We consulted two expert travelers to get their advice on everything there is to know about how to pack smartly for summer travel.
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Over 20 million people travel on cruises worldwide each year. From researching the ship to watching alcohol intake, here's how to stay safe on yours. (Photo: Getty Images)
Float your boat? Recall your favourite canal and river boat holidays. Photograph: Brigitte Merz/Getty ImagesAhoy! Bobbing about in boats on a canal or river holiday often means a laid-back, leisurely break. There’s time to take in the scenery, watch the wildlife and keep your eye out for towns and attractions to visit, plus restaurants and watering holes to savour. We’d love to hear about your favourites.So, take the plunge and let us know the how and why of what you enjoyed while out on the the water. We’re looking for trips in and around Europe, so save your waterworld UK stories for another occasion, please.*Foghorn alert: no cruises this time, thank you!Please supply website and price details as well as particularly memorable aspects of your trip.Send us your tips by filling in the form below, with as much detail as you can (including prices, etc) in around 100 words. We are sorry, but for legal reasons, you must be a UK resident to enter this competition.Photographs are welcome if they are high-quality and you are happy to share, but it is the text that our judges will consider. If you do send photographs please ensure you are the copyright holder.The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website and may also appear in print in Guardian Travel. The winner, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from UK.hotels.com.If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.Read the terms and conditionsCloses Tuesday 7 May 2019, 10am BST
Female cabin crew at a popular airline are being forced to wear heels unless they have a doctor’s note. Women who work as flight attendants for Norwegian Air are not allowed to wear flat shoes on the plane unless they have a medical letter. The company’s 22-page dress code document – which states that heels must be at least 2cm high – has come under fire.
A beach at Calais, France. Ticket sales are up 52% across the 13 ferry routes to Europe. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters Ferry services to Europe have reported a ticket sales rise of more than 50% as holidaymakers book summer breaks after Brexit was delayed. Holidaymakers had been warned of potential difficulties travelling to the continent, especially by car and ferry, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The decision to put Britain’s date of departure from the European Union back from 29 March to at least the end of May, and possibly 31 October, has unleashed a wave of ticket sales. Bookings on the Dover-Calais route have increased 55% on last year over the past seven days. Overall, there has been a 52% uplift in ticket sales across the 13 ferry routes between the UK and other European countries. Direct Ferries, which sells tickets across Channel ferry routes and operators, said there had been triple-digit percentage growth in bookings on some longer channel crossings, such as those linking the south of England with Brittany and Spain. “It’s been clear that customers have been holding back at the beginning of the year and the formal confirmation of the delay has opened the bow doors,” said Niall Walsh of Direct Ferries. “It’s evident that Brexit concerns and uncertainty have weighed on holidaymakers’ decisions. Now that the deadline has been put back, families have begun to plan and book in earnest.” In the week before the extension, bookings on some channel routes fell 20% year on year. Walsh said that in early 2019 there had been a significant rise in the number of short visits, believed to be panic shopping trips ahead of the original Brexit date of 29 March. Wine warehouses in Calais reported huge increases in shopper numbers and sales in the two months prior to the original deadline. The route to Dover had been the focus of no-deal fears, with Highways England having been expected to turn much of the M20 approaching Channel ports into a holding pen for queueing lorries. The Operation Brock emergency works were lifted last week, although a long steel barrier that was installed remains in place in case of future need. The government had warned drivers to pack spare food, fuel and water in the event of a disorderly Brexit, with delays anticipated due to new customs requirements. While the European commission and the UK confirmed that flights would still operate in the event of no-deal, there was confusion around insurance requirements for drivers holidaying abroad, as well as the need to buy international driving permits from post offices should Britain have exited the EU.
