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Travel

Kate Middleton and Prince William hate doing this when travelling – Prince Philip loves it

Kate Middleton and Prince William have enjoyed plenty of foreign travel over the years. As representatives of the Royal Family while away they meet a whole host of important figures from around the world. They also take part in all sorts of activities, from sporting games to black-tie dinners.

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It’s hard to think that the Duchess of Cambridge and her husband relish everything they come across during these visits.

Indeed, there’s one thing that Kate and William are not overly fond of.

Royal visits often involve trying alcohol from that country or region.

Not all types of booze are met with enthusiasm, though.

The Duke and Duchess are said to dislike drinking beer.

A source previously told the Mirror: “Neither Kate nor William is a big beer drinker.”

Instead of beer, Kate and William are understood to prefer wine.

During the couple’s Canadian tour in 2016, they headed to Mission Hill Winery, where they sampled some of the best alcohols on offer.

They admitted they “really enjoyed the Oculus” according to Graham Nordin, director of wine experience at Mission Hill Winery.

Kate and William explained that they were Merlot drinkers usually, meaning they often opt for red wine when travelling.

Their preferences contrast strongly to those of the Duke of Cambridge’s’s grandfather.

Prince Philip, 98, is a well-known beer lover.

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  • Prince Philip won’t do this with the Queen when he travels

While dining in Rome back in in 2000, he is said to have exclaimed: “Get me a beer.

“I don’t care what kind it is. Just get me a beer!” when he was offered fine Italian wine by former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s favourite beer brand is said to have been Boddingtons, a regional brewery in Manchester.

Unfortunately, the brewery ceased operations back in 2005.

Philip also favours Double Diamond Burton Pale Ale.

Prince Philip visited the home of Double Diamond at the Ind Coope and Samuel Allsopp brewhouse during a royal visit in December 1995.

To commemorate his visit, a special “Royal Diamond” beer was produced and sent to the palace.

Former royal footman Paul Burrell even claimed in his book A Royal Duty that Philip drank a small bottle nightly.

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Travel

FCO travel advice: When will FCO lift travel ban?

Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential international travel. At the beginning of the outbreak many British nationals were stuck abroad as the world’s airports began to shut down in response to the growing threat of coronavirus.

The FCO’s exceptional travel advisory notice reads: “As countries respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

“Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

“Many airlines have suspended flights and many airports are closed, preventing flights from leaving.”


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The travel advisory has been in place since March 17.

Travelling to another country while a travel advisory is out will invalidate all travel insurance claims.

When will the FCO lift travel bans?

Strictly speaking, travel advisories are not travel bans.

You cannot be prosecuted for travelling internationally – although you will not be able to obtain travel insurance.

Although many airlines have been forced to ground their fleets, some commercial flights have been running, and the Government repatriated stuck Britons earlier on in the crisis.

Flights will resume for many of the big providers soon, with Jet2, Easyjet and Ryanair all announcing plans to sell flights again in June.

Despite this, the advisory has not been lifted and the Government has not solidly indicated when this will happen.

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The Government said it is continuing to look at further options for international travel.

These include “air bridges” – agreements between countries with similar transmission rates to recognise the other nation’s passenger departure screening measures and remove the need for quarantine measures for incoming passengers.

The “air bridges” scheme was approved by the Government earlier this week.

However, none of these are set in stone and only essential travel is permitted.

The changes come as the summer holiday season grows closer, with some countries putting their own bans on Brits travelling to popular destinations due to the UK’s high death and infection rate.

Those who travel into the UK will soon have to quarantine for 14 days, in plans announced earlier this month.

Greece announced that once the country had opened up to international travel again, the UK is not among the 29 countries permitted to travel there.

Greece has so far had far fewer cases of coronavirus than the UK, with 2,906 confirmed cases and 175 deaths. The Greek islands, which rely heavily on tourism, have had no confirmed cases.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “As the world begins to emerge from what we hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look to the future and protect the British public by reducing the risk of cases crossing our border.

“We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave.”

UK arrivals from the Common Travel Area, including Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, will be exempt from the rule, alongside a very limited group of workers, including freight drivers and medical professionals.

Anyone else arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train would be required to provide border officials with an address where they will self isolate, and will be checked in on to make sure they are abiding by the rules.

