Travel Tips

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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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The holy grail tips to ensure you never miss your flight

<p dir="ltr">After years of Covid-19 lockdowns, travelling is finally back!</p> <p dir="ltr">However, if the scenes at Sydney Airport last week are anything to go by, some travellers have lulled themselves into a false sense of airport ease. </p> <p dir="ltr">The return of both international and domestic flights has come with long lines, confusion and general chaos, posing the very real risk of missing your flight. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sometimes arriving at the airport early just isn’t enough, so here are some holy grail tips and tricks to ensure you never arrive late at the gate again. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Try to avoid checked baggage</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">If you want to shave precious minutes off your time spent during check-in, this one is a no-brainer. </p> <p dir="ltr">Just using carry-on luggage is a sure fire way to ensure you can glide through check-in with ease. </p> <p dir="ltr">If checking in baggage is unavoidable, try to keep everything to just one bag, saving time on weighing and checking in. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Check-in online before arriving at the gate</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">By checking-in online, you are cutting out a huge chunk of time. </p> <p dir="ltr">Everything is already handled and all you need to do is print your ticket (you can save even more time by doing this at the self-service kiosk).</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Travel to the airport via public transport</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Seasoned travellers know that traffic always seems to be at its worst when you’re running late for a flight. </p> <p dir="ltr">Avoiding airport traffic by using public transport systems is a sure fire way to cut down your overall airport time. </p> <p dir="ltr">It’s always worth checking your city’s public transport system to see if there is a direct route to the airport. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Tell staff you’re running late</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Airport staff understand that running late for a flight is a stressful experience, and are always available to help if you treat them with patience and kindness. </p> <p dir="ltr">By altering the staff that you’ve been held up, they can help by directing you to a faster line or taking you through a different security checkpoint.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Weigh your luggage before you head to the airport</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">If your checked luggage is a few kilos over the weight limit, you may be held up by having to pull out items at the last minute. </p> <p dir="ltr">Weighing your bags before you make your way to the airport will ensure there’s no unpleasant surprises or excess baggage fees. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Keep all your documents in the same place</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">You’ll need to show your passport and ticket multiple times during the airport check-in and boarding process. </p> <p dir="ltr">To avoid rummaging through bags to find these valuable documents, keep them all together in a little folder or special compartment in your bag for easy access. </p> <p dir="ltr">It’s also a good idea to print off all your documents, rather than relying on your phone. </p> <p dir="ltr">We all know airport Wi-Fi can be spotty at the best of times, so having physical copies will make things easier. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Think about your outfit</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">To avoid getting held up at security, keep your jewellery in your bag until you clear through the metal detector. </p> <p dir="ltr">Having to take necklaces, earrings and rings off at the last second will only hold you (and everyone behind you in line) up longer than you want. </p> <p dir="ltr">Also, wearing slip on shoes will cut back time if you have to take them off to go through security. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Common mistakes and insider secrets from all over the globe

