is likely even more shocking. Change is happening, but it is moving slowly.</p> <h2>Airport and airline ableism</h2> <p>The Human Rights Commission received more than <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/awptor2023-submission-a16-australian-human-rights-commission.pdf">100 disability discrimination complaints against airlines</a> in the six years to 2022, including the period in which COVID restrictions saw air travel severely limited.</p> <p>Issues included:</p> <ul> <li>assistance animal refusals</li> <li>inaccessible facilities</li> <li>inaccessible ticketing arrangements for people with vision impairments</li> <li>taxis and rideshare providers not turning up, long delays or refusing passengers with disability aids and/or assistance animals.</li> </ul> <p>These issues highlight a system underpinned by unchallenged <a href="https://theconversation.com/ableism-and-disablism-how-to-spot-them-and-how-we-can-all-do-better-204541">ableism</a> – discrimination that favours people without disability.</p> <h2>Freedom of movement</h2> <p>An important right under the <a href="https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/article-20-personal-mobility.html">United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities</a> is freedom of movement. This right seeks to enable all people to be <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09687599.2023.2203307">included in society in ways they self-determine</a>.</p> <p>Ableism in air travel is a fundamental denial of independence and freedom of movement. Discrimination can be even more blatant and offensive. People have been removed from flights or denied boarding because there are <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/awptor2023-submission-a16-australian-human-rights-commission.pdf">limits on the number of wheelchair users who can access an aircraft</a> or because they require additional support to access facilities.</p> <p>People with disability report the removal of, or damage to, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-31/virgin-airline-wheelchair-damage-broken-compensation/103010472">personal mobility equipment</a>, and lack of suitable equipment. In the most severe cases, people have been <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/australians-with-disabilities-suffer-dehumanising-treatment-at-airports-travel-news/b7de6139-258a-4e86-a615-031eb0e89074">injured during travel</a> or left stranded in dangerous circumstances.</p> <h2>Inconsistency can fuel ableism</h2> <p>Inconsistent policies and practices significantly impact travellers with disability. This is made worse by the fact that individual airlines and airports are encouraged by government to develop their own <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure-transport-vehicles/aviation/aviation-access-forum-aaf/dafp">Disability Access Facilitation Plans</a>.</p> <p>So, it is not surprising when news reports highlight instances of assistance dogs being denied travel <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-15/jetstar-assistance-dog-policy-criticised/103221894">domestically</a> and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/22/travel/jetblue-service-animal-dot-open-form.html">internationally</a>, even when they’ve <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-20/qantas-sued-over-assistance-dog/103223736">previously been approved</a> by other airlines.</p> <p>Lack of consistency, negative attitudes, stereotypes and prejudices in the air travel industry have resulted in <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/singapore-airlines-disability-discrimination-amputee-b2301471.html">reportedly aggressive eviction of passengers</a> with disability from exit rows. Others report being told to “<a href="https://qdn.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Voice-of-Queenslanders-with-Disability-report.pdf">catheterise</a>” (to insert a tube through the urethra to the bladder) to avoid needing toilet facilities on an overseas flight. Many people with disability experience situations like Innes’ where they are subjected to alternative, sometimes undignified, processes.</p> <p>Ongoing experiences of ableism not only deny people with disability their rights to travel but can also <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09687599.2023.2203307">damage their dignity</a>. Anticipation of discrimination can increase anxiety and stress for travellers with disability or prevent them travelling altogether.</p> <h2>Slow reform</h2> <p>These stories and many others point to the need for urgent reform.</p> <p>Stories shared by more than 60 participants in a special Disability Royal Commission session prompted its chair to <a href="https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/news-and-media/media-releases/chair-writes-ceos-airlines-and-airports#:%7E:text=The%20Chair%20of%20the%20Disability,their%20experiences%20with%20air%20travel">write directly to the CEOs</a> of Australian airlines and airports, urging them to work on solutions.<br />The review and modernisation of the <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure-transport-vehicles/transport-accessibility/transport-disability-standards">2002 Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport</a> along with the upcoming release of the Australian government’s <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure-transport-vehicles/aviation/aviation-white-paper">Aviation White Paper</a> could be key mechanisms to address systemic discrimination. But only if key recommendations from disability organisations and advocacy centres are adopted. They include:</p> <ol> <li> <p><a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/agp2023-submission-c170-australian-federation-of-disability-organisations-and-national-inclusive-transport-advocacy-network.pdf">specific standards</a> for air travel co-designed with people with disability and representative organisations. <a href="https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/sites/default/files/2022-04/Universal-Design-for-Transport-TAs-discussion-paper-20220421.pdf">Universal design</a> aims to make products and environments usable by all people, without adaptation. It can play an important role in overcoming the systemic barriers in infrastructure and service design to create more seamless and inclusive transport and air travel experiences</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://piac.