Travel Tips

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Start your holiday on the right foot: The simple hack to reduce stress

<p>Relaxing, enjoyable, carefree – this is how we imagine our holidays will be, and more often than not they are. But the reality is that planning and undertaking a trip can also at times be a stressful experience for many of us. The good news is there are some simple tips and hacks you can put in place to ensure your holiday is heavy on the good times and light on the stress and strain. Here are five great tips for reducing your stress while travelling.</p> <p><strong>1. Plan for smooth sailing</strong></p> <p>Yes, there are people out there who like to ‘wing it’ when on holidays and fly by the seat of their pants, but this approach greatly increases the likelihood of stressful situations arising, such as long times spent in transit and desperate searches for last-minute accommodation.</p> <p>One of the easiest ways to minimise stress when travelling is to research thoroughly, plan extensively and confirm regularly. This can involve everything from learning about appropriate customs and dress codes, checking seasonal temperatures and rainfall, ascertaining distances and travel times between destinations, finding out if any special vaccinations, visas or passports are required, and determining what to pack.</p> <p>There’s so much to consider that it can feel overwhelming, so the best port of call is to approach it in sections and work through each stage with a detailed checklist. If the thought of this makes you want to tear your hair out, consider employing a travel agent or travel planning service to help you out.</p> <p>Start your planning well in advance and keep all your thoughts, ideas and research in one useful place in a file on your desk or computer. A good current travel guidebook will also be an invaluable tool during the planning process.</p> <p><strong>2. Take off to a flying start</strong></p> <p>Often, it’s the start of our holidays that seem to be the most stressful, as we find ourselves battling peak hour traffic or getting up at an ungodly hour to get to the airport on time, tossing up between begging for a ride to the airport or forking out an eye-watering taxi fare. Is it any wonder many of us are quivering wrecks before we’ve even set foot on a plane?</p> <p>But there’s a simple hack that can completely eliminate all that pre-flight angst and that’s by starting your holiday the day before and spending the night relaxing in a hotel close to the airport.</p> <p>Holiday Inn Sydney Airport has very thoughtfully devised a range of <span><a href="https://www.holidayinn.com/sydneyairport-parkstaygo">“Park, Stay &amp; Go” packages</a></span> for travellers. Drive there in your car, treat yourself to room service, stay the night in one of the hotel’s classy and comfortable rooms, and tuck into an all-included full buffet breakfast. Sound good so far? Park your car there for four, seven or 15 days while you swan off to enjoy your holiday, which will simply involve a complimentary 5-minute shuttle ride to Sydney’s Domestic Terminal, or 10 minutes for International. Offering competitive rates and <span><a href="https://www.holidayinn.com/redirect?path=hd&amp;brandCode=HI&amp;localeCode=en&amp;regionCode=925&amp;hotelCode=SYDBR&amp;rateCode=IDARP&amp;_PMID=99502222&amp;cm_mmc=seniors18-_-SYDAP-_-display_over-sixty_seniors_booknow">up to 20% discount for guests aged 55 and over</a></span>, your only regret will be that you didn’t know about it on your previous holiday!</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7822467/1-embed-holiday-inn-sydney-airport-8564.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fc09615619e44c7b805442c99829d902" /></p> <p><strong>3. Enjoy your transit time</strong></p> <p>Delays are inevitable when travelling. That’s why having some entertainment on hand while you’re waiting around in transit can transform those moments from frustrating to an ideal opportunity to start unwinding. So, treat yourself to a book by your favourite author, a great crossword puzzle, a glossy magazine, a phone loaded with fun games, a massage in an airport chair – whatever works for you.</p> <p>If you know you’ll be entertained during your downtime, you can happily allow for plenty of padding into your travel schedule, so you’re not racing around frantically at the last minute, and you can remain as cool as a cucumber.</p> <p><strong>4. Leave your financial worries behind</strong></p> <p>Holidays and travel cost money, there’s no denying it. But how much money you spend, what you spend it on and whether those costs are within your means all equate to the difference between a well-earned break and a holiday ruined by worries over finances. The first step is to only book a trip you can afford – be realistic about what it is your bank balance can handle this year and consider putting off that bigger trip until you can put aside more funds.</p> <p>Make yourself a rough budget for your holiday – it doesn’t have to be too full on, but you need to know how many fancy dinners, nights out and holiday souvenirs you can splash out on so you don’t get caught with a big hole in your bank balance on your return.</p> <p>Book your travel in advance as much as possible, which will not only spread out your costs, it’ll mean you pay less in the long run and help you manage your money more successfully. Again, the better you plan ahead and do your research, the more likely you are to save money by finding the best travel deals, comparing prices and taking advantage of early bird offers. That means you’ll be able to avoid a well-deserved splurge here and there – isn’t that what holidays are all about?!</p> <p><strong>5. Prepare for every eventuality</strong></p> <p>There’s one thing you can count on when it comes to travel and that is the unexpected will inevitably occur. Whether it’s lost luggage, a delayed flight, a double-booked hotel room, a natural disaster or an unfortunate bout of gastro, there are circumstances which are simply beyond our control. While planning, confirmation of flight details, careful labelling of your belongings and cautious behaviour can prevent some of these occurrences, it’s essential to purchase good travel insurance to protect yourself from expenses or financial losses that could follow an unexpected obstacle. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind while on your travels, allowing you to make the most of every moment.</p> <p><em>This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with <span><a href="/Park,%20Stay%20&amp;%20Go%20-%20https:/www.holidayinn.com/sydneyairport-parkstaygo%20Seniors%20Discount%20Booking%20Link%20-%20https:/www.holidayinn.com/redirect?path=hd&amp;brandCode=HI&amp;localeCode=en&amp;regionCode=925&amp;hotelCode=SYDBR&amp;rateCode=IDARP&amp;_PMID=99502222&amp;cm_mmc=seniors18-_-SYDAP-_-display_over-sixty_seniors_booknow">Holiday Inn Sydney Airport</a></span>.   </em></p>

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How to house swap safely

<p>House swapping is a fun way to live like a local overseas.</p> <p>Here are some tips to help you swap.</p> <p><strong>How to start</strong></p> <p>Join a reputable house swapping site with homes available in the cities you want to visit. While it costs nothing to browse properties, you will need to pay an annual subscription fee (around US$75) to communicate with potential home swappers and to have your own home profiled on the website. The swapping itself is free so no other money should change hands.</p> <p><strong>Secure insurance</strong></p> <p>Having the right insurance is your responsibility. As soon as you discuss travel arrangements, call your home and car insurance company. Also ensure the home you are staying in is properly covered and check who carries the cost of any extra premium fee if the swap takes place.</p> <p><strong>Do your homework</strong></p> <p>Arrange a call with your swappers to “meet” them. Ask for and provide references. Ensure you have the name of a local trusted friend or family member of theirs you can contact in case of emergency. Provide the same, plus a local doctor, hospital, pharmacy, vet, mechanic and your travel details.</p> <p><strong>Consider pets</strong></p> <p>Taking care of the house owner’s pet can often be part of the deal. Leave clear instructions and enough supplies for the whole period of the swap.</p> <p><strong>Be thoughtful</strong></p> <p>Leave basic supplies like milk and bread. Write a welcome note and share local favourites. Lock away valuables and make it clear what is OK to use (bed linen, pantry staples) and what is not OK to use (wine collection). Reports of theft or damage are rare in the house swapping community, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/How-to-House-Swap-Safely">Reader’s Digest.</a></span> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">offer.</a></span></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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8 ways to de-stress while travelling

