Travel Tips

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The gross reason you should steer clear of hotel tap water

<p dir="ltr">You might want to think twice about filling up your glass in your hotel room.</p> <p dir="ltr">The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) – a product testing, inspection and certification organisation with headquarters in Michigan, US, has begun to urge tourists not to drink the tap water in hotel rooms. Two years of little-to-no use could have well and truly led to bugs and germs collecting in the stagnant systems. </p> <p dir="ltr">Jérôme Logie, from the Water Division at NSF, claims that water supplies now pose a real risk to travellers that may not have existed previously.</p> <p dir="ltr">While Logie was quick to remind people of the importance of staying hydrated, he has warned anyone going abroad to assure their water comes from a safe and reliable source. </p> <p dir="ltr">“After such an extended period with low to no travel, hotels and their water supplies now pose a significant risk to travellers, something many aren’t aware of,” he explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Water and good hydration are essential, but there is a real risk from potentially lethal bacteria that can thrive in stagnant water, such as in unused hotel pipes.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Add to that a build-up of germs and varying international standards of filtration, and you can see why travellers must be water-smart to ensure they can enjoy prettier sights than their hotel bathroom.”</p> <p dir="ltr">To help people avoid illnesses, the NSF has put together a list of top tips for staying safe when drinking water abroad when travelling.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Don’t trust the tap water in your hotel bathroom</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">No matter how desperate you are for a cool drink of water in the middle of the night, do not resort to drinking from the bathroom tap. Stock up on bottled water from a local supermarket or convenience store. </p> <p dir="ltr">Hotel plumbing is a potential breeding ground for harmful microorganisms such as E.Coli, as water in unoccupied hotel rooms can remain stagnant in pipes for days, weeks or even months.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Hot = good</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Many hotels heat their water to 55 degrees+ to kill any microorganisms that might be present which is why you will often encounter ‘Warning: hot water!’ signs.</p> <p dir="ltr">In larger resorts and hotel chains, companies have their own corporate standards for water management, and some even have water treatment facilities on-site to ensure quality, travellers are still encouraged to exercise caution. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Say no to tap water at restaurants</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">It’s not just in your hotel room you need to be wary, but also the hotel restaurant.</p> <p dir="ltr">To avoid encountering any water woes, play it safe and make simple switches such as asking for bottled drinks rather than a jug of water to accompany a meal.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>If it’s cloudy, it’s contaminated</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Detecting bacteria in clear water is impossible but never, ever drink cloudy water.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you are travelling to a remote location where bottled water is not available, certified devices and equipment can be used.</p> <p dir="ltr">E.g: light strobes can kill bacteria; portable filters can be used to remove heavy metals, as well as bacteria; chlorine pills, although not perfect, can be a convenient way to make drinking water safe.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-7827b5a5-7fff-8381-85de-bc1477777669"><br /><em>Image: Getty</em></span></p>

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7 hidden features on aeroplanes you had no idea existed

<p><strong>The magic button for extra room</strong></p> <p>Did you manage to snag an aisle seat? Not only can you get up without crawling over people, but you can make your seat extra roomy at the push of a button, thanks to one of the coolest secret aeroplane features. Reach under the armrest closest to the aisle and feel around near the hinge. You should find a button, which will instantly let you swing the armrest up when you push it, according to Travel + Leisure. Once it’s in line with your seat back, it won’t dig into your side anymore, and you can move your legs around without hitting anything.</p> <p><strong>The hidden handrail</strong></p> <p>We’re willing to bet you hate it when people aggressively grab your seat on the way to the bathroom. Once it’s your turn to make your way down the aisle, though, you realise you have no choice but to follow suit – or do you? Flight attendants don’t just touch the ceiling for fun when they walk; the bottom of the overhead compartment has a scalloped area that gives better grip when walking down a moving aeroplane, according to Condé Nast Traveler. Next time you need to get up, reach to the ceiling for balance.</p> <p><strong>A secret sleeping area</strong></p> <p>A long-haul flight is hard enough on passengers, but imagine being a pilot or flight attendant trying to make it through a 14-hour workday. It’s an exhausting job, so some planes, like Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner planes, have secret passageways that let staff get some decent shut-eye, according to Insider. A locked door near the front of the plane or a door posing as an overhead bin hides the entrance to a set of beds, kept private with thick curtains.</p> <p>Hooks on the wings</p> <p>If you peek out the window to an Airbus plane’s wing, you can spot yellow bumps with holes in the middle on an otherwise smooth, white surface. If there’s an emergency water landing, the wings would be very slippery for passengers trying to get to the inflatable slide that would have deployed. To help travellers get off without falling, the easy-to-miss aeroplane features let cabin crew slip a rope through one hook and fasten it to the next, according to pilot “Captain” Joe. Passengers could hold on to the rope while on the plane to make it away from the plane safely.</p> <p><strong>Triangle above the window</strong></p> <p>Scan the wall of your plane; above four windows, you’ll see a black triangle. Each one lines up with the edge of the aeroplane’s wing, according to pilot “Captain” Joe. If a flight attendant needs to check the aeroplane’s slats or flaps – the moving parts on a wing – they’ll know exactly where to go for the best view. If you’re getting motion sick on a plane, you might want to see if you can move to a seat between the triangles. The wings are the plane’s centre of gravity, so sitting between them would give you the smoothest ride.</p> <p><strong>Holes in the windows </strong></p> <p>Look closely at an aeroplane window and you’ll spot something weird: a little hole in the bottom. Take an even closer look and you’ll realise that unlike other windows, this one is made of three panes, and the hole is in the middle one. The quirk is there to protect against the pressure drop of flying high into the atmosphere, according to Slate. As a plane ascends, the pressure outside drops massively, but the cabin is designed to stay at a comfortable pressure. That leaves a big difference in pressure inside and outside of the plane. The outside window takes on most of that pressure, and the hole in the middle one helps balance the pressure difference. The inner window is just to protect the middle one.</p> <p><strong>Hidden hand cuffs</strong></p> <p>If passengers are getting unruly, flight attendants have the right to restrain them. In the US, they might use typical cop-style cuffs, but most will use plastic restraints similar to zip ties, according to Express.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Aldi’s luxurious new winter travel range