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/PIAC-Submission-to-Aviation-Green-Paper.pdf">reportable and enforceable standards</a> and independent oversight, such as funding the Human Rights Commission to oversee compliance.</p> </li> </ol> <h2>Complaints are just one route</h2> <p>The exclusion of people with disability from seamless airline travel is a violation of their fundamental right to freedom of movement.</p> <p>Decades of travel horror stories in the media, continuing legislative reviews and national enquiries should bring change. Everyone should be able to make journeys with dignity and autonomy. People with disability deserve the same travel privileges as non-disabled Australians.</p> <p>Governments and the aviation industry will need to collaborate to implement comprehensive accessibility measures, ranging from wheelchair-friendly facilities to trained staff capable of providing appropriate assistance. Embracing inclusivity in air travel not only aligns with the principles of equity but also contributes to a society that celebrates diversity.</p> <p>For now, there are a number of ways to raise complaints, including with the individual airline or with the <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/complaints/make-complaint">Human Rights Commission</a>. Raising complaints with the Human Rights Commission can be completed by anyone who experiences discrimination. Legal support and advice may also be sought from some state-based legal aid organisations.</p> <p>While complaints are one mechanism for change, more proactive methods for change include the disability royal commission’s recommendation for the design and implementation of a <a href="https://teamdsc.com.au/resources/inside-the-disability-royal-commission-s-final-report">Disability Rights Act</a>, which would see human rights enshrined in legislation and facilitate barrier-free travel.<!-- 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/kelsey-chapman-1345505"><em>Kelsey Chapman</em></a><em>, Research Fellow Dignity Project, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/elizabeth-kendall-210342">Elizabeth Kendall</a>, Professor, Director, Griffith Inclusive Futures, Griffith University, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lisa-stafford-1505408">Lisa Stafford</a>, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Inclusive Futures Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith 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/travellers-with-disability-often-face-discrimination-what-should-change-and-how-to-complain-221740">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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14 best places to travel in 2024

<p>If you’ve been to an airport recently, what we’re about to tell you will come as no surprise: Travel is back in a BIG way. Travellers are hitting the skies – and the rails, roads and seas – in record numbers, looking for the best places to travel.</p> <p>So what does that mean for 2024? “We’re looking at a wave of excitement over travelling with family and friends,” according to Heather Heverling, managing director of Audley Travel. “One thing we’re seeing a lot of is ‘skip-gen’ travel,” when grandparents take their grandkids on holidays but leave the parents at home. (We say: Those are some lucky kids!)</p> <p>And while domestic travel will certainly be popular, people are also looking to expand their horizons. Interest in Japan is booming, says Heverling. And there’s a desire to leave the crowds behind and find hidden gems in spots like France, where many people will be headed to watch the Olympics this summer.</p> <p>We know – there are so many amazing places to go and cool things to see, and it’s hard to narrow things down! To help you pick the perfect spot, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to visit in 2024, whether you’re looking for quick trips, beach getaways, cheap places to travel, city experiences or far-flung adventures. Read on to get a whole year’s worth of inspiration!</p> <p><strong>South Island, New Zealand</strong></p> <p>Wondering which hot spot to visit first? Our pick for 2024 is South Island, New Zealand. Christchurch is considered the base camp for South Island explorations. During the day, kayak in the emerald waters of Abel Tasman National Park, bike or hike to gorgeous hot springs, or sample New Zealand’s best pours at spots like Tussock Hill Vineyards (where you can also spend the night in new luxury suites nestled in the vineyard). When the sun goes down, it will be time for spectacular stargazing at Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, which recently became the first Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> Find a hotel that puts you right in the heart of Christchurch and within walking distance of restaurants, shops and the Botanical Gardens.