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Travel

Mexico holidays: Cancun offering holidaymakers free hotels and meals as country reopens

Mexico holidays are normally much loved by Britons thanks to the sun, sea and sand on offer as well as fascinating history and taste cuisine. Sadly trips to the destination have not been possible for several months due to the coronavirus crisis. However, Mexican tourist hotpot Cancun is now eager to tempt visitors back.

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The resort is offering a brand new campaign to gift tourist with a number of freebies.

These range from free meals, theme park entry and hotel stays.

The private initiative will be officially launched on June 15 and involves more than 200 firms.

The new campaign revolves around the number two.

The hotels involved are offering two nights free for every two nights booked or a free stay for two children when two adults book.

A similar discount would apply to hire care rental.

This could see holidaymakers getting two days free for every four days they pay for.

According to local reports, offers for golf and spa services and theme park entry will also be included in the Mexico campaign.

Also expected to take part are tourist-orientated businesses in the resorts of Puerto Morelos and Tulum, as well as the Caribbean island of Isla Mujeres, eight miles off the coast from Cancun.

Three-quarters of those backing the campaign are hotels.

Roberto Cintron, President of the Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres Hotels Association, said: “We are very happy and above all, committed because of the great participation in this campaign of the different state hotel associations as well as the tourist industry generally.

“It’s designed to reactivate holidays to our destinations after the crisis caused by Covid-19.”

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Oliver Reinhart is CEO of Mexican firm Atelier de Hoteles which has luxury all-inclusive hotels in Cancun and Playa Mujeres.

He told local media: “In the face of this atypical situation, we had to react to maintain our spectacular destinations in the forefront of tourists’ minds.

“This is why we proposed the implementation of a disruptive idea and creation of a campaign of great impact.

“We are convinced the formula to reactivate tourism is working together.

Reinhart continued: “The campaign is not about cheating the destination to a two for one.

“Cancun is worth what it is.

“If it’s now available at a cheaper price take advantage of it because it’s not going to last forever.”

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Travel

Chinese airlines to operate more flights than US carriers in May

Chinese airlines have flown more passenger flights in a month than US carriers for the first time ever

  • Data shows Chinese airlines operated 200,000 flights from May 1 until May 27
  • This compares with fewer than 170,000 flights by carriers based in the U.S 
  • U.S operators remain 74% down as a result of the coronavirus crisis downturn 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

May 2020 will be the first-ever month in which Chinese airlines operate more passenger jet flights than their US counterparts.

Tracking data from Cirium shows from Friday, May 1, up to and including Wednesday, May 27, Chinese carriers completed nearly 200,000 flights with passenger-configured widebody, narrowbody and regional jet aircraft.

This compares with fewer than 170,000 flights in May by carriers based in the U.S.

A graph showing how Chinese airlines are currently operating more flights than U.S airlines 

Cirium said that China achieved this milestone ‘because its airlines have recovered to an activity level approximately 35 per cent below last year’.

It added that US operators remain 74 per cent down as a result of the collapse in passenger demand due to the coronavirus crisis.

Meanwhile, the global stored passenger aircraft fleet has declined slightly to just over 15,000, says Cirium, taking the overall proportion of inactive aircraft down a further percentage point to 57 per cent.

Yesterday, American Airlines revealed it would be cutting 30 per cent of its management and support staff in its latest belt-tightening move during the prolonged Covid-19 downturn. 

China’s airlines have recovered to an activity level approximately 35 per cent below last year

The big US carrier outlined a series of measures to reduce headcount throughout its operations in an email to staff that was released in a securities filing on Thursday.

American currently has a team of 17,000 people in management and support, meaning the actions planned will cut about 5,100 jobs.

The move follows statements from United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and other carriers that have signalled deep job cuts due to sinking air travel demand from coronavirus shutdowns.

American Airlines has revealed it will be cutting 30 per cent of its management and support staff in its latest belt-tightening move during the prolonged Covid-19 downturn

Meanwhile, aircraft maker Boeing, one of America’s largest manufacturers as well as its number one exporter, is cutting more than 12,000 U.S jobs.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices,’ said David Calhoun, CEO and president of Boeing, on Wednesday in a memo to employees.

The Chicago-based company said it would lay off 6,770 U.S employees this week, and another 5,520 workers are taking buyout offers to leave voluntarily in the coming weeks.

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Travel

Turkey holidays: When will Turkey allow UK tourists?

Turkey is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits, with beautiful beaches, warm weather and a range of sights to see. However, holidays have been put on hold this year as the world grapples with the spread of coronavirus.

