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Nine signs you're a good traveller - Travel_the_world

 

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You’ve learnt the basics of the language before you arrive
It’s a true wonder of the world that English is such a universal language.  Every tourist region has English-speaking staff.  This makes it so easy for us English-speaking tourists to get around. It also makes it so easy for us English-speaking tourists to take the English being spoken to us for granted and even have the audacity to get cranky and speak louder when someone doesn’t understand English (I’ve seen it happen over and over again).

When you’ve taken the effort to learn basic words in the native language of the place you’re visiting—words such as hello, thank you, goodbye, please, water, and you’re welcome—you are usually respected by the locals for it.  I’ll even go as far as saying that you’ll often find that for your effort they will go out of their way to help you.

You don’t travel with more luggage than you can manage on your own
In my blog ‘The worst type of travelling companions’ I called out everyone who over packs and then expects help from those unlucky to be in the vicinity when the bags need to be moved. 

In my travels, I’ll help out a first-time traveller who’s made the rookie error of too much luggage for them to handle alone.  But mate, if you’re travelling around the world and have three big bags, all I’m going to say to you is “God gave you two arms, not three,” as a nip up the stairs with my own bags.

You know when you’ve earned the luggage badge for good traveller, because this is when you’ll know what combination of luggage works for you and what doesn’t. For example, I love travelling with my big checked-in suitcase, a carry-on suitcase and a small handbag. My handbag goes over the shoulder and I use my two arms for my two cases.

You plan, but you’re flexible with the plan
I’m a real planner.  But, I’ve discovered that planning every minute for every day will mean that I miss out on the impromptu stuff that a city has to offer. 

A good traveller will arrive in a city with a hit-list of what they need to see, what they want to see, and then there’ll be spare time to ‘discover’.

I usually use discover time to browse the shops. Some people use this time to check out the pubs, museums, or any local sporting event. But the reason discover time is important is because I have also used it to discover and indulge in the hot springs in Rotorua, New Zealand; the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany; buy last-minute tickets to West End shows in London; and randomly meet local English-speaking Chinese in Beijing and go to dinner with them at their ‘local’.

You always take your own version of a first aid kit
As a good traveller you’ll travel with your own personal version of a first aid kit.  For me this includes tough strip band aids for blisters on my feet, sunscreen and after sun care, headache / migraine tablets, and antihistamines. 

You’re happy to ask for directions
Disclaimer here: I acknowledge that not knowing the way can lead to an adventure.  But, if I only have one day in a place, I can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll have a list of things I want to see. Don’t be above asking for directions.  It will get you taking with the locals and who knows, they may even give you a hot tip.

You quiz the locals about the best restaurants and bars
This is one that guidebooks don’t tell you. Chatting with the locals and quizzing them about the best places to eat and drink will get you in with the in-crowd. 

After checking in at your accommodation hit up the concierge or reception team and ask them where they go to eat.  Don’t be surprised or disillusioned if they try and direct you to the tourist spots, this is their default response.  You need to be persistent, tell them you’re asking for ‘their’ opinion and ask direct questions and for details.  Which restaurant on ABC Street? Which bar along the wharf? 

You’ll be enjoying the best the city has to offer without the crappy tourist food in no time.

You make the most of it – rain, hail or shine
Every traveller leaves hoping that they get sun, sun, and more sun.  However sometimes Mother Nature has a different idea and you end up with rain, rain, and maybe even sleet. 

The rain and the grey is probably not the vision of the city you had in mind.  But, don’t let this stop you.  Get out and get amongst it and get exploring. 

So what if you get a bit wet—are you the wicked witch of the west who’ll melt if you get wet?  The upside to the rain is your photos will look different to everyone else’s, and you’ll have great stories to tell of dashing from cover-to-cover as you attempt to stay dry.

You know the risks of not booking in advance and take the risk anyway
As I noted above, I love a good plan.  But, there is nothing like the spontaneity of booking that night’s accommodation while sitting in an airport waiting for your flight. 