</p> <p><strong>Paris, France</strong></p> <p>Everyone is talking about visiting France this year, and for good reason. Paris will be hosting the Summer Olympics, with events held throughout the City of Lights and the surrounding area – including boating and swimming events on the Seine River and dressage events at Versailles. (According to France’s tourism office, 95 per cent of the Olympic and Paralympic events will be held in existing locations for a more sustainable world event.) The city is in full-throttle preparation mode, with new hotels opening, art exhibits launching and plenty of projects underway to make Paris shine even brighter than usual.</p> <p>And that’s not all France has going on. June 6, 2024, is the 80th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy. To get the most context out of a visit, it helps to go with a guide who can take you through the area and bring the past to life through storytelling and interactive exhibits.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> If possible, base yourself in the ever-popular Left Bank neighbourhood in the 6tharrondissement of the city, where you’ll be able to enjoy views right across the river of the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral, which is set to reopen in late 2024 after its devastating 2019 fire. Like we said, it’s a big year!</p> <p><strong>Cambodia</strong> </p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why you should go:</em></span> More ways to explore and two new airports to reach the country</p> <p>Cambodia is a bucket-list destination for many travellers. “With the addition of luxury lodges and resorts, travellers can now enjoy a true luxury immersion in Cambodia – blending ancient ruins and culture, cuisine and handicrafts, rainforest and jungle, and ending with a sublime beach stay,” says Brady Binstadt, CEO of GeoEx, an adventure-travel company. In the little-visited Cardamom Forest Protected Area, options for hiking, mountain biking, boating and bird-watching abound, says Binstadt, who also recommends boating through lush forest to Tatai village, where visitors can walk by the river, kayak through mangroves and listen to the symphonic sounds of wildlife from a floating lodge.</p> <p>You’ll also want to visit Angkor Wat, famed for its glorious temples. Happily, reaching Angkor Wat just became a lot easier with the brand-new, $1 billion Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport, which is just a short drive from the UNESCO Heritage Site temple complex. Later in 2024, the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, will also unveil a new $1.5 billion airport, providing even more ways to reach the country.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> Shinta Mani Wild in the Cardamom Mountains is a luxury jungle retreat about three hours from Phnom Penh; it boasts its own zip line over the waterfalls and river where the remote lodge is located. Another unique option is Six Senses Krabey Island off the southern coast, where 40 glass-front villas are tucked into the dense foliage of this romantic resort. Indulge in a treatment at the luxe spa after exploring the nearby Kbal Chhay waterfalls and the waterways of Ream National Park.</p> <p><strong>Los Angeles, California </strong></p> <p>Yes, we know, you hear “LA” and think beach and sand. But for 2024, replace that with cool art and culture, since Los Angeles will be hosting two awesome openings. When it opens in February, Destination Crenshaw will be the largest Black art program in the US, with a two-kilometre stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard in South LA, containing 100 commissioned works by Black artists displayed within beautifully landscaped community spaces.</p> <p>And September will see the launch of Getty’s colossal PST ART: Art &amp; Science Collide. The latest edition of the initiative (previously known as Pacific Standard Time) will include more than 50 exhibitions across the Los Angeles area, including iconic spots like the Griffith Observatory, the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Getty Center. The exhibits aren’t just paintings and sculptures. They are intersections of art, science and the natural world – including “Color in Motion: Chromatic Explorations of Cinema” at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures; “From Fire We Are Born,” which explores Native American culture at the Fowler Museum at UCLA; and “Seeing the Unseeable: Data, Design, Art” at the ArtCenter College of Design.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> No matter which room or suite you book at the InterContinental Los Angeles, you’ll be greeted with what feels like a never-ending view. You’ll see everything from the Pacific Ocean to the Hollywood sign and downtown skyscrapers. And not only is it the tallest building west of Chicago, but the location puts you right in the middle of all the arts action.</p> <p><strong>Okavango Delta, Botswana </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why you should go:</em></span> Sustainable new safari camps deep in the Delta.</p> <p>Always dreamed of going on safari? Botswana should be at the top of your 2024 travel list. A decade after being designated the 1000th site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Botswana’s watery Okavango Delta remains a captivating marvel of nature that differentiates it from other safari destinations. The intricate network of waterways, lush greenery and diverse ecosystems presents amazing opportunities to observe animals like elephants, impala, kudu, zebra and more from a mokoro, or dugout boat, as you float silently through the area.</p> <p>For an intimate stay in the wilderness areas, try the new tented camps. If that’s not your thing, there are also fancy, all-inclusive hotels that wrap game drives into their included offerings.