Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine: What to know

COVID 19 is the coronavirus caused by the virus SARS-Co V2 has quickly cornered all sides of the globe. Over 2 million people have died thus far from the virus that millions of people have contracted. Medical experts and researchers have been working tirelessly 24 hours 7 days a week to produce an effective safety vaccine that was ready for use by December 2020. This blog post takes an in-depth look at the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they work, how safe they are, and how to get one.

Which vaccines have approval?
Multiple vaccines are now available in different countries. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to approve the vaccines. To prove that they are safe and effective, they first need to pass through three phases of tests. Tens of thousands of participants are involved in phrase 3.
At the time of publishing this article, two vaccines have FDA approval in the U.S.:
• Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
• Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Developed in Germany, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received approval from the FDA in the form of an ‘Emergency use authorization’.

43,000 people were involved in a phase 3 trial with around half receiving a placebo and half receiving two doses of the vaccine, 21 days apart. The final results proved that the vaccine was 95% effective at protecting against the COVID-19 virus.
The vaccine developed in Cambridge, MA, Moderna, received approval for emergency use in the U.S. in December. 30,000 phase 3 trial volunteers received a placebo or two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart. The results indicated that the vaccine was 94% effective.

Other vaccines
Vaccines that have been approved for use in different countries:
• The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine (United Kingdom)
• Coronavac, developed by Sinovac (China)
• The Sputnik V vaccine (Russia)
• Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech (India)
The Novavax vaccine is in phase 3 trials as is Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine. Both vaccines were developed in the U.S.A.
Keep up-to-date with the latest developments using the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker.

Are the vaccines safe?
There are several approval trial stages before any of the vaccines can be approved by a country’s health authority. The FDA and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S.A. work hard for public safety. And vaccine trials involve an ever-growing number of volunteers. Phase 3 had tens of thousands of participants.
The exact long-term effects of any new medical vaccine are unknown in the early stages. It is key to balance the potential risks with the known dangers of developing COVID-19.
A patient who has had a COVID-19 vaccine injection may experience flu-like symptoms and other side effects like:
• pain at the injection site
• swelling at the injection site
• fatigue
• headache and muscle pain
• a fever
The body’s immune response is intensified after the second dose of the vaccine because the side effects may be worse.
The CDC did a great job by allowing participants to keep them informed about any side effects through a smartphone-based app called V-safe. This information is valuable to monitor the vaccine’s impact on the participants and assist the ongoing work towards safety.
The vaccine should only be dispensed from a licensed healthcare professional and must follow every guideline. Patients may get the vaccine from the local hospital, clinic, or pharmacy. If you have had a previous allergic reaction to vaccines, you will need to alert your healthcare worker before they administer the vaccine. If you have an immediate allergic reaction, see your doctor immediately.

Getting the vaccine
At the moment, vaccine doses are limited and for this reason, the vaccine will only be administered to healthcare workers, people aged 75 years and older and first responders. More people will receive the doses as it becomes available. The Vaccine is free and the government will distribute it to hospitals and clinics.

Types of COVID-19 vaccine
Researchers have used various approaches to developing different types of vaccine, including:
• whole virus vaccines
• recombinant protein subunit vaccines
• replication-incompetent vector vaccines
• nucleic acid vaccines
Let’s explore these types in more detail:

Whole virus vaccine
These are known as ‘inactivated’ or ‘weakened’ virus vaccines containing dead or inactivated forms of the virus. These vaccines do not contain live viruses and therefore cannot cause an infection. The manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccines are Sinovac, Bharat Biotec, and Wuhan Institute of Biological Products.

Recombinant protein subunit vaccine
This vaccine is designed to trigger the body’s strong immune response. The vaccine cannot cause an infection because it does not contain a live pathogen. Researchers are working hard to make a ‘Recombinant Protein Subunit Vaccine’ that targets the spike protein which the new coronavirus uses to latch onto and infect cells. Nanoparticle technology is being developed by a company called Novavax.

