Telstra, the Australian telecommunications giant, has just announced a A$10-a-day roaming package for travellers to 57 countries.
Before we break out the champagne to celebrate such a groundbreaking deal, can I be allowed to point out — in fact, shout out — that this is still outrageous and unacceptably high given what’s on offer?
For reasons that will become clearer in future posts, I have to be in Bangkok by the last week of this month.
I checked my Qantas frequent flyer points* with the view to making a direct flight from Brisbane. But I discovered that for about the same number of points I could go first to somewhere I’d never been before — and I’m always up for that.
A former colleague of mine has travelled to more than 100 countries. I don’t know if it’s his aim to visit them all, as others have done, but it’s a fairly impressive tally nonetheless.
And, as far as I know, he doesn’t just dash in and out. He takes his time to see the sights, meet people and go off the beaten track. My country tally is about half of his, but I don’t see it as a competition.
Those who commit these acts choose their targets carefully: they want to disrupt the daily lives of residents and to persuade would-be visitors to stay away. Their aims are to inflict immediate damage and to create long-term economic harm.
People take cruises for many reasons. So, apart from the niche players in the market who cater to very specific interests, cruise companies have to design their ships to provide something for everyone.
That means paying close attention to the menu, the shore excursions, the amenities and, crucially, the entertainment program.
“Be careful what you wish for.” It’s an adage that applies in many circumstances.
And right now it’s germane to the issue of passenger comfort on commercial aircraft. It seems that we are getting squeezed on like sardines because that’s what comes with the lower fares that we demand.
As a solo traveller who likes cruising, I’m always desperate to find a fair deal in a market that’s clearly geared towards groups of two or more.
I understand why there has traditionally been a bias towards catering for couples and families, but times are changing and more people — young, old and in the middle — are travelling on their own. With this in mind, I sometimes get riled when a see “deal” that is patently biased against solo travellers.