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> First, there’s the Natural Selection’s Tawana Camp, which is set to open in May 2024 in the Moremi Game Reserve. It will combine modern luxury (think: multi-bedroom, free-standing suites with private pools) with intimate safari experiences. Bonus: This corner of Botswana is known for its high population of lions and leopards.</p> <p>Atzaro Okavango from African Bush Camps opens in March 2024, offering sustainable luxury in the heart of the Delta. This eco-friendly property is made from recycled materials and powered entirely by solar energy. Guests stay in air-conditioned suites with their own plunge pools and will be treated to year-round sightings of elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards, giraffes, hippos and other African wildlife.</p> <p><strong>Turks and Caicos </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why you should go:</em></span> Because kiteboarding will be the thing to do in 2024 – and Turks and Caicos is also heaven on earth.</p> <p>We’re calling it: When kiteboarding makes its official Olympic debut in 2024, the sport will surge in popularity. But don’t go to Paris to do it. Instead, head to Turks and Caicos, a fabulous warm-weather winter getaway that offers some of the best kiteboarding conditions in the world. “The island’s consistent trade winds, shallow warm waters and large areas of flat, uncrowded riding make it an ideal destination for this thrilling water sport,” says Vasco Borges, the owner of Beach Enclave Turks and Caicos and a passionate kiteboarder.</p> <p>Swimming and snorkelling are popular activities on the island as well, and avid divers love the mammoth undersea coral wall off Grand Turk. Plus, Turks and Caicos is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. In other words, it’s always one of the best places to travel!</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> New for 2024, Beach Enclave will offer new beach houses with privacy, tranquility and an oceanfront private pool on the North Shore. The Grace Bay location of the multi-location resort is introducing contemporary villas with a blend of indoor and outdoor living, called the Reserve at Grace Bay. And finally, at the resort’s Long Bay location, which is known as a kiteboarder’s haven, you’ll find new beach houses along the pristine white-sand beachfront, ideal for families and water-sports enthusiasts.</p> <p><strong>Belize</strong></p> <p>Have you heard of the Great Barrier Reef? We thought so. How about Belize’s Barrier Reef? Not so much, right? We’re here to tell you that in 2024, it’s time to put this natural wonder on your must-visit list. The world’s second-largest barrier reef (behind Australia’s), it is actually the biggest reef in both the northern and western hemispheres. The snorkelling here is magnificent, and so is the diving – plus, it’s not as crowded as the better-known Australian alternative.</p> <p>If you’re looking for the perfect home base while visiting, consider Belize’s largest island, Ambergris Caye. The Belize Barrier Reef is just a 400-metres offshore, and you’ll definitely want to check out the protected Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is just a 10-minute boat ride from the main town of San Pedro. When you’re not snorkelling or swimming, spend your days popping into Belizean art galleries and souvenir shops or just lounging on the white sand.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> Try the Alaia Belize, an Autograph Collection hotel in the island’s historic town of San Pedro. This beachfront hotel is just 600 metres from the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve and has stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. Plus, it has an on-site dive shop and three pools, including Belize’s first-ever suspended rooftop pool and a lounge with 360-degree views.</p> <p><strong>Paros, Greece</strong></p> <p>Have you heard of destination dupes? According to Expedia, these are “places that are a little unexpected, sometimes more affordable and every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true destinations travellers love.” One of our favourites on Expedia’s list is this stunning Greek island that usually sails under the most travellers’ Mediterranean radars in uncrowded bliss while the hordes of tourists head to Mykonos and Santorini.</p> <p>Visiting the island, which is about a two-hour ferry ride south of well-known party island Mykonos and right next to Naxos, is one of the best things to do in Greece, since it means enjoying idyllic beaches framed by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. While you’re here, explore the winding streets and charming villages of Naoussa and Lefkes, and sip whipped coffee frappes or ouzo at the picturesque port of Parikia (the island’s capital), home to whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant bougainvillea.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> You can’t go wrong at the newly opened Minois hotel, where the whitewashed walls hold luxurious touches, such as decadent dining at Olvo and pampering spa treatments. But the best part may be simply floating in the infinity pool with views of the sea spread out in front of you.</p> <p><strong>Kyoto, Japan</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why you should go:</em></span> An array of new luxury hotels and the opening of the first Nintendo Museum.</p> <p>“One thing we can say for sure is that interest in visiting Japan is not slowing down,” says Audley Travel’s Heverling. Japan finally welcomed visitors back in 2023, and the numbers are soaring. And for 2024, we’re seeing cool new openings and numerous developments that will make your trip even easier. Kyoto, especially, will be the city to watch in the new year, when the world’s first Nintendo Museum opens in spring 2024 in the former Nintendo Uji Kokura factory site in Kyoto. This will be a big draw for pop-culture lovers and gamers.