Replication-incompetent vector vaccine
This vaccine carries genes that the body can express to provide immunity. The vaccine produced by Astra Zeneca has been approved in several countries, is a replication-incompetent vector vaccine. A harmless, weakened adenovirus is used to provoke an immune response. The virus was discovered in chimpanzees and was then redesigned to be more suitable for humans. This type of virus which can be found in other vaccines also reacts with the body to produce a strong immune response. An Ebola vaccine got approval and may provide the basis for further development of other vaccines.

Nucleic acid vaccine
This is an mRNA-based vaccine that involves injecting genetic material called mRNA into live host cells. Each vaccine is manufactured to isolate a particular pathogen. In the COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA has information for manufacturing coronavirus spike protein. The vaccine initiates the immune system and the body produces antibodies to fight the virus. Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna have manufactured this vaccine. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are already available for use.

How do vaccines work?
Vaccines have a clever little trick up their sleeve. They influence the immune system to make antibodies to defend against diseases. In simpler terms – they make the body believe that it is already infected with the virus. And all of this is achieved without making the patient ill.

Once exposed to the vaccine, the body develops immunity to the disease. The body can fight off the infection such as the coronavirus if it occurs.
The immune system must remain stable and not be thrown into overdrive. The goal for researchers is to develop a vaccine that works without unwanted side effects. Safe vaccines are an absolute must for all patients especially those with pre-existing conditions such as allergies and diabetes, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and senior citizens.

Preventing infection?
While this vaccine is still in production, people need to take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe from COVID 19.
Follow these easy steps for reducing the risk of infection:
• Wear a face-mask in public
• Washing your hands with soap and water as often as you can – for up to 30 seconds
• Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
• Cover a sneeze or cough with a tissue or elbow
• Avoid touching your face
• Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces people frequently touch
• Avoid handshakes
• Stay away from sick people
• Maintain a 6 feet social distance
• Avoid crowds
• Be aware of symptoms like a high fever and a cough
If people need emergency care for COVID-19, call in advance to let the clinic or hospital know about their condition.
Follow these recommendations for anyone who may have been exposed to the virus:
• Contact a healthcare worker
• Keep track of your symptoms
• Isolate by staying away from others
• Seek emergency medical care
Some common COVID-19 symptoms include:
• High fever
• Persistent cough
• Loss or change of smell or taste
Throughout the world, COVID-19 has become a major health scare and challenge.
Medical scientists and governments are working hard to develop and administer vaccines and educate the public on other preventive measures.
The ultimate goal is for all people to have the COVID-19 vaccination. While waiting for the vaccine to become available, you should follow all guidelines from public health and medical experts.
So, now that you have discovered more safe ways to travel during COVID, you can now reserve your seat and book your flights to some amazing spots around the world. www.lowpriceflights.co.za
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When will Europe be open for travel?

People walking the streets of Europe

This is a developing story. For up-to-date information on Covid 19, visit the World Health Organisation during travel on Coronavirus. We can’t help but ask our selves during this time, how we will be able to travel to Europe where we can enjoy the long summers loitering along the Seine or busking in the Mediterranean. It was on March 17 that we realised the Coronavirus pandemic had gripped Europe, as European Union Leaders agreed to impose travel restrictions on most tourists entering. This list is being continually updated and the European Union has said countries not on the list are so because they have not brought Coronavirus under control. There are currently 10 countries on the list which are:

  • Rwanda
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand

(Morocco, Algeria, Serbia and Montenegro have since been removed.) It’s not a legally binding list. Nevertheless, there has already been some aberrance. Germany is only allowing certain countries on the list. However, there has been some exceptions to the European travel ban which include families, passengers in transit and students. Within Europe, internal borders have begun to open up on June 15, with certain rules and restrictions in place. Airlines have been left exposed to the maximum of the travel restrictions and have started to add flights to their international capacity. US airlines such as Delta, American and United plan to resume flights which will feature London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris. Below is a breakdown of how different European countries have decided to approach travel in Europe and beyond.