<p dir="ltr">Aldi Australia have released a budget range of luxury travel accessories, just in time for a winter escape abroad.</p> <p dir="ltr">Available in stores from Wednesday the 15th of June, the range includes everything a traveller needs from luggage, tracksuits, toiletries and electronics.</p> <p dir="ltr">If it’s your first time traveling or you’ve been meaning to update your luggage collection, now is the best time. </p> <p dir="ltr">The range includes: scratch resistant Skylite Hard Shell Suitcase for $59.99. The handy and expandable case is available in black or olive.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another bargain is the $29.99 Rolling Duffle Bag, perfect for those looking for a medium-sized carry-on luggage.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also on sale is men’s hoodies and sweat pants for $14.99 each, the women’s tracksuit top and pants set for $29.99 and travel lightweight joggers in grey or charcoal for $19.99.</p> <p dir="ltr">Secure your valuables with a $19.99 anti-theft cross body with lockable zippers and secureable compartments.</p> <p dir="ltr">To keep yourself entertained while travelling, noise cancelling wireless earbuds for $79.99 with a charging case. </p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-7c0edafe-7fff-3878-43c1-840005d1fb2a"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">You can check whether the products will be at your local Aldi <a href="https://www.aldi.com.au/en/special-buys/special-buys-product-delays/">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Aldi</em></p>

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Top tip for the Top End

<p dir="ltr">Travellers are flocking to the top end of Australia to relax in remote crystal clear hot springs during the winter months.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Katherine Hot Springs are natural thermal pools located on the banks of the Katherine River, approximately three hours southeast of Darwin. </p> <p dir="ltr">The beautiful temperature of the picturesque springs averages between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius - making it an ideal travel destination for winter. </p> <p dir="ltr">Tourists can take a relaxing dip into the hot springs and soak up the natural green scenery surrounding the pools.  </p> <p dir="ltr">The popular destination is open from 7am to 7pm daily and the main pool has steel hand rails formed out of rock as well as a wheelchair access ramp. </p> <p dir="ltr">But the hot springs are often restricted during the wet season between September to April dependent on river level.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the springs are naturally heated, it's a great way to let your muscles unwind after a day of hiking or sight seeing. The average time spent at the springs is three hours and the several pools filled with clear water are open to the public. </p> <p dir="ltr">Visitors have shared Instagram-worthy photos with others online, describing the location as 'incredibly beautiful'. </p> <p dir="ltr">Surrounding the hot springs is an 'epic' 58km Jatbula hiking trail along with southern and western walk in the Nitmiluk National Park. </p> <p dir="ltr">Only an hour away from Katherine is another popular destination adored by travellers and locals alike. </p> <p dir="ltr">Bittersprings, which are located approximately two km’s from Mataranka in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory, are set among palms and tropical woodlands in Elsey National Park.</p> <p dir="ltr">The area features a series of naturally-fed thermal pools that are the perfect place to relax and unwind, while exploring the surrounding beauty of the national park. </p> <p dir="ltr">Unlike some other swimming holes in the Northern Territory, Bitter Springs is safe to swim in all year round and free to access.</p> <p dir="ltr">The warm, clear water - which is dappled by light filtered from overhanging palms - is a balmy 30 plus degrees Celsius all year round.  </p> <p dir="ltr">Bitter Springs is also situated close to another natural swimming hole, the Mataranka Thermal Pools, also within the national park.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is a short circuit 1.3 kilometre walk at Bitter Springs that circles through the palms and tropical woodlands in Elsey National Park.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-174b0dfc-7fff-4352-c529-6d832b796fde"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Those who have visited Bitter Springs describe the experience as 'breathtaking' and 'magical'.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Qantas unveils new menu

<p dir="ltr">Qantas have unveiled a little bit of Italian cuisine in the air, only three weeks out from the airline’s major launch of direct flights from Australia to Rome.</p> <p dir="ltr">The launch of the new route out of Sydney via Perth will take off on Saturday June 25 however, passengers seated in business class from June 6 will be treated to a taste of Italy in the sky, with regional recipes and Italian classics on the menu.</p> <p dir="ltr">The new business lounge and in-flight menu coincides with Festa della Repubblica and each dish was curated by Australian chef Neil Perry.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Perry, the airline’s Creative Director of Food, Beverage and Service, said the new menu will see passengers enjoying Italian classics such as buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes and basil; and salumi with bocconcini, semi dried tomatoes, olives and pecorino-crushed peas within selected Qantas First and Business lounges throughout the month.</p> <p dir="ltr"> The Business Class in-flight menu will feature regional recipes such as spaghettini with prawns, garlic, chilli, slow roasted cherry tomatoes and pangrattato along with traditional tiramisu.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I first travelled to Italy in 1984 and immediately understood why people fall in love with simple Italian food,” Mr Perry said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Italians live and breathe seasonality and freshness, so it was important when designing these menu items that we respected and celebrated the traditions of the cuisine and Rome’s deep history.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Italian food is so much more than pizza and pasta, although they do both brilliantly, but they celebrate the hero ingredients of their country including citrus, olives, fresh seafood and tomatoes.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Qantas announced the launch of direct flights to Rome in December, with three return Sydney-Perth — Rome flights per week scheduled to meet the demand of European summer. </p> <p dir="ltr">The new flight will cut more than three hours off the current fastest travel time to Rome using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with cabins designed specifically for long haul travel.</p> <p dir="ltr">Qantas Italian Lounge menu highlights include:</p> <p dir="ltr">• Neil Perry’s fettuccine Bolognese with Parmigiano Reggiano</p> <p dir="ltr">• Mascarpone tartlet with prosecco jelly and Valencia orange</p> <p dir="ltr">Qantas Perth – Rome in-flight Business Class menu highlights include:</p> <p dir="ltr">• Zucchini and basil soup with parmesan crouton</p> <p dir="ltr">• Plant Based Dining – caramelised potato gratin with peas, mushrooms and roasted fennel</p> <p dir="ltr">• Spaghettini with prawns, garlic, chilli, slow roast cherry tomatoes and pangrattato</p> <p dir="ltr">• Tiramisu</p> <p dir="ltr">Qantas Rome – Perth in-flight Business Class menu highlights include:</p> <p dir="ltr">• Bucatini all’ Amatriciana</p> <p dir="ltr">• Grilled fish with peperonata, pine nuts and basil</p> <p dir="ltr">• Mozzarella bufala, finiocchiona salumi, anchovy, artichokes, olives, marinated red capsicum with warm focaccia</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.56; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding: 0pt 0pt 18pt 0pt;"><em> Images: Getty / Qantas</em></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-7a7ebc0c-7fff-f2e5-0a8b-8b08ee74e7a6"></span></p>

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7 foods you should avoid before flying