Many countries are beginning to lift strict lockdown restrictions, and Turkey is starting to ease some measures.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday Turkey will lift restrictions on intercity travel and allow restaurants, cafes, parks and sports facilities to reopen from Monday, June 1.

Museums and beaches will also open from June 1, Mr Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting.

He said restrictions would remain in place on the movements of those aged over 65 and under 18.

Read More: Spain holidays: Ibiza issues new rule for tourists

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The virus has killed nearly 4,500 people in Turkey, with more than 160,000 infections.

The economy is expected to tip into recession as a result of the containment measures.

Mr Erdogan said in a televised address: “Under the new normal order, let us not neglect masks, distancing and hygiene.”

He said: “We don’t have the slightest doubt that we will make up for all our losses of the last 2-1/2 months in a short period of time.

“Let’s definitely wear masks out, maintain physical distance and pay attention to hygiene. These are three essential things for us.”

In early April, Turkey stopped all travel between 31 cities, including Istanbul, excluding transit passage and essential supplies.

The country then reduced the restrictions to 15 cities but they will end on June 1.

Among other easing measures, Turkey began operating intercity trains on Thursday after a two-month break.

Mosques will also begin allowing mass prayers from today, May 29.

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  • Spain holidays: Canary Islands demand tourists to take corona test

When can British tourists return to Turkey?

Despite Turkey beginning to reduce lockdown measures across the country, it may be a while yet until Brits can fly to the country.

British tourists are not expected to return until at least autumn, with domestic travellers the priority, according to local media.

This is due to fears of another outbreak, as well as making sure social distancing guidelines are being enforced.

Some restrictions may be in place when British tourists can return, with some holiday resorts across the country potentially requiring guests to prove they don’t have COVID-19 with health certificates.

As part of the fight against the deadly virus, hotels, airports and attractions will all be sterilised.

These locations will also be told to allow enough space for social distancing.

Other measures may include temperature checks at hotels and airports.

For anyone wanting to fly, the UK will be enforcing a 14-day quarantine on anyone entering the country, including British nationals, from next month.

On arriving into the UK, travellers will have to fill out a form and give details of any onward journeys and where they will be staying.

The Government may then contact travellers within those 14 days to ensure quarantine rules are being adhered to.

Current Government guidelines on international travel stipulate only essential journeys should take place.

This also applies to anyone looking to holiday in Britain, with the guidance stating: “Leaving your home – the place you live – to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes.”

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Travel

Spain holiday warning: Canary Islands demands tourists take coronavirus test before entry

The Canary Islands are a very popular holiday destination with Britons and tourists around the world. Usually, the islands are inundated with tourists each summer hoping to soak up some sun and sand. However, now the islands are insisting that foreign tourists – including Britons – have to take a COVID-19 test before they travel to the islands.

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The local government said the measure will be expensive.

However, the government has indicated that hoteliers and airlines might be willing to team up with the public sector to help pay the bill.

Vice-president of the Government of the Canary Islands and Minister of the Treasury, Román Rodríguez said people need to fly with the least possible risk.

He said: “We need people who get on the plane to do so with the least possible risk of infecting others or becoming infected.”

The Canary Islands emerged relatively unscathed from the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the globe.

The Canaries have only recorded 160 deaths since the crisis began.

Tourism chiefs have said that because of the country’s low death and case rates, they want the islands treated like a “world safety lab”.

They are also hoping that the Canaries will be one of the first regions open to tourists if Spain decides to opt for a phased basis.

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Mr Rodriguez said in a video call with the Spanish government that there needs to be measures in place for “air health security”.

He added that economic activity in the Canary Islands is highly dependent on air traffic and “we need that mobility to be safe.”

Mr Rodriguez also said that carrying out the tests was essential as using masks would not be enough.

He also said that removing middle seats on planes and social distancing is not possible economically.

The vice president considered that tests at source are technically possible and, although they are expensive right now, the private sector – hoteliers and airlines – would be interested in seeking coordination mechanisms with the public sector to make them possible.

He added: “If we reduce the risk of contagion, we will quickly regain people’s trust, which is the key to activating air mobility.”

So far, hoteliers have backed the move who have pointed out that 35 percent of the GDP in the Canaries is linked to tourism, as well as 70,000 jobs in hotels and apartments.

Because the Canary Islands are predominantly a tourist destination, Mr Rodriquez has asked the European Union to treat the Canaries differently when it comes to the distribution of resources.