<p>Make your journey a little less bumpy with these tips.</p> <p><strong>1. Plan out your time </strong></p> <p>If you’re always missing transport connections, look at how you are allotting your time. Your travel guide may say it takes 40 minutes to get to the airport. Allow at least an extra 20 minutes so you arrive feeling fresh and calm.</p> <p><strong>2. Escape briefly</strong></p> <p>Slip away from the hustle and bustle once in a while. Most cities have botanic gardens, and there are always nature trails where you can enjoy the local scenery.</p> <p><strong>3. Avoid unnecessary tech accessories </strong></p> <p>Smartphones, tablets or computers remind us of home. Leave as much technology behind as you can and allow yourself to feel a sense of freedom from everyday life.</p> <p><strong>4. Do just one thing a day </strong></p> <p>For example, if you’re sightseeing, choose one place to visit (instead of four) and make a day of it with lunch or coffee in a nearby cafe.</p> <p><strong>5. Bring snacks </strong></p> <p>Have a bag of non-perishable snacks on hand (try protein bars, dried fruit and nuts, juice boxes or pretzels). Unexpected delays on a long journey will be more stressful if you’re hungry.</p> <p><strong>6. Once in a while, do nothing</strong></p> <p>Lie down and just unwind.</p> <p><strong>7. Stretch</strong></p> <p>Long bouts of sitting on planes and trains take a toll on your circulation. Lift your knees and stretch your calves for 30 seconds. This reduces the risk of blood clots that can result from sitting too long in one position.</p> <p><strong>8. Keep perspective</strong></p> <p>Your troubles are often smaller than they seem. To remind yourself of that, keep a picture of the Earth taken from space, a starry night or the ocean, and look at it whenever you feel overwhelmed. Amid countless stars and the crashing of waves against the shore, how important is getting to that third museum, really?</p> <p>What are your tips for de-stressing while travelling? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/destress-while-travelling"><strong>Reader’s Digest</strong></a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S"><strong>offer</strong></a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Good news: Qantas puts an end to confusing travel rule

<p>Most people when preparing for their journey away pack all the necessities and make sure that everything is in order.</p> <p>But one thing we fail to do is read the fine print on our plane tickets, because if we did, then we would know that instead of carrying our ticket on our phones, we actually need to print out a physical copy.</p> <p>Seems like a waste of paper, but those who only keep digital copies of their tickets are actually failing to follow instructions – until now.</p> <p>If you’ve previously travelled with Qantas, check your e-ticket and you would notice that at the top it says: “Each passenger travelling needs a printed copy of this document for airport security checks.”</p> <p>But now, in a smart move, Qantas has changed its terms and the message now reads: “We recommend that you carry a printed copy of the e-ticket document or save this on your phone.”</p> <p>Meaning those who never used to print out their tickets can go about their day as usual and save trees in the process.</p> <p>But passengers are divided, as some say that they would never head to the airport without a physical copy of their ticket, while others say they stopped printing out their tickets a long time ago.</p> <p>And now, with the recent introduction of digital boarding passes, where you can scan them through your phone, we’re certainly heading into the modern era.</p> <p>Do you prefer to print out your ticket or have it on your phone? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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Are you guilty of this? Qantas cracks down on sneaky passengers

<p>Qantas has announced that the airline will be cracking down on passengers who try to dodge the carry-on baggage rules.</p> <p>Currently, Qantas allows for passengers to take two 7kg bags on domestic and international flights.</p> <p>However, some customers have been ignoring the weight restrictions and choosing to check in online, in order to avoid weighing their overloaded bags at the terminal.</p> <p>Now, Qantas has revealed that it will be placing a “renewed focus” on carry-on weights to ensure the system is “fair” for all passengers.</p> <p>Over the past few weeks, auditing has been implemented on the busiest flight routes in Australia.</p> <p>A Qantas spokesman said: “Qantas offers the most generous amount of cabin baggage of any Australian airline and we know customers like the convenience of not having to check in luggage.”</p> <p>“But we’re getting feedback from regular flyers who say all customers need to be reminded about how much luggage they can take on board. So we’re renewing our focus to keep cabin baggage within the ­allowances and to ensure everyone has their fair share of space.’’</p> <p>The spokesman said enforcing the carry-on weight limit will help reduce delays and lessen the safety risk of overcrowded cabin bins.</p> <p>If a Qantas passenger is found with carry-on that is oversized, it will be moved to the cargo hold.</p> <p>Other airlines have also been targeting passengers who push the boundaries with their carry-on luggage.</p> <p>Earlier this year, Jetstar introduced a new policy to allow customers to purchase an extra 3kg of carry-on baggage.</p> <p>Virgin Australia said the airline warns customers about carry-on restrictions at various stages before they depart on their flights.</p> <p>Do you always to stick to your carry-on weight restrictions? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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The big changes coming to Aussie airports

<p>Although embarking on a holiday is an exciting thrill, sometimes the mayhem of a busy airport can dampen the beginning of your getaway.</p> <p>To make the experience less stressful, Aussie airports are testing three innovative technologies.</p> <p><strong>1. Biometric scanners</strong></p> <p>This year, Qantas trialled biometric scanners for their flights departing from Sydney International Airport. The technology, which recognises a person after scanning their physical attributes, allows passengers to only take their passport out once as they check-in and board their flight.</p> <p>In the future, it is likely that biometric scanners will be integrated across all touchpoints in the airport, including check-in, bag drop, immigration, airside security and boarding.</p> <p>As well as improving airport security, biometric scanners will make it quicker for travellers to pass through the airport.</p> <p>In the future, it is expected that passengers will be able to select one physical feature or “key”, such as their eyes, to pass through all checkpoints.</p> <p>Many airports and airlines around the world are trialling the sophisticated technology.</p> <p><strong>2. Baggage-free travel</strong></p> <p>A new program is removing the hassle of hauling heavy luggage around the airport or around the city after hotel check-out.</p> <p>Baggage-free travel will allow travellers to use off-site “pop-up” check-in desks so that the airline or airport carries your bags from door-to-door across your entire journey.</p> <p>Off Airport Check-In Solutions (OACIS) is one company introducing baggage-free travel in Australia. Recently, the company teamed-up with Virgin Australia to offer off-site check-in service for travellers disembarking from Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay Cruise Terminal.</p> <p>The service uses cloud technology to confirm check-in and baggage on Virgin Australia’s system.</p> <p>As these services continue to get rolled out across Australia, it is expected that many airport check-in counters will also be available at hotels, train stations and cruise terminals.</p> <p><strong>3. Robot assistance</strong></p> <p>Airports will soon be introducing robots to assist travellers who need help. While human staff won’t be replaced, airports and airlines are testing how robotics can be used to speed up check-ins and provide helpful information to passengers.</p> <p>Last year at Sydney Airport, Air New Zealand and Commonwealth Bank collaborated on the “Chip CANdroid”, a robot which was designed to help customers during check-in and boarding.</p> <p>Dutch airline KLM used robotics to design a “self-driving trolley” to reduce crowing and carry 38kg of luggage. This service may be particularly helpful for the elderly and less mobile.</p> <p>Are you excited to see these changes come to Aussie airports? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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5 tips on avoiding crowds while travelling