<p>When you have a long flight ahead, the last thing you want is your stomach to feel upset or uneasy. With the right diet choices, you can sidestep discomfort when you’re in the air. To stick with good-for-you foods that also make you feel good, skip this list of seven items, and stock up on a few others instead.</p> <p><strong>Skip: broccoli, cauliflower or brussels sprouts</strong></p> <p>These cruciferous veggies definitely fit the bill in terms of health benefits – but they can also make you gassy, says dietitian Caroline Passerello. A common cause of bloating in many people, these greens and whites pack lots of fibre and a type of sugar known to cause gas, called raffinose, according to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD). And that could make you an unpleasant seat-mate once you’re in the air.</p> <p><strong>Skip: alcohol</strong></p> <p>“Because of the change in altitude and breathing patterns, flying can cause dehydration,” says Passerrello. Alcohol will only add to that. Another problem: consuming spiked beverages can also leave you exhausted post-flight. “Although alcohol may make you feel sleepy initially, alcoholic beverages could cause disturbed sleep, preventing you from feeling rested when you land,” adds dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix.</p> <p><strong>Skip: caffeine</strong></p> <p>Your best bet is to skip the coffee or caffeinated tea when in flight, as these can also dehydrate you. If you do have either, Passerrello suggests making sure you drink even more water to keep up your liquid levels. “Caffeine is also a stimulant and could keep you from catching up on important sleep time while in flight,” says Taub-Dix. What’s more: because it’s a diuretic, caffeine can make you pee more, which can keep you up if you’re trying to sleep. (Or disturb others around you!)</p> <p><strong>Skip: sugary foods</strong></p> <p>According to IFFGD, foods also high in certain carbohydrates (sugars specifically) can lead to gas. Lactose (in dairy products) can cause discomfort for some people, as can fructose (found in onions, artichokes, pears and wheat) and sorbitol (found in fruits like apples, peaches and prunes, and sugar-free snacks).</p> <p><strong>Skip: legumes</strong></p> <p>Filled with insoluble fibre, foods like beans, lentils and chickpeas can cause bloating and gas in many people thanks to their digestive process, says the IFFGD.</p> <p><strong>Skip: heavy meals</strong></p> <p>You might feel like you want to fill up on a burger and fries or a plate of pasta before you get on a plane, but that’s probably not your best idea. A belly full of dense foods can potentially upset your stomach, says Taub-Dix.</p> <p><strong>Skip: big portion sizes</strong></p> <p>You want to feel full but not completely stuffed, says Taub-Dix. Overeating can lead to an upset stomach and gas production – neither of which you want to experience on a packed plane.</p> <p><strong>Stash: healthy pre-packed snacks</strong></p> <p>“There are a lot of portable snacks that can hold you over until you land and become even more important should you get delayed,” says Passerrello, who suggests foods like unsweetened dried fruit, unsalted nuts, tuna or chicken pouches, dried edamame, or dry cereal. “Personally, my go-to carry-on has a hard case for glasses and I re-purpose that space for keeping a small banana so it doesn’t get smashed,” she says.</p> <p><strong>Stash: protein and carbs</strong></p> <p>“Pair wholegrain carbs with protein and healthy fat to keep blood sugar levels stable and help you feel satisfied,” says Taub-Dix. Some solid options: almond butter on wholegrain crackers or trail mix made with unsalted nuts and dried fruit – both of which you can pack before you even get to the airport. Or try protein bars that are loaded with prebiotics to help your digestion.</p> <p><strong>Stash: water</strong></p> <p>“Try to drink a glass of water for every hour you are in the air,” suggests Passerrello. And Taub-Dix agrees. She suggests thinking of drinking water as you would washing your hands for a meal. “Do it before, during and after,” she says.</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/7-foods-you-should-avoid-before-flying" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader’s Digest</a>.</em></p>

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Cut your wait time in half with this sneaky baggage claim trick

<p dir="ltr">One airport worker has shared a handy little tip that could save you the time otherwise spent doing one of the most annoying things – waiting for your luggage at baggage claim.</p> <p dir="ltr">Guests could often wait over 45 minutes for their suitcases to appear, and that is the last thing you’d want to be doing after a 20-hour flight. </p> <p dir="ltr">Thomas Lo Sciuto is a ramp worker and gate agent at a regional airport in the US and said getting your bag early can depend on when you check in.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Your best option is to be one of the last passengers to check your bags," he <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/18722529/travel-expert-luggage-hack-airport/">shared</a> on an online thread.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Bags will always be loaded front to back on the bag carts so if you check in last your bags will be in the last bag cart, which will make them the last on the aircraft, and the first off the aircraft at your destination.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Same logic goes for the other end. If they are the first off the aircraft they will most likely be the first on the bag carts and then the first to be unloaded at baggage claim."</p> <p dir="ltr">Of course, you don't want to risk missing your flight though, so don't leave check in too late simply for the sake of this advice. </p> <p dir="ltr">It comes after a flight attendant revealed a 'sneaky' trick they often use to get <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/flight-attendant-s-hack-to-get-more-carry-on-luggage" target="_blank" rel="noopener">additional carry on baggage</a> on board when they travel.</p> <p dir="ltr">Flight attendant Miguel Muñoz said he "always" does this as a passenger, calling it the 'duty free hack', as duty free bags don't count as carry on baggage.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Ask for one at the duty free shop and you place whatever you want in the shopping bag," he said.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-6160f5b8-7fff-7e24-8edd-3a7c86b0bc32"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Another popular hack to sneak extra items onto the plane that has been doing the rounds on TikTok involves hiding items inside your travel pillow.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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What you need to know about road-tripping in the USA

<p dir="ltr"><strong>1. The speed limit is only a suggestion</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The speed limit along most of the Interstate along the Gulf Coast is around 70mph (110km/h). Most use it as a guideline and tend to drive well over the limit. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. The inside lane is the fast lane and the outside lane is the slow lane</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">If you’re super unsure about this, quiz an uber driver or double check with your car rental company.  If you’re a bit of a nervous driver, stick in the middle lane, which is more or less the ‘anything goes’ lane.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. If a car has stopped on the verge, you’re supposed to change lanes away from the outside lane to avoid it</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">This is something you may encounter several times. Whether it be a breakdown on the verge or someone being pulled over, be ready to change lanes. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Rental car companies HATE credit/debit cards and will charge you a large holding fee if you use one</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The holding fee could be up to $AUD700, so be prepared and make sure your card is fully loaded up.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. In cities, many intersections have stop signs on every corner</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Don’t be that person who tunes out and doesn’t pay attention to detail. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>6.  Also when in cities, cars often give way to pedestrians</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">There’s no rule that says cars have to stop for people wandering all over the road but more often than not they do. Observe at your own risk and urge on the side of caution. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>7. Parking is always available </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Even in enormous cities like Los Angeles it is possible to park on the street, as there are more than enough car spaces to accommodate! </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-777ab2b0-7fff-5d1d-4424-aa1243e583f6"></span></p>