</p> <p>Even if you don’t know a controller from a cruller, though, Kyoto will enthral you with ancient temples and beautiful architecture that make it look like a real-life fairy-tale town. Plus, there are four amazing new hotels opening in Kyoto in 2024, where you can happily rest, relax and enjoy.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> Luxury brand Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto will feature a private onsen bath; elegant Six Senses Kyoto will have a spa and zen-like rooms situated around seasonal gardens; and the 313-room Hilton Kyoto will be the brand’s first flagship hotel in Kyoto. Finally, the new Regent Kyoto (an IHG property) is opening a resort-like property in a hundred-year-old garden complex that’s also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant.</p> <p><strong>Northern Territories, Canada </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why you should go:</em></span> An almost-guaranteed opportunity to see the northern lights during the “solar max”.</p> <p>There are two truths about seeing the northern lights: They’re beautiful, and they’re elusive. Unlike the solar eclipse, there’s no date or time that you’re guaranteed to see the night-time spectacular. You do need, however, to go north… in winter… and then wait. That’s why we’re so excited about the news from the Northern Territories of Canada, where a “solar max” cycle is going to make it possible to see the aurora borealis with new ease. According to the Canada Tourism Board, in the Northwest Territories, “travellers have a 98 per cent chance of witnessing the spectacle” during a three-night stay November through March, when longer hours of darkness each day and clear nights make it easier to spot the lights.</p> <p>The jewelled green, purple and gold lights can be seen due to the perfect combination of clear nights, flat landscape, low humidity and the location beneath the earth’s auroral oval. Even better, 2024 is the peak of the 11-year solar cycle, which means the light show will be even more dramatic than usual.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay: </em></span>The main gateway to the area is Yellowknife, the location of Aurora Village, an entirely Indigenous-owned experience that leads guided night-time tours and where you can go dog sledding and snowshoeing. You can also spend the evening in a cosy teepee, complete with a wood stove, which makes it easy to pop out and see the aurora borealis when it lights up the sky.</p> <p><strong>Mexico City</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why you should go:</em></span> Tour tourism for live-music lovers – and Madonna fans!</p> <p>Expedia predicts that “tour tourism,” following a favourite artist on their headlining tour, will thrive in 2024. “In 2023, the cultural impact of the Eras and Renaissance tours was undeniable, driving ticket sales but also travel and tourism,” according to Expedia Brands travel expert Melanie Fish. Perhaps driven by ticket prices, 30 per cent of travellers told Expedia they would travel outside of their home city for a concert because tickets were cheaper elsewhere, with Mexico City coming out near the top of that list. We’re totally in on the trend, especially since Madonna will play four dates the Palacio de los Desportes in 2024, making Mexico City a live-music hot spot for the coming year.</p> <p>And as an extra bonus, Mexico City is an affordable warm-weather destination, not to mention a hub for art, culture and cuisine. Translation: There’s plenty to do and see when you’re not rocking out. Check out the Colonia Roma neighbourhood, called CDMX – often referred to as “the Williamsburg of Mexico City” for its hipster vibe and cool architecture, art galleries and restaurants.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> The new boutique hotel Colima 71 features hundreds of authentic Mexican art pieces, a craft coffee bar with an on-site barista and plenty of communal spaces perfect for mingling with fellow travellers. Located in the heart of artsy CDMX, it’s also a super convenient and central location.</p> <p><strong>Washington, D.C.</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why you should go:</em></span> To watch democracy at work during an election year… and visit some cool museums, too.</p> <p>Following a record year of tourism to the US capital, 2024 will likely see visits continue to rise, thanks to the upcoming presidential election in November. But even if you’re not a pollster, there are plenty of other attractions in the nation’s capital that make it one of the best places to travel year-round. First, travellers will be happy to hear that it’s easier to get into the heart of the city now that the Metro added service to Dulles International Airport with direct service on the Silver Line of the underground train system – and it’s never more than $6!</p> <p>While you’re in town, check out the newly renovated and reopened National Museum of Women in the Arts, which spotlights women artists from the 17th century to the present. And in 2024, the Smithsonian’s contemporary art museum, the Hirshhorn, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a collection of new exhibits. Also, remember: Nearly all D.C. museums are free, so the sightseeing part of your trip will be super affordable.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> Book a room at The Dupont Circle, a hotel that successfully walks the line between feeling luxurious and homey. It’s steps away from dozens of art galleries and museums, and it boasts an impressive art collection of its own. Don’t miss brunch and dinner at the delicious new American on-site Pembroke restaurant.