<p>Don’t let the frustration of dealing with pushy travellers ruin your trip.</p> <p><strong>1. Book tickets in advance </strong></p> <p>Purchase tickets online before you leave home and skip the crowds and endless lines at your destination. Smart travellers can avoid the queue when visiting abroad – the London Eye, Britain’s Houses of Parliament, Italy’s Vatican Museums, and the Louvre in Paris all help you keep your cool with online ticket sales.</p> <p><strong>2. Talk to people </strong></p> <p>Your hotel’s concierge or the assistant at the tourist office know their city’s attractions inside and out. Have a chat and get their take on the best times to visit popular sites.</p> <p><strong>3. Sign up for special tours</strong></p> <p>Often special organisations get after-hours or behind-the-scenes access to famous places. You’ll get a guided tour and beat the rush. A note of caution – these tours can be costly, but if large crowds routinely ruin your experience, splashing a little extra cash will save your sanity.</p> <p><strong>4. Visit during the week </strong></p> <p>For shorter lines, fewer people, and better opportunities to interact and enjoy the attraction, stop by during the week. In many cases, you’ll have the place to yourself. Take it one step further, and head to museums, galleries or tourism hot spots after 2pm when visiting school groups will have returned to class.</p> <p><strong>5. Watch the weather </strong></p> <p>Spooked travellers often cancel their plans when there are reports of a storm on the approach. While some travel advisories are the real deal, sometimes they’re not as bad as they sound. By keeping an eye on weather broadcasts, brave souls can often score great last-minute deals or empty attractions.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><strong><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/tips-on-avoiding-crowds">Reader’s Digest</a></strong></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>offer.</strong></span></a></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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World’s best airlines for 2019

<p>Singapore Airlines has officially been named the best carrier in the world for 2019.</p> <p>The airline has garnered praise from <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.airlineratings.com/news/worlds-best-airlines-2019/" target="_blank"><em>AirlineRatings.com</em></a> – a website that rates carriers on safety and passenger experience.</p> <p>Singapore Airlines currently flies the longest international flight in the world, starting at Singapore and landing in New York.</p> <p>Last year, Air New Zealand brought in first place, while Qantas came in at third.</p> <p>This year, Qatar Airways has nabbed fourth place and sitting closely behind is Virgin Australia at fifth place.</p> <p>The top 10 do not feature any UK or US airlines.</p> <p><strong>Top 10 best airlines overall</strong></p> <ol> <li>Singapore Airlines</li> <li>Air New Zealand</li> <li>Qantas</li> <li>Qatar Airways</li> <li>Virgin Australia</li> <li>Emirates</li> <li>All Nippon Airways</li> <li>EVA Air</li> <li>Cathay Pacific Airways</li> <li>Japan Airlines</li> </ol> <p>Dubai airline Emirates, who is regularly seen taking the top spot, came in at sixth while All Nippon Airways came in at seventh, Cathay pacific at ninth and Japan Airlines at tenth.</p> <p>According to Australian based <em>AirlineRatings.com</em>, Singapore Airlines took home the top spot because it proved to be the best in each category, including staff and safety.</p> <p>The website considered the carrier to be “gold standard”.</p> <p>The airline’s first-class cabins also beat their competitors, as the “suites” have been commended for being the “equivalent of a small hotel room”.</p> <p>Qatar Airways is considered to have the best business class, and the credit goes to their Q-suites which features a double bed. They have also been named the best for catering.</p> <p>The best premium economy cabin is found in Air New Zealand while the best economy class went to Korea Air.</p> <p>Qantas was praised for their lounges and domestic flights, while Qantas Link won regional airline of the year.</p> <p>Showing the most amount of improvement was Philippine Airlines, with Virgin Australia having the best cabin crew. Emirates was awarded for their in-flight entertainment, which was considered the best when compared to other carriers.</p> <p><strong>World’s best airlines 2019</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Airline of the year:</strong> Singapore Airlines</li> <li><strong>Best long-haul airline: </strong>Emirates (Middle East), EVA Air (Asia-Pacific), Lufthansa (Europe) and Delta (Americas)</li> <li><strong>Best low-cost airline:</strong> Westjet (Americas), AirAsia/AirAsia X (Asia-Pacific) and Wizz (Europe)</li> <li><strong>Best first class:</strong> Singapore Airlines</li> <li><strong>Best business class:</strong> Qatar Airways</li> <li><strong>Best premium economy:</strong> Air New Zealand</li> <li><strong>Best economy:</strong> Korea Air </li> <li><strong>Best lounges: </strong>Qantas</li> <li><strong>Best catering:</strong> Qatar Airways</li> <li><strong>Best in-flight entertainment:</strong> Emirates</li> <li><strong>Best domestic class:</strong> Qantas</li> <li><strong>Regional airline of the year:</strong> QantasLink</li> <li><strong>Most improved airline:</strong> Philippine Airlines</li> <li><strong>Best ultra-low-cost carrier:</strong> VietJet</li> <li><strong>Best cabin crew:</strong> Virgin Australia</li> </ul> <p><em>AirlineRatings.com</em> is backed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and uses a seven-star rating system to rank 450 different airlines based on their safety and in-flight experience.</p> <p>Which airline is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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How to keep your personal items safe while travelling