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The long-haul mask hack frequent fliers swear by

<p dir="ltr">When travelling, it is recommended that switching to disposable masks (either P2 or KN95) in the airport or on the plane will give you the best protection against viruses and other nasty particles. </p> <p dir="ltr">These game changing masks are not cheap, but $45 for a packet of 25, but these PPE Tech disposable P2 masks, are Australian made and owned, and come with one genius attachment. </p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/05/Mask-hack2.jpg" alt="" width="674" height="337" /></p> <p dir="ltr">When traveller Jen Hewit opened the box for the first time, she found a small packet of plastic hooks inside, before she had her ‘aha’ moment. Jen had realised these hooks are, in fact, little ear-loops that allow you to hook the straps through so that they sit at the back of your head, rather than your ears. And if you prefer to wear a cloth mask, then you can still use these hooks with your own reusable one, given that the straps are stretchy enough.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you find yourself stuck on a long-haul without them, Jen recommends using her Dad’s own secret DIY hack: place the mask straps over the speakers on the airline’s headphones and your ears won’t feel like they’re about to fall off. </p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-19bfedcb-7fff-fa64-065f-c2663218a84c"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Will you give this trick a go? Let us know on your next trip abroad.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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How to tell if your AirBnb has a hidden camera

<p dir="ltr">While there are a lot of things that come to mind when planning a holiday, worrying about safety in your accommodation is probably at the end of your list. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, with a rise of home-rental services and the easy accessibility to surveillance technology, it's an important thing to consider. </p> <p dir="ltr">More and more travellers have come forward in recent years about their horror stories of discovering a hidden camera in a short term rental, putting out the warning to others.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a now-viral video posted to TikTok by Marcus Hutchins, he outlines how to spot hidden cameras in hotels and Airbnbs.  </p> <p dir="ltr">“Take this fire alarm for instance, it is placed right above the bed,” the British backpacker says in the video.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Now one way to see if the device is a camera is to shine a bright light at it. If you hit a camera lens it’s going to get a blue-ish reflection.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Marcus also details how alarm clocks can double as cameras, as he demonstrates in his video by shining his smart phone's flash on a mirrored clock face revealing a tiny camera lens behind the screen on one side of the digital counter.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If we shine a bright light at it, we can shine through the glass, and see there’s a camera there. Now, this technique can also work on two-way mirrors.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The video has racked up over 5 million views, and has served as another reminder to always be cautious when travelling. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Readers respond: What is the best local food you've had while travelling?

<p>We asked our well-travelled readers which country they found their favourite food in, and the responses flooded in from every corner of the globe.</p> <p>From pizza in Italy to street food in Singapore, here's where our readers found the most delicious cuisine.</p> <p><strong>Kerry Dalgleish</strong> - There are so many but paella in San Sebastian stands out in memory. Excellent food, wonderful company and days that enriched my life.</p> <p><strong>Grace Boland</strong>  - We moored at a little beach in the Greek Islands - near Santorini. There was a guy cooking Lobster on a BBQ. It was amazing and only $10. Delicious!!</p> <p><strong>Bob Correia</strong> - Biscuits and gravy in Topeka, Kansas. I stayed an extra day while passing through so I could have it again for breakfast!</p> <p><strong>Terry O'Shanassy</strong> - Mackerel and chips at Cairns.</p> <p><strong>Lorraine Waterson</strong> - Street food in Singapore.</p> <p><strong>Carol Cooper</strong> - Grilled sardines on the beach in Fuegirola south Spain washed down with a nice cold beer.</p> <p><strong>Marice King</strong> - A simple cheese, tomato &amp; basil pizza in Venice eaten by the canal with a glass of vino.</p> <p><strong>Colin May</strong> - In Robe, south East SA. Freshly caught crayfish, straight off the boat. Cut in half and smeared with wild garlic. Washed down with a local SA Ale.</p> <p><strong>Jenny Canals</strong> - Barbecued sardines on the beach in Badalona, Spain. Cooked by the fishermen at the annual sardine festival. Washed down with a warm rum.</p> <p><strong>Annette Taylor</strong> - Pastries in Brussels.</p> <p><strong>Lesley Wethers</strong> - Souvlaki bought off street corners in Greece and curries in Delhi, India.</p> <p><strong>Elizabeth Sorensen </strong>- Waffles in Belgium.</p> <p><strong>Patricia Tebbit </strong>- Clam Chowder in Boston.</p> <p><strong>Kathie Gambuto</strong> - Palermo, Sicily at a local seafood restaurant. The fixings were wonderful and we picked our own fish out of a tank.</p> <p><strong>Jon Harmer</strong> - Bangers and mash with squishy green peas in a London pub.</p> <p><strong>Krissy Pappis</strong> - Lobsters in Cuba, so so good! We pigged out every day.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Airbnb unveils biggest changes in over a decade

<p dir="ltr">Airbnb has announced new ways to search for and book homes on the platform in response to the rise of remote work and the number of customers choosing longer stays.</p> <p dir="ltr">The new features include the ability to more easily divide trips between two homes when options for longer stays are limited. As well as a search tool that surfaces properties via specific categories, such as whether the house offers "creative spaces," a chef's kitchen or a pool.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The way people travel has changed forever," Brian Chesky, Airbnb's cofounder and CEO, said in a statement. Chesky touted the new features as "the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade."</p> <p dir="ltr">The updates come as Airbnb recently reported business was booming again after taking a hit from the pandemic. </p> <p dir="ltr">The company said nearly half of the nights booked on Airbnb in the last three months were for trips of a week or longer.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chesky suggested the new 'Split Stays' feature, which allows customers to book back-to-back stays at multiple homes in the same area, is intended to meet this shift in demand.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chesky said this new way to search comes after people have become "more flexible about where they live and work," a trend that Airbnb has also embraced by allowing its employees to "live and work anywhere."</p> <p dir="ltr">The company also announced bolstered travel protections for guests, which will be included for free with every booking.</p> <p dir="ltr">Known as 'AirCover' -  the protections offer users similar accommodations or refunds if their booking was cancelled, if they can't check into a home, or if the listing wasn't as advertised. Moreover, the company said customers will get access to a 24-hour safety line if they ever feel unsafe during their stay.</p> <p dir="ltr">The new way to search (dubbed 'Airbnb Categories'), lets users look for places to stay using 56 categories based on a home's style, including options for tiny homes and yurts, as well as location and proximity to a travel activity.</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.8666666666666667; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding: -3pt 0pt 15pt 0pt;"><em>Image: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-3d033f17-7fff-ff6e-d629-ef586e50c1b3"></span></p>

