Is Garuda Indonesia’s Eco-Basic ticket right for you?

Posted by - May 30, 2018

SINCE commercial aviation took off in the late fifties, airlines have been looking for ways to cut costs and fly more passengers.
Whether it’s taking an olive out of the salad or reducing seat widths to cram more people in, the imagination of airline bosses keeps evolving.
#TRAVEL HACKS
How to take the perfect passport photo Another way of reducing costs and ensuring passengers don’t expect any frills is by offering basic-budget-economy tickets.
Yep, these tickets are even cheaper than the standard economy class choices readily available on most airlines.
A post shared by Hank Mixed +852 +669 (@skyhank) on Apr 12, 2018 at 1:49am PDT
The big US airlines – Delta, American, and United – have also introduced this type of ticket. And now, Indonesia’s national carrier has launched its Eco-Basic subclass tickets.
According to Garuda Indonesia, the Eco-Basic tickets will sell for around 15 to 20 percent cheaper than standard economy class tickets.
The purpose is to entice those who wouldn’t typically be able to afford airfares and increase passenger numbers on each flight.
“It (the new class) is expected to add SLF (seat occupancy rate) to 10 percent of each route,” Garuda Indonesia Service Director Nicodemus P. Lampe said in a statement.
A post shared by Garuda Indonesia (@garuda.indonesia) on Feb 17, 2018 at 4:17am PST
But there are restrictions with it that some frequent flyers may not like.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Eco-Basic ticket:
Only available on specific planes For the time being, Garuda Indonesia will only be issuing Eco-Basic tickets on its ATR 72-600 and CRJ 1000 NextGen planes.
For the benefit of aviation amateurs, these planes are manufactured by Bombardier. The ATR 72-600 are twin-propeller planes while the CRJ 1000 NextGen is a regional aircraft with two jet engines near the tail.
A post shared by @baixiaofan on Apr 20, 2014 at 11:44pm PDT
What are the Eco-Basic routes? There will be 44 Eco-Basic routes available to passengers; the exact routes are yet to be confirmed.
First come, first served Garuda Indonesia CEO Pahala Mansury told The Jakarta Post the Eco-Basic seats would be limited to 12 per flight on selected routes.
No children allowed A post shared by Handy Craft (@somaya.adinoto) on May 29, 2018 at 6:36pm PDT
The Eco-Basic tickets are reserved for adults only. If parents are flying with children, they will not receive a child discount.
Adults flying with babies under 23 months old will also not be able to purchase the Eco-Basic ticket.
Travel light Those flying on an Eco-Basic ticket will not be able to use the overhead lockers or book extra luggage.
An allowance for a 20kg carry-on is permitted, but it must be able to fit under the seat in front.
No dietary requirements allowed A post shared by Garuda Indonesia (@garuda.indonesia) on May 27, 2018 at 2:01am PDT
Garuda Indonesia isn’t going to starve you, but a condition of the ticket means flyers can’t request special meals.
Get to the airport early Although flyers on the Eco-Basic ticket don’t have any bags to drop off, they can only check-in at the airport.
It’s advisable to get there early to avoid long queues.
#AIRLINES
The world’s cheapest airlines are in Asia No premium priority It’s likely Eco-Basic tickets holders will be the last to board. Even if they’re members of Garuda Indonesia’s reward program, they will not be able to access VIP lounges.
Perhaps the only upside to these cheap tickets is the premium amount of smugness a flyer will get. After all, they’re going to the same destination as everyone else on the flight, for a fraction of the cost.
The post Is Garuda Indonesia’s Eco-Basic ticket right for you? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Debunking myths: How to book a cheap flight