Tenerife received the most visitors out of all the Canaries last year with almost six million visitors.

Gran Canaria came in second with 4.3 million holidaymakers last year.

The travel and tourism GDP amounted to 16 billion euros in the region in 2018.

The Canaries are just off the northwest coast of Africa, meaning that they are perfect for winter breaks.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot

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Travel

EasyJet to cut up to 30% of its staff

The UK’s biggest budget airline is to follow British Airways in cutting up to 30 per cent of its workforce.

As many as 4,500 of easyJet‘s estimated 15,000 staff could lose their jobs.

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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, easyJet says it does not expect passenger demand to return to 2019 levels until 2023.

The Luton-based airline plans to cut one-seventh of its planned fleet of Airbus jets, to 302 aircraft by the end of 2021.

But job cuts will be much deeper. In the next few days easyJet will begin consultations with unions on reducing staff numbers by up to 30 per cent, as well as improving productivity.

Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, said the airline would “optimise the network and our bases”.

He said: “We realise that these are very difficult times and we are having to consider very difficult decisions which will impact our people, but we want to protect as many jobs as we can for the long term.

“We remain focused on doing what is right for the company and its long-term health and success, following the swift action we have taken over the last three months to meet the challenges of the virus.”

While easyJet will resume flying on 15 June, on a small number of mainly domestic routes, the re-start is being hampered by government action – in particular the UK’s plan to quarantine all arriving passengers from 8 June, which has depleted demand for the summer.

However, the airline said: “Bookings for winter are well ahead of the equivalent point last year, which includes customers who are rebooking coronavirus-disrupted flights for later dates.”

Later this year easyJet was planning to celebrate its 25th year since Stelios Haji-Ioannou founded the carrier from a temporary building at Luton airport.

From a single route between Luton and Glasgow, easyJet grew to a pan-European giant carrying around 90 million passengers in 2019.

Its biggest hub is Gatwick. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have both said they may leave the Sussex airport.

The general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) has condemned the job cuts as “a real kick in the teeth”.

Brian Strutton said: “easyJet staff will be shocked at the scale of this announcement and only two days ago staff got a ‘good news’ message from their boss with no mention of job losses.”

“Those staff have taken pay cuts to keep the airline afloat and this is the treatment they get in return.”

“Given easyJet is a British company, the UK is its strongest market and it has had hundreds of millions in support from the UK taxpayer, I can safely say that we will need a lot of convincing that easyJet needs to make such dramatic cuts.

“Indeed, easyJet’s own projections, though on the pessimistic side, point to recovery by 2023, so this is a temporary problem that doesn’t need this ill-considered knee-jerk reaction.”

BA has already announced plans to cut 12,000 of its 42,000 staff, and to change the employment terms of remaining employees.

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How to avoid rental car pitfalls

Car rental is a ferociously competitive industry. I have just Googled “cheap car rental Palma airport” and have been offered a vehicle for just 27p per day through Do You Spain. Not bad for unlimited use of an asset that is worth £10,000 to explore the beautiful Island of Mallorca.

This deal is not quite as good as it seems. When I made a test booking for 1 August 2020, the price for 24 hours went up to £13. I must, though, pay €90 (£81) for a full tank of petrol, and even if the rental car staff are scrupulous about applying the right refund, it will be subject to a “Fuel Service Charge” of between €25 and €31 (£22-£28). So the cost has already roughly trebled. Oh, and there is an “excess” for any damage of up to €1,050 (£942) – while the car has insurance, I have to meet a huge potential bill.

Even if I am prepared to take this risk, I am warned: “You may need to purchase the supplier’s insurance on collection,” which will cost me €42 (£38). So the potential cost before I have driven an inch could be about six times the originally quoted sum, and around 300 times that fabled 27p.

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Two friends tried 84 Airbnb 'Online Experiences' in ONE WEEK

Laughter yoga in Lisbon, bounce and twerk in New Orleans and coffee fortune telling in New York: Two friends tried 84 Airbnb ‘Online Experiences’ in ONE WEEK

  • James Ware and David Windsor went globetrotting using Airbnb experiences
  • They recorded the sessions for posterity – and the footage is incredible 
  • Bounce & Twerk with MoJoe from New Orleans ‘was gloriously uplifting’ 
  • ‘The funniest of all had to be Laughter Yoga with Thomas Cock,’ said James

Two globetrotting friends proved that lockdown needn’t be a barrier to travelling the world.