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No screen on your flight? No problem

<p dir="ltr">Surely we’re all familiar with the crushing disappointment of realising your plane seat has no TV screen when it comes to those dreaded long-haul flights. </p> <p dir="ltr">Some travellers use their phone as an awkward substitution for the glorious big screen, however it can be a pain to keep it propped up. One savvy tech expert knows this feeling all too well and has shared her TikTok hack for transforming the back of your seat into your very own entertainment hub.</p> <p dir="ltr">Katarina Mogus, who posts as <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@katamogz?lang=en">@katamogz</a>, shared her own "iPhone travel hack" for when you don't have an included TV screen on the back of the seat.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the video, Mogus takes the case off her iPhone and pulls out the sick bag from the seat pocket, She then proceeds to tuck the bottom of the sick bag between her phone and case, ensuring it is thoroughly wedged in.</p> <p dir="ltr">After the bag is securely fitted inside the phone case, Mogus pulls down the tray table and folds half of the sick bag and secures it behind the tray.</p> <p dir="ltr">Finally, she uses the sliding bolt to keep the sick bag in place.</p> <p dir="ltr"> The result is a hands-free, hanging screen - so you can sit back, relax and watch your favourite television shows or movies without having it hold it up yourself.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-d7782e6f-7fff-82a6-bf43-968ae0881bf5"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">If the plane doesn't have Wi-Fi, you can pre-download shows or films on any streaming service so you can still enjoy it without using data.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

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Disgusting warning for fans of swim-up bar at holiday resorts

<p dir="ltr">A popular TikTok influencer has issued a "disgusting" warning for people who use the popular swim-up bars at holiday resorts.</p> <p dir="ltr">Whitney, a Canadian woman who goes by @twofoodpiggies, shared a clip from a hotel in Cabo, Mexico which boasted a stunning pool bar.</p> <p dir="ltr">Whitney cautioned her followers to "avoid the pool with the swim-up bar" because of one vulgar reason – many people use it as their personal toilet.</p> <p dir="ltr">Vacation pro tip: Do not hang out in the pool where the swim-up bar is," she wrote in the now-viral clip.</p> <blockquote class="tiktok-embed" style="max-width: 605px; min-width: 325px;" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@twofoodpiggies/video/7088566993208593670" data-video-id="7088566993208593670"> <section><a title="@twofoodpiggies" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@twofoodpiggies" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@twofoodpiggies</a> One girl didn’t understand why some people were leaving the pool to use the washroom 😳 <a title="riubajacalifornia" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/riubajacalifornia" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#riubajacalifornia</a> <a title="swimupbar" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/swimupbar" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#swimupbar</a> <a title="poolaccident" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/poolaccident" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#poolaccident</a> <a title="♬ оригинальный звук - 🤍" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/оригинальный-звук-7067549981984541441" target="_blank" rel="noopener">♬ оригинальный звук - 🤍</a></section> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">"There was literally intoxicated guests admitting that they were peeing in the pool here."</p> <p dir="ltr">She added in the caption: "One girl didn't understand why some people were leaving the pool to use the washroom."</p> <p dir="ltr">Some of Whitney's followers appeared to see no problem with peeing in a hotel pool, with a few people openly admitting to doing it themselves, while others shared horror stories from pools at other resorts.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Well we all do," one man wrote, as another added: "There's so much chlorine, you're fine."</p> <p dir="ltr">"The amount of people admitting peeing in a pool in this comment section disgusts me," an unimpressed man wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, some of Whitney's followers argued it was normal to pee in public pools. She went on to share that at night, the pool becomes a nightclub with people drinking and dancing in the water. </p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-cae2526b-7fff-f391-028d-0614e0008fba"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Would you take your chances in this resort pool? Let us know.</p>

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How to score a whole row of seats to yourself on a plane

<p dir="ltr">A seasoned traveller has shared her simple tricks for ensuring you get a whole row of seats to yourself on your next flight. </p> <p dir="ltr">Chelsea Dickenson, from London, shared a video to TikTok to tell her followers of the hack she uses when travelling in a pair. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Row to yourself travel hack. This actually works,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to Chelsea, when selecting your seats online, she suggests booking the aisle and the window, leaving the middle seat free in between you.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The theory here is that someone is much less likely to book a seat in between two strangers and they’ll opt for another row,” Chelsea said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And even if they do book that middle seat, you can always ask them if they want the aisle or the window and it works out for everyone.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Chelsea suggested the best rows to book are “towards the back of the plane” because it “tends to work a bit better”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Testing out her own theory, Chelsea and her friend James booked the seats in row 13 on a flight. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I’ve gone for row 13 as lots of people think it’s unlucky,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video shows Chelsea and James waiting patiently in their seats before the cabin crew completed boarding.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Here we go, here’s the moment of truth,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Yes, the row is clear. We bloody smashed it.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Qantas to launch new ‘well-being’ zone on ultra long-haul flights

<p dir="ltr">Qantas is taking passenger comfort to a whole new level by offering dedicated wellbeing zones to travellers flying on the ultra-long-haul international flights. </p> <p dir="ltr">Qantas revealed its plans to deliver non-stop flights from Australia's east coast to Europe and the United States at a press conference on Monday May 2nd.</p> <p dir="ltr">"New types of aircraft make new things possible," CEO Alan Joyce said, adding the new Airbus A350s feature "comfort in each travel class" and are set to "improve how people travel around Australia and overseas."</p> <p dir="ltr">The new Airbus A350s are capable of flying direct from Sydney to international cities like New York and London by the end of 2025, which means the Aussie carrier would officially operate the world's longest flight.</p> <p dir="ltr">Qantas revealed that the aircraft will carry only 238 passengers across four classes (First, Business, Premium Economy, Economy), compared to over 300 seats on competitor airlines.</p> <p dir="ltr">More than 40% of the cabin will be "dedicated to premium seating".</p> <p dir="ltr">"First class will have a designated bed, a designated seat away from the bed and a wardrobe. It will be the best, I believe, first-class product out there," Mr Joyce said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The cabin has been specially configured for improved comfort on long flights, with Qantas also saying economy class will have the biggest seat of any economy class the airline has ever launched.</p> <p dir="ltr">The real stand-out feature will be a dedicated 'wellbeing zone' in the centre, with enough room to be a workout area for people to exercise and re-hydrate. There will also be digital displays to provide movement recommendations and a self-serve snacking station.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It's an area we believe is very important for people travelling this ultra-long haul," Joyce added.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 2019, the airline ran a series of test flights on the Sydney to New York City and Sydney to London routes as an experiment where the crew and passengers on board had their health monitored during the journey. This was to see how such a long flight could affect future fliers. Tracking devices monitored sleep patterns, activity cycles, food and drink consumption and other data.</p> <p dir="ltr">Right now, Singapore Airlines holds the title of having the world's longest flight thanks to its Singapore to New York route. </p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-8dfb1ea8-7fff-d820-fdcb-8bb20001ab99"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Qantas has not yet released costs for the ultra long haul flights.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Qantas</em></p>