<p>In a recent case reported out of Singapore, two men onboard a flight to Jakarta were apprehended after being suspected of stealing cash from fellow passengers mid-flight.</p> <p>These cases are known as in-flight, or mid-flight thefts, and they’re not as rare as you may think. The perpetrators are often part of criminal syndicates and they work in pairs or groups to keep from getting discovered. While staying alert is important, there are also tips you can heed to ensure you don’t fall victim to such crimes.</p> <p><strong>1. Keep cash and valuables close to you at all times</strong></p> <p>Keep your valuables such as cash, your ID and passport, and jewellery in a small bag that you can place under the seat in front of you. Rest your feet on your bag to make sure no one gets close to it and bring this bag with you whenever you leave your seat. It takes just a few seconds for experienced thieves to swipe your bag so never give them the opportunity by leaving it unattended.</p> <p><strong>2. Label your bag</strong></p> <p>Make sure your bag is easily identifiable, so thieves can’t just switch it out with a similar looking bag. This is especially important if you have a black, nondescript bag. For example, you can sew a patch on it or write your initials on the bag.</p> <p><strong>3. Stow your carry-on bag where you can see it</strong></p> <p>When placing your bag in the overhead compartment, make sure it’s right above or across from your seat so you can keep an eye on it at all times. To ensure you get prime real estate, try to board the flight early.</p> <p><strong>4. Don't make your bag compartments easily accessible</strong></p> <p>Place your bag with the zip side facing down or inwards so it can’t be easily reached. For added security, lock your bag. Thieves are always looking out for easy targets and won’t spend too long fiddling with a locked bag as it may draw attention to themselves. If you’re stowing your jacket or coat, remove any valuables from the pockets.</p> <p><strong>5. Don't keep valuables in your carry-on bag </strong></p> <p>Even though you’ve got your carry-on stowed away within your line of sight and your pockets are inaccessible, that still doesn’t mean that you should keep any valuables in there. Refer to tip no. 1.</p> <p><strong>6. Have different hiding spots for your cash and cards </strong></p> <p>Keep your cash or credit cards in different hiding places. For example, you can divide your cash into three portions and keep some in your small bag, some in a pair of jeans that’s rolled up in your checked baggage, and some in your toiletries bag. This way, should you lose one stash, you will not be left with absolutely no cash.</p> <p><strong>7. Use an RFID-blocking wallet of bag</strong></p> <p>Lots of credit or bank cards and passports come embedded with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips that store information for wireless transmission. Thieves have been known to use RFID scanners to skim and steal this information. You can buy wallets or bags that block RFID in order to prevent this new type of theft. </p> <p><em><strong>This article first appeared in </strong></em><span><strong><em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/7-tips-keep-your-personal-items-safe-while-travelling">Reader’s Digest</a></em></strong></span><em><strong>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </strong></em><span><strong><em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></em></strong></span><em><strong>.</strong></em> </p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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5 reasons to travel Britain with a group

<p>London, Belfast, Dublin and Edinburgh – these great British cities are better with a group. </p> <p>Here are five reasons why we love British group tours.</p> <p><strong>1. You have someone to explore with</strong></p> <p>Group tours allow you to form life-long friendships built on common interests. Imagine walking the streets of Stratford-Upon-Avon with someone who shares your love of Shakespeare. Or tasting whisky in Edinburgh Castle with someone who appreciates Scotch. The toe-tapping sound of a fiddle in an Irish pub is always more fun when you have someone to dance with. Friendships formed on group tours are friendships based on common interests. Often these are the friendships that will last a lifetime. </p> <p><strong>2. All the details are taken care of</strong></p> <p>London can be overwhelming, but with a group tour, you don’t need to navigate The Tube or find good-quality accommodation. It’s all done for you. Group tours allow you to spend more time understanding Britain’s history and culture and less time on the pesky stressful details. You can have a driver help after you’ve savoured a pint in a Dublin Pub and a ferry to Ireland all pre-organised. No need to worry about where to eat or what to see – just expect great food, great tea and great ale. </p> <p><strong>3. Tried and tested knowledge of the destination</strong></p> <p>Tour guides in Britain have incredible minds for historical events, cultural facts and local anecdotes. They have built up their knowledge of Scotland, England and Ireland over many years. They know the best restaurants, the fastest way to get from one destination to another and the history of every landmark you will see. Ask questions of your tour guide and you will quickly find they are one of the biggest advantages of a group tour. </p> <p><strong>4. You’ll see and do things you can’t do on your own</strong></p> <p>Tour companies have insider knowledge. They can use their clout to get you to the front of the line at museums, the best seats on the train and they know the best places to take photographs. Plus – you can get them to take photos of you. </p> <p><strong>5. Safety should anything go wrong</strong></p> <p>You can rest assured that a group tour company has a plan to keep you safe. You will always have a tour leader to speak to about your concerns.  </p> <p>Have you travelled to Britain with a group tour? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/why-you-should-group-tour-england-ireland-and-scotland/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>My Discoveries</strong></span></a>. </em></p>

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How common etiquette in Australia differs from overseas

<p>Etiquette is a funny thing.</p> <p>The rules are often unspoken; a delicate maze of social norms we’re expected to indulge for fear of disrupting the status quo.</p> <p>So, when it comes to our manners within the home compared to the rest of the world, how do Aussies stack up?</p> <p>According to director of the <span><a href="https://asoe.com.au/">Australian School of Etiquette</a></span>, Zarife Hardy, Australians tend to have less of a fascination with etiquette than many overseas. </p> <p>“Australians have a very relaxed and casual approach to common etiquette. After all, etiquette is all about how you make someone feel in your presence, whether that be formal or informal. Some areas of etiquette are slipping but this seems to be happening globally, mainly due to technology and the use of mobile phones,” she says.</p> <p>She notes that although we generally conduct ourselves in a way that is not dissimilar to how others do overseas, we have our idiosyncrasies that set us apart.</p> <p>“As Australians we eat Continental English style, which is different to many countries in the world; we follow England and their table etiquette rules. This means our fork goes in the left hand and knife in the right hand, with the tines of the fork always over and never up. Laying your knife and fork in the middle of your plate with the blades of your knife facing in is our signal to show that you are finished your meal even if food is still on the plate,” she says.</p> <p>Hardy also says that while barbecues are a common Australian way of bringing people together in the home, it’s not “a common form of entertaining in the global arena”.</p> <p>“Australians are known globally for their hospitality in a casual, relaxed setting; we warmly open our doors and invite guests into our homes.”</p> <p>More than that, the Australian etiquette for greetings is distinctly, well, Australian.</p> <p>“When greeting someone most European countries kiss at least twice, once on each cheek when greeting or saying goodbye to someone. This is not done in Australia. It is OK to simply offer a handshake, particularly when meeting someone for the first time. In a social setting, or once you get to know each other better, a peck on the cheek becomes acceptable between members of the opposite sex.”</p> <p>While Australians are generally relaxed, we do have firm ideas about how we should respond to food, Hardy says.</p> <p>“We don’t burp, belch or spit in front of others, which may be considered normal in some cultures.”</p> <p>Anna Musson, etiquette expert at <span><a href="http://goodmanners.com.au/">The Good Manners Company</a></span>, does not believe there is a marked difference in how we interact at home in comparison to those overseas. </p> <p>She does, however, believe our attitude towards social norms and etiquette is, perhaps, more blasé than others.</p> <p>“Aussies generally have a relaxed approach to life, which can see us occasionally stretching the bounds of good etiquette,” she says.</p> <p>Musson believes, too, that Australians have adopted some bad habits that do not make for good manners overseas.</p> <p>“For example, turning up to an invitation in thongs is a no-no, or being the last to leave and not offering to help clean up.”</p> <p>Musson adds, “Not noticing cues to leave is another one – we should never stay longer than four hours for dinner.”</p> <p><em>Written by Zara McDonald. Republished with permission of <span><strong><a href="https://www.domain.com.au/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Domain.com.au</span>.</a></strong></span> </em></p>

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This airline has just ditched the worst seat on the plane