Self-confessed travel-junkies James Ware, 28, and David Windsor, 33, both from London, wanted to ‘go on an adventure and liven up lockdown life’ and found a brilliant quarantine loophole – doing lots of Zoom-hosted Airbnb Online Experiences.

The pair realised they could use these to get their globetrotting fix – and things ‘escalated rapidly’. They ended up doing 84 in one week earlier this month, from laughter yoga with a practitioner in Lisbon to a coffee fortune-telling experience with a reader in New York.

Self-confessed travel-junkies James Ware and David Windsor wanted to ‘go on an adventure and liven up lockdown life’ and found a brilliant quarantine loophole – doing lots of Zoom-hosted Airbnb Online Experiences

James and David recorded the sessions for posterity – and the footage is incredible. Hilarious and fascinating.

James, a producer, told MailOnline Travel: ’David and I are both travel junkies, but obviously it’s impossible to get our globetrotting fix with the current situation. Then we tried one of these online experiences and were surprised by how exciting and connecting it was even over Zoom and things escalated really rapidly from there.’

There were many highlights.

James said: ‘Having my fortune told through the coffee stains left in my mug by Uluc, a Turkish legend with a gigantic teddy bear in his New York apartment, was particularly unforgettable. Zumba with an Olympian in Hawaii left me feeling so high I’m surprised it’s not illegal in most countries.

‘Getting to talk one-on-one to an Olympic Gold medallist, Chinese sailor Xu Lijia, was a real privilege and genuinely moving, she was super inspirational.

‘And Bounce & Twerk with MoJoe from New Orleans should have been beyond embarrassing but somehow was gloriously uplifting because she made us feel so welcome despite our wonky waist wiggling replacing her normal superstar clientele.

‘Also a noteworthy moment was the ending of the project. It felt like it was sure to be an anticlimax, but then our very last experience was songwriting in Nashville with Anne Buckle, who’s related to Johnny Cash. She just busted out an incredible song on the spot all about what we’d done that week, which just blew our minds.’ 

James said: ‘I now make such a high quality tiramisu that I’m awaiting my Italian citizenship’

JAMES AND DAVID’S 84 AIRBNB ONLINE EXPERIENCES 

Monday

1) How To Write A Book – Australia

2) Flamenco Fiesta – Seville

3) Writing Masterclass- USA

4) Workout With Paralympic Medalist – Colorado

5) Disappearing Hill Tour – Seattle

6) Astrology & Natal Charts – Barcelona

7) Natural Beauty Workshop – Milan

8) Drums Drums Drums – Puerto Rico

9) Chocolate Meditation – Mexico

10) Zumba In Paradise With Olympian – Hawaii

Tuesday

11) Magic Castle Magic – Japan

12) Wine making – Bulgaria

13) Yoga & Slow Living – Florence

14) Storytelling – Catalonia

15) Chocolate Volcanoes – Rome

16) Get In Shape With A Belgian Olympian – Belgium

17) Cow Sanctuary – USA

18) Charity Pancake Flipping – San Francisco

19) Drink & Draw – Lisbon

20) Yoghurt Making – USA

21) How To Spot Fake News – USA

22) Learn To Tango – Argentina

23) Fado Concert – Portugal

Wednesday

24) Soundbath Meditation – Singapore

25) Meet A Shark Expert – South Africa

26) Manga Cartoon Drawing – Japan

27) Chinatown Tour – London

28) Flamenco Guitar – Madrid

29) Children’s Book Author – NYC

30) Drag Queen Singalong- UK

31) Mime Masterclass – Paris

32) Trigger Therapy With Olympian – Memphis

33) Introduction To Tango – Buenos Aires

34) Make Sangria – Portugal

35) Turkish Coffee Fortune Telling- NYC

36) Drag Queen Dance Show – Lisbon

37) Collage Art – Australia

Thursday

38) Meditative Forest Bathing – Portugal

39) Pasta With Grandma – Italy

40) Photography Class – Barcelona

41) Rescue Goats – USA    

 