The historic Star Ferry crossing Hong Kong harbour. Photograph: BirdImages/GettySome public transport rides – like the Star Ferry in Hong Kong, the number 28 tram in Lisbon or many a mountain train journey – are famous for their views or the historic neighbourhoods they pass through. This week we want to hear about your favourite public transport journey, whether it be on a tram, bus, train (but no sleepers), ferry or cable car (no ski lifts).Tell us about the stunning scenery or famous sites you get to see along the way, plus brief details of where to get on and off, and a website if possible.Send us your tips by filling in the form below, with as much detail as you can (including prices, etc) in around 100 words. We are sorry, but for legal reasons, you must be a UK resident to enter this competition.Photographs are welcome if they are high-quality and you are happy to share, but it is the text that our judges will consider. If you do send photographs please ensure you are the copyright holder.The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website and may also appear in print in Guardian Travel. The winner, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from UK.hotels.com.If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.Read the terms and conditionsCloses Tuesday 23 April 2019, 10am BSTIf you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.
"We are both in good shape, we know our bodies and in turn, we know our limits," Kody Workman explained. "We had faith in each other and trust to pull this off and so we made the choice as a team to shoot it."
Strike a pose: visitors to Armathwaite Hall practise yoga with lemurs from Lake District wildlife park. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PAWe’ve had doga, goat yoga and anti-gravity yoga. Now lemurs have joined in the fun.A luxury hotel in the Lake District has added “lemoga” to its wellness programme, for yogis keen to do the downward dog with a Madagascan primate.Armathwaite Hall, a hotel and spa resort near Keswick, launched the sessions as one of its “meet the wildlife” wellness activities. And while celebrity yogis such as Khloé Kardashian haven’t yet caught on to the latest fitness craze, it is going down a storm in Cumbria.Richard Robinson, manager of the adjoining Lake District wildlife park, said the Madagascan animals – which look like a cat crossed with a squirrel and a dog – made ideal yoga partners.“When you watch lemurs they do some form of the poses naturally – that typical pose warming their bellies in the sunshine,” he said. “It seemed to be a really good combination to encourage people to have a go and spend time with a lemur.Getting the hands-on experience. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA“I don’t think you ever see an unhappy zookeeper. We spend all our time with animals. We know how it makes us feel and if we can give a little piece of that to people then great.”The Lake District may be miles from the wilds of Madagascar, where the ring-tailed lemurs originate, but the primates appear very much at home around humans – and naturals at yoga.Carolyn Graves, the owner of Armathwaite Hall, said the classes were designed to help guests beat the stress of city living: “Lemoga offers our guests the chance to feel at one with nature, at the same time joining in with the lemurs’ playtime.”
United Airlines is working with advocacy groups to train staff on LGBT workplace competency. Photograph: Nam Y Huh/APUnited Airlines is the first airline to offer a non-binary gender option for passengers booking flights. Customers can select M (male), F (female), U (undisclosed) or X (unspecified), to correspond with gender-neutral passports that are issued by some US states.Last year, the trade bodies Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association, which represent most of the largest airlines in the US, approved changes to booking procedures to include non-binary gender options. United is the first to adopt these new set of best-practice standards for carriers.United has also added Mx to its online dropdown menu of titles for those not wishing to indicate gender, and is working with advocacy groups The Trevor Project and Human Rights Campaign to train staff on preferred pronouns, LGBT workplace competency and other inclusivity initiatives.“United is determined to lead the industry in LGBT inclusivity, and we are so proud to be the first US airline to offer these inclusive booking options for our customers,” said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United. “Being acknowledged as the gender you identify with is part of treating everyone with dignity and respect,” said Beck Bailey, acting director of the workplace equality programme at Human Rights Campaign. > Being acknowledged as the gender you identify with is part of treating everyone with dignity and respect.> > Beck Bailey, Human Rights CampaignOregon was the first US state to approve the inclusion of the non-binary X gender indicator on ID cards, passports and driving licences in 2017, followed by Washington DC, New York, California, Maine, Minnesota, Arkansas and Colorado. The indicator is also recognised by the UN agency for air travel, the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Outside the US, citizens can obtain gender-neutral travel documents in Canada, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Ireland and Nepal. In 2018, Germany and Austria also approved intersex as a third gender, recognised under law for official documents.In February, Air New Zealand said it was exploring non-binary gender options and the Lufthansa Group, which owns Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines, said that implementation was under consideration. British Airways has also said it is working to change its booking platform to reflect gender self-identification.In the UK, many government organisations and businesses accept Mx as a title for non-binary people. However, UK passports do not currently recognise non-binary gender, as the High Court ruled against a bid for passports to have an X marker in June 2018. The decision was met with disappointment and anger from charities and activists, who continue to call for non-binary people to be recognised under law. In 2018, a government consultation gathered views from respondents on transgender issues as part of the reform of the Gender Recognition Act. However, it did not engage directly with calls for legal recognition of a third, or non-binary, gender.On 31 March, the annual International Transgender Day of Visibility will celebrate transgender people, while raising awareness of discrimination. Last year HSBC used the day to introduce the option to choose from an additional 10 titles, including Mx, Ind (individual), Misc (miscellaneous) and Mre (mystery).
