How to spot fake reviews on travel websites

Kazakhstan and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Borat’s back and he’s… kind of racist

Mugaritz, Spain: I spent $1500 on lunch, and it was the weirdest meal of my life

My travel dream: Author and actor William McInnes

Mt Taranaki from the Pouakai tarns, South Island, New Zealand. Photo: iStock MY ONE DREAM DESTINATION IS STILL … Japan. It’s got great food and beer. It’s sort of familiar and impenetrable at the same time. People there are astonishingly polite and generous and yet impenetrable. It’s also the home of Gigantor the Space Age […]

Myth or reality? We fact-check HBO’s ‘The Flight Attendant’ with real flight attendants

Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant Photo: Phil Caruso HBO Max’s new miniseries “The Flight Attendant” has all the trappings of a good pandemic TV binge: good-looking cast; anxiety-spiking plot line; travel scenes that pull at your heart strings. The show is a welcome escape, particularly if you miss the sights and sounds of flying […]

New Year’s Eve traditions around the world: Six to try at home this year

In Ecuador and other parts of Central, South America, and Europe, New Year’s Eve heats up when midnight strikes. Photo: Sviatlana Lazarenka In years past, many people would travel over New Year’s Eve and immerse themselves in a different culture. Countries around the world ring in the new year with unique customs and traditions, often […]

Nine iconic streets around the world that need saving

An architectural impression of a revamped Arc de Triomphe in central Paris, which will be redesigned as part of a major overhaul of the famous Champs-Élysées. Photo: PCA-STREAM An architectural impression of a revamped Arc de Triomphe in central Paris, which will be redesigned as part of a major overhaul of the famous Champs-Élysées. Photo: […]

Pet hotels for dogs in Sydney and Melbourne: A long way from a kennel

Luxury bedding at The Pets Hotel, Port Melbourne. Feeling bad about leaving your pet behind when you head off on holiday? Relax. Make a reservation for them at your nearest pet resort – decked out with TVs, couches, and water play areas – and they may have a better break than you do. “Dogs really […]

Plane travel risks: Can you catch COVID-19 during a flight?

Sitting with strangers for several hours in a sealed aircraft cabin seems like an ideal breeding ground for the coronavirus. Photo: iStock As the world’s airline industry begins a long, slow recovery, millions of passengers are now flying every day. Does that pose a risk of catching COVID-19? While sitting with strangers possibly for several […]

Qantas vs Virgin Australia: Which frequent flyer program should you choose

Its business as usual for Qantas and Virgin Australia reward schemes. Photo: Brendon Thorne Qantas and Virgin Australia are locked in an arm wrestle for the other airline’s elite flyers, and the winner is Qantas and Virgin’s frequent flyers with gold status and above. Qantas fired the first shot at the end of November when […]

Should you eat on a plane?: US airlines bringing back inflight snacks and drinks

Most airlines have vastly limited or wholly suspended flight attendant service of food and drinks to reduce cabin interactions that could spread the virus. Photo: Getty In addition to halting most vacations in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has largely stripped away one of air travel’s few small pleasures: in-flight food and drink service. Since March, […]

Sudden Australian state lockdowns and border closures: What a coronavirus outbreak would mean for our summer holidays

A women walks past the giant pigeon statue in an empty Rundle Mall as lockdown restrictions were imposed in Adelaide. Photo: Kelly Barnes On 15 November SA Health, South Australia’s health department reported four new cases of COVID-19. The source of the infection was an Australian traveller returning from overseas and in hotel quarantine. In a […]

The annoying, shocking things I never thought I’d miss about travel

“You just have to go with it”: Travelling Vietnam by scooter is an adventure of all sorts. Photo: iStock “Oh my God,” Jess breathes behind me as I yank the handlebars to the right, the scooter’s thin tires hitting the verge by the side of the road, jolting us up and down as I squeeze […]

The death of the travel agent: Will 2021 be the year it happens?

Will travel agents survive 2021? Photo: Alamy The travel industry has been gutted by the pandemic. Bookings have fallen off a cliff, there’s no product to sell, confidence among travellers is shot and there’s no road map for a resumption of international travel. “Travel was the first industry to be affected by the pandemic and […]

The locations behind the screensavers on Apple and Microsoft: How this became the most-viewed photograph of all time

Look familiar? Charles O’Rear’s Californian hillside was beamed onto millions of computer screens in 2001. Photo: Charles O’Rear/Microsoft Chuck O’Rear was driving through California wine country to visit his girlfriend, as he did every Friday, and scanning for possible pictures for his stock-photo service, as always. “We just never know,” he and his business partner […]

The strange tale of Flight 19 – the mystery that sparked the Bermuda Triangle myth

Photograph of Torpedo Bomber #28, the lead plane of Flight 19, known as “Lost Squadron”, which vanished on December 5, 1945, off the coast of Florida. The airmen pictured in this June 26, 1945, photo at Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida, were not the men who disappeared with Flight 19. Photo: AP Language […]

Travel and COVID-19 pandemic: Eleven ways 2020 has ultimately improved travel for us all

The pandemic has caused more travellers to spend time outdoors. Photo: iStock The conventional wisdom is that 2020 has nearly destroyed travel. And though it’s true that covid-19 ruined our vacations and took a wrecking ball to a large part of the industry, the conventional wisdom is wrong. “Actually, the pandemic is making travel better […]

Travel in 2021: The highlights to look forward to

Head to MONA’s weird and wonderful Dark Mofo in Hobart this winter (if borders allow) After a monumentally frustrating year of disruption and disappointment, border closures and reopenings, cancellations and refunds, hope is one of the few commodities remaining for travellers. The global pandemic is far from over, as recent virus outbreaks at home have […]

Travel skills: 10 things you can learn while waiting for international travel to resume

Most travellers fancy themselves as photographers, but now is the time to take your snapping game to the next level. Photo: iStock So, you’re grounded right now. No international travel. Even crossing state borders seems dicey. You could spend this enforced layover wallowing in your own wanderlust-driven misery, which would be reasonable. Or, you could […]

What will 2021 look like for travel? Your questions answered

Waiting for the New Zealand bubble: Mount Taranaki. What a year (to forget) in travel. On the positive side, some of us did manage to squeeze in overseas trips just before you know what showed up and there have been cherished moments of domestic travel bliss for many of us between border closures, border reopenings, […]

Why COVID-19 won’t deter Australian travellers from visiting Melbourne

Melbourne laneways: Melbourne did it first and they’re awesome. Photo: iStock Dear Melbourne: we still love you. We still care. We still want to visit. It must have been a very strange few months in the southern capital, a feeling none of us outside the city could properly relate to. Friends might have told Melburnians […]

World’s 10 most incredibly cheesy towns you can’t help but love

View of Salzburg from the river Salzach. Photo: Tourismus Salzburg Some places that are outrageously touristy are just awful. The herds destroy any vestige of charm. But other places manage to throw themselves headlong into the cheesefest, go shamelessly kitsch, pull in huge numbers of visitors and still stay majorly appealing. And these 10 are […]