Posted by - May 25, 2018

THERE are few things more annoying than finding out your fellow passenger paid less than you for the same flight.
But it does happen.
#AIRLINES
The world’s cheapest airlines are in Asia If you’re intrigued to find out how they saved a few hundred bucks, while you splashed the cash, you may even inquire as to how they did it.
Because like many, you probably sit there secretly fuming.
Well, don’t panic because there are tips you can use for your next booking.
Equally, the booking myths others may claim to have used to score bargains could be just a load of tosh.
So let’s get down to tipping and debunking.
Know the best days to fly Source: Shutterstock
Myth: Tuesday is the best to fly.
Unfortunately, this is not true. Airfares bounce around like peanuts in turbulence.
It’s practically impossible to predict in advance when the cheapest day to fly will be.
Tip: Use apps to keep a lookout.
Mobile apps such as Hopper, Airfarewatchdog, and Hitlist, to name a few, track airfares so you don’t have to.
Hopper, in particular, keeps a watchful eye on various different airlines for the cheapest flights. By using algorithms and stored data, it can predict the cheapest day to buy tickets and notify you on the cutoff date to scoring the cheapest tickets.
Don’t be loyal to an airport Source: Emiel Molenaar / Unsplash
Myth: Loyalty will reward you.
Being loyal to an airline, hotel group, and even restaurants while traveling can reward you in many ways, including discount flights and stays.
The same principle does not apply to airports though.
Tip: Select all airports.
Major destinations normally have more that one airport and sometimes the price difference can be huge.
London in England, for example, has London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead, Southend-On-Sea, and Luton.
While Heathrow is central, it is pricey. If you’re willing to travel a little further, definitely check out alternative airports to save some dollar.
Cookies are not your enemy Source: Caleb Woods / Unsplash
Myth: Cookies increase prices.
Technically this isn’t true. According to travel expert, Mr. Ott from God Save the Points, “there’s no evidence that fares have actually spiked because of browser history.”
Tip: Go undercover.
Try to use the search engines while in incognito function if you’re searching flights directly on the airline’s website.
While cookies don’t effect comparison websites, airlines use search history to determine supply and demand.
The incognito feature will also prevent personalized ads from showing on your social media accounts.
#TRAVEL HACKS
Why you may want to rethink your plane seat choice Cheaper flights don’t always save money Source: Shutterstock.
Myth: Cheaper airfares save money.
Sounds like a paradox, right?
Often, cheaper initial costs hide extra expenses later in the booking process.
Tip: Dig deeper.
It is always worth doing extra research for airfares, especially if you’re flying budget.
Airlines have a sneaky way of offering up an enticing airfare cost, but when it comes to luggage, in-flight entertainment and meals, they end up robbing you.
Depending on what you expect from a flight (apart from getting to your destination, obviously), it may be worth paying a little extra and knowing everything is included.
The post Debunking myths: How to book a cheap flight appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

How to claim a hotel tax rebate in South Korea

Posted by - May 9, 2018

NOW you can be bougie on a budget in South Korea with the newly introduced 10 percent tax refund for international travelers.
Over 50 certified hotels all over South Korea are offering international guests tax refunds.
#LUXE
India’s most enchanting Airbnbs The terms: All non-Korean visitors who stay at one of the selected hotels for longer than two nights and less than 30 days, can reclaim 10 percent of the tax on the booking.
While travelers can only stay at each of the hotels for 30 days, the tax rebate can be offered for travelers remaining in the country for up three months.
The hotel tax refund includes pre-paid breakfast at the hotel, but guests won’t be able to claim any additional services charged to the room.
So, think twice before ordering that vintage bottle of Moet and side of caviar.
How to claim your tax back: Upon check-in, request a tax refund guide and a tax refund checklist. Enjoy your stay. Upon check-out, submit the hotel tax refund checklist and receive a tax refund form. Guests can then either claim the refund from the hotel itself or find one of the tax refund centers in town. #LUXE
Give your furkid a taste of luxury at these pet-friendly hotels in Asia The hotels: A full list of hotels included in the tax refund can be found on the Visit Korea page.
From Seoul to Gyeonggi-do to Busan and Jeju-do, the hotels offer something for every traveler’s budget.
Here are some of our favorites.
GLAD Gangnam COEX Center, Gangnam A post shared by Seunghee Ko (@kko214) on Dec 29, 2017 at 10:27pm PST
The city hotel matches homeliness and modern chic effortlessly. GLAD can accommodate the modern business traveler, couples, families, and single adventurers.
Shilla Stay Jeju, Jeju A post shared by 먹스타그램/건축/노가다꾼/디자이너/김성윤 (@sungyun1989) on Apr 27, 2018 at 10:02am PDT
On South Korea’s largest island lies the perfect hotel for urban explorers and wilderness seekers.
Shilla Stay Jeju offers guests plenty of unique packages such as the Stay More Save More, Early Bird and Welcome to Korea promotions.
So, whether you’re staying for a while to visit every corner of the island or for a short weekend break, Shilla is a great choice.
Benikea Marianne Haeundae Hotel, Busan A post shared by 가람 (@garam7061) on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:58am PST
“Bleisure” travelers, rejoice! This hotel is for you.
Benikea Marianna Haeundae Hotel is close to Haeundae Beach for after work relaxation but also has a brilliant 24-hour business center for those late-night conference calls.
Remember: The list of hotels is subject to change so always check with your hotel before booking.
Yay! More money for bibimbap!
The post How to claim a hotel tax rebate in South Korea appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

