Globetrooper News: Expeditions
Following the recent Ryanair and Monarch fiascos, it’s highly likely that you, a close friend or a family member will have been affected by the disruption caused by both airlines. I certainly do!
And as a keen traveller who takes several flights a year, I have been glued to the TV as more information surrounding both the Monarch Airline collapse and Ryanair administration blunder are brought to light!
If you didn’t already know, earlier this month, Monarch Airlines announced that they had no other option but to call in the administrators. Around about exactly the same time, budget airline Ryanair warned 315,000 passengers that their flights would be axed due to a major administration blunder!
I decided to take it upon myself to get the lowdown when it comes to establishing your cancelled flight compensation rights.
Can you claim compensation for your cancelled Ryanair flight?
Although thousands of passengers have missed out on dream holidays, important meetings and special events, Ryanair has assured all passengers affected by their blunder that they will be able to claim compensation. I even read in the news that a couple had missed their wedding day due to the blunder!
And this is how it will work.
If you are told that your short haul flight is cancelled less than 7 days before you travel, you can claim up to 250 euros per person. For medium haul flights that amount increases to 400 euros.
Can you claim compensation for your cancelled Monarch flight?
According to a reliable news source, an estimated 110,000 Monarch customers have already been flown home and the Government has promised to bring all stranded passengers back to the UK.
If your flight or package holiday was booked with First Aviation Ltd trading, as Monarch Airlines, on or before the 14th December 2016, your booking will be ATOL protected. This means that you will be able to claim compensation.
However, things might not be ‘plane’ sailing for every passenger as a statement on the Monarch website states that: “Customers who booked flights directly with Monarch Airlines from 15 December 2016 onwards are not ATOL protected and are not entitled to make a claim to the CAA.”
Obviously both fiascos have not been far from the media spotlight so no doubt there will be more revelations in the coming weeks – watch this space!
When it comes to travelling in the modern world, there are a lot of things to think about. The chaos of travel, confusion of new places, and excitement of exotic destinations can mean that we lose track of our stuff or even our whereabouts a little more often than we like to admit. Luckily, the new era of travel has brought with it a ton of new gadgets for the savvy traveler that help you keep your trip as enjoyable, and safe, as possible.
In this list, we’ll give you give of the best, and most useful, gadgets for folks on the go. Whether your dream destination is a crowded city square or a remote mountain village, these pieces of gear are sure to come in handy!
#1: SPOT Satellite Messenger
Even the most competent travelers find themselves in sticky situations sometimes. New locations often come with uncertainty – how many people will be there? Will there be phone service? Internet access? For hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts especially, many areas of interest hold no easy access to civilization if you break an ankle, forget how to use a compass, or simply want to brag about how many miles away from the nearest road you are.
For those who want to track where they’ve been, keep friends and family in the loop, and have instant access to help wherever they go, SPOT Satellite Messengers are the perfect option. Using satellite technology, users can send out messages to anyone they like to communicate where they are, how far they’ve gone, or that they need help. SPOT also allows the user to reach search and rescue services in case of an emergency – even when phone service is out of the question.
SPOT offers the best for traveler safety in remote regions all over the world – and this is one gadget you don’t want to pass up.
#2: Luci Light
This next gadget is a little less life-saving than the SPOT, but it’s just as cool. Those of us who backpack, couchsurf, or stay in hostels, are all too familiar with the struggle that is arriving at our destination in the dark and being completely, totally, blind. Mpowerd, maker of the Luci light, says no more!
The Luci light, which comes in several size and color varieties, is the solution to lack of light in shared space or outdoor space. The calming, mellow lights are solar powered, which means no money spent on batteries, no battles over outlets, and no extra weight in our bags. Even better, these little lights are inflatable and squish down flat for easy storage in a backpack, duffel, or purse.
#3: Solar Phone Charger
Traveling means long hours, long nights, and a seemingly miraculous lack of power outlets. And, as we mentioned above, those of us who share space while travelling know the power struggles that can ensue when there’s one more person on 5% battery than there are spots to charge. Whether you travel by bus, car, plane, or train, this next gadget will definitely come in handy – the solar powered phone charger.
These portable battery chargers from brands like Ruipu are the perfect solution to the war of the outlets. Available in several sizes and capacities, solar chargers offer USB ports for phone, laptop, and other accessory charging as needed – offering full charges to multiple devices at the same time. Add this one to the list of “social life savers”.
#4: Water Purifier Bottle
This next gadget is especially important for two types of travelers – those who spend time in the backcountry, and those who travel to regions without widespread access to clean water. While there are plenty of water filtration systems, iodine tablets, and UV purifiers available, none of them offer the ease and simplicity of the GRAYL water purifier bottle.
GRAYL bottles are designed for use anywhere – yes, anywhere. Not only do they filter bacteria, protozoa, and particulates, but they also filter to the viral level and get rid of heavy metals and other harmful chemicals. All you have to do is fill up the bottle and push on the lid – a process which takes less than 30 seconds – and you’re good to drink. This device isn’t just convenient, but literally life-saving. No traveler should be caught without a way to get clean water – why not do it with the ease and style of a purifier bottler?