<p>Have you ever rued the thought of sitting in the middle seat on a flight? The feeling of being wedged in between two fellow travellers, the etiquette and time of when you take your toilet breaks to be considered, and peering over the person who has the prime window seat to catch a glimpse of the city you may be flying into or out of.</p> <p>Well, one Brazilian airline has decided to remove the middle seat from its planes altogether, reports <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-advice/flights/this-airline-has-just-ditched-the-very-worst-seat-on-the-plane/news-story/59636aa4d00c13cd150bc48e1cfb793b" target="_blank"><em>news.com.au</em>.<span> </span></a>From next month, Gol, Brazil’s largest carrier, will introduce tables in place of middle seats in premium economy on its non-stop flights from Brazil to the US. </p> <p>Although customers will have to share the middle table with another passenger, they’ll also have the luxury of distance between them. And passengers will also have considerably more leg room if they book a seat in premium economy – 86.4cm compared to 78.7cm in standard economy.</p> <p>Gol – whose new Boeing 737 Max 8 jets fly out of Fortaleza in northeast Brazil and from the country’s capital Brasilia to Orlando, Florida, in the US – is banking on the changes to encourage people to upgrade to premium economy to help offset jet fuel costs.</p> <p>The carrier is following suit in making modifications in attempt to make customers more comfortable. </p> <p>On its new premium economy seats on its Dreamliner planes, Qantas made the middle seats wider by 7.6cm. Meanwhile, some airlines like British Airways have opted to ditch traditional reclining seats altogether, with the carrier introducing preset seats at an angle on short-haul flights so as not to encroach on feet space for passengers.</p> <p>Would you pay more to avoid sitting in the middle seat on your flight? <span>Tell us in the comments below.</span></p>

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The secret hotel rooms you don't know about

<p>Celebrities are some of the most followed people on this earth, with their every move being tracked and revealed to the world. So how exactly do they manage to avoid the spotlight when checking into hotel rooms?</p> <p>People have questioned how it’s possible that certain celebrities manage to not only take the perfect scenic shots in the country they’re visiting, but also have complete seclusion with no eager fans watching their every move.</p> <p>And the answer to that has been revealed. Hotels have secret, ultra-luxurious rooms for their VIP guests. And if you’re wondering how you can possibly get your hands on one of these rooms, you most likely can’t.</p> <p>Unless you’re filthy rich or famous, these rooms are not available to mere mortals as they usually aren’t advertised and aren’t on the books. To keep the rooms private and exclusive, you won’t be finding the luxury suites advertised on booking.com.</p> <p>If you still don’t believe it, then have a look at Take the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon, not far from Reykjavik, Iceland.</p> <p>The resort is known to remain above the thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon and is a popular tourist hot-spot if you fancy taking a dip into a sulphur-rich pool. While the website claims the hotel has 62 suites, in actual fact they have 63.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHgdp9gJ2r/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHgdp9gJ2r/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Will you be visiting us this winter? #TheRetreatBlueLagoon #BlueLagoonIceland #Iceland #luxurytravel #luxuryspa</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/retreat.bluelagoon/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> The Retreat at Blue Lagoon</a> (@retreat.bluelagoon) on Oct 19, 2018 at 7:01am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The extra suite takes up a massive two floors and features everything you would ever need on a getaway. A kitchen and dining area, a hidden deck, sauna, spa and a completely private, closed off area of the Blue Lagoon so you can swim without sharing the waters with normal folk.</p> <p>The conditions include a two-night minimum stay and is priced at a whopping $14,600 a night.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BllCGE9gLg5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BllCGE9gLg5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Come to a place in the heart of a volcanic frontier. #TheRetreatBlueLagoon #BlueLagoonIceland #Iceland #luxuryhotel #luxurytravel</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/retreat.bluelagoon/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> The Retreat at Blue Lagoon</a> (@retreat.bluelagoon) on Jul 23, 2018 at 8:08am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The suit is completely isolated, with guests not even being able to spot it from other parts of the hotel, which is why celebrities tend to favour the overpriced stay because it gives them something nothing else can: privacy.</p> <p>Speaking to the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ausbt.com.au/why-hotels-don-t-talk-about-their-secret-vip-only-rooms" target="_blank">Australian Business Traveller</a></em>, Mar Masson, the director of marketing for The Retreat’s parent company said, “No-one ever needs to know you’re there.</p> <p>“It’s not visible to other guests, and there is nothing that indicates it is there.”</p> <p>And it isn’t only The Retreat that offers the luxury of having a lavish suite all to yourself, as the NoMad in Los Angeles and Hotel Bennett in Charleston, North Carolina, also keep their most expensive rooms a secret from those who can’t afford it.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BhfFkjwAUDy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BhfFkjwAUDy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">I'm headed to Charleston to get this Luxury Spa project started! Get Ready for another Salamander Hotels &amp; Resorts masterpiece - Hotel Bennett . #hotelbennett #salamanderhotels</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/cindi_packard_moreno/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Cindi Moreno</a> (@cindi_packard_moreno) on Apr 12, 2018 at 2:37pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The Hotel Bennett only allows guests to book the room if they have an invitation, and 21 Boulevard – a hotel in Las Vegas – gives you access to the penthouses after you drop over a million dollars on the tables in the high-roller rooms.</p> <p>So, what if you want to book a room but aren’t famous? Well if you have the cash to spare then you can experience the luxury after receiving the green light from hotel management.</p> <p>All you need to do is email the manager and request the most private room in the building. Once you get the go-ahead, you can experience the life of a celebrity for a night or two. </p>

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The new stress-free way to travel

<p>Jetting off around the world is one of the most rewarding experiences but isn’t always without hassle. Endless hours can be spent comparing the best deals, organising your itinerary and selecting affordable accommodation -  it’s enough to flip a fun holiday into a scarring experience!</p> <p>However, savvy travellers are flocking to a new category of touring that takes away the burden of organising the logistics of your trip but also allows you the freedom to set your own itinerary at your own pace.</p> <p>Cosmos Lite is offering the world’s first <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://goo.gl/MuroYf">à la carte tour style</a></strong></span>, which combines the essential features of their award-winning Cosmos tours with a personalised and independent approach to daily itineraries.  </p> <p>Travellers will be able to choose a holiday package that includes city-to-city transportation, comfortable hotels and daily breakfasts.</p> <p>So, how does it allow travellers to go overseas without the headache?</p> <p><strong>1. Explore on your own when necessary</strong></p> <p>While it is a great bonding experience to travel with a group, sometimes it is valuable to also spend some time alone. Having the opportunity to take breaks from your tour group and schedule in your own enjoyment will give you the perfect opportunity to recharge and reflect on all the fun you will be having. Travelling with <a href="https://goo.gl/MuroYf"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Cosmos Lite</strong></span></a> will allow you to have the perks of travelling with a group, such as meeting new people and greater security, but then also give you the opportunity to explore at your own pace. Breaking away from the group will give you the chance to learn how to enjoy your own company in a foreign place and also force you to get out of your comfort zone. And if you ever get a bit lonely when going solo, you can return to your tour group.</p> <p><strong>2. Freedom to tailor itineraries</strong></p> <p>Cosmos Lite provides a blank canvas for travellers at each destination so that they can customise their experience. Your Tour Director will point out the best sightseeing, dining and entertainment options at each location, so you will never be without a good recommendation.</p> <p>Those who are looking to find trusted local information will also have access to the CosmosGO mobile app at their fingertips. For those who are wanting to spontaneously spend their time completing more activities than they originally thought, they will be able to purchase them on the go with optional excursions.</p> <p>Cosmos Lite excursions typically start later than normal tours, so you can choose to spend your morning however you like – whether you want to get some extra hours of shut eye or set out for an adventure. You can also select solo or group outings, depending on your personal preference.</p> <p><strong>3. Don’t worry about the stressful details</strong></p> <p>One of the painpoints of travelling is making sure you are doing sufficient research to get your hands on the best bargain and avoid getting scammed. Cosmos Lite takes care of city-to-city transport, hotels and daily breakfasts, so you can spend your time and energy on planning the more exciting aspects of your holiday.</p> <p>Cosmos Lite offers travellers transport in private deluxe motorcoaches between destinations with free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. The tour will include clean, comfortable and attractive hotels that offer customers the most for their money.</p> <p>Travellers will also have the most important meal of the day covered in the tour price so that you can start every morning energised with a full stomach.</p> <p>What are your tips for stress-free travel? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p>THIS IS SPONSORED CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU IN CONJUNCTION WITH <a href="https://goo.gl/MuroYf"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>COSMOS.</strong></span></a></p>

