I was in a bar in Shanghai some time ago, talking to an American guy about blogging. He said something like: “It’s great, as long as it’s not distracting you from what you really want to do.” The more I think about it, the more I realise that there are other creative projects that I want to try, and that the pressure of “feeding the beast” that this blog has become is stopping me from doing that. Writing about life can take away the joy of living it. There’s not a lot of reward for simply being (or trying to be) clever in a line or two. So, after two years of PlaneSailing, I’m going to stop blogging, at least for a while, and cut back on my social-media use while I focus on the next chapter. The existing content will remain here, and I may still add and refer to it on occasions. But for now at least, it’s time to wish you all happy travels.
– Brett Debritz
Just when you thought the era of the “trolley dolly” was over, one airline has cottoned on to the idea that sex sells, and another stands accused of discrimination against a cabin crew member management described as “fat, ugly and old”.
None of which, in my opinion and that of the crew member herself, are relevant to her core duties: to assist passengers throughout the flight and, especially, if there is an emergency.
Thailand is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations, and it’s one of my favourite places.
Regardless of your interest — be it exploring temples, fine dining, water sports, jungle trekking or bar-hopping — you are more than likely to have a good time. But there are a few things you should know before you set out.
If you rely on medicine or medical equipment — be it blood-pressure tablets, asthma treatment or EpiPens for allergies — don’t simply assume that it will be available everywhere you travel.
You will certainly find that some prescription-only drugs are available over the counter in other countries, but you may find that something you really need is unavailable, overpriced, often faked or even illegal.
It seems like a case of damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Here’s a news story about a cruise line that’s under fire because it ruined a family’s holiday when it refused to allow two sick children to board.
And yet the same web site — and many others — regularly runs stories (such as this and this) about large numbers of passengers whose holidays are ruined because they got norovirus (“gastro” in Australian headline-writing parlance) on cruise ships.
Qantas says it wants to be able to fly from the east coast of Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) non-stop to London. It’s just waiting for aircraft manufacturers to build a plane that can do it.
Given that a Boeing 777 LR plane can already fly non-stop for 17 hours, a 20-plus-hour flight may not be far away. Airbus’s A350 apparently also has potential.
Have you heard about those people who only travel in an “authentic” manner? They eschew organised tours and established modes of transport, insist on homestays over hotels, and avoid the big attractions in favour of the “undiscovered” backroads and byways?
And at least some of them look down on the rest of us who don’t have the time, energy or money to faff about, and just want to enjoy ourselves and see a bit of the world that’s new to us.
When I travel, I often use an app called TripCase. It usually works like a dream. I just forward my flight and hotel booking confirmation emails to TripCase, and my journey shows up on all my devices. Flight delays and other information is updated in real time.
On my most recent trip, however, something went awry.
When I sent it my booking confirmations for Cathay Pacific flights CX713, Bangkok to Singapore, and CX712, Singapore to Bangkok, TripCase decided that I was going to New England in the United States.
I have actually been to Augusta, Maine — for Thanksgiving, no less — and I had a wonderful time. But I’m not sure how I could go there twice on successive days starting from different Southeast Asian airports.
Every traveller knows the adagesi fueris Rōmae, Rōmānō vīvitō mōre; si fueris alibī, vīvitō sīcut ibī (“If you should be in Rome, live in the Roman manner; if you should be elsewhere, live as they do there”). Or, more simply, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.
Social media in Thailand has gone a little crazy over a sign in a taxi setting down rules for passengers.
According to this report, the Thai-language sign comprises a list of “don’ts”, including don’t chew toffee, don’t have the volume up when playing games on smartphones, and don’t spray perfume or powder in the cab.
I’ve mentioned here before that I’ve become a regular contributor to Quora.com, and that my answers to questions on travel are gaining a small amount of attention.
Well, in the past few days, one of them has gone through the roof. There have been tens of thousands of engagements with my answer to this question:Is it okay to stay in a hotel with a fiancée for a vacation in Abu Dhabi?
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?