 

Take a coronavirus test if you want to travel to Croatia

Landscape image of the city in Croatia

A negative nasal swab test for Covid 19 is required in Croatia for all non-European tourists who enter Croatia as tourists, business travelers or as students, can travel freely. The test results must be no more than 48 hours old prior to arriving at the border. If you fail to provide a result, there is a mandatory 14 days of self-isolation at your own expense, which can be less if you take the Covid 19 test within 7 days of entering Croatia and pass with a negative test. The test costs around R3854 and you can expect a result within 1-2 days.

Croatia takes these self-quarantine measures very seriously with the Croatian heath department monitoring and enforcing the quarantine with individual fines of up to 8000 Croatian Kuna (about R20,100.00) and 120 000 Croatian Kuna (R300,000.00) for repeat offenders. Before arrival, tourists are advised to go online and fill in the travel form and they must provide proof of their hotel accommodation. Once the form is filled and sent, travelers will get a confirmation and instructions about rules and regulations for traveling within Croatia. The majority of airlines now require all passengers to wear a mask. But before that, check out Low Price Flights South Africa. There are no direct flights to Zagreb. But you can find cheap flights from Johannesburg to London.

 

France is welcoming travelers

City scape of Paris

From June 22, France eased all of its travel restrictions for those coming into the country from within Europe only. France opened its borders to inter-European travelers on June 15 and later to those coming from Spain on 22 June. EU members as well as those from Andorra, Liechtenstein, Vatican, Iceland, San Marino, Norway and Switzerland can now all enter France without restrictions. UK visitors have to undergo a 2 week quarantine. France made the decision that from July 1 it will open its doors to travelers from outside Europe as long as those countries have been granted access by the European Commission.

 

Tourists from those countries can enter France, book into hotels, enjoy the amenities and tourist sites throughout France. Face masks are now mandatory in some outdoor spaces in Paris as the Coronavirus cases experienced an uptick. It has now been declared that face masks are necessary for anyone of the age 11 and older using public transportation, in a taxi or enclosed public space. All museums and important landmarks that are open will require you to wear a mask even in cafés, bars and restaurants will open with these public measures in place. Only night clubs remain closed with cinemas and other entertainment venues have been allowed to open. Visiting France is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Paris.

 

Italy reopened to travelers on June 3

Florence with buildings

Italy became the earliest and first country to open its international and regional borders on the 3 June. This only applies to people arriving from European Union member countries within the Schengen Zone including the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The microstates and principalties of Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican are also added.

 

This new government decree has made a law for people who test positive for Covid 19 or have had close contact with a person who contracted the virus, will have to be held in quarantine for at least 2 weeks. It is very difficult for officials to determine exact details of how they would check or confirm tourist’s contacts. Thermal scanners will be used for temperature checks at Fiumicino and Ciampino airports on all passengers departing from Rome. Visiting Italy is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Rome.

 

The United Kingdom’s quarantine laws need not apply to all travelers

London Bridge

It is not recommended that you travel to the United Kingdom but it is also allowed. If you travel to the United Kingdom from one of the countries on the exempted list, you will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Travelers coming from nations that are not on the list have to follow the rules and abide to the 14-day quarantine rule that was placed on 8 June. The list of countries exempted includes Australia, , Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Vietnam, Finland, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Austria, Bermuda, Croatia and Cyprus. The list is being updated on a regular basis. Travelers from within the United Kingdom and Ireland are exempt as well the 14 British international colonies.