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The $7 Aussie item pregnant Duchess Meghan never travels without

<p>After landing in Sydney and announcing their pregnancy to the world, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex have caused quite the stir, and now, it’s been revealed what the Duchess carried with her on her flight Down Under.</p> <p>Travelling with Australian airline, Qantas, Meghan is said to have brought with her an Aussie cult classic, and it only costs a mere $7.</p> <p>In a resurfaced interview with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.allure.com/story/meghan-markle-suits-beauty-tips" target="_blank"><em>Allure</em></a> magazine, the Duchess revealed that she never travels anywhere without a bottle of Tea Tree oil.</p> <p>“The one thing I cannot live without when I’m travelling is a small container of Tea Tree oil,” she told <em>Allure</em>.</p> <p>“It’s not the most glamorous thing, but if you get a cut, a mosquito bite, a small breakout, no matter what it is, it’s my little cure-all.</p> <p>“It’s inexpensive, it’s small enough to carry on, and I bring it with me all the time.”</p> <p>Having been an Aussie favourite for decades, Tea Tree oil is the cure to almost every problem, and it comes from a myrtle tree that is native to Queensland and NSW. The all-rounder oil works as an antiseptic to cure cuts, grazes and blemishes.</p> <p>The oil is known for its affordable price, with many places retailing the natural remedy for $7. And if it’s good enough for the Duchess, then it’s good enough for us!</p> <p>Do you use Tea Tree oil? If yes, what do you use it for? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

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How you can score cheap flights this week

<p>Welcome to our flight sale wrap. Each week we hunt down the best cheap flights on offer. Many will only be on sale for a few days – so get in quick.</p> <p>Don’t forget – you can always call <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/">MyDiscoveries</a> to get them to book flights and custom-made holidays for you –<span> </span><strong>1300 404 606</strong>.</p> <p>This week Jetstar has a beach holiday sale,<span> </span><a href="https://www.familytravel.com.au/places/singapore/?__hstc=224028740.c09cdcc6ef448e3950fd598e7fbbb599.1532048979573.1536210081193.1539296064637.18&amp;__hssc=224028740.1.1539296064637&amp;__hsfp=2463109497">Singapore</a> is offering stopovers for $1 and you could spend New Year’s Eve in Canada for less than $1000 return.</p> <h3><strong>Jetstar’s beach discovery sale</strong></h3> <p>Jetstar announced a huge beach discovery sale this week. The sale starts on 11 October and continues until October 15, unless sold out prior.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img class="size-full wp-image-46699" src="https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/mydiscoveries-wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/shutterstock_418752820.jpg" alt="Cheap flights" width="1000" height="667" /></strong><em>Getaway faster with these great sale fares.</em></p> <p>Here are a few of the best cheap flights on offer.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/cheap-flights/byron-bay" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D1cf218d188%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGOVc0HRejFVFhjpUeEx-LM8jNHtQ">Sydney to Ballina Byron from $45 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D6a7280f3d7%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNE7qDwJNm7SqxNkXkSosJ37vE2yhQ">Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Ballina Byron from $65 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D327cf38916%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFaDHY9Qp4zm7OG5hKbRwlIU4y92g">Brisbane to Newcastle from $47 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D20d6545448%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFxA9y74X9hmSOa2bP9-pkX180-ug">Sydney to Gold Coast from $49 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D3c009357a5%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGtw1wgQrBAHafTApfGo7EE6Z0erw">Melbourne (Avalon) to Gold Coast from $52 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3Df703e4bd55%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFlpRcZrmL45_Xhi8fwZaWgbZw5Lw">Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Gold Coast from $65 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D25f3f72938%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEIU8VrLbYsfO4aNpJUivSgUj1-DA">Adelaide to Gold Coast from $82 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D760d7d6475%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEllPGta67hyy9kbF49ucjdNo2m3w">Sydney to Sunshine Coast from $59 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D5ab0dc3b32%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHR5LbGEIhiI_1WI4lEaQwScK0_Wg">Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Sunshine Coast from $78 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3Df63e8e51c7%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGmARNGJFVICH2exzI4UIDKrn2d0Q">Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Cairns from $101 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D1b59be24e6%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFGLtk2urbSckgodMoAhZHkUPksew">Adelaide to Cairns from $108 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/cheap-flights/cairns" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3Da7ddc63b92%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHL6InS1fCv2JUblP9Vr59bF4SYBg">Perth to Cairns from $119 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/cheap-flights/hamilton-island" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3Df4f27377ad%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621602000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEc82NPSj8Xj3Nga44CIaSciFOhhg">Sydney to Hamilton Island from $85 one way</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/cheap-flights/perth" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tlaworldwide.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dd3dc292960ea3b6d29e70215a%26id%3D9ecf7ff43d%26e%3D6e66902f91&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1539291621603000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEqgJ2OFPme-_LsYQEbGRFMMo6_IA">Adelaide to Perth from $109 one way</a></p> <p>But this sale isn’t limited to domestic flights. International beach destinations are on sale too.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals/beach-discovery-sale" target="_blank">Sydney to Phuket from $219</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals/beach-discovery-sale" target="_blank">Sydney to Bali Denpasar from $219</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals/beach-discovery-sale" target="_blank">Sydney to Honolulu from $249</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals/beach-discovery-sale" target="_blank">Melbourne to Phuket from $219</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals/beach-discovery-sale" target="_blank">Melbourne to Bali Denpasar from $199</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals/beach-discovery-sale" target="_blank">Melbourne to Honolulu from $249</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals/beach-discovery-sale" target="_blank">Gold Coast to Honolulu from $318</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals/beach-discovery-sale" target="_blank">Gold Coast to Bali Denpasar from $288</a><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals/beach-discovery-sale" target="_blank">Gold Coast to Phuket from $288. </a></p> <h3><strong>Singapore stopovers for $1</strong></h3> <p>No that is not a joke. Singapore Airlines is offering stopovers in Singapore for just $1.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="size-full wp-image-46700" src="https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/mydiscoveries-wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/shutterstock_756788173.jpg" alt="Cheap flights" width="1000" height="515" /><em>You could stay in Singapore for just $1 with this great deal.</em></p> <p>What’s included? A lot!</p> <p><strong>*</strong><span> </span>1-night accommodation at hotel in applicable price category (without breakfast supplement);<br /><strong>*</strong><span> </span>Unlimited rides on the SIA Hop-on Bus operating on 4 different lines – Blue, Brown, Red and Yellow – for the duration of stay;<br /><strong>*</strong><span> </span>Discounts on shopping, dining, sightseeing tours, and tourist attractions as listed in the SIA Boarding Pass Privileges program.</p> <p>To get the deal you need to fly from Australia to Singapore between 5 October 2018 and 12 September 2019.</p> <p>You can read more about the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://ifly.net.au/singapore-airlines" target="_blank">$1 Singapore stopover here</a>.</p> <h3><strong>New Year’s flights to<span> </span><a href="https://www.familytravel.com.au/places/things-to-do-with-kids-and-families-canada-vancouver/?__hstc=224028740.c09cdcc6ef448e3950fd598e7fbbb599.1532048979573.1536210081193.1539296064637.18&amp;__hssc=224028740.1.1539296064637&amp;__hsfp=2463109497">Vancouver</a><span> </span>$979 return</strong></h3> <p>It’s rare to find flights to Canada under $1000 return. Over New Years? That’s unheard of.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="size-full wp-image-44811" src="https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/family-travels-wp/~familytr/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/11080716/shutterstock_303473957.jpg" alt="Vancouver Canada" width="1000" height="667" /><em>Stanley Park Vancouver Canada.</em> </p> <p>STA travel has flight sale fares to Vancouver and Toronto available from 26 December through to 19 June 2019. You must book these fares before October 31.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.finder.com.au/sta-travel-promo-codes" target="_blank">For more details click here</a>.</p> <h3><strong>Where do we find our deals?</strong></h3> <p>* Direct emails from Airlines such as Qantas, Virgin Australia and Cathay Pacific<br />* Travel aggregators such as <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/expedia-com-coupon-codes">Expedia</a>, <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/webjet">Webjet</a> &amp; <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/wotif-promo-codes">Wotif.com</a><br />* Budget airlines – Jetstar, Tiger Airways, Scoot and Air Asia<br />* Flight booking deal websites such as Finder.com.au, I want that flight and Cheap flights.<br />* Industry insiders.</p> <h3><strong>Call a travel agent…</strong></h3> <p>Can’t find what you’re looking for? Why search for sale flights for hours when you can get someone else to do it for you.</p> <p>Did you know that <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/">MyDiscoveries</a> has a travel agent? <strong>Call us on 1300 404 606</strong> and we’ll help you to create an incredible custom holiday package.</p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/">MyDiscoveries</a>. </em></p>