However, beware.  While this might feel exhilarating and exciting, you’re walking a tightrope of bargain shopping or selling your first-born to be able to afford a bed. 

As someone who’s experienced both sides of the tightrope, I still occasionally find myself booking accommodation like this for the thrill of it but in doing so I’m well aware that this decision means I could very well be fleeced.

You take note of, and respect local customs
Local customs make travelling so interesting. Learning about how other people live, eat, and enjoy their spare time is fascinating.  Just like learning some key phrases before arriving in a non-English speaking city, learning about local customs and what is and isn’t appropriate will prevent you from faux pas. 

There are well-known customs such covering shoulders and knees when visiting churches in Europe and Asia, restraining from public displays of affection in India, but there are also little know customs such as leaving a little on your plate in China to show your host they gave you enough to eat that can go a long way to show respect for the city you’re visiting.

 
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Monthly check in: February 2017-Airport_News

Total

passengers
for the month

90,430

INCREASE


0.6%

February 2017 was slightly up on 2016, a significant achievement given February had an extra day due to the leap year. Comparing the first 28 days of the month, passengers were 4.8% higher in 2017. The blended average load factor for the major airlines for February was 74%


Total

passengers for the
year to date (FY)

843,697

INCREASE


6.5%

Year-on-year performance for all airlines and all destinations across the year is continuing to be strong, showing overall increase of 6.5%. Summer 2016/17 was a strong performer, supported by additional capacity entering the market by Virgin Australia, QantasLink, and FlyPelican.

Financial year-on-year comparison



Total passengers (arrivals / departures)









Monthly check in: January 2017-Airport_News

Total

passengers
for the month

108,606

INCREASE


12.7%

Records continue to tumble month-on-month at Newcastle Airport. For an airport to have double-digit growth in this climate is unparalleled. The solid numbers are a result of increased capacity being introduced into the market by all airlines for the summer period.The blended average load factor for the major airlines at Newcastle Airport for January was 73%


Total

passengers for the
year to date (FY)

753,268

INCREASE


6.9%

Year-on-year performance for all airlines and all destinations across the financial year increased 6.9%. A strong summer was supported by the additional capacity for the summer period which was greatly supported by our catchment. The 12 month rolling figures has increased to a further record of 1,228,897.

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Total passengers (arrivals / departures)










Blues Fest Byron Bay top 10 in the world- Travel_Tips


International music powerhouse Billboard has named Bluesfest among the best music festivals in the world.The Byron Bay Easter staple has come in at number 7 on Billboard's list of top musical festivals for 2016, and is the only Australian entry in the top 10.

Top billing for 2016 went to California's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with 579,000 attendees in six days and gross ticket revenue sales of more than US $78 million.

Bluesfest Byron Bay entered the list just after Lollapalooza Chile.

The Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm recorded in 2016 a total of 104,526 attendees in five days, with a total gross in ticket prices of more than US$13 million, according to Billboard.

After Byron Bay's Bluesfest, the list ends with Lollapalooza Argentina and Brazil in top 8 and 9, plus the Mexican Corona Capital Festival in tenth position.

Bluesfest has also been nominated in the 2016 Annual Pollstar Awards in the category of International Music Festival of the Year.

The Byron Bay event is nominated among Barclaycard British Summer Time Hyde Park (London, UK), Glastonbury Festival -(Pilton, UK) Lollapalooza Berlin (Germany), Primavera Sound (Barcelona, Spain) and Rock Werchter (Werchter, Belgium).

Bluesfest has been nominated for the award for the 5th year in a row, and the 7th time overall.

The 27th Bluesfest was held over the 2016 Easter long weekend, and featured headliners Kendrick Lamar, The National, Brian Wilson, Tom Jones, D'Angelo, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and many more. Bluesfest has been recognised alongside international festival heavyweights The Barclaycard British Summer Time Hyde Park (UK), The Glastonbury Festival (UK), Lollapalooza Berlin (Germany), Primavera Sound (Spain) and Rock Werchter (Belgium).

