Flight Advice

A few flight attendants, pilots, shuttle drivers and those who fly frequently offer some experience based advice.

  • Don’t take shoes, off, or at least walk around the plane without them. You don’t know what other travellers have been walking through.
  • Planes are periodically cleaned, but the other passengers (and yourself) could be bringing anything into the plane. Treat all surfaces as unclean.
  • The special meals, kosher, gluten free …etc. Are almost always prepared just before the flight. And they are often the first served, if you find being first an advantage.
  • Food tastes different on a plane because of the low pressure, noise and the fact that the meal must be pre-prepared. Some airlines compensate by including more salt. Avoid eating too much of the airline food.
  • Know the emergency procedure. We never know how we will react in a crisis, or how others react. It helps if we can follow a procedure in a reflex manner.
  • The water on the planes is of dubious quality; this includes the tea and coffee. Bring an empty bottle and fill it up at the airport before leaving. Do drink water, because the flight will dehydrate you, but make sure it is clean.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks – the low air pressure and the bubbly drink will make you feel bloated.
  • Caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate you, more so in the dry plane conditions.
  • You are exposed to UV light through the cabin window, much like a sunny day. Wear sunscreen or draw the shades.
  • Do some leg exercises to help you circulation. The socks that prevent deep vein thrombosis are good if you travel frequently.
  • There are dress codes, but they are rarely enforces. As long as you are neat and tidy, and not showing flesh, there is very rarely an issue. The exception is if you are on an employee pass, where you are representing the company and are expected to look the part.
  • Find a way to adapt to your destination’s time zone ahead of time.
  • An old trick, but chewing gum or a throat lozenge makes it easier for your ears to re-pressurize during accent and decent.
  • Many airlines are looking at changing all flight entertainment so they it relies on Wi-Fi. If you don’t have a Wi-Fi device you will have little to do.
  • An airport shuttle solves almost all baggage and transport issues. Pre-book an airport shuttle and avoid the hassle and logistic planning at the beginning and end of you trip.
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What To Avoid

arirangtours

Don’t eat near a major tourist Site. These places will be expensive; you are paying for the view and location. A few of them have decent food, but the places the local frequent will be better food at a better price. North Korea tours won’t give you a choice- you eat where the tour eats. Some Japanese Package tours also choose the restaurant for you, but this can be an advantage- the package tours will get a group discount in return for providing regular customers, and the food will tend to be something that the tourists appreciate. Package tours will often use lesser known eateries rather than the tourist traps as

 

Don’t use Money Changers at the airport – the exchange rate and fees are too high. An ATM will get you a good deal, especially if it is linked to the same bank you have at home. Citibank operates in South Korea, so you can use a Citibank account from Australia. Find a card system without fees.

 

Don’t limit yourself to the same internet search engines. Search engines in your country will not give all the best results for a foreign country. And a foreign country will not always be in your language. But use different search engines for more results. And do look for suggestions from returning travellers.

 

Don’t compromise time to save money. You will only be on vacation for a few weeks or so. If you save $10.oo but have to walk for an hour, or wait for a connection, you are wasting vacation time. You probably aren’t coming back soon, so make use of the opportunities.

VARO GO – SYDNEY DAY TOURS

Try a walking tour of Sydney. Starting at Circular Quay, the train, bus and ferry station, you can see the Opera house and Harbour Bridge. It is only a short walk past the bridge to the Rocks area, where Sydney was first foundered. This is famous for its markets, art-works, eateries and historic buildings.

 

In the other direction from the Rocks, past the Opera house, are the Sydney Botanic Gardens.  Established 200 years ago the area was once home to a zoo and an exhibition area, but is now dedicated to gardens and some local animal wildlife.

 

Those individuals not comfortable exploring on their own can try a free tour. There are free walking tours starting at Town Hall Square at 10:30am and 2:30pm every day (just outside Town Hall Train station) and a free walking tour of the Rocks starting at 6pm outside Cadman’s cottage. Donations are welcomed.

 

Tired of walking?

The Red explorer bus is focused on Sydney site seeing. Including Circular Quay as part of its route it allows passengers to get on and off as many time as they like on a one or two day trip.

 

Take a day tour of Sydney to see the popular sites. Then try a little exploring on you own. The popular sites are popular for a reason, but there are always the lesser known cafes, museum, beaches and other sites that are worth a half day visit.

VARO GO – SYDNEY DAY TOUR PACKAGE DEALS

Sydney has many attractions that are popular with children.  Visiting some locations can allow you a discount at other attractions.

 

Luna Park

A part of Sydney Culture for many decades this is a classic old style amusement park with rides and entertainment.

 

iFLY Downunder.

Indoor skydiving. Don a flight suit and let your self be lifted by a cushion of air. Popular for all ages.

 

Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Australian wildlife in iconic locations.

 

IMAX

Sydney’s Darling Harbour has the world’s largest IMAX theatre. And the rest of darling Harbour’s attractions are a few minutes’ walk away.

 

PowerHouse Museum

This focuses on applied arts and sciences, with technology and historic exhibits. Its ever changing displays attract the creative and curious individuals.

 

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Everything from penguins to sharks and dugongs. With 6 million litres of water this is one of the largest displays of marine life in the world. Several tanks are built above the spectators; watch a String ray swim above you.

 

When travelling on Sundays the train, bus and ferries are capped at only $2.50 per person for the whole day.

 

Many locations are on the route followed by the Red Explored bus. Pay once and use the bus for a day or two.