 

The British government has made it clear that the list could be updated at any time as the situation evolves. International visitors and British citizens returning home and tourists traveling from countries that are not on the list, must present UK Border Control with their phone number, address of where they will be staying whilst in the UK in self-isolation for two weeks. There are hefty fines for failure to self-isolate and could see fines of up to R21 458 and if you fail to provide correct details, this fine will go up to R68667. The UK government provided guidelines on a Coronavirus fact sheet from 4 of July as a guideline to businesses allowed to open as long as they follow the Covid 19 rules. This includes restaurants, pubs, museums, hotels, vacation rentals, cinemas, retail stores, galleries, theaters, and concert halls. Flying to Britain is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to London.

 

Germany has eased restrictions for some European countries

castle-Germany

If you were in Europe, you were allowed to travel to Germany from 16 June without restrictions. The only country that was exempted was Spain which had to wait till 22 June. Germany has eased its restrictions on travel for tourists coming from seven (Montenegro was dropped) of those countries: Australia, Thailand, Tunisia, New Zealand, Georgia, Canada, and Uruguay, based on European Union recommendations. Japan, China and South Korea now enjoy easier travels to Germany since they’ve been lifted, but expect reciprocal travel benefits. Flying to Germany is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Berlin.

 

Spain has reopened to European travelers

Barcelona

Spain is at the moment only allowing Spanish nationals, residents, visa holders and those people coming from European Schengen countries. Spouses, parents, descendents of Spanish nationals, essential workers, students, and passengers in transit are also being allowed to enter the country, as they are. Spain went into a state of emergency on 14 March and ended on 21 June bringing to an end the severe lockdown rules. However, Spa9n has seen a surge in the Coronavirus numbers. The Spanish government issued a law to make all people, 6 year and older, to wear a mask in all public spaces especially in areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. Flying to Spain is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Barcelona.

 

Greece to open to more travelers

oia-Greece

On 13 July the government was said to be evaluating on whether to open its borders to more travelers or not in the summer. Up until now, they have not made an official announcement. In early May, Greece slowly opened up its economy after almost six weeks of very tights lockdown restrictions which saw the banning of all movement across the country. On 15 June, the Prime Minister set into motion the official start of the Greek tourist season and since then countries with low rates of virus infection were allowed to enter.

 

A regularly updated list can be obtained through the Greek Tourism Board for all travelers coming into Greece by land, sea or air. Some changes have been made like on 15 July when all travelers are required to show their Covid 19 test results not more than 72 hours old. Passengers are told to fill in a Passenger Locator Form 24 hours before arriving into Greece. On this form they must provide detailed information on their departure, duration of stay and a Greek address. Flying to Greece is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Athens.

 

Portugal has reopened for travel

city-Portugal

Portugal went into a state of emergency on 14 March and ended its lockdown on 2 May. People can now get back to watching movies at the cinemas, theatres and shopping centres. At the moment, citizens from the European Union and even Lichtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and the United Kingdom can all enter by air according to Portuguese authorities. Passengers from the following countries will be allowed to enter: South Korea, Australia, Rwanda, Thailand, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Canada, China, Georgia, Tunisia and Uruguay.

 

Add to the eligibility of travelers from Portuguese-speaking countries or with large Portuguese communities like those you find in the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Venezuela and USA. Due to the ban of Europe by the US, only Portuguese citizens and family members can enter Portugal from the USA. Hotels and other tourist venues in Portugal displaying the blue and white label for doing their part of keeping clean and safe during this Covid 19 crisis are to be noted by tourists and visitors alike. Portugal reopened it 500 plus miles of coastline to some strict regulations. Flying to Portugal is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Lisbon.

 

And in other places in Europe…

Map of Europe

On 31 of August a travel ban to Sweden from non-European Union countries is set to end. Sweden does not require travelers to quarantine. If you travel from the European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland to Sweden, there are currently no restrictions. Denmark allows most countries from the European Union with the exception of Malta, Romania, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Bulgaria. Denmark is open to travelers from Georgia, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Japan, New Zealand and Uruguay.