<p dir="ltr">You may be trying your best to act like a local in a new city and yes, it’s natural to make a few faux-pas here and there. Fortunately, with a little research and some insider insights, you can avoid a repeat of these accidents. </p> <p dir="ltr">In an effort to do just that, one traveller took to the online forum Reddit and asked locals to share common mistakes visitors make. The topic sure was popular, with over 6,700 comments made by those around the globe and here’s what a few of them had to say.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Underestimating how expensive the cost of living is in Norway. I’ve seen jaws drop when tourists discover the price of the two beers they ordered.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/TheYoupi</p> <p dir="ltr">Visiting Oxford? Don’t ask a local where Oxford University is. “The university is spread all throughout the town – to the extent where the town is basically a big uni campus. Different colleges have different buildings, and it’s not like the US where they’re all in a singular central location. </p> <p dir="ltr">—u/jumpedunderjumpman</p> <p dir="ltr">“Underestimating the size of Australia. No, you can’t do a day trip to Cairns from Brisbane. That’s like a two day drive. Even driving to Sydney from Brisbane would take you 12 hours.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/trumpstinyhandssayhi</p> <p dir="ltr">“In Iceland, people don’t realise how expensive everything is here, especially going out to eat. If you’re going to a restaurant, expect $30–50 entrees everywhere. Mix in some cheap street food (like Icelandic hot dogs) or find accommodations with a kitchen so you can cook.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/DonkeyDD</p> <p dir="ltr">“They say “Gracias” instead of “Obrigado”. Portugal doesn’t speak Spanish.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/ tochasHD</p> <p dir="ltr">“People come to the US expecting to see too much in one visit. Unless you’re prepared to shell out thousands of dollars on very co-ordinated flights, you aren’t going to see the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, the Alamo, Hollywood and Yosemite Park all in one week. It’s a big country, so pick a few states and stick to that.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/deleted</p> <p dir="ltr">“They trust taxi drivers in Greece. When you’re in my home country, never trust them. You’re just asking to be overcharged. Stick to renting a car or, at the very least, ask a local for typical cab prices before you get in the car.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/I_hate_traveling</p> <p dir="ltr">“Bringing winter clothes in the middle of summer. Some people don’t realise that southern Canada actually gets quite warm in July (25-35 C). It’s only permasnow up north.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/xarrenJhuud</p> <p dir="ltr">“They ask: ‘I’m going to Oslo, what’s your best advice for seeing the northern lights?’ Oslo is too far south to be a reliable destination to see the Northern Lights.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/SalSomer</p> <p dir="ltr">“When you sit down to eat in a restaurant in Portugal, the waiter will usually bring you bread, olives, or some other snacks. I always see tourists get mad when they are charged for eating these seemingly ‘free’ snacks, but that’s just how things work here. If you eat it, expect to pay for it. If you don’t touch it, your waiter will take it away and pretend like [they] never existed.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/BaiRuoBing</p> <p dir="ltr">“Tourists visiting London think the Royal Guard in London are just men in silly hats that are not allowed to move. Actually, they’re military men who will absolutely knock you out if you mess with them.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/LeahUK</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am from Houston. Best advice for BBQ is to get out of the cities and just pull over to random BBQ joints you see on the side of the road. I’ve found that the best BBQ is in the middle of nowhere.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/SodaCanBob</p> <p dir="ltr">“In Canada, don’t you dare try to put ketchup on our poutine. Look, I’m a huge ketchup fan, but poutine is already covered in gravy and cheese curds, ketchup doesn’t belong anywhere near it.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/RupeThereItIs</p> <p dir="ltr">“Tourists visiting Los Angeles always underestimate the time it’ll take to get from point A to point B. Our traffic is terrible, and you should add 30 minutes to an hour whenever you want to drive anywhere.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—aimeecurameng</p> <p dir="ltr">“People always visit Hong Kong thinking it’s a cheap South Asian destination like Thailand. Yeah … not so much. Hong Kong is pricey. It’s an amazing place to visit if you have some cash, but not so much for backpackers on a strict budget.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/DongLaiCha</p> <p dir="ltr">“Most tourists who go to Marrakesh book a hotel room, but you should really stay in a riad (a traditional Moroccan house built around a garden) rather than at a hotel or hostel. Riads are a big part of the Marrakech experience. It’s unique and the hospitality is awesome. Usually the staff or owners can show you around the chaotic and bustling medina, which is especially helpful.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/abedmcnulty</p> <p dir="ltr">“Lots of visitors will only visit London, but the U.K. has great seaside towns like Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and more that are well worth a visit. British seaside holidays have a unique charm that you won’t find in the city.”</p> <p dir="ltr">—u/FloppyEaredDog</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 2.04; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 18pt;"><em> Image: Getty</em></p>

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The viral hack for free luxurious travel

<p dir="ltr">Taking a trip abroad can be expensive, especially if you want to travel in style and relax in luxury.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, one woman has revealed how she gets free flights, food and five-star hotels when she travels, saving her a fortune. </p> <p dir="ltr">TikTok user Jen, who goes by @smartypantsfinance, shared a video explaining that she works as a mystery shopper for airports, airlines, hotels and shops which gives her the opportunity to travel the world on a budget.</p> <p dir="ltr">Becoming a mystery shopper for an airport means you can kick your holiday off in style by getting free food in restaurants or free snacks from shops. “There are store mystery shops and restaurant mystery shops at airports,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So instead of buying a meal before you get on your long flight, find a mystery shopping assignment to cover the cost of the meal or do a little shopping at the convenience store for snacks for your flight, all courtesy of mystery shopping.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The next thing Jen recommends is becoming a mystery shopper for an airline, where you can make a serious saving on your holiday as you’ll get your flights paid for.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Mystery shop on airlines so instead of just paying for your airfare out of pocket, get a mystery shopping assignment that covers all or part of your airfare in exchange for submitting a report about some aspect of the flight,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Once you’ve landed, you don’t want to have to fork out a lot of money for a five-star hotel. Jen advised taking a mystery shopping assignment to get the room covered – plus you might get some other perks.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As a mystery shopper you evaluate a hotel and you submit a report in exchange for the entire cost of the hotel stay including the room, the taxes, the food and the spa visit,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jen’s final tip was to become a mystery shopper at your destination to get free meals and souvenirs. “Mystery shop at your destination. I have eaten in five star restaurants in Maui, Istanbul, Turkey, London and Paris all on mystery shopping assignments,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’ve also done shopping assignments at my destination so I can make a little money while I was on my vacation and come back with some free things.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The video has been watched more than 20,000 times and Jen advised viewers to visit her website smartypantsfinance.com to learn more about becoming a mystery shopper.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-b437b81f-7fff-f5c0-26c5-fdb5afe0beac"></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.7999999999999998; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 18pt;"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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An air-craft toilet with a view