42) Wine Guru – Porto 

43) Sheep At Sunrise – New Zealand

44) Bounce & Twerk With Mojoe – New Orleans

45) Introduction To Mexican Cuisine – Mexico

46) Ideas For Authors – USA 

Friday

47) K-Pop Dancing – Seoul

48) Olympian Flag Bearer – Mozambique

49) Japanese Food Art – Japan

50) Pasta & Opera – Rome

51) Laughter Yoga – Lisbon

52) Cape Malay Curry – South Africa

53) Olympic Gold Medallist – UK

54) Espadrille Shoe Making – Barcelona

55) Magic World Record- UK

56) Calligraphy Class- USA

57) Caravaggio Tour – Rome

58) Tango Posture – Barcelona

59) Healing And Happiness – USA

60) Street Art Tour – Buenos Aires

61) Irish Dancing – Galway  

Saturday

62) Tiramisu World Champion – Italy

63) One Love Meditation – Japan

64) Storyboarding Explained – Russia

65) Flamenco Class – Spain

66) Cello Meditation – Amsterdam

67) Vibe Ride – Detroit

68) Wine Tasting – Paris

69) French Crepes – Nice

70) Day Of The Dead – Mexico

71) Bookmaking – California  

Sunday

72) Judo With World Champions – UK

73) Penguin Pro – South Africa

74) Sake Tasting – Japan

75) Champagne Sabering – Reims

76) Origami Class – Japan

77) Extreme Magic – Ukraine

78) Western Architecture – France

79) Salsa & Passion – Puerto Rico

80) Cat Yoga – Brooklyn

81) Cigar Guru – Miami

82) Meet Vincent Van Gogh – NYC

83) Acoustic Concert- Iceland

84) Songwriting – Nashville 

The funniest session was, appropriately, laughter yoga.

James continued: ‘The funniest of all had to be Laughter Yoga with Thomas Cock, his actual name, in Lisbon. Using different exercises, you laugh for over an hour. It was amazing how quickly fake laughter turned into the real deal and it felt so cathartic and positive afterwards. 

‘He had repeat customers who were doing their seventh session it was so entertaining and beneficial.

‘I also had the first day I’ve ever cried with laughter twice in one day. We had a goat tour in rural New York which, thanks to the world’s worst wifi connection, became more of an immersive animal comedy. Then later, a Mexican cookery teacher flat out refused to let us leave to our next session, so we were held digital captives in an online kidnapping, which was weirdly hilarious.’ 

‘Having my fortune told through the coffee stains left in my mug by Uluc, a Turkish legend with a gigantic teddy bear in his New York apartment, was particularly unforgettable,’ said James

‘We were lucky to meet so many extraordinary people,’ said James

The bounce and twerk session, James said, ‘should have been beyond embarrassing but somehow was gloriously uplifting’

The sessions, James revealed, changed him as a person.

He said: ‘It really inspired me meeting so many incredible people who do things they’re so passionate about. It also really reminded me how connected we all are across cultures and borders no matter what’s happening.’

What’s more, he’s now an expert something new.

James said: ‘Having been entrusted with the secrets of tiramisu by Silvia in Italy, who genuinely attended the Tiramisu World Cup (an event now high up my bucket list), I now make such a high quality tiramisu that I’m awaiting my Italian citizenship.’

Airbnb launched the virtual experiences on April 9, with 50 available. There are now over 200

The sessions, said James, reminded him ‘how connected we all are across cultures and borders no matter what’s happening’. But he wasn’t always able to take the expert advice on board, as this image shows

While the video James and David made is a wrap – their journey isn’t over yet.

James added: ‘We’ve made friends for life and already have been offered apartments to stay in in New York, a free wine lesson in Portugal, a free penguin tour in South Africa and a coffee with an Olympic Gold Medallist. We were lucky to meet so many extraordinary people.’

Airbnb launched the virtual experiences on April 9, with 50 available. There are now over 200.

Visit airbnb.com/online-experiences for more information. If you are interested in hosting an experience visit airbnb.com/onlinehost.

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When will international flights resume in Australia?

For Australians hoping to jet off abroad for a European summer or even a White Christmas, chances are you could be waiting a while yet.

But with a bit of luck, some countries closer to home may open for Aussie tourists by the end of the year, according to a Sydney tourism expert.

But don’t pack your bags just yet, because there is a big hurdle we need to clear first.

For Australians, predictions and time frames on when we will be able to travel overseas have been thrown around by industry leaders both here and around the world. But the bottom line is that international travel, and when it will resume remains in limbo and could be for some time.

Since the overseas travel ban came into place on March 25, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the government is not even considering holidays overseas while the virus continues to cause devastation around the world. It’s not even part of the three-stage COVID road map on the other side of the pandemic.