 

Iceland has opened its borders to citizens countries outside the European Union that includes New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco  and Uruguay. Iceland has given travelers three options upon landing in Keflavik Airport; If they results are negative they may continue with their travels, or go for a 14 day quarantine or provide proof that you have tested negative for Covid 19 in the past 72 hours. Ireland requires passengers to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival as there are no travel restrictions. On 1 July, Malta opened its airports to international flights from Europe and welcoming all other destinations 2 weeks later. Turkey has lifted all of its Coronavirus restrictions on 12 June which means that international visitors can simply arrive and be subject to a medical screening.

So, now that you have discovered more safe places to travel to, you can now reserve your seat and book your flights to some amazing spots around the world.  www.lowpriceflights.co.za

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10 Weird places you should visit

most-beautiful-places-in-the-world-utah

Been there, seen that? Then maybe it’s time to consider visiting places that are not even on the tourist map. Now that’s a journey into the unknown and unexplored. For some that may be inviting and thrilling, going somewhere very few people have gone to. Something new for the bucket-list. It appears that all corners of the globe have had their fair share of happy snappers but when you dig a little deeper, there are some places that have not found their way onto Instagram as yet. Or are they just to bizarre for anyone’s liking. There’s nothing like a little mystery and mystique to get the adventurous traveler all strapped up ready to take in all of their surroundings while the trove of tourists revel elsewhere and that’s precisely the point. Take the time to get away from it all and sometimes just have the place all to yourself to relish in. But don’t discount the experience as this is not just another ferry ride. You’re unlikely to have all your senses engaged and redirecting electrical waves to brain like never before. We live in a very interesting planet and despite all our tech savviness, our planet Earth continues to slowly yield her secrets to us in her own time.

 

Salar De Uyuni – Explore The White Salt Bed

Salar-De-Uyuni

One of the most fascinating and visually appealing places is located in Potosí and Oruro, this is the world’s largest salt pan and one of the most provocative places in the world. When mother nature drizzles a thin layer of water on the surface it is also becomes the world’s largest natural mirror. The central Incahuasi Island is the best vantage point from which this space can be observed from.  Salar De Uyuni white salt beds are the remains of a prehistoric lake that has long dried off and in its wake left behind vast spaces of bright-white salt, rock formations and cacti-islands. These white salt beds are also home to largest flocks of beautiful pink flamingos that can be seen masticating in the water. The best time to visit Salar De Uyuni is from of July to October. You can get there by low price flights or take a train or bus to Uyuni and then take a hired vehicle to the salt flats.

 

Lake Natron – The Scariest Lake

Flamingo on Lake Natron

If you are looking for some weird places then try out this lake. Through a process of calcification, animals die here in this African lake by being turned into statues. Furthermore, the massive amount of sodium bicarbonate ensures they turn into mummies. The lake looks red in colour because of the high alkaline collection, especially during summer in Tanzania. Given this fact it is not surprising this is also known as the ‘Petrifying Lake’. These are very tough conditions to survive in and raise the young and in spite of all this, it is the grazing ground for the Lesser Flamingos. Best time to visit is from June to August. You can take a low price flight to Tanzania and book a guided tour of Rift Valley of which the lake is a part.

 

Die Rakotzbrück – Nature’s Ring 

Die Rakotzbrück

Under the weird places in the world, comes The Die Rakotzbruck bridge as another strange place. No matter where you see it from, the bridge and the reflection merges into a complete and perfect stone circle. It was constructed in the 19th century and is famed for its unique construction accuracy. This certainly creates one of the weirdest places in the world. We’re not sure why but maybe in the fog it may look eerie and hence, it’s been called the ‘Devil’s Bridge’. It appears that the bridge builders emphasized more on its aesthetics than its function. If you look closely you will notice that both the ends of the bridge have thin rock spires installed. This is to give it a more natural basalt columns look, which frequently occur in parts of Germany. Best time to visit is from May to September.
Fly with a low price flight to Dresden. Take a train to Gablenz from Dresden Hauptbahnhof, from here you can take a taxi to the Devil’s Bridge.