The best travel loyalty programs in Asia

Posted by - April 30, 2018

ALONGSIDE being creatures of habit, humans also love getting free stuff.
This bodes well for airlines and hotels trying to retain customers through loyalty programs.
Loyalty programs tap into the “science of free” that humans are inclined towards and seek to reward customers for continually using the same brand.
#BUSINESS TRAVEL
These Asian airports are becoming destinations in their own right Some loyalty programs really are a cut above the rest. So much so, there is an Oscars-esque award ceremony recognizing the world’s best loyalty programs in the travel industry.
The Freddie Awards have been running since 1988 and is recognized as the world’s most prestigious member-generated awards within the travel-loyalty sector.
The ceremony was created for frequent travelers to have their opinions heard and this year, 4.4 million people cast votes for their favorite airline, hotel, and credit card loyalty schemes across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia/Oceania.
Airlines: Virgin Australia’s Velocity program dominated the airline category in the Middle East and Asia/Oceania category.
Taking home the award in categories including “Program of the Year,” “Best Elite Program,” “Best Customer Service” and “Best Redemption Ability.”
What’s your favourite window seat view? pic.twitter.com/x3UcnV0aLn
— Virgin Australia (@VirginAustralia) April 29, 2018
Virgin Australia only missed out on “Best Promotion” to Emirates Skywards and Saudia Alfursan which won the prestigious “210 AWARD” given to programs trending among travelers.
Hotels: The Freddie Awards named IHG Rewards Club “Program of the Year” and “Best Promotion” in the hotel category for the Middle East and Asia/Oceania region.
Accor Hotel’s Le Club Accorhotels program grabbed the awards for “Best Customer Service” and “Best Redemption Ability” while Starwood Preferred Guest took the gong for “Best Elite Program” and Taj Innercircle won the “210 AWARD”.
What can these programs offer frequent travelers? Virgin Australia’s Velocity program, for example, has grown its members to seven million users in just 12 years.
Customers can earn points flying with any of its partner airlines including Delta, Etihad, Air New Zealand and Hainan Airline.
Buying gas from BP, staying in selected hotels, subscribing to wine deliveries from Liathwaite’s and Virgin Wines, and many other ways can earn frequent flyers points.
When it comes to redeeming these points, members of the program needn’t worry about having 100 percent of the points as Virgin Australia’s Velocity program offer “Points and Pay” for more flexibility.
As for the Starwood Preferred Guest program, winner of the “Best Elite Program”, loyal patrons of the hotel can make their way up the points tier with every luxury stay.
A post shared by Starwood Preferred Guest (@spg) on Mar 11, 2018 at 12:19pm PDT
Offering Gold, Platinum, 50-night Platinum, 75-night Platinum, and 100-night Platinum reward levels, guests can claim anything from late checkouts to gifts on arrival and room upgrades to ambassador access who will take care of organizing every aspect of your stay.
Rewards programs are a revelation to many travelers. They can be the difference between staying in bargain lodgings or ultimate luxury for the same price, or getting that much-needed upgrade on your long-haul flight.
Here are all the winners across every region.
Middle East & Asia/Oceania Airline
Best Promotion: Emirates Skywards – 50 percent off first class upgrades Best Redemption Ability: Virgin Australia – Velocity Frequent Flyer Best Customer Service: Virgin Australia – Velocity Frequent Flyer Best Elite Program: Virgin Australia – Velocity Frequent Flyer Program of the Year: Virgin Australia – Velocity Frequent Flyer 210 Award: Saudia Alfursan Hotel
Best Promotion: IHG Rewards Club – Accelerate Best Redemption Ability: Le Club Accor Hotels Best Customer Service: Le Club Accor Hotels Best Elite Program: Starwood Preferred Guest Program of the Year: IHG Rewards Club 210 Award: TAJ Innercircle Credit Card
Best Loyalty Credit Card: ADCB Etihad Guest Above Visa Card Americas Airline
Best Promotion: Southwest Rapid Rewards – Unbelievable Companion Pass Offer Best Redemption Ability: Southwest Rapid Rewards Best Customer Service: Southwest Rapid Rewards Best Elite Program: American Airlines – Advantage Program of the Year: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 210 Award: Avianca Lifemiles Hotel
Best Promotion: MGM – M life Rewards – Holiday Gift Shoppe Best Redemption Ability: Marriott Rewards Best Customer Service: Marriott Rewards Best Elite Program: Marriott Rewards Program of the Year: Marriott Rewards 210 Award: MGM – M life reward Credit Card
Best Loyalty Credit Card – Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Europe/Africa Airline
Best Promotion: Norwegian Reward – Christmas Advent Calendar Best Redemption Ability: Aeroflot Bonus Best Customer Service: Aeroflot Bonus Best Elite Program: Aeroflot Bonus Program of the Year: Norwegian Air – Norwegian Reward 210 Award: Aeroflot Bonus Hotel
Best Promotion: Le Club Accor Hotels – Activation Booster Best Redemption Ability: Le Club Accor Hotels Best Customer Service: Le Club Accor Hotels Best Elite Program: Marriott Rewards Program of the Year: Le Club Accor Hotels 210 Award: IHG Reward Club Credit Card
Best Loyalty Credit Card: American Express – Membership Rewards The post The best travel loyalty programs in Asia appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

