Fifty things we love about travel right now

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jun 21, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    It's always been great. We're talking Caipirinhas on the beach, adventures in the jungle and long nights on the dance floor. But the world's biggest party is about to get even bigger next year when Brazil hosts the FIFA World Cup. Prepare for an already soccer-mad country to go even madder when millions of fans turn up to join the fun. And is if that isn't enough, two years later, Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympics. Couple those two events with Brazil's rise as a world economic power and an increased focus on tourism, and there's never been a better time to visit. BG

    Comfortable, fast, reliable trains criss-cross Europe, Britain, the North American continent and some of Asia. Savvy travellers love how they go from the heart of one city to another, with no need to navigate traffic and airports. Trains give more scenic bang for your buck as well, providing a window to details you can't possibly see from 10,000 metres. And rail travel ticks all the boxes of modern, mindful travel. The transport sector emits one-quarter of all energy-based carbon dioxide worldwide, due mainly to road traffic. A recent report by the International Energy Agency noted rail produced less than 1 per cent of that, and while emissions from other modes have increased, those from trains haven't. Practicalities aside, we love the golden-era romance of rail, too. JJ

    Free wi-fi and iPod docks are so 30 seconds ago. Today's forward-thinking hotels have in-room iPads to book massages, adjust lighting and make dinner reservations; infrared sensors to alert housekeeping that you're in the room; and retinal scanners, or wireless radio-frequency identification data, to unlock your room on approach. Yotel in New York even has a robotic luggage handler. LS

    The arrival of low-cost Asian airlines, Middle Eastern carriers and increased competition on the US route has given us access to affordable airfares around the world, coupled with, until recently, a strong Australian dollar. Which means places such as Singapore, New Zealand and Bali (especially from Perth) have become short-break options. Within Australia, where domestic airfares have also plummeted, places such as the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Port Douglas and Tasmania are weekend destinations. RU

    The golden age of river cruising is nigh. Every major river-cruise company is building new ships, with Viking River Cruises topping the list at 10 this year alone. Ships now feature more space, more suites, better dining options and luxury hotel-style amenities. In addition, the range of itineraries is expanding, especially on Portugal's Douro River, Spain's Guadalquivir, numerous rivers in France, the Hudson and Mississippi in the US, and the Irrawaddy in Myanmar. Meanwhile, cruises along established rivers are offering more flexible, family-friendly options, themed tours and cruise-land combinations. Needless to say, it only takes one river cruise to get you hooked. BJ

    Spread love and affection with the instant, Polaroid-style pictures produced by the Fuji Instax mini 7s, a Teletubbies-style, moulded plastic miracle camera. In Third-World villages, the Instax mini transforms mere mortals into the Pied Piper. Credit card-size prints are expensive, but not if you buy from Amazon. MG

    Not so long ago, Tasmania was regarded as a cold, bleak place with spectacular countryside. During the past five years, it has emerged as a state renowned for its great produce, seasonal festivals, exciting new restaurants such as Garagistes, boutique wine, cider and whisky producers and glamour resorts such as Saffire. And, of course, there is the ground-breaking Museum of Old and New Art. WD

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