 

Spotted Lake Khiluk – Puddles Of Water 

Spotted-Lake-Khiluk

This is another one of those places that makes it onto one of the weirdest places in the world as spotted Lake Khiluk is the most mineralised lake in the world. The lake is dotted with 365 smaller pools organised in a strange mosaic-like pattern. Each of these separate pools holds a distinct and highly concentrated chemical content which is believed to cure different diseases which could make this place a centre for pilgrimage for the weary. Best time to visit is from April to October. Take a Low Price Flights to British Columbia and thereafter take a bus or train to Osoyoos.

 

Slope Point – Windy Spot

Slope Point

South island’s southernmost point is Slope point also making it on our list of weirdest places of this planet. The intense Antartic gusts have constantly blown over the forest here to permanently twist them making this on of the windiest places in the world. The rugged cliffs adds to the intensity of the landscape eroded by strong winds over time. This area the is well known for sheep farming with very little houses around. There is an unusual AA signpost which details the distances between the Equator (5140 km) and South Pole (4803 km). Best time to visit is from December to February. Take a Low Price Flight to Auckland and take a ferry to South Island.

 

Dead Vlei – The Beautiful Yet Dead Forest 

Namibia-Dead-Vlei

This unusual landscape is a sun baked and blackened dead forest in a white clay pan that has dried up ages ago. The name Dead Vlei literally means ‘Dead Marsh’. The struggle for life to succeed in this brutal tough environment is easy to see as roots of trees surface looking for moisture. This certainly adds to this place looking like one of the weirdest places of earth. The area is surrounded by everlasting rust-orange sand dunes that form a dramatic and towering backdrop with some dunes said to be the highest in the world. Best time to visit is from March to May. Take a low price flight to Namibia and take a bus or taxi to Namib-Naukluft Park.

 

Underwater Park – Fun Below The Water

Underwater Park

Our list is only complete when you add in some underwater attractions. Located in the Green Lake in Tragoess, is one of the most weirdest places on earth. This park is completely dry during most of the year except for in Spring when the park is completely flooded with water. This attracts many divers from around the world as it is considered one of the most fabulous waters to dive in. This is such a rare natural phenomenon in one of the most beautiful lakes in Austria. Best time to visit is from April to May. Take a low price flight to Vienna, then take a train to Bruck an der Mur using the OEBB. Take bus 175 that will get you to the lake.

 

Eternal Flame Falls – Nature’s Unique Phenomena

Eternal Flame Falls

Seeing this weird feature is truly believing that something like this can actually exist. This is one the craziest places in the world. The Eternal Flame Falls is located in Shale Creek Preserve, a section of the Chesnut Ridge Park in Western New York. A small opening at the base of the waterfall emits natural gas. It can be lit to produce a flame which is visible all year round. It can also be extinguished and re-lit again. Best time to visit is from April to October. Take a low price flight to New York and a train to Buffalo. Take a train or bus to Orchard Park where the falls are located.

 

Tunnel Of Love – Walk Amidst The Greenery

Tunnel Of Love

This a green leafy tunnel that seems right out of a fairy tale and belies its true nature that of a section of industrial railway in Ukraine. Its idyllic romantic nature appears to attract couples either for a morning or evening stroll. If you’re planning a romantic getaway, you might as well ditch the old dinner at the restaurant and book your trip to Ukraine. Ukraine is such a traveller’s gem, you won’t be disappointed with this country, especially with the natural beauty of the tunnel of love that will leave you astounded. Best time to visit is from May. Take a low price flight to Ukraine and take a bus or train to Rivne. At Rivne train station, you’ll be able to see the tunnel.