What’s in a: traditional Thai massage?

Posted by - April 23, 2018

THE TRADITIONAL Thai massage we have come to know and love today was first practiced over 2,500 years ago by Shivago Komarpaj, a North Indian physician said to be a close friend of Buddha.
It has roots in Chinese and Indian medicine, however, the records that detail the blossoming of techniques were destroyed in the 1767 Burmese battle in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
#HOTELS
Say ‘I Do’ to these beautiful wedding destinations in Asia But the lost records didn’t deter the practice, and after World War II ended, Thailand became a popular tourist destination, and so globalized the ancient massage practice.
Concentrating on healing the mind and body, the traditional methods involve combining deep tissue massages and assisted yoga poses while following the body’s energy map, known as Sen lines in Chinese acupuncture.
A post shared by Cloud9 Massage and Wellness (@cloud9massagewellnessbos) on Mar 26, 2018 at 8:12am PDT
Traditionally, the massage involves no essential oils and the receiver remains fully clothed sprawled out on a floor mat.
If this reminds you of a chiropractor session, that’s because it pretty much is.
Thai massages and some chiropractic techniques are one of the same. The dynamic techniques, and alleviating muscle manipulation will leave you feeling limber and light.
These are the five core benefits of indulging in a Thai massage and trust us, your body will thank you.
Get your energy back on track: A post shared by Thai Massage Baku (@thaimassagebaku) on Feb 27, 2018 at 3:26am PST
The daily grind can leave us feeling exhausted, both mentally and physically.
Enter the Thai massage, which pays special focus to your Sen (or energy) lines mapped throughout the entire body.
Each line has its own unique energy points, which can be heightened through the application of pressure.
These points can be found all over, from your earlobes right down to your baby toes. Once they’re stimulated, you’ll feel the energy flowing from within.
Help your blood flow: A post shared by Nittayas Thaimassage (@nittayas_thaimassage) on Apr 20, 2018 at 11:58am PDT
Our blood flow keeps us alive, oxygenating our brains and preventing us from losing our extremities.
So, it’s bizarre then that we don’t do more to help pump the crimson sticky stuff around our bodies.
But even just a short 20-minute Thai massage can help.
Through pressured touches, stretching muscles and maneuvering joints, the Thai massage stimulates blood flow which then helps to improve hair growth, and naturally warms your extremities.
Touch your toes again: A post shared by Banyan Tree Spa (@banyantreespa) on Nov 22, 2017 at 11:53pm PST
Do you excuse your inability to touch your toes because of age, disproportionate leg-to-body ratio, or because it’s child’s play?
Who are you kidding – you just simply can’t touch them.
Let a Thai massage take care of that. Therapists have hundreds of stretches they can apply to your specific needs, whether it is to limber up your shoulders, release tension between every vertebra, get you looking over both shoulders again or to create a new bendy party trick.
Rebalance your happiness: A post shared by Thai Massage (@thai.yoga.massage) on Nov 20, 2017 at 2:23am PST
Serotonin controls the feeling of happiness, and boy does it feel good when your brain releases it.
However, when the stress hormone known as cortisol is released, happiness retreats back into the shadows and a smile can become a furrowed brow.
But a Thai massage can increase the amount of serotonin produced, which is why you can’t help but feel relaxed and content when the therapist is working their magic.
#THINGS TO DO
7 things you’ll love about Tokyo Disneyland’s 35th anniversary celebration Drifting into a sweet slumber: A post shared by Thai Massage (@thai.yoga.massage) on Jan 16, 2018 at 11:25pm PST
If your own snoring has ever woken you up in a massage, you’ve experienced first-hand how incredible the trained touch can feel to the body.
Being pampered into a sleep in a warm room, smelling how you would imagine Mother Nature to smell, is a fine way to drift off.
You can replicate some of these sleep-inducing techniques in your own bedroom too.
Try massaging your forehead in a circular motion, stroke your limbs gently or work your thumbs around the soles of your feet to treat nerve endings with the respect they deserve.
Sometimes the solutions to your aches and pains don’t lie in the bathroom cabinet, but rather in the hands of a trained masseuse.
The post What’s in a: traditional Thai massage? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Fancy a tipple? Take a cocktail tour of Kuala Lumpur