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Motion sickness: this might explain why some people feel sick in cars or on trains

<p>If you’re someone who suffers from motion sickness, travelling in many types of vehicles can be difficult thanks to a host of symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea and even vomiting. But it’s not completely clear why some people can read and play games on their phone during a long drive while others spend the journey desperately trying not to be sick. Nor is it clear why some people only experience motion sickness in certain types of vehicles and not others. </p> <p>But there are two theories that might help explain what’s going on. </p> <p>The <a href="https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/abs/10.1139/y90-044">sensory conflict theory</a> proposes that a key player in motion sickness is our balance system. Balance is not maintained by just one single sensory organ. Rather, it combines what we’re seeing and feeling with information from the balance organ in our inner ears, which helps our balance system work out exactly where we are.</p> <p>If the information from our eyes, inner ears and touch or pressure senses doesn’t match up, it can make us feel off-balance or unsteady. This is why it’s thought that motion sickness is caused by a mismatch of information from our senses – with our eyes and inner ear telling our body that we’re moving, even though we’re actually sitting stationary. This is also why the <a href="https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/abs/10.1139/y90-044">less sensory mismatch we experience</a> in a vehicle, the less likely we are to experience motion sickness. For example, travelling in a car on a smooth, straight road will cause less sensory mismatch than travelling on a winding road with lots of potholes.</p> <p>This theory is currently considered the strongest explanation for motion sickness – though we’re still trying to understand the brain mechanisms that cause <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cns.12468">motion sickness</a>. </p> <p>An alternate (but related) theory suggests that it’s all down to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15326969eco0303_2?src=recsys">controlling posture</a>. According to this theory, motion sickness doesn’t happen just because of the mismatch of sensory information. Rather, it’s our inability to adjust our posture to reduce this mismatch of sensory information that makes us feel nauseous. While this makes sense – especially since we can’t always move around when travelling – there <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15326969eco0703_1">isn’t much evidence</a>to support this theory. </p> <h2>No single reason</h2> <p>Motion sickness affects people differently, and there’s no single reason why some people experience motion sickness more frequently than others. But differences in how well a person’s vision and balance systems work will affect how they may feel in different types of vehicles. Certain disorders – including migraines and inner ear diseases, such as Ménière’s disease – <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1566070206002128">increase the likelihood</a> of experiencing motion sickness. <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1566070206002128">Age and sex</a> may also affect likelihood of experiencing motion sickness – with some research suggesting experiences peak around nine or ten years of age, and are more common in women. However, it is uncertain as to why this may be the case.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1566070206002128">type of vehicle</a> people travel in will also have some affect on the amount of motion sickness a person may experience. Broadly, any factor that increases the mismatch between each of the senses that contribute to our balance system will increase the risk of motion sickness. The longer the experience lasts and the larger the size of the movement, the worse the symptoms. For example, travelling on a small boat in a storm for more than eight hours will cause quite severe symptoms – whereas a one-hour train journey will probably have little effect, even if the track isn’t perfectly smooth.</p> <p>Many people also report experiencing motion sickness when they’re a passenger – not when they’re driving a vehicle. This is probably because drivers are (unsurprisingly) much better at anticipating the motion of a vehicle and move their bodies according to the movement of the vehicle. For example, if a car travels around a sharp bend, the driver is going to be looking ahead and anticipating the movement of the car as they turn – while a passenger is likely to react as the turn happens by leaning in the opposite direction. </p> <p>Motion sickness also isn’t limited to the “real world”, with <a href="https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/2677758.2677780?casa_token=Wni6ONyXbJsAAAAA:MgFIc_qg3Kos4-rIbVZQD_FfuRhmbuGqf4N6OO1rKuQitKBPbGJ7wxDbJJNEPPq0CryffMEmmPSc">cybersickness</a> another type of motion sickness that people get from the virtual environments, often when playing video games. This likely happens because of the sensory conflict of seeing the environment move on the screen while the body remains stationary. <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0056160">Watching films in 3D</a> at the cinema can prompt motion sickness for the same reason.</p> <p>If you’re someone who suffers from motion sickness, the best thing to do the next time you’re in a vehicle is try to reduce the mismatch of sensory information. So avoid reading in the car – as this causes a mismatch between what we’re seeing and what we’re feeling – and try to instead look out the window. This may help reduce nausea as the visual information now better matches the balance information in our the inner ear. The same is true for boats and trains – focusing on the passing landscape can reduce symptoms.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7048153">Other tips</a> to reduce motion sickness include not having a heavy meal before travel, ventilating the vehicle and taking regular stops (when possible). But if these tips aren’t enough to tackle symptoms, using an <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/014556130608500110">anti-motion sickness medication</a> may help. These reduce activity in the balance system of the brain or reduce the number of signals the brain sends to the gut, which can help to stop nausea and vomiting.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/motion-sickness-this-might-explain-why-some-people-feel-sick-in-cars-or-on-trains-178087" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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The 10 most extreme travel adventures in the world