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This airline has just introduced a new feature that will make flying less stressful

<p>Naturally, one in seven passengers get nervous before stepping on a plane but now, a new program is offering people the support they need to beat the nerves.</p> <p>From early next year, Virgin passengers will be able to identify themselves as a nervous traveller by ticking a box while booking their flight.</p> <p>Those travellers will then be able to receive extra support to cope with their flight, including receiving information about easing anxiety, to having cabin crew drop by to check on them.</p> <p>Virgin Australia’s public manager of operations Libby Armstrong said there was a range of ways travellers could be assisted with their individual fears.</p> <p>Some people may want to know when the aircraft was last serviced, while others want to be assured that they wouldn’t be moved from their seat.</p> <p>“Travelling is stressful, and I think it’s the lack of control people have about travelling,” she said.</p> <p>“If we can give back a bit of control, that will make all the difference.”</p> <p>A new initiative by Virgin Australia will also let nervous flyers receive extra support to cope with their stress mid-flight through meditation.</p> <p>The airline has announced their new in-flight entertainment app with not-for-profit group Smiling Mind to ease flying nerves for passengers.</p> <p>Smiling Mind has created meditation programs now available on Virgin Australia’s in-flight entertainment to fight flying anxiety and foster mindfulness in the air.</p> <p>Ms Armstrong said: “Seven people on every single one of our Boeing 737s experience overwhelming levels of anxiety.</p> <p>“On a scale of 1 to 10, that’s a 8 to 10. That’s something like 2600 people every single day who are crippled by fear.</p> <p>“We see it every day. Panic attacks … it can be that serious.”</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.news.com.au"><strong><u>news.com.au</u></strong></a>, clinical psychologist and Smiling Mind chief executive Addie Wootten said that sitting on a flight was the perfect opportunity to focus on mental wellbeing.</p> <p>“Often people who are nervous flyers are fearful of what might happen — what if we hit turbulence, what if we don’t make it on time, what if something happens,” Dr Wootten said.</p> <p>“Mindfulness is a practice that helps us learn to not worry so much. To notice those things are happening, but bring our minds back to what we’re doing right now.</p> <p>“It will help them connect with their body, regulate their breathing and slow down the heart rate — which we know is accelerated when people are anxious — and then learn how to stop the thinking or the worrying.”</p> <p>However, Dr Wootten believes the meditation app will benefit all travellers – whether they are feeling anxious or not.</p> <p>“Often people talk about (a flight) being their one bit of downtime in the day, so if we can help them cultivate that mindfulness and hopefully end the flight feeling calmer than when they started, that’s a win for us,” she said.</p> <p>Do you get nervous flying? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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The new airport rule that changes everything at check-in

<p>Many of us may have felt bombarded by boarding announcements as we wait at the airport, listening out for the relevant information for our flight so we don’t miss anything vital. It’s not exactly a relaxing experience, in what can already be a harried experience as all check boxes are ticked for a successful boarding.</p> <p>But next time you visit Sydney International Airport’s T1 terminal, you’ll notice a major change. On September 17, it became a “quiet airport”, ceasing all terminal wide updates over the PA system including flight boarding and closing, and passenger paging, unless they’re “critical”. You’ll see signs noting the change at check-in counters, but all boarding announcements will continue to be made at boarding gates.</p> <p>Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert says the initiative will make for a more relaxing experience for passengers.</p> <p>“Passengers will now be able to relax without being interrupted by constant announcements,” he said in a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.sydneyairport.com.au/corporate/media/corporate-newsroom/announcements-at-t1-international-reduced" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p> <p>“We’re always looking at how we can make the airport experience even more enjoyable for our passengers. This initiative leapt out as one that would make an immediate and material difference and would align us with the practices of the best airports globally.”</p> <p>He said the move brings the airport in line with other leading world airports like Changi, Dubai, Hong Kong and Helsinki.</p> <p>So, you may need to pay extra attention to the flight information display screens for up-to-date information, and you can keep up-to-date on your flight status through the Sydney Airport and airline websites, as well as on the airport’s social media accounts.</p> <p>You can also set an alarm on your mobile phone to make sure you get moving to your gate on time, and get updates on flight delays on your phone using the app for your relevant airline or the TripCase app, which covers all airlines, writes Amanda Woods, for <a href="https://www.escape.com.au/news/shh-quiet-airport-terminals-have-arrived-in-australia/news-story/2302bb29caa12ec70f52d15d620457b6"><em>Escape</em></a>. According to Woods, it’s not just passengers that are effected by the change, with shop assistants enjoying some much-needed peace from terminal-wide announcements.</p> <p>“When I ask one of the airport’s shop assistants if they’ve noticed much of a change with the new Quiet Terminal rules they say their life is so much easier now,” she wrote. “Before they were constantly being interrupted when they were trying to tell a customer something and had to start again when the announcement finished.”</p> <p>Passengers travelling internationally will still be advised of their gate and boarding time when checking in, and you can always approach airport information desks if you have any queries.</p> <p>For now, announcements are set to continue at domestic airports.</p> <p>What do you think of the new "quiet airport" rule? Tell is in the comments below.</p>