Posted by - April 20, 2018

COCKTAILS have transformed from brightly colored, umbrella-wearing mixtures, into signature must-haves for every chic bar.
Contemporary cocktails consist of fresh ingredients such as petals and herbs infused with classically aged whiskey bourbons, dry gins and any other spirit highly trained mixologists want to throw in there.
The result: a sip so delicious, you just must have another.
#SHOPPING
Feeling extra hungry at the airport? It’s not your fault Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s shining capital city, is home to some of Asia’s coolest cocktails bars.
If you only know where to look, this delightful metropolis is brimming with a variety of watering holes. Whether it’s the extravagantly fitted parlors serving only the most premium of spirits or the quaint little speakeasy joints tucked away in alleyways, each one entices you to adorn your best frock for a night out on the town.
Thirsty? Then we suggest you go get that thirst quenched at the joints below. It is Fri-yay after all.
Omakase + Appreciate A post shared by Thirsty Belly (@thirstybelly) on Feb 1, 2018 at 1:04am PST
Winner of the Most Creative Cocktail Bar award at The Bar Awards Kuala Lumpur, and Number 10 on Asia’s Best Bars list, Omakase + Appreciate is a place that could easily be missed, but shouldn’t be.
The door to the bar looks like one only janitors would enter. However, if you stroll through the rows of diners at Ming Annex to the door at the back, you’ll find yourself in Omakase + Appreciate.
The Omakase practice means, “I’ll leave it to you”, so the bartenders here are happy to whip you up a treat based on your tastes.
However, if you fancy trying something a little different, we suggest the Lava Hawthorn: Bacardi, lavender honey water, red date hawthorn syrup and sweet vermouth.
Are you licking your lips?
Address: 9, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Price: Average US$10 (MYR40) Dress code: Casual cocktail soiree Botak Liquor A post shared by botakliquor (@botakliquorbar) on Oct 20, 2017 at 2:25am PDT
Embodying the modern fresh-ingredients ethos, Botak Liquor prides itself on the concept of farm-to-glass.
Each of the botanical ingredients is collected straight from the farm and brought to the bar for patrons to sample.
One of the most impressive cocktails which also perfectly illustrates the focus on botanical ingredients in the Limau purtu and carrot cocktail.
Offering sippers sublime tastes by infusing pineapple pisco, kaffir lime, carrot juice and house-made Botak hot sauce.
Likened to a fruity and delicious tom yum, without the seafood.
If you want something a little more traditional, but with the same herbivore approach, try the sweet pea and elderflower cocktail – unaged whiskey, sweet peas, organic elderflower cordial and lemon.
Even if you’re not a drinker, head along with the beautiful décor of draping flora and handmade benches.
Address: 156 Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, 50000 Price: Average US$10 (MYR40) Dress code: Casual and airy PS150 A post shared by jasonteezy (@jasonteezy) on May 23, 2017 at 7:53pm PDT
If you’re a cocktail buff and want to further expand your knowledge, head to PS150, a cocktail tavern hidden in the middle of a Toy Shop – not very PG right?
The bar is lit by red Chinese lanterns, lending it a sort of shabby-chic feel. While it’s not exactly a speakeasy bar as the luminous sign outside tells you where to go, it certainly does give off secretive and exclusive vibes, perfect for date night.
Moving out of out of the dimly- lit and aptly-named Opium Den, guests can experience the Tiki space in an open-air courtyard which is great for bigger groups.
If you’re looking for a fruity number, opt for the Lychee No.3 made up of London dry gin, lychee, ginger flower and lime.
Address: 156 Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, 50000 Price: Average US$10 (MYR40) Dress code: Casual and airy Three X Co A post shared by Three X Co (@three_x_co_bsc) on Apr 19, 2018 at 12:29am PDT
Now, this bar is as about as speakeasy as it gets.
But don’t worry, we are going to speak of it, to make it easy to find.
Three X Co can be found in another part of Bangsar Shopping Centre on the third floor next to pop-up barbershop, Othrs.
You’ll need to pull the wall panel next to it covered in Muhammad Ali posters to gain access – but that’s all part of the fun.
The dimly lit bar will transport you back to an era of great glamour with deep green walls, Chesterfield style sofas, and beautifully cut class.
We recommend trying the Three X Co’s take on a traditional Old Fashioned. Watch as your bartender mixes Kraken spiced rum, Malaysian gula Melaka – a sweetener made from coconut palm sugar – and chocolate bitters.
Address: Level 3, Bangsar Shopping Center, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, 59000
Price: Average US$15 (MYR60) Dress code: Smart and chic #BOOKINGS
Asia’s most refreshing long-term alternatives to Airbnb W.I.P A post shared by Whipped Into Place (@wipbangsar) on Mar 30, 2016 at 7:00pm PDT
Moving far away from speakeasy bars, but still in the same building as Three X Co, W.I.P (Whipped into shape), offers quest an uber-chilled atmosphere to sip a wide range of cocktails.
The restaurant and bar venue have just undergone an elegant facelift making the surroundings as Instagrammable as the divine cocktails.
Our favorite is the sugarcane sweetened strawberry mojito. The delicate berry is perfectly complemented with Cuban rum, fresh mint leaves and a squeeze of ripe lime.
But if you’re sweet enough and prefer something packing a punch, opt for the sophisticated apple martini. The blend of honeyed apple liquor and dry Vermouth makes for an irresistible drink.
The modern tentacle-like bar provides plenty of seating space and the outdoor areas make for the ideal place to dust off your dancing legs and groove to some funky beats.
Address: Lot G111, Ground Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandar Raya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Price: Average US$7 (MYR30) Dress code: Cool casual The post Fancy a tipple? Take a cocktail tour of Kuala Lumpur appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Here’s a ‘sticky’ hack to increase your passport’s lifespan