“After you take account of international tourists coming here, and Australians going overseas, that there is an import, net import factor, of just over $20 billion,” he said. “Now, that’s up for grabs for Australian domestic tourism operators.”

RELATED: When will overseas borders reopen?

Travel as we know it may never be the same again. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

HURDLE THAT WILL STOP OVERSEAS TRAVEL

Mr Morrison, along with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, have raised the idea of a trans-Tasman travel bubble between the two nations as the first overseas option for citizens and permanent residents in both countries.

But Dr David Beirman, a senior tourism lecturer from Sydney’s University of Technology, says the idea of travelling further than our own backyard relies on overcoming a hurdle that’s putting state premiers at odds.

“The closure of the borders in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania greatly restrict any meaningful recovery of tourism to those states,” Dr Beirman told news.com.au.

“Until the situation is resolved within Australia, real international travel will not be on the cards.”

Opening of the borders has been a contentious topic between state leaders, with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk standing her ground against the reopening of the ‘sunshine state’.

RELATED: NSW to allow regional holidays from June 1

Where the travel bubble might expand to for Australians includes Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa. Picture: AAP image, John Gass.Source:News Corp Australia

RELATED: Queensland slams NSW as ‘worst state’ amid plan to reopen borders

Last week, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian and Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced their states would be open for tourism from June 1. Tasmania’s premier Peter Gutwein, while keeping his borders firmly closed, has called for his counterparts to end their ‘one-upmanship’ around the issue of state border closures.

He revealed he had spoken to some state and territory leaders about borders but reiterated he would wait until at least July before making any decision on when and if Tasmania would reopen.

WHERE AUSTRALIANS WILL LIKELY TRAVEL TO FIRST

Despite domestic travel being included in the Morrison government’s three-stage road map to recovery, there was no information about when international travel will re-open.

But as part of our domestic tourism sector begins to reopen in the coming weeks, the return of local holidays raises hope that international jaunts won’t be much further behind

“Australia, New Zealand and most SW Pacific countries have (to date) been spared the worst of COVID-19,” Dr Beirman said.

“Quite frankly, until Australia sorts out its own unrestricted domestic tourism access this [travel bubble] won’t happen. I can certainly foresee that when travel does resume between

Australia and New Zealand (at the most optimistic towards the end of 2020) SW Pacific destinations including Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa could follow soon after.

“This would open up a range of SW pacific destinations dominated by the Australian & New Zealand market … Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands after that.”

Bad news for Aussies hoping to slip into Bali before the end of the year.Source:Supplied

FORGET YOUR BALI HOLIDAY OR A EUROPEAN SUMMER

But any hope of slipping into Bali before years end is looking unlikely, despite Indonesia pointing to October as a reopening date for foreign tourism.

“I think Australians wishing to travel to Bali, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia will be in for a longer wait,” Dr Beirman said.

“Singapore may be the first SE Asian destination to spread the welcome mat to Australians, but the Australian government may not necessarily make it easy for Aussies travelling there to return unless they agree to quarantine.

“Given the high rates of COVID-19 in the Americas and Europe, Australian tourism to these places is a long way off. How long will depend on whether a vaccine or a workable treatment for COVID-19 is found.

“The best case analysis for Australians would be limited international travel starting in late 2020 and gradually spreading during 2021. The worst case, is that we may well be grounded

for a year.”

Australia will need to sort their own border restrictions before allowing overseas travel.Source:Supplied

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL WILL NEVER LOOK THE SAME AGAIN

Previously, analysis from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says it will take years until long-haul travel recovered to levels seen before it was wiped out by the pandemic.

IATA CEO Alexandre de Junaic said it may take until 2023 for air travel to return to 2019 levels, however, he also said that by the end of 2020, the airline industry could be back to 50-55% capacity.

Dr Beirman says while the international time frame is still anyone’s guess, the world of travel as we know it will probably never look the same again.

“Cramming people like sardines in trains, boats, planes, hotels, events, tour groups, sporting events, shopping centres, attractions, casinos, clubs, conferences and conventions will be unacceptable for many people for some time to come,” he explained.

“It will be a challenge to convince business people that travel is the necessity it has traditionally been.

“International travel which was a luxury item up until the late 1960s may go back to that situation.

“It will be very difficult for travel and tourism to go back to the way things were before COVID-19.”

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