<div class="slide-image" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; font-family: Raleway, sans-serif, Arial; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"> </div> <h4>1. The steepest peak on Earth: Mount Thor, Nunavut, Canada</h4> <p>At 1675 metres tall, Mount Thor is not the world’s highest peak, but it is the steepest. The most famous summit in Canada and made of pure granite, Mount Thor has a 1250 metre vertical drop, at an average angle of about 105 degrees. Despite the fact the mountain is in a remote area, it’s a popular destination for avid mountain climbers. If taking on the peak is too much for you to handle, you can also visit the site and camp out instead.</p> <p><strong>2. The coldest inhabited place on Earth: Oymyakon, Russia</strong></p> <p>As the coldest inhabited place on earth (with a recorded temperature of -71.2 degrees Celsius in 1924), the small Russian town of Oymyakon, with a population of 500, was once only used as a location for political exiles. Winter temperatures average at about -50 degrees Celsius, which has a serious effect on body function. The ground is permanently frozen all year long and the town currently has only one hotel. Popular sports include skiing, ice hockey and ice fishing.</p> <p><strong>3. The driest place on Earth: Atacama Desert, Chile</strong></p> <p>You’ll definitely need the right kind of sunscreen if you plan on travelling through this desert. According to both NASA and National Geographic, the Atacama Desert in Chile has soil comparable to that of Mars. (Fun fact: Mars scenes from the television series Space Odyssey: Voyage to The Planets were filmed here.) From October 1903 to January 1918, the Atacama Desert did not see so much as one drop of rain, making it the longest rainless period in the world’s recorded history. Sparsely populated, the Atacama Desert has several hotels to choose from that cater to tourists who come to explore the land.</p> <h4>4. The closest place to outer space: Mount Chimborazo</h4> <p>Most humans will never visit outer space, so our two best options for doing so are taking a virtual tour of the International Space Station or going to Mount Chimborazo. An inactive volcano that last erupted in approximately 550 CE, Mount Chimborazo stands at over 6096 metres high. While Mount Everest is over 8839 metres tall, due to the position of the mountain on the earth’s surface the peak of Mount Chimborazo is the furthest spot from the centre of the earth. That also means that standing on it will put you closest to outer space than man can ever reach on foot. Its peak is completely covered by glaciers, but this mountain has several routes for climbers.</p> <p><strong>5. The hottest place on Earth: Lut Desert, Iran</strong></p> <p>Here, temperatures soar as high as 70 degrees Celsius, so it’s important to have a game plan for staying cool and avoiding heat stroke. According to a local legend, the name Dasht-e Lut means ‘toasted wheat’ in Persian, referencing a story about a load of wheat that burst into flames after being accidentally left out in the desert for a few days. Though tourists visit this desert land, it’s a destination only for those willing to take on the challenge of surviving the heat and the unbearably dry climate.</p> <p><strong>6. The most isolated place on Earth: Tristan da Cunha, United Kingdom</strong></p> <p>Looking for a getaway from the everyday? Forget these popular island getaways; this is about as far away from it as you can get. Though formally part of the British Overseas Territory, Tristan da Cunha is over 2816 kilometres away from the nearest land in Africa. Discovered by Portuguese explorer Tristão da Cunha in 1506, the island is home to fewer than 300 inhabitants and has no airport; Tristan da Cunha is accessible only by sea.</p> <p><strong>7. The coldest continent on Earth: Antarctica</strong></p> <p>With a population estimated at somewhere between 1000 and 4000 people, the world’s fifth largest continent is a land of extremes, the coldest and driest continent on the planet. Travellers can only reach it by ice-strengthened vessels made for toughing the rough seas. Though known for its breath-taking scenery, visitors who trek through the wilderness must be well-prepared or accompanied by a tour operator who knows the area well.</p> <p><strong>8. The wettest place on Earth: Mawsynram, India</strong></p> <p>This Indian town receives an average of 11 metres of rainfall every year. In 1985, the Guinness Book of World Records dubbed it the Wettest Place on Earth after it saw 25 metres of rain in a single year. Plagued by a subtropical climate and monsoons, Mawsynram is both a difficult place to live and an interesting trip for tourists.</p> <p><strong>9. The tallest waterfall in the world: Angel Falls, Venezuela</strong></p> <p>Although Angel Falls is located in an isolated jungle region and is not reached all that easily, it remains one of Venezuela’s top tourist attractions, and the pictures make it easy to see why. The falls are approximately 979 metres high and includes a 807 metre plunge and a 402 metres of sloped cascades and rapids.</p> <p><strong>10. The most treacherous waters on Earth: Gansbaai, South Africa</strong></p> <p>Since 1995, cage diving with Great White sharks has been a major tourist attraction in Gansbaai, South Africa. With one of the densest populations of these beasts in the world, Gansbaai is the top destination for an up-close view of the deadly creatures. If you want to play it safe and steer clear of the Great Whites, whale watching is also common in Gansbaai, from the sandy white shores of Pearly Beach.</p> <p>This article originally appeared on<a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/the-10-most-extreme-travel-adventures-in-the-world" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Reader's Digest</a>.</p> <div class="slide-image" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; font-family: Raleway, sans-serif, Arial; font-size: 16px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444;"> </div> <div class="slide-image" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; font-family: Raleway, sans-serif, Arial; font-size: 16px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444;"> </div> <div class="slide-image" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; font-family: Raleway, sans-serif, Arial; font-size: 16px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444;"> </div> <div class="slide-image" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; font-family: Raleway, sans-serif, Arial; font-size: 16px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444;"> </div> <div class="slide-image" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; font-family: Raleway, sans-serif, Arial; font-size: 16px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444;"> </div> <div class="slide-image" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; font-family: Raleway, sans-serif, Arial; font-size: 16px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444;"> </div> <div class="slide-image" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; font-family: Raleway, sans-serif, Arial; font-size: 16px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444;"> </div>

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Readers respond: What did you like or dislike about where you grew up?

<p>We asked our readers what their favourite and least favourite things were about growing up where they did, and the responses were overwhelming. </p> <p>From affluent suburbs and knowing your neighbours, to beachside homes and lasting memories, here's your favourite childhood memories from where you grew up. </p> <p><strong>Denise Peck</strong> - That as kids we could walk the streets knowing virtually everyone in our immediate neighbourhood. Simpler times when kids were relatively safe to roam.</p> <p><strong>Lynne Fairbrother</strong> - I lived across the road from the beach, loved the beach and was there most every day with my friends. Wasn't anything I didn't like about where I grew up.</p> <p><strong>Denise Shearer</strong> - Growing up in a rich suburb where the kids went to private schools &amp; I had to run the gauntlet to get to my bus stop. They waited for me &amp; chucked rotten tomatoes &amp; fruit at me until I changed the way I went to school. </p> <p><strong>Judy Wiese</strong> - We lived in a poor area in a Housing Trust house, however, life was good. We didn’t know any better. I loved school, had good friends, Mum was a good sewer and made our clothes, we had plenty to eat and were happy playing outdoors.</p> <p><strong>Vicky Johnson</strong> - I grew up with many friends in the same street.</p> <p><strong>Christine Dyson</strong> - Loved growing up in Eltham in the 50’s and 60’s so country then creeks, mines, cubby huts built out of sticks in the bush, scooters, two wheelers, neighbourhood friends and the ultimate 6pm curfew.</p> <p><strong>Lyn Bradford</strong> - Best day of childhood was when I finally got to leave &amp; put it all behind me.</p> <p><strong>Christine Whyte</strong> - Loved where I grew up, nice quiet streets back then, had great fun playing with all the kids in the street of whom I have remained friends with for over 60 years and the safeness of walking to school rain, hail or shine.</p> <p><strong>Peter Spicer</strong> - Loved where I grew up. Real rough neighbourhood but full of diamonds.</p> <p><strong>Margaret Frances Magurean</strong> - Loved the community of our little block of tract houses back in the 1950's. Lots of kids and everybody's mum and dad watched out for us all. Great way to grow up.</p> <p><strong>Elaine Stewart</strong> - It was like a big family where we all knew one another and life was so wonderful and uncomplicated. There was a war going on and our dads were away for years but it didn't really affect our way of life as children.</p> <p><strong>Ruth Hunter</strong> - Loved living next to school oval in secondary school, could leave home when first bell rang.</p> <p><strong>Alison Angel </strong>- My two years in Gibraltar were my best childhood years. Weekends spent on endless, deserted Spanish beaches before tourism began in earnest. And Spanish food.</p> <p><strong>Julie McGregor</strong> - I grew up in a small town in the wheat belt area of northern Victoria. I had a delightful childhood, swimming in the river going to the lakes with family and friends. Playing sports and local town celebrations. Going to school with friends I’d known all my life. So blessed I knew everyone in the town. Free and simple.</p> <p><strong>Michael Lawrence</strong> - I grew up where l grew up. I had no reason to like or dislike it.</p> <p><strong>Denise McGoldrick</strong> - Nothing. Life was a lot simpler back then. We only watched about an hour of TV after we did our chores and were in bed by 7.30pm. Was allowed to stay up later on weekends when I turned 14 to watch the <em>Johnny Cash Show</em>. Great Thrill.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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5 tips to make your fuel tank last longer while prices are high