</p> <p><strong>The Pekoe Trail, Sri Lanka</strong> </p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why you should go:</em></span> To check out amazing new hiking trails and old cultures.</p> <p>The newly opened Pekoe Trail in Sri Lanka is a fantastic way to explore the country’s varied landscapes. Ten years in the making, the Pekoe Trail is the first collection of destination-based walking trails that aims to support remote communities, promote cultural heritage and showcase Sri Lankan scenery. Most of the trails opened in the fall of 2023, with a few more opening at the beginning of 2024.</p> <p>The 300-kilometre route starts in the central city of Kandy, famous for the Temple of the Tooth, and meanders through to stunning mountain views of Ella. Audley Travel, says Heverling, can arrange treks to the most scenic parts of the Sri Lanka trail. Hikers will walk on the region’s famed tea trails, as well as through forests, jungle and remote towns and villages.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay:</em></span> The experts at Audley recommend Mountain Heavens for its fantastic infinity pool that will make you feel like you’re literally floating over the valley. Big, comfy beds and modern amenities, not to mention a delicious included breakfast, all add up to a very luxurious end to a hike.</p> <p><strong>Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why you should go:</em></span> Seaside vibes in Dubai’s under-the-radar neighbour to the north.</p> <p>Dubai is always popular, and always full of flashy new attractions and frenetic energy. But if you want an Emirates vacation that’s a little more relaxing, head 40 minutes north of the city to this under-the-radar gem. Well, under the radar until 2024, that is, when the luxury Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort opens and more people realise that it’s one of the best places to travel. It’s set amid the area’s stunning mountains and mangroves in the seaside neighbourhood of Mina Al Arab, which is quickly becoming a trendy destination, with new openings and plenty of sunshine.</p> <p>Ras Al Khaimah is a great spot for outdoorsy types, who can snorkel or swim in the crystal-clear turquoise waters, then head off for a quad biking adventure in the desert or soar over the desert on the world’s longest zipline. And speaking of world records: If you get a chance to spend New Year’s Eve here, don’t miss it. The Emirate holds multiple Guinness World Records for its spectacular fireworks performances held during its New Year’s celebrations.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Where to stay: </em></span>The Anantara Resort here is more than just a getaway from the bustling city. It also boasts Bali-style overwater bungalows for an over-the-top romantic getaway.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/flightstravel-hints-tips/14-best-places-to-travel-in-2024?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

International Travel

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It’s time to limit how often we can travel abroad – ‘carbon passports’ may be the answer

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ross-bennett-cook-1301368">Ross Bennett-Cook</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-westminster-916">University of Westminster</a></em></p> <p>The summer of 2023 has been very significant for the travel industry. By the end of July, international tourist arrivals globally <a href="https://www.unwto.org/news/international-tourism-swiftly-overcoming-pandemic-downturn">reached 84% of pre-pandemic levels</a>. In <a href="https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/jrc-news-and-updates/eu-tourism-almost-full-recovery-pre-pandemic-levels-2023-10-23_en">some European countries</a>, such as France, Denmark and Ireland, tourism demand even surpassed its pre-pandemic level.</p> <p>This may be great <a href="https://skift.com/insight/state-of-travel/">news economically</a>, but there’s concern that a return to the status quo is already showing dire environmental and social consequences.</p> <p>The summer saw record-breaking heatwaves across many parts of the world. People were forced to flee <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/24/greece-wildfires-corfu-evia-rhodes-heatwave-northern-hemisphere-extreme-weather-temperatures-europe">wildfires in Greece</a> and <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/hawaii-fires-update-biden-b2393188.html">Hawaii</a>, and extreme <a href="https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/world-news/foreign-office-issues-spain-weather-27339111">weather warnings</a> were issued in many popular holiday destinations like Portugal, Spain and Turkey. Experts <a href="https://theconversation.com/european-heatwave-whats-causing-it-and-is-climate-change-to-blame-209653">attributed these extreme conditions</a> to climate change.</p> <p>Tourism is part of the problem. The tourism sector <a href="https://wttc.org/Portals/0/Documents/Reports/2021/WTTC_Net_Zero_Roadmap.pdf">generates around one-tenth</a> of the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the climate crisis.</p> <p>The negative impacts of tourism on the environment have become so severe that some are suggesting drastic changes to our travel habits are inevitable. In a <a href="https://www.intrepidtravel.com/sites/intrepid/files/basic_page/files/A%20Sustainable%20Future%20For%20Travel%20From%20Crisis%20To%20Transformation-231016-02.pdf">report</a> from 2023 that analysed the future of sustainable travel, tour operator Intrepid Travel proposed that “carbon passports” will soon become a reality if the tourism industry hopes to survive.