Christ Of The Abyss – Explore Underwater

Christ Of The Abyss

There’s a 2.5m statue of Jesus Christ which is under the water off the coast of Italy. It’s also a favourite place for divers and certainly one of the strangest places to visit. This submerged statue of Jesus Christ was built by Guido Galletti and rests in one of the best tourist spots in Italy. An statue by the same artist is located in the Mediterranean Sea, off Fruttuoso, between Camogli and Portofino. Best time to visit is from May to June.
Take a low price flight to Milan and a train to Genoa city. Take a taxi, bus, or another train to either Portofino or Camogli. Here you can book a diving tour to swim to see the Christ Of The Abyss.

So, now that you have discovered more places to travel to, you can now reserve your seat and book your flights to some amazing spots around the world.  www.lowpriceflights.co.za

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The ultimate guide to choosing an airline seat

Rows of economy seats on a plane

Economy seats on an Airbus A 380

Going on a long-haul flight can be an adventure in itself from choosing your seat, meal options, upgrades, airport lounges or just meeting someone different from some other part of the world seated right next to you. Airlines give you a fair choice when it comes to your meals and we all pretty know what we like or don’t like, making that an easy choice. But when it comes to choosing your seat from dozens and dozens of rows, that could be a daunting task especially if you’re new to flying. Reserving your seat is not always straight forward and the airline could change planes which changes the seat numbers and seating configuration. Or the airline’s ‘system’ may have decided to reallocate your chosen seat to another passenger. However, many airlines offer you the choice when you book on-line which may ensure you get your seat. So, which is the best seat from the economy, premium economy, business class or first class? This may be a matter of personal choice. We’ll break that down for you and help you choose the right seat for you and your budget.

 

Front, middle or rear of the aircraft?

Again, your own personal preferences may come into play here but on a widebody aircraft, you will generally find that the seats in front of the engine, usually in front of economy, are the quietest. The back of the cabin tends to be noisier due largely to the engine. Another advantage of starting out in front as this is where most airlines start their meal service so you will never run out of options like you would if you were in the back.

 

Aisle, middle or window seat?

In most cases, the middle seat is the least preferred with you having passengers on either side of you and this can be a bit bothersome should you need to get up and go to the restroom or just stretch your legs. The window seat is the best option if you’d like to get a little bit of sleep as you could lean against the curved cabin wall for a little more headspace. On larger aircraft like the A380, the window seat gives much more space to lean against and bit more to stretch your arms into. The aisle seat is perfect for those who want to get up regularly and walk around or if your need for the restroom is more regular. The aisle seat comes with some cautions too, like getting up for your fellow passengers and getting knocks and bumps from passengers as they walk past. The service trolley can also cause you some bruises as it squeezes past you. Aisle seats are great provided passengers and cabin crew using the aisle don’t bump into you all the time.

man sitting in aisle seat on a plane

Aisle seats are popular to most passengers

An Exit Row or Bulkhead seat?

Exit rows seats can sometimes be more expensive and airlines may prefer giving these to taller passengers. You get extra legroom which is a bonus for long legs but there are downsides to the exit row. No hand luggage or bags will be allowed by your seat or in the footwell area during landing or take-off. If the overhead bins are full, you’ll have to hope for an accommodating cabin crew to take your bags or luggage and store them away to be returned once the flight is over. If you’re looking forward to watching your favourite movie on an exit row screen, you won’t find any screens on the back of the seats in front of you. Instead, there will be a video screen stored in the armrest of the seat similar to that of a food tray. The seats are spaced slightly differently and due to this design-layout, you may find the actual width of the seat is smaller than the regular seats. You just have to get used to handling the cumbersome nature of the seats folding trays

Bulkhead seats are situated right behind a solid cabin wall divider with no seats in front of them but where a bassinet is provided for families with babies. So, as you can imagine, this part of the aircraft can be a little noisier. The legroom might appear generous with no seats in front of you but try stretching out and you’ll discover it’s not easy like in ordinary seats. Bulkhead seats give you the extra bother of a fold in tray food tray which can be problematic if the food tray is left out for long periods.