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The new rules that could make flying better for everyone

<p>A new rule could remove one of the most irritating things about long haul flights – the ever-shrinking size of the aeroplane seat.</p> <p>As airlines try to squeeze more and more seats onto one flight, passengers have suffered the impact of legroom seemingly disappearing every year.</p> <p>However, a new law could set a global trend to make sure seat and leg room doesn’t get any smaller.</p> <p>The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates civil aviation in the United States, could soon set a minimum requirement for aircraft seat width and legroom.</p> <p>The regulations were part of a FAA funding plan considered by US Congress this week.</p> <p>Last year, the FAA rejected the idea of setting minimum standards for seat width and legroom but it appears Congress is pushing the aviation authority to go ahead with it.</p> <p>Reportedly, both chambers of Congress were passionate about putting an end to the “ever-shrinking” seat crisis in airlines.</p> <p>“Relief could soon be on the way for weary airline passengers facing smaller and smaller seats,” Democratic senator Bill Nelson said.</p> <p>The proposed bill, which Congress have until Sunday to agree on or to extend, will also stop airlines kicking passengers off overbooked flights.</p> <p>This practice was highlighted after Dr David Dao was dramatically dragged from a United Airlines plane in April 2017.</p> <p>The proposed bill will also ban pets from being stowed in the overheard compartment, following another infamous case this year when a family’s beloved French bulldog died mid-flight.</p> <p>Among other changes, the FAA will also make airlines give refunds to passengers for services not received, such as if their in-flight entertainment system didn’t work.</p> <p>It would also ensure pregnant passengers were boarded early on flights.</p> <p>However, the version of the bill that is being revised by Congress removed a provision to regulate what airlines could charge in extra fees, such as for baggage and seating reservations.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/congress-allows-airlines-to-continue-passenger-fees-that-cost-46-billion-last-year/2018/09/22/04fc1c96-be8a-11e8-b7d2-0773aa1e33da_story.html?noredirect=on&amp;utm_term=.97a8e662c720"><strong><em style="font-weight: inherit;"><u>Washington Post</u></em></strong></a>, US airlines were forecast to make $6.5 billion by the end of the year in extra fees.</p> <p>The provision would’ve allowed the US Department of Transport to decide if extra charges became “unreasonable” or out of line.</p> <p>“Airline travellers are being gouged by exorbitant fees, but the airlines will stop at nothing to protect this billion-dollar profit centre,” Democratic senator Edward J Markey said.</p> <p>Which rule will you be most happy to see implemented in airlines? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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5 travel hacks to stretch your holiday budget

<p>Unless you’re a trust fund kid or you have a bottomless bank account, you need to keep to a budget while travelling. Here are 5 hacks to help you stretch your holiday budget.</p> <p><strong>1. Buy travel insurance</strong></p> <p>When you’re planning a trip, you will look at all the ways you can save money, such as not paying for additional baggage or looking for low-cost carriers.</p> <p>However, you should never, ever scrimp on travel insurance.</p> <p>Travel insurance will save you money should you encounter any emergencies while overseas.</p> <p>For example, if you have a medical emergency while travelling, you can seek treatment at the hospital without worrying if you can afford it as you will be able to claim part of the cost.</p> <p>Buy the best travel insurance you can afford and make sure you read the terms and conditions to understand what it covers.</p> <p>Ensure you <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/Top-5-Travel-Insurance-Tips">read the small print carefully</a></u>.</p> <p><strong>2. Make use of free Wi-Fi</strong></p> <p>Unless you need to constantly be on call (and let’s be honest, that kind of defeats the purpose of a holiday), you don’t need to pay for a roaming phone plan or even a local SIM card.</p> <p>You can just rely of free Wi-Fi that’s provided at most cafes and restaurants, and at your accommodation.</p> <p>With apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp for texting and making calls, you don’t have to spend any money to keep in touch with people back home.</p> <p>Check out our tips and tricks for helping stretch your <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/How-to-Manage-Your-Phone-Data-Use">mobile phone dollar further</a></u>.</p> <p><strong>3. Look for free or cheap activities</strong></p> <p>You don’t have to book expensive tour packages to enjoy your vacation.</p> <p>Instead, look for cheap or free activities.</p> <p>This is especially easy to do in larger cities.</p> <p>London, for example, has over 23 free museums, such as the Tate Modern, British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.</p> <p>And the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain, offers free entry for the last two hours of every day.</p> <p>Search online for more such options.</p> <p>And there’s no better way to really get to know a place than to explore its streets.</p> <p>You can check online for free walking tours that are usually organised by experienced guides.</p> <p>You are free to tip the guide any amount you want at the end of the tour.</p> <p>If money is no object, check out these <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/10-leisure-activities-burn-more-calories-you-realise">10 holiday activities that burn calories fast</a></u>. </p> <p><strong>4. Book accommodation with a kitchen</strong></p> <p>This is especially useful in cities where it’s expensive to eat out, such as Paris or London.</p> <p>Even eating in just one meal a day can save you a significant amount of money.</p> <p>The moment you settle in, go for a grocery run to buy ingredients for the duration of your stay.</p> <p>Ingredients like milk, juice, eggs, bread and sandwich meats can help you put together a great and satisfying breakfast.</p> <p>Planning a family trip or solo holiday anytime soon?</p> <p>You may have booked your plane tickets and accommodation, but that doesn’t mean you’re all set to go.</p> <p>Go through this travel checklist to make sure <u><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/avoid-pre-holiday-anxiety-our-travel-tip-checklist">you’ve got everything planned</a></u>.</p> <p><strong>5. Download apps for good deals</strong></p> <p>If you do want to have a little splurge while on holiday, use apps that can help you locate good deals.</p> <p>Sick of homemade sandwiches for lunch?</p> <p>Treat yourself to a great meal in London by using <span><a href="https://www.bookatable.co.uk/">Bookatable</a></span> by Michelin.</p> <p>The app lets you find good value set meals from popular restaurants and even those owned by celebrity chefs.</p> <p>For example, you can enjoy a meal at a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant for under £28 (AUD$50), which is a steal!</p> <p>Do some research before you reach your destination to find more such apps.</p> <p>Check out these 5 clever mobile travel apps that will assist you on <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/Useful-Travel-Apps">your next big adventure</a></span>.</p> <p><em>Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in </em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/5-travel-hacks-stretch-your-holiday-budget?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest</a></em></strong></span><em>. For more of what you love </em><em>from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><strong><em><u><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></u></em></strong><em>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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