Posted by - April 12, 2018

RUNNING out of pages in your passport might not be exactly what you asked for, contrary to Drake’s claims.
Any frequent traveler will know that often a multitude of stamps are inked into passports to declare how long someone can stay in the country and for immigration officers to quickly identify the movements of a passenger.
#TRAVEL TRENDS
Let Buddha guide you through India Despite the travel-bragging rights passports give you, once all the pages are used up, there is nowhere to put visas. This ultimately means you’ll incur a hefty cost to get a brand spanking new one.
How do you solve this issue? According to Chris Chamberlin of Australian Business Traveller, the best way to make your passport last longer is by popping a few sticky notes inside the blank pages and simply asking for the immigration office to stamp elsewhere.
Most nations require at least one whole page to paste a visa into, but some countries request up to four blank pages.
“Some smile, some laugh and some say nothing at all, but whatever their approach, the interaction has always finished with their stamp being placed somewhere other than those valuable blank pages: typically, near other stamps to maximize space, which I always appreciate,” added Chamberlin.
Chamberlin reckons the polite sticky note trick has prolonged him from applying for a new passport for at least two years.
A post shared by Bootleg Potato (@bootlegpotato) on Apr 11, 2018 at 8:22am PDT
However, by absolutely no means should you ever write on the physical pages of your passport “even in pencil, because doing so could render your passport defaced and invalid if you encounter a particularly zealous immigration official” Chamberlin wrote.
Take that, Drake.
The post Here’s a ‘sticky’ hack to increase your passport’s lifespan appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Wild boar head, pet dog among weirdest items stolen from hotels