#5: Portable Wash Bag
Alright, we’ll admit it, this last item probably isn’t completely necessary on every trip – but it nonetheless earned its spot on this list. When you’re camping, backpacking, road tripping, or pretty much any other type of travelling, personal hygiene becomes more of a luxury than a given. Showers often become less easy to find, dry shampoo gets used a little more often, and, of course, shirts get worn for a few more days than you might allow at home.
Luckily, there is a solution to the laundry debacle away from home – and it doesn’t involve expense coin-ops! Portable wash bags, like those made by Scrubba, are perfect for getting a machine-quality wash without spending the money or time at the laundromat. All you have to do is fill it with your clothes, water, and detergent, then rub. The washboard interior does the rest, and, once drained, you’ve got clean clothes for days.
These five gadgets are just a few of the great new tools out there for travelers of all types. Whether you’re a budget backpacker, resort-hopper, or business person on-the-go, there’s something out there for you to make your next travel experience a little bit simpler.
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favorite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for HikingMastery.com.
A good question? Or a ridiculous question? Either way you look at it, many are asking it. Why should we save the Rhino? What has he done that deserves saving? Why not save the child, our own kind? Save the bee. After all they do more good for the environment, right? Hey, save the good ole cockroach. He has some environmentally friendly properties.
And, they would all be very good causes, for sure. But, let us think on these other facts for a moment.
There roams the rhino, and you can find them in game reserves like Thanda Safari, and further afield. But, wherever you go, you will be made very aware of the plight of one of our big five.
Reasons to Save the Rhino
The Human Factor
The reason the rhino is about to go extinct is because of humans, so it stands to reason that we should be the ones who should save them. Yes, you cannot paint all humans with the same brush, not all of us had a hand in the demise of the rhino, but we all can do something about it.
The heavy poaching that is going on across the world, for the sole aim of selling the rhino’s horns on for so called medical gain, is pretty much the main culprit.
Environmentally Friendly Little Guy
And, yes, like the bee and the cockroach, the rhino has its place in the environment too. They are good conservationists, in that they ensure the plant growth does not overgrow. By doing their walk around, depositing their seed-dispersing dung, they are assisting with the growth of further flora across the land.
Providing for his fellow beasts
Ever watched how a rhino digs around in the dirt with its horn? Ever wondered what he was doing? Well, he is foraging, and because of that he brings up some healthy minerals, which later will be utilised by other animals. In addition, he has symbiotic relationships with other life, such as the Egret bird. The Egret is as essential to the rhino as the rhino is to the Egret. The bird picks off ticks from the rhino’s skin, which he would not have been able to reach; and the rhino provides food for the Egret.
Tourism is a big income booster for South Africa and the rhino is a big draw card. Many folk from across the waters, not to mention many a South African, haven’t seen a rhino, and if they don’t hurry, they might never. There are many places within South Africa where one can go on a safari to see the majestic rhino and other Big Five animals. A tour operator, like Safari.com specializes in such packages.
So, while, yes, their horns are worth a pretty penny, the rhinos, as living animals are also worth a lot to the economy.
How can you Help to Save the Rhino?
You may not think that, without following a protest or strike, that you are pretty useless in the predicament of our tough beast, but you would be wrong.
There are many ways to get the message across to the nation and the world as a whole that we need to save our previous rhino.
And, here’s how …
- 1. Spread the Word and Educate
The myth attached to the rhino horn is just that – a myth. But the Asians need to understand and believe that, or they will keep with their poaching. If we can convince the source that its complete bogus, then the actual poachers on this side will not have a reason to poach. No need for the horn – no reason to hunt. You can do this by petitioning and sending your voice to the powers that be in Asia.
- 2. De-horn the Rhino
Not a favourite of mine, but it would discourage the poachers from poaching. Well, to some extent, because you cannot actually remove the entire horn form the rhino’s head. You have to leave the root in, which, according to the Asians, is where all the goodness lies. So, if the poacher decides that its too much trouble to remove just a wee part of the horn, then we have stopped one killing, but there are others that just don’t care, and will slaughter even for this small piece.
- 3. Protect Protect Protect
Upping our game in the light of protecting the rhino requires manpower as well as better equipment. There are quite a few anti-poaching rangers, but not enough. The poachers have become quite smart in their endeavours to get into the game reserves as well as when and how they manage to get to the rhinos. But, with better more technologically advanced equipment and apparatus, we can protect our rhino more efficiently. This requires funds; so if you see a fundraiser for this effort, please contribute.
- 4. Raise the Fine and Jail Time
The fine and jail time is steep, but it needs to be higher, and more dissuadable, enough to make them really think a few times before pulling that trigger.
With your help, you can raise awareness and push harder for higher jail time.
As, you can see, with some effort and voice, one can make a difference to our darling rhinoceros. Every little bit counts, so choose your method and help keep the rhino in our game reserves and in the African wild.