TRAVEL ADVICE – MYTHS AND BAD ADVICE WE FOUND

 

  • Everything is cheaper duty Free – Duty is the extra tax included in the price. This tends to be fairly low, and is sometimes a percentage, sometimes a fixed charge. The fixed charge tax works to you advantage with very cheap items; cheap whisky goes from $15.oo to $10.oo, which is a reasonable saving. But expensive $50.oo alcohol only goes to $45.oo, which makes little difference. Duty free is more a tradition than a way to save money, but there are a few good buy from time to time. You might find better shopping opportunities at your overseas destination.
  • Street food is dangerous – Some food is dangerous because we are not use to the local water or bugs, but that problem is inherent to all travellers in the country and not just the food on the street. Occasionally some street food is risky, but if you eat what the locals eat you are reasonably safe. Don’t miss out on this great aspect of foreign cultures.
  • Guided tours are cheating – this varies with the destination. A guided tour is great if you want to get as many sites done as possible, want to avoid all the organizations, and have no idea about the place or culture. The tour organizers have experience and connections and tend to get good deals; you will get value for money. On the other hand it you are visiting an English speaking country, and enjoy planning details, you might do better staying at a youth hostel.
  • Booking rooms in advance – The last thing you want is to spend you first night overseas looking for somewhere to sleep. Booking in advance prevents this. Occasionally there are scams, and you might book a room that does not exist. But if you go with something recommended by the airline or travel agent you are pretty safe. You can always book for two nights and look for other accommodation when you get there.
  • Traveller’s cheques – these use to be essential, but have been superseded by ATMs, and international credit cards.
  • More clothes means less launder. True, but you will have to carry all those heavy clothes. It is easier to do the laundry. Have clothes for three days, and buy many pairs of disposable socks and underwear.
  • Don’t talk to strangers- It is no truer in most places than back home. Talking in public places is fairly safe; avoid shady deals away from the public eye. There may be cultural restrictions between men and women taking in some places, so check this in advance.
  • Youth Hostels are untidy/dirty. Hostels tend to be plain but clean; there are probably one or two bad ones somewhere. If you just want a place to sleep while seeing the sites these are a great option.

 

 

 

References

 

 

 

 

 

Travel in Japan – ODDITES

Heated seat in trains, restaurants and bathrooms. There are heaters for shoes.

Extremely Hygienic. Napkins and hot moist towels ate every opportunity.

Shoes taken off indoors, a habit that is slowly making its way to the west.

Tipping is almost unheard of, sometime insulting.

Genders roles are fairly rigid.

Punctuality. Trains leave on time, elevator doors close without warning. Just hurry to be there or you miss out.

By contrast with the punctuality, apparently business decisions involve great reflection. This is never inefficiency, but a reflection on the importance given each decision.

Everything makes the best use of space. Over 120 million people in a very small landmass, so everything is smaller or served double duty.

Most services are expensive, but having luggage shipped was relatively cheap.

Few public trash cans, which is odd to reconcile with the cleanliness of the country. Recycling is quite intricate.

Theft is a very rare thing. You won’t get valuable stolen. Crime is very rare. The odd theft is reported in the popular news, but usually it is some crazy fetish; nothing of value is stolen.

Taxis are expensive; trains are less expensive but a little better with a weekly pass. Train stations and diagrams often lack any symbols useful to foreign travellers.

Maps are different in Tokyo, especially for train stations. Instead of naming streets the maps name the blocks; the Japanese seem to have a different way of representing the world. Addresses are by district number, block number, and building number according to age. Streets are just the space between the block.

Japan is not multicultural. 98% of people are ethnic Japanese; most of the remainder are Korean and Chinese. In such a homogeneous society individuals are expected to understand the traditions and rules.

If you want to save money you need to do a lot of internet research beforehand.

To experience a very different culture talk to AriRang for Japan Tours.

 

Japan tours – Oddities

Heated seat in trains, restaurants and bathrooms. There are heaters for shoes.

Extremely Hygienic. Napkins and hot moist towels ate every opportunity.

Shoes taken off indoors, a habit that is slowly making its way to the west.

Tipping is almost unheard of, sometime insulting.

Genders roles are fairly rigid.

Punctuality. Trains leave on time, elevator doors close without warning. Just hurry to be there or you miss out.

By contrast with the punctuality, apparently business decisions involve great reflection. This is never inefficiency, but a reflection on the importance given each decision.

Everything makes the best use of space. Over 120 million people in a very small landmass, so everything is smaller or served double duty.

Most services are expensive, but having luggage shipped was relatively cheap.

Few public trash cans, which is odd to reconcile with the cleanliness of the country. Recycling is quite intricate.

Theft is a very rare thing. You won’t get valuable stolen. Crime is very rare. The odd theft is reported in the popular news, but usually it is some crazy fetish; nothing of value is stolen.

Taxis are expensive; trains are less expensive but a little better with a weekly pass. Train stations and diagrams often lack any symbols useful to foreign travellers.

Maps are different in Tokyo, especially for train stations. Instead of naming streets the maps name the blocks; the Japanese seem to have a different way of representing the world. Addresses are by district number, block number, and building number according to age. Streets are just the space between the block.

Japan is not multicultural. 98% of people are ethnic Japanese; most of the remainder are Korean and Chinese. In such a homogeneous society individuals are expected to understand the traditions and rules.

If you want to save money you need to do a lot of internet research beforehand.

To experience a very different culture talk to AriRang for Japan Tours.