Posted by - March 27, 2018

IT IS usual to take a few freebies from a hotel room, a little shampoo bottle here and there and a handful of the yummy infused teas.
But would you be surprised if we told you grand pianos and wild boar heads were among the weirdest things stolen for hotels?
#TRAVEL TRENDS
Asia’s coolest capsule hotels This truly did happen in a UK hotel based in Birmingham. Staff at Hotel du Vin had to temporarily restrain an intoxicated guest after he was found trying to dismount a stuffed boar’s head from the wall.
“He was rather embarrassed and worse-for-wear,” Adam Thompson, a manager at the hotel told The Telegraph. “A few weeks later some of his friends came back and bought the object from us as a wedding present for him – we donated the money to charity.”
An inebriated hotel guest who meant no harm is one thing, but one couple staying in a former Forte Posthouse hotel had no “under the influence” excuses when it came to explaining their stealing incident.
It was reported that the couple had requested a room near the hotel’s carpark. They then proceeded to slip the entire room’s contents out of the window and into their car.
This included the bedding, curtains, kettle, and even the toilet seat.
But taking premeditated theft a step further was the men dressed in overalls who strolled into a Starwood Hotel and wheeled out the lobby’s grand piano, never to be seen again.
Talk about trusting an authority figure, or at least, those who appear to be.
In another particular case of “maybe we should have asked to see identification first”, a man managed to steal an entire marble fireplace from the well-known Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel.
A post shared by Universal Luxury (@universal.luxury) on Nov 29, 2015 at 2:23am PST
Perhaps the costliest steal on this list, however, is the US$300,000 Andy Warhol artwork which was stolen from Hong Kong’s W Hotel.
However, without a doubt, the saddest hotel theft was revealed through a survey by Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine which stated a little pet dog belonging to the hotel owner was stolen from a UK property.
A post shared by THEO (@theodoodlebear) on Dec 27, 2017 at 2:44pm PST
According to a survey by Hotels.com, Argentinians are the most likely to steal a souvenir from their hotel rooms as 73 percent said they would nab a “souvenir”, not including toiletries.
Trailing just slightly behind them are Singaporeans, Spanish, and Germans. However, Argentina’s South American neighbors up in Columbia feature low down on the list alongside Norway, South Korea, Hong Kong and Denmark.
While toiletries are there for the taking, you really need to be careful about unleashing your inhibitions as guests have been charged with theft for stealing what they may consider being gifts.
#HOTELS
Ever wondered what you’re allowed to take from a hotel room? A young couple from Japan were arrested for running off with bathrobes and an ashtray. And a woman in Nigeria was sentenced to three months in prison for stealing two towels from the Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel.
Prison is an unlikely penalty to pay for your petty hotel theft, but the charges will ultimately end up on your credit card.
So, you’re probably better off just heading down to your local home store and grabbing a bargain there.
Would you dare take a “gift” from your hotel room?
The post Wild boar head, pet dog among weirdest items stolen from hotels appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

How Qantas ensures comfort on world’s longest flight

Posted by - March 26, 2018

THE world’s first direct flight between Australia and the UK happened over the weekend.
The inaugural QF9 flight took off from Perth Airport on Saturday night and landed in London on Sunday morning, which makes it one of the longest flights in the world at 17 hours and 20 minutes.
The Boeing Dreamliner had four pilots on its maiden flight, with one of them being Captain Lisa Norman.
The inaugural #QF9 has arrived in London. pic.twitter.com/yqRdv1V8Bt
— Qantas (@Qantas) March 25, 2018
The successful flight has left many business travelers and frequent flyers rejoicing at the thought of no more horribly long stopovers. It also sets a precedent for what the future of air travel could have in store.
The routine duties of the cabin crew had to be changed slightly for this flight as the normal Qantas tagline of “A sleep, a meal, a movie and you’re there” isn’t going to quite cut it for this 17-hour journey.
How has Qantas made sure the passengers on this new route are comfortable? Qantas teamed up with in-house industrial designer David Caon and the airline’s chef partner, Neil Perry of the Rockpool Dining Group.
They have also enlisted the help of Professor Steve Simpson and his team from the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney who study chronic disease and metabolism.
#TRAVEL TRENDS
Why you should get a job in the travel, tourism sector Sound a bit extreme? Well, it’s all necessary as digestion has a huge role to play in deciding whether your flight will be a comfortable or stomach-churning experience.
“Our research project with Qantas includes strategies to counteract jet lag, including onboard exercise and movement, menu design and service timing, pre- and post-flight preparation, transit lounge wellness concepts and the cabin environment, including lighting and temperature,” Professor Simpson told Travel and Leisure.
On top of this, Qantas also issued a pre-departure email to their passengers which were full of tips for staving off jetlag.
These include keeping hydrated, doing some physical activities, and eating and sleeping according to the destination time zone.
History made. We’ve arrived on the first nonstop flight from Australia to the UK. 17 hours flew by! @Qantas @sunriseon7 pic.twitter.com/xfKweGcMmd
— Matt Tinney (@Matt_Tinney) March 25, 2018
The new Dreamliner also has an improved air-circulation filtration system known as HEPA which lowers your risk of contracting a cold or any other vacation-spoiling virus.
When it comes to screen time, the headrest televisions have gotten a little bigger too. Those in first class can enjoy 16 inches of high-definition TV, while those in premium economy and economy will have 13.3-inch and 12-inch monitors respectively.
All of which are stocked up with over 1,500 entertainment options, from movies to TV shows, music, games and more.
This aircraft also has two self-service bars onboard to keep flyers hydrated and full between the served meals.
Each is stocked with healthy snacks such as kale chips, crudité, and refreshing infused teas.
Self Serve pantry by rear galley. A very popular inflight meeting place for all! #QF9 @Qantas pic.twitter.com/wNZg8PhAs9
— Wayne Kwong (@waynewykwong) March 25, 2018
The new Dreamliners, of course, have the latest aviation technology to make things easier for pilots as well as ensuring passenger comfort and safety.
This includes Smooth Ride Technology which allows the aircraft to detect oncoming turbulence and automatically adjust wing control surfaces to counter the annoying bumps.
#TRAVEL TECH
Get ready for a new kind of in-flight entertainment Lastly, Qantas has proved how much they value customer experience over making money as they have only fitted 236 passenger seats in the aircraft which can hold up to as many as 335.
There are 42 in business class, 28 in premium economy and 166 in the economy cabin. But no matter which cabin you’re flying in, you will notice the extra room.
The reviews of #QF9 from Perth to London are in.
Counting down until the inaugural #QF10 from London to Perth takes off. pic.twitter.com/9uOVjesRAG
— Qantas (@Qantas) March 25, 2018
With Qantas’ “Project Sunrise” very much in full flight, the prospect of even longer non-stop flights from Sydney to Capetown, London, New York and Rio it’s essential that Qantas continues to learn and develop ways to ensure customer satisfaction.
But we think they’re already off to a flying start.
The post How Qantas ensures comfort on world’s longest flight appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Ever wondered what you’re allowed to take from a hotel room?