Traveling to a new country can be both eye-opening and invigorating. It could be a business trip or a long-awaited vacation but there are some things that you should worry about. Regardless of the kind of trip you are taking, here are some tips to make your international travel easier, safer and more cost effective:
Health and Security
This is something that you cannot ignore. Before you travel to a different part of the world, ensure that you have checked with your doctor and have all the necessary vaccinations. You should also check with your insurance agent about the policies that can be applicable overseas. You might, in some cases, want to add some extra coverage. Further,
ü Have copies of your passport ready, in case you lose them.
ü Leave a copy of your passport back home. Consider keeping an electronic copy that can be accessed from anywhere and at any time.
ü Register with your embassy to make things easier when your safety could become a concern.
It takes some amount of time to adapt to the currency and exchange rates in a foreign country. It is better to be aware of the amount (in your currency) you are paying for and not walk into surprises. 1 euro might sound like a small amount however for an American traveler, it’s a bit over a dollar. Knowing the currency rate and the expenses will also help you prepare better for your overseas travel. On top of this, ensure:
ü That your credit card is valid in the foreign country.
ü You know where to get the best conversion rate (the money exchangers charging the lowest commissions).
ü Have local cash handy.
ü Check the country’s exit/entrance fees
Depending on the kind of overseas vacation you are planning, it is necessary that you have complete details of the itinerary. For instance, it is best to be sure where to go next or the timing of events you want to attend. Local research allows you to be prepared and you will always land on deals that save you money.
ü Get a guidebook / map
ü Download GPS data for online/offline navigation
ü Check out some blogs from travelers who have been to the place in the past
The smartphone has made our world a lot easier and convenient. It can be a savior in all kinds of situations, be it to find the hotel you booked or advise you on the best food restaurant around. Consequently, you must ensure that your gadgets are always in place.
ü Carry an international adapter. It will not only save your gadgets from voltage limitations but also allow you to charge anywhere.
ü Activate the roaming capability of your phone.
ü Download Viber Out for cheap international calling. The roaming charges on normal network calls can be too expensive to bear.
ü Make sure that your laptops and cameras are well protected.
Lastly, international travel is all about how open you are to opportunities. If you are able to adapt well, your vacation can be a great one. Research, knowledge and preparedness are the key to a successful and fun vacation.
You know what they say about most things, ‘if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail’ – and planning your summer holiday is no exception to the rule.
Before you set off on your next trip abroad, try not to get too distracted by sun hats and swimwear, and instead take some time to think practically, do your research and make a checklist of everything you might need ahead of catching your flight to ensure you have a fuss free journey with a relaxing break to follow.
Here is a list of five things to consider before going on your next holiday.
Sort your transport to and from the airport
Imagine your bags are packed and you’re about to leave the house when you suddenly realise you’ve forgotten to organise transport to the airport. You jump into your car and put the key into the ignition as a last resort, only to realise you haven’t actually organised any parking at the other end. Panic sets in. You wonder how you will make it on time. Avoid this sort of stress by planning well in advance.
With plenty of ways to travel, including train (which can be a bit cramped) and bus (not always running at the times you need them to), it can be hard to know which option is best for you, but arguably the most comfortable, convenient and cheapest way to travel is by driving your own car, which you can conveniently pick up again when you land. Most UK airports offer parking facilities, much like the airport parking at Manchester airport, which offers no hidden charges and guaranteed spaces, so opt for driving yourself, particularly if your flight is very early in the morning or late at night when public transport is sparse and can be difficult to organise. If you are jetting off on your next holiday from the Rainy City, check airport parking at Manchester Airport to ensure a fuss free start and end to your trip, wherever you are off to. Have a good one!
Passports and boarding passes
It seems obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many holidaymakers forget their return ticket to sun, sea and sand each year, with some ending up missing their flight, so make sure you pack your passport and boarding pass the night before.
It can be a good idea to invest in a travel pouch, where you can keep everything safely in one place. Alternatively, use the power of technology and download your boarding pass onto your phone – there’s no chance you’ll be leaving the house without that in a hurry.
Okay, so you want to bring straighteners, six pairs of shoes and twenty different outfits on a seven day holiday. But are you really going to need them all? Make sure you weigh your luggage before setting off to the airport to avoid extra charges on arrival and always leave a little extra space for those souvenirs, gifts, and keepsakes you’ll inevitably bring back with you on the way home.
Although it is much easier to make cash withdrawals abroad these days, it is always a good idea to change up some money in advance so you have a little stash on arrival. Do try to avoid changing up your money at the airport, though, as you are likely to incur lots of extra charges. The Post Office and Marks & Spencer are great alternatives to this.
Pack Your SPF
Once you have the admin aspect of your trip sussed, you can start to think ahead to your holiday, but having fun in the sun comes at a cost – and the most important item to remember to pack in your suitcase is sun cream. Invest in a good quality cream with a high SPF, and don’t forget – they each have an expiry date, so don’t just chuck the one you have leftover from last year into the bag. Invest in some more to avoid sun damage and pink limbs!
So there we have it. Five very important things to consider before heading off on your next trip.