The 28th Annual Pollstar Awards will be held on Thursday, February 2, at The Novo in Los Angeles (Friday, February 3 in Australia).

The Pollstar Awards honour artists, management, talent buyers, venues, support services and more for their professionalism, achievements and abilities. Winners are determined by votes from agents, managers and promoters of concerts around the world.

The 28th Bluesfest will take place over the Easter long weekend from Thursday to Monday, April 13 to 17 and will features headliners Santana, Zac Brown Band, Patti Smith, Buddy Guy and Mary J. Blige, among others.

Flights from Newcastle to Ballina-Byron Bay Airport with FlyPelican starts from $99. 

*This article first appeared in the Northern Star 

Lots to celebrate at Newcastle Airport-Airport _News


It’s the time of year to celebrate the year that was, to make plans for the coming 12 months, and also to be grateful.

At Newcastle Airport we are doing all these things. We are celebrating a record passenger throughput for a calendar year, with 1,216,624 passengers having passed through our terminal in 2016, this is 5.5% more passengers than in 2015.

We are also celebrating key milestones: you can now fly directly to more destinations than you’ve ever been able to, we’ve had a slew of record months for passenger throughput, and we can connect you to 65 destinations around the globe with just one stop—and for many of these destinations your bags can be checked through to your final destination.

However, the real celebration for us is that we better served the needs of the people of the Hunter and Central Coast, and moved a little bit closer to being the Airport the region deserves. This means you have more time at your holiday, not wasting time getting there, leaving more time with loved ones. It also means attracting more businesses to the region and that current businesses can seek new markets, all without the need to battle Sydney traffic. Importantly it means more money being returned to our local community through our shareholders Port Stephens Council and Newcastle City Council; we’ve paid $8 million in dividends to the Councils since 2013.

This is however, only the start. The recently released Hunter Regional Plan 2036 confirms the place of Newcastle Airport as a significant piece of regional infrastructure. This high-quality plan has also set the challenge of establishing direct air links between our region and the world. We endorse and accept this challenge, we consider direct international air links to be a sign that as a region we are truly living up to our potential and cementing a bright future for coming generations.

Our plan to realise this potential is to harness the power of the people of the Hunter and Central Coast. We will be working with our airline partners to increase the number of flights to our current destinations, to add direct flights to even more destinations, and of course maintain cheap fares. For our part, we are going to provide better services for you at the Airport, with upgrades to WiFi, new terminal seating that offers device charge points, more car parks with a larger more comfortable courtesy bus, and other enhancements with the aim of making your journey through our terminal an easy and enjoyable experience.

If you continue to choose Newcastle Airport as you did in 2016, or even switch to using your own airport more often, then an increased number of flights and new direct destinations will come. Regarding that prized international destination, ‘bums on seats’ is the language airline executives understand. By flying through your airport, you are sending a message that you cannot be ignored forever. 

We are thankful for, and do not take for granted, the region in which we are located. From Somersby Falls in the south, through to the funky coffee shops in Newcastle, pristine beaches of Port Stephens, and the vines of the Hunter Valley there is something for everybody. The tourism potential of our region is boundless and we are honoured to work with all our partners to unlock this potential. We are also grateful for the support of all levels of government, including our local government shareholders and state government for its continuing support, including financial.

I would also like to thank the RAAF for the continuing productive and supportive way in which they allow us to share their airfield. Without the RAAF there would be no Newcastle Airport.

Finally, I’d like to thank the people of the Hunter and Central Coast. Both those who are our loyal customers and those who have tried us for the first time in 2016 and who are now converts to Newcastle Airport.

We have an exciting year planned and I look forward to welcoming you back to your airport in 2017. 

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