<p>The federal government’s announcement of a halved fuel excise is no doubt music to many people’s ears. Following Tuesday night’s budget release, the excise (a government tax included in the purchase price of fuel) was <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/fuel-excise-slashed-to-ease-petrol-prices-for-six-months-20220324-p5a7mp.html">halved</a> from 44.2 cents per litre to 22.1 cents.</p> <p>It should provide some respite from high petrol and diesel prices <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-disrupted-russian-gas-supplies-will-hit-global-and-australian-prices-178023">driven by</a>Russia’s war on Ukraine.</p> <p>However, the cut is only expected to last six months. And Treasurer Josh Frydenberg <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-29/lowdown-on-when-fuel-excise-cut-will-be-seen-at-bowsers/100949562">has said</a> it will take up to two weeks before fuel prices get cheaper (and potentially longer in regional areas). </p> <h2>The costs</h2> <p>Assuming it costs A$2 per litre for petrol and diesel fuel, and an average fuel consumption of about <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/industry/tourism-and-transport/survey-motor-vehicle-use-australia/latest-release">11 litres per 100 kilometres</a> driven – driving a typical fossil-fueled passenger vehicle right now would cost about 20 to 25 cents per kilometre.</p> <p>You’re probably quite happy if you own an electric vehicle. With a <a href="https://mdpi-res.com/d_attachment/sustainability/sustainability-14-03444/article_deploy/sustainability-14-03444-v2.pdf">real-world electricity consumption</a> of 0.15 to 0.21 kWh per kilometre and <a href="https://www.canstarblue.com.au/electricity/electricity-costs-kwh/">electricity costs</a> of about 20 to 30 cents per kWh, your cost of driving per kilometre is about 3 to 6 cents. And if you can charge your vehicle’s battery for free with home solar panels, your cost per kilometre is $0.</p> <p>But for those of us who don’t own an electric vehicle, making the best use of our fuel tanks will be a priority. Here are some ways you can make your vehicle go the extra mile.</p> <h2>1. Use a smaller, lighter car</h2> <p>There are a number of things you can do to reduce your fuel use. The obvious one is to not use your car, but walk or grab your bicycle, if possible.</p> <p>If you do have to drive, try to minimise your total travel distance. One way would be to combine a number of errands into your journey and optimise your route.</p> <p>The specific vehicle you use also matters. As a general rule of thumb, <a href="https://www.transport-e-research.com/_files/ugd/d0bd25_9527cdcb01a84440a53308b3b5624320.pdf?index=true">the larger and heavier your car</a>, the more energy and fuel it will require per kilometre. Choosing a smaller car, rather than a large SUV, will definitely reduce your fuel bill. A large SUV will use almost twice as much fuel per kilometre as a small car.</p> <p><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360128516300442">Research</a> also suggests that for every 100kg increase in vehicle weight, fuel consumption increases by about 5% to 7% for a medium-sized car. So in addition to driving a smaller car, it’s best to reduce your load and avoid driving around with extra weight. </p> <h2>2. Use eco-driving techniques</h2> <p>The way you drive is important too. Eco-driving involves being conscious of your fuel consumption and taking actions to reduce it. There are various ways to do this.</p> <p>Every time you brake and stop, you have to accelerate again to reach your desired speed. Acceleration uses a lot of energy and fuel, so driving smoothly, anticipating traffic and preventing stops will lead to savings on your fuel bill. </p> <p>What you want to do is flow with the traffic and keep your distance from other vehicles. It also helps to keep an eye further up the road, so you can avoid obstacles and therefore unnecessary braking and acceleration. </p> <p>If you’re in the minority of people who own a manual vehicle, drive in the highest gear possible to reduce engine load and fuel use. And if you’re in an automatic vehicle, use the “eco” setting if you have one.</p> <h2>3. Give your engine and climate a break</h2> <p>Another simple tip is stop unnecessary idling with the engine still engaged. A small car typically uses one litre of fuel per hour while idling, whereas this is close to <a href="https://www.transport-e-research.com/_files/ugd/d0bd25_2485b61095ed48f29bea980a73e74240.pdf?index=true">two litres per hour</a> for a large SUV. </p> <p>Of course, we idle regularly while waiting in traffic and generally can’t do much about that, other than trying to drive outside peak hours when roads are less congested. In other cases, we can change things. For instance, idling when a vehicle is parked will use up fuel unnecessarily.</p> <h2>4. Turn off the AC</h2> <p>Most people may not realise this, but using your air conditioner can use up quite a bit of extra fuel: somewhere between 4% and 8% of total fuel use. Using the fan instead will require less energy than air conditioning. Or even better, wind down the windows for a bit for fresh air when you are driving in the city. </p> <h2>5. Tend to your tires and consider aerodynamics</h2> <p>It also pays to keep your <a href="https://www.racq.com.au/car/greener-motoring/racq-ecodrive-research-study">tires inflated</a>, which can save you between 2% and 4% in fuel use. </p> <p>Also, your car is designed to be aerodynamically efficient. Anything that changes that, including roof racks, bull bars and bike racks, will come with an additional fuel penalty – particularly at higher speeds, such as on the freeway.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/5-tips-to-make-your-fuel-tank-last-longer-while-prices-are-high-180134" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

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