<p dir="ltr">Everyone knows that going to the bathroom on a plane isn’t an enjoyable experience to begin with. Cramped, dingy lighting and the most horrendous flush in the world make relieving yourself not exactly the most pleasant task.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, a Reddit user revealed they caught a flight with the best economy plane bathroom in the world. The person, who goes by username <a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/drewsoulman/">u/drewsoulman </a>on the platform, shared a photo of the plane toilet that had a window inside – a feature that is unheard of in most aeroplane bathrooms.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/04/New-Project.jpg" alt="" width="601" height="583" /></p> <p dir="ltr">On top of that, there was even a shelf behind the toilet – perfect for holding a phone or wallet.</p> <p dir="ltr">The post has received more than 116,000 votes and 2600 comments, and most viewers were amazed at the bathroom.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I wouldn’t leave. Better than an economy seat,” one person wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Plane toilets are always so cramped and gloomy – this is nice,” added another.</p> <p dir="ltr">Someone else said they thought a window would help them get over one of their fears.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I wish this was more common. I have an irrational fear of aeroplane bathrooms. I like being able to see out the window on planes as I feel more grounded. I feel like this would help my fear,” they wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, a former flight attendant has revealed the best time to use the facilities on a plane. Mark Benders explained that flyers should go to the toilet about half an hour before landing as it’s just before the seatbelt sign goes on before the descent.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When you are on a flight and you start getting the feeling that you’re getting close to your destination, the first time you feel the aeroplane slow down from cruising speed, you will have about half an hour before landing,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That would be a good time to use the lavatory because the fasten seatbelt light will go on soon and you won’t be allowed out of your seat until the plane reaches the gate.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a1dd10ed-7fff-b2b3-52d0-5e32975b8217"></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 2.04; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 18pt;"><em> Image: Getty</em></p>

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Aldi to drop luxe travel range in celebration of international borders reopening

<p style="margin: 0cm; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;">International travel is finally back and ALDI is celebrating.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0cm; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">For its upcoming Special Buys on April the 6th, ALDI will release a range of products for the “executive traveller”.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">ALDI said it was also launching the line to celebrate the reopening of New Zealand to Aussies on April the 12th, when we’ll be free to visit our Kiwi neighbours without having to quarantine on arrival.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">The range includes everything from packing pouches, laptop sleeves and executive backpacks with an internal USB charging port. ALDI will also release premium noise cancelling headphones with bluetooth, an overnight leather bag and a leather satchel or sling bag. ALDI is advising customers to check the Special Buys delay page to know if the items they want will be in stock.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">The full Executive Travel Special Buys range includes —</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Packing pouches — $8.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">A 3-pack of lightweight packing pouches with mesh panels for visibility, a two-way zipper opening and carry handles.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">Available in Black, Blue, Pink or White and sizes of 40cm x 30cm x 13cm, 30cm x 28cm x 13cm and 30cm x 21cm x 13cm</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Sukin travel pack </strong>— <strong>$11.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">The pack contains cleanser, moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner and body wash all in 50ml sizes.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Rechargeable batteries — $11.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">An eight-pack of AA or AAA ($1.50 per battery).</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Laptop sleeve — $19.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">Hard case with soft padded inner, fits most laptops up to 14” and available in Blue, Black, Pink or Grey</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Premium two-piece suitcase set — $99.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">Black with grey piping and comes with double spinner wheels, a TSA lock, an expandable main compartment (5cm).</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Premium carry on suitcase — $39.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">Black with grey piping and comes with double spinner wheels, TSA lock, and an expandable main compartment (4cm).</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Overnight leather bag — $89.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">Buffalo leather bag with easy carry handle, shoulder strap and a spacious interior compartment. Available in dark brown or vintage brown.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Leather satchel or sling bag — $69.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">Assorted styles</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Executive backpack — $39.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">With internal USB charging port, a padded laptop/document sleeve and available in Classic Black, Classic Grey or Black Roll-top Style.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Premium headphones — $69.99</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">Active noise cancelling, built-in microphone for calls, on-ear controls, bluetooth connectivity, up to 21 hours battery life, 40mm driver and includes premium carry case.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 18pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><em>Images: Aldi</em></p>

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Readers respond: What is the most beautiful place you have ever visited?