</p> <h2>What is a carbon passport?</h2> <p>The idea of a carbon passport centres on each traveller being assigned a yearly carbon allowance that they cannot exceed. These allowances can then “ration” travel.</p> <p>This concept may seem extreme. But the idea of personal carbon allowances is not new. A <a href="https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmenvaud/565/565.pdf">similar concept</a> (called “personal carbon trading”) was discussed in the House of Commons in 2008, before being shut down due to its perceived complexity and the possibility of public resistance.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/carbon-footprint-calculator/#:%7E:text=A%20carbon%20footprint%20is%20the,is%20closer%20to%204%20tons.">average annual carbon footprint</a> for a person in the US is 16 tonnes – one of the highest rates in the world. In the UK this figure sits at 11.7 tonnes, still more than five times the figure recommended by the <a href="https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/the-average-british-carbon-footprint-is-five-times-over-paris-agreement-recommendations/152669/#:%7E:text=Despite%20rising%20environmental%20awareness%20across,equivalent%20(tCO2e)%20per%20year.">Paris Agreement</a> to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C.</p> <p>Globally, the average annual carbon footprint of a person is closer to 4 tonnes. But, to have the best chance of preventing temperature rise from overshooting 2°C, the average global carbon footprint <a href="https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/carbon-footprint-calculator/#:%7E:text=Globally%2C%20the%20average%20carbon%20footprint,tons%20doesn't%20happen%20overnight!">needs to drop</a> to under 2 tonnes by 2050. This figure equates to around <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2019/jul/19/carbon-calculator-how-taking-one-flight-emits-as-much-as-many-people-do-in-a-year">two return flights</a> between London and New York.</p> <p>Intrepid Travel’s report predicts that we will see carbon passports in action by 2040. However, <a href="https://www.politico.eu/article/travel-short-haul-flights-europe-under-fire-climate-change-cop26/">several laws and restrictions</a> have been put in place over the past year that suggest our travel habits may already be on the verge of change.</p> <h2>Targeting air travel</h2> <p>Between 2013 and 2018, the amount of CO₂ emitted by commercial aircrafts worldwide <a href="https://theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/ICCT_CO2-commercl-aviation-2018_20190918.pdf">increased by 32%</a>. Improvements in fuel efficiency are slowly reducing per passenger emissions. But <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231014004889">research</a> from 2014 found that whatever the industry’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions, they will be outweighed by the growth in air traffic.</p> <p>For emission reductions to have any meaningful effect, ticket prices would have to rise by 1.4% each year, discouraging some people from flying. However, in reality, <a href="https://www.climatecentral.org/news/increase-in-flights-will-outweigh-carbon-cuts-17875">ticket prices are falling</a>.</p> <p>Some European countries are beginning to take measures to reduce air travel. As of April 1 2023, passengers on short-haul flights and older aircraft in Belgium have been <a href="https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/12/12/private-jets-and-short-haul-flights-face-pollution-busting-tax-increases-in-belgium">subject to increased taxes</a> to encourage alternative forms of travel.</p> <p>Less than two months later France banned <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-65687665">short-haul domestic flights</a> where the same trip can be made by train in two-and-a-half hours or less. <a href="https://businesstravelerusa.com/news/spain-to-follow-frances-lead-plans-to-ban-short-haul-domestic-flights/">Spain</a> is expected to follow suit.</p> <p>A similar scheme could also be on the horizon for Germany. In 2021, a <a href="https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/seventy-percent-germans-favour-banning-short-haul-flights-survey">YouGov poll</a> found that 70% of Germans would support such measures to fight climate change if alternative transport routes like trains or ships were available.</p> <h2>Cruises and carbon</h2> <p>It’s not just air travel that’s being criticised. An <a href="https://www.transportenvironment.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/The-return-of-the-cruise-June-2023.pdf">investigation</a> by the European Federation for Transport and Environment in 2023 found that cruise ships pump four times as many sulphuric gases (which are proven to cause acid rain and <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/04/26/cruise-ship-pollution-is-causing-serious-health-and-environmental-problems/?sh=468ee2f637db">several respiratory conditions</a>) into the atmosphere than all of Europe’s 291 million cars combined.</p> <p>Statistics like these have forced European destinations to <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/8727387d-590d-43bd-a305-b5ec208a4dfe">take action</a> against the cruise industry. In July, Amsterdam’s council <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-66264226">banned cruise ships</a> from docking in the city centre in a bid to reduce tourism and pollution – an initiative that has shown success elsewhere.</p> <p>In 2019 Venice was the most polluted European port, due to large numbers of cruise ship visits. But it dropped to 41st place in 2022 after a ban on large cruise ships entering the city’s waters <a href="https://www.transportenvironment.org/discover/europes-luxury-cruise-ships-emit-as-much-toxic-sulphur-as-1bn-cars-study/">reduced air pollutants from ships</a> in Venice by 80%.