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Drinking at 36,000ft. Photograph: NLN/Getty Images/iStockphoto Since commercial airlines took to the air, drinking and flying have tended to go hand in hand, with drink seeming to add to the pleasing sense of disembodiment at 36,000ft. But for how much longer? In the face of a rising tide of drink-fuelled violence and antisocial behaviour, highlighted by a boozy confrontation on a flight from Glasgow to Tenerife over the weekend that ended with one man badly injured, there are increasing calls for booze on flights and at airports to be restricted. The government is reviewing licensing laws at airports as part of a broad rethink of aviation policy. It has yet to report, but World Duty Free has pre-empted any official announcement with its own initiative – selling duty-free booze only in sealed bags that, in theory, cannot easily be opened on the plane. Rob Griggs, a spokesman for Airlines UK, welcomes the move, but thinks more will be needed. “Our priority is airside licensing,” he says. “The establishments that sell alcohol should be subject to the same licensing conditions as elsewhere.” It would then be up to the local authority, rather than the airport, to decide whether the 5am pint was acceptable. Suzannah Robin, an alcohol and drug specialist at AlcoDigital, accepts Griggs’ argument that most drinking is done in the terminal rather than on the plane, and advocates breathalysing passengers who display signs of intoxication before they board. She says the Civil Aviation Authority has to take the lead. “They dictate that it’s illegal to be drunk on board an aircraft. They now need to establish what being drunk means and to have a fixed number. In the same way as you have a drink-drive limit, you would have a passenger limit, and as an authority they need to enforce the airport having a method of checking passengers before they board an aircraft.” She doubts whether the relationship between booze and flying will ever be broken completely. “I’d be surprised if drinking was ever banned on flights,” she says. “The events that happen obviously become very well known very quickly because of social media, but it is a tiny percentage of the population that cause these issues. The airlines benefit because they sell alcohol on board; the airports benefit because they have establishments selling alcohol within their terminals; I can’t see them wanting to back down. You’re asking an entire nation to change what they do when they go on holiday because of the behaviour of a tiny minority. Being able to manage it would be better.”
"It was so mortifying," she says. "I was so upset and they could clearly see that yet they continued to note how inappropriate and offensive I was. I was really close to crying."
The Bab Bou Jeloud or Blue Gate at the medina of Fez, Morocco. Photograph: Xavier Arnau/Getty Images Though only a short flight away, Morocco feels like a long way from Europe, with cities, culture and landscapes that are fascinatingly exotic. We’d love to hear about your highlights of independent travel in Morocco, whether you’ve enjoyed cosmopolitan Casablanca, beautiful Fez, the breezy Atlantic coast or one of the country’s four mountain ranges. Tell us about your discoveries, including details of exact locations and any websites and helpful information for visitors. Try to keep your tip to 100 words. You must be a UK resident to enter this competition. Photographs are welcome if they are high quality and you are happy to share, but it is the text that our judges will consider. If you do send photographs please ensure you are the copyright holder. The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website and may also appear in print in Guardian Travel. The winner, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from UK.hotels.com. Online Form - Readers' travel tips - highlights of Morocco Powered by Formstack "> If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here. Read the terms and conditions Closes Tuesday 19 March 2019, 10am GMT