Posted by - March 26, 2018

A STRANGE sense of kleptomania overcomes a lot of people when staying at a hotel.
Quietening your inner conscious as you debate whether to take the yucca plant from the corner of the room. Hoping that the housekeeping won’t judge you as you stuff as many complimentary toiletries as your toiletry bag can hold.
#TRAVEL TRENDS
Why you should get a job in the travel, tourism sector But what exactly are you allowed to take? The snuggly robes, chic slippers, all the exotic teabags, the memo-pad and branded pen?
Perhaps you plan on doing a “Chandler and Ross” and keep on requesting stuff you don’t need, just because, well, it’s complimentary?

Of course, the mini shampoo bottles and shower caps are yours for the taking. But did you know there is, in fact, an etiquette when it comes to hotel room freebies?
According to Isabelle Pinson, Vice President of Hotels.com, “the general rule is that small, consumable products like toiletries and stationary are yours to take and use as you’d like.”
A post shared by ikurangi rarotonga (@ikurangi_eco_retreat) on Mar 10, 2017 at 11:25am PST
This is great news for those who forget to pack their shampoo and conditioner on a business trip or a short weekend getaway.
Most complimentary toiletries are perfectly compact in 100ml bottles – easily storable and unlikely to push your baggage over the weight limit.
A post shared by M E L I N A C O L L A Z O (@everything.bymel) on Aug 1, 2016 at 8:54am PDT
If you’re staying at a luxury hotel, you’ll be happy to know that branded toothbrushes, toothpaste, cotton pads, combs, earbuds, sleep masks and even emery boards are often included in the package.
If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel in Europe or America, you will have most likely found a Gideon International Bible stowed away in the top drawer of your bedside table, you’re actually allowed to take this home with you too.
A post shared by Terry Green (@turdphoenix) on Nov 19, 2016 at 1:56pm PST
So, where do hotels draw the line?
“Take the Bible, not the towels”, said Gideon International spokesperson, Woody Murray, when speaking to NBC News.
“Our statistics show one-quarter of all travelers will read the Bible in the hotel rooms and each Bible has the potential to reach 2,300 people over its six-year life expectancy.
Read away, share to your heart’s content and recite passages from the Bible, but God-forbid do not take the hotel towels.
According to a study conducted by The Telegraph 68 percent of hotel guests have admitted to taking towels home with them at least once.
A post shared by l a v i n n a (@find.be.lav) on Mar 18, 2018 at 7:07pm PDT
If you’re one of those people who just love a freebie then try to find an unattended housekeeping trolley in the corridor, grab what you can and inconspicuously stroll away. Most hotels are fine with you taking a little extra.
But if that extra is linen, bath towels, robes, batteries from remote controls, light bulbs, artworks or even pillows and duvets, you can expect it all to be charged to your credit card as soon as the hotel discovers what kleptomania has taken place.
#TRAVEL TECH
Get ready for a new kind of in-flight entertainment Plenty of hotels have onsite gift shops where you can purchase branded robes, fluffy towels and even the mattress because there is no way you can sneak a queen-sized bed out the door with you.
The post Ever wondered what you’re allowed to take from a hotel room? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.