<p>We asked our well-travelled followers what the most beautiful place they've ever visited is, and we were inundated with responses. </p> <p>From all corners of the globe, our readers have seen some spectacular places on their travels. </p> <p><strong>Michelle Rolfe</strong> - Too many to name - from the stunning ocean from Cinque Terre, to the rolling hills on the Italian countryside, or the breathtaking scenery in NZ.</p> <p><strong>Hazel Drummond</strong> - Have traveled well but my favourite is Venice been twice would go again if possible.</p> <p><strong>Dot Bawden</strong> - I have traveled all over the world and I think the most beautiful place is Mitchell Plateau north-west in Western Australia. </p> <p><strong>Deborah Joy Woolmer </strong>- Ha Long Bay and Hoi An, loved them both would go back in a heart beat.</p> <p><strong>Larraine Biggs</strong> - Antarctica - the trip if a lifetime!</p> <p><strong>Vlasta Burcul</strong> - My birth country Slovenia.</p> <p><strong>Barbara Hendron</strong> - Haven't been to many places in my life but I loved the beauty of the rainforest in Alaska.</p> <p><strong>Dianne Swann</strong> - Too many beautiful places but Hawaii on top of the list.</p> <p><strong>Derice Harwood</strong> - So many places, but the one place that has remained my favourite is Grenada, Spain. It is the one place that has held my heart for 50 years.</p> <p><strong>Robyn Burton</strong> - South Island of NZ, awesome scenery everywhere.</p> <p><strong>Betty Smith</strong> - Paris, Venice, Prague, St Petersburg - too many more to list.</p> <p><strong>Lyndall Sullivan</strong> - A tiny little village in Scotland called Ullapool.</p> <p><strong>Colleen Lucas</strong> - Ayers Rock is just magical...... how lucky I am to live in Australia...spoiled for choice!!</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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How far would you go to save $1?

<p dir="ltr">Would you spend the night at this one-star hotel for just $6?</p> <p dir="ltr">If you’ve travelled on a very strict budget, you’ve probably come across some interesting finds. </p> <p dir="ltr">One TikToker user has people divided over where to draw the line – even if it is cheap – after posting a video at a one-star hotel.</p> <blockquote class="tiktok-embed" style="max-width: 605px; min-width: 325px;" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@jesseogn/video/7056825451565550850" data-video-id="7056825451565550850"> <section><a title="@jesseogn" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@jesseogn" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@jesseogn</a> Would you stay at this hotel?? <a title="japan" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/japan" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#japan</a> <a title="tiktokjapan" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/tiktokjapan" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#tiktokjapan</a> <a title="japantiktok" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/japantiktok" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#japantiktok</a> <a title="japantravel" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/japantravel" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#japantravel</a> <a title="osaka" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/osaka" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#osaka</a> <a title="creepy" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/creepy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#creepy</a> <a title="♬ Amityville Horror - Scary Halloween Sound Effects - Halloween Sound Effects" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Amityville-Horror-Scary-Halloween-Sound-Effects-6780285433650612226" target="_blank" rel="noopener">♬ Amityville Horror - Scary Halloween Sound Effects - Halloween Sound Effects</a></section> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">While travelling through Japan, TikToker Jesse checked in to the 500 yen per-night stay (about $6) in Osaka.</p> <p dir="ltr">Upon entry, Jesse notices the dodgy bedding, rickety TV and overall petite size of the room, before making his way to the questionable window.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The room came with a pillow, blanket, stained mattress and TV,” he says in the tour.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The room had a funky smell but I couldn’t open the window because it was broken,” he explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">Adding to its…appeal, he then demonstrated how small the room is, with just a few inches above his head when standing and lying down.</p> <p dir="ltr">The tour ends on a slightly more sinister note, as he makes his way to a creepy find at the entrance of the hotel – a poster of wanted criminals.</p> <p dir="ltr">The comments section was divided on the hotel, with some claiming it was a steal, while others said they’d rather pay a bit more and stay somewhere else.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I mean, for $90 a month… I’d probably live there,” one person said.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-4c6fd309-7fff-1d6e-5a0a-83eb65748a9f"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“I’d stay there. Too bad they didn’t have mattresses with plastic covers on it. Great deal,” a commenter added.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

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