</p> <h2>Changing destinations</h2> <p>Intrepid Travel’s report also highlights that not only how we travel, but <a href="https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/jrc-news-and-updates/global-warming-reshuffle-europes-tourism-demand-particularly-coastal-areas-2023-07-28_en">where we travel</a> will soon be impacted by climate change. Boiling temperatures will probably diminish the allure of traditional beach destinations, prompting European tourists to search for cooler destinations such as Belgium, Slovenia and Poland for their summer holidays.</p> <p><a href="https://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Tour-Operators/Travelers-seek-cooler-destinations-this-summer">Several travel agencies</a> reported seeing noticeable increases in holiday bookings to cooler European destinations like Scandinavia, Ireland and the UK during 2023’s peak summer travel months.</p> <p>Whatever the solution may be, changes to our travel habits look inevitable. Destinations across the globe, from <a href="https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/barcelonas-war-on-tourism-ada-colau/">Barcelona</a> to the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/italy-tourism-bans-controls-fees-restrictions/a-66453047">Italian riveria</a> and even <a href="https://theconversation.com/death-on-everest-the-boom-in-climbing-tourism-is-dangerous-and-unsustainable-114033">Mount Everest</a> are already calling for limits on tourist numbers as they struggle to cope with crowds and pollution.</p> <p>Holidaymakers should prepare to change their travel habits now, before this change is forced upon them.<!-- 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/ross-bennett-cook-1301368"><em>Ross Bennett-Cook</em></a><em>, Visiting Lecturer, School of Architecture + Cities, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-westminster-916">University of Westminster</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images  </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/its-time-to-limit-how-often-we-can-travel-abroad-carbon-passports-may-be-the-answer-216503">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Traveller's $3,000 mistake at airport security

<p>A grandmother from New Zealand has copped a whopping $3,000 fine after failing to declare an airport sandwich to border control officers. </p> <p>June Armstrong, 77, was travelling from her native Christchurch to Brisbane to housesit for a friend, and treated herself to a muffin and a sandwich ahead of her 4am flight. </p> <p>Ms Armstrong ate her muffin before boarding the plane, and stashed the sandwich in her carry-on luggage to eat later on the flight. </p> <p>However, the grandmother fell asleep on the plane and the sandwich was left uneaten. </p> <p>When she woke up from her nap, she filled out the declaration form to enter Australia, as she had prescription medication, but completely forgot about the sandwich.</p> <p>When she arrived at the security gates at Brisbane Airport and her bags were checked, she was met with an unfortunate welcome to Australia as she was slapped with the fine. </p> <p>“I was just sobbing and said “$NZ3300 for a little sandwich?” Ms Armstrong told the <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/canterbury-grandmother-fined-3300-for-chicken-sandwich-by-australian-border-officials/3KJUEZBB2JHVLHBNSXFY3XPKLE/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>NZ Herald</em>.</a></p> <p>She said asked the official who found the sandwich if they could throw it away for her, but after they walked away and came back, they allegedly just said, “Twelve points, $3300”.</p> <p>Ms Armstrong first thought they were joking, but when she realised they were serious, she broke down in tears as staffers "strongly advised" her to appeal the fine within 28 days. </p> <p>She went through with the appeal to avoid forking out the four-figure sum, but to no avail and eventually ended up coughing up the hefty fine. </p> <p>“My husband kept saying, 'Just pay it'. I said, 'It’s our pension, we can’t afford this’,” Ms Armstrong said, adding that they had about $30,000 in savings as well as their pensions.</p> <p>Ms Armstrong sent an email asking why she was fined, considering it was her first infringement, and why the cost was so high, especially considering the sandwich was untouched and sealed. </p> <p>She also outlined the impact the fine was having on her mental health, but she allegedly never received a response.</p> <p>Six months on from sandwich-gate, she has accepted she won’t be getting her money back and has since spoken out to warn fellow passengers not to make the same mistake. </p> <p>“Everybody I show the fine to is dumbfounded, they just can’t believe it,” Ms Armstrong told the <em>NZ Herald</em>.</p> <p>Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said Ms Armstrong needed an import permit to bring the chicken sandwich into the county, adding it could have been a much higher penalty, as fines can be as much as $6260. </p> <p>“Meat has strict import conditions which can change quickly based on disease outbreaks,” a departmental spokesperson told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/warnings/grandmother-who-forgot-to-declare-chicken-sandwich-cops-3000-fine-at-brisbane-airport/news-story/2bc94ac2e7e4f59cd16e5798fc7f9f7b" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a>. </p> <p>“Uncanned meats, including vacuum-sealed items, are not allowed into Australia unless accompanied by an import permit."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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