There is an issue for areas like bulkhead seats and exit row seats, is that passengers seated elsewhere tend to congregate in these spaces to chat or just stretch their legs making it a rather busy place. Some seats appear to offer good legroom but can be sued as a cabin cross over or passengers using the restroom.

 

Avoid the Toilet and Galley areas!

There’s the obvious fact of sitting next to the toilet that could be of the odours wafting across your area especially during mealtime and a flushing toilet on board an aircraft is extremely noisy. This can prove bothersome in such a high traffic area where the repetitive noise of a flushing toilet can be hard to endure even for the most saintly. At night the constant opening at the closing of the washroom door with its light can be distracting when you consider that many people congregate at this area. This doesn’t get any better if you choose to sit opposite the galley where the constant traffic of the cabin crew can be noisy even as they prepare for meals before and after.

 

Legroom Space

On many long haul flights, some passengers will find that their foot space is taken up by the control box for the inflight entertainment system. The manufacturers are gradually making improvements in this area but don’t expect any quick results. The inflight entertainment system in most airlines is most often situated in the aisle seat although they can be found in the middle and window seats.

 

The Seat Pitch

The seat pitch is the one area that you should pay careful attention if you’re in the need of much-wanted legroom. The greater the pitch the more the legroom. However, with seat space at a premium for airlines, don’t expect a great pitch angle over the number of seats that can fit onto an airline. So it’s not surprising that seat pitch has a standard, like in economy class long haul fights has a seat pitch of 31 – 32 inches. While smaller airlines can afford a little more at 33 to 35 inches of seat pitch. The higher the seat pitch the fewer seats an airline can fit into its cabin and it is unlikely you’ll find fewer seats being sacrificed for seat pitch. The newer slimline seats offer more legroom at a seat pitch of 32 inches comparing to the old sets of 34 pitch seat. The new slimline seat has been making its appearance of newer aircraft replacing the 33-inch pitch seat.

 

What about Airline Cabin Classes?

Airlines have introduced cabin classes as a way to give passengers different experiences at varying prices and there are various factors that determine cabin classes. Cabin class is determined by the number of passengers allowed, the comfort of your seat, the type of food served and any other additional extras that may be offered.

 

What are the Different Cabin Classes?

Long haul flights can have up to 4 cabin class and that depends on the aircraft you flying. These 4 classes are economy, premium economy, business class and first class. You’ll discover that some aircraft have fewer classes depending on the size and seat configuration.

A small 30 seater aircraft may only have just one type of cabin and that’s economy. However, another aircraft which seat just 12 passengers may be a private plane that is equipped for VIP’s will have seats configured like first-class giving you the best seat no matter where you sit. And then there are the larger airlines which departs from the traditional 3 class cabin to add in an additional premium economy class for those economy class passengers who want to upgrade to a little more.

For the world’s largest and most highly rated airlines like Emirates and Etihad Airways, who often to extremes in terms of luxury providing select guests with their own private suite. This cabin is different from first-class in that it has proper sleeping quarters, lounge and access to a private chef.

 

About the Different Cabin Classes

Window seat

Economy Class

These seats offer passengers all the basic comforts and amenities for their flight. Usually, this can vary depending on the type of flight be an international long-haul or local domestic departure. On larger aircraft such as a Boeing-737 or Airbus A380, the seat configuration of Economy Class is 3-4-3. On a Boeing 777, there are 385 seats in this cabin class compared to the 42 seats in Business Class.

Economy Class International flights

This class of seats on an international flight offers you all the comforts of an economy seat that just lacks personal space. The seats are adequately comfortable and you are provided with a meal menu with some options to choose from, free drinks and Wifi which can either be free for a specific duration of time of paid for. Each seat has personalised screens with hours of free entertainment. If you’d like a bit more space, then it is possible to check-in much earlier, preferably on-line and chooses your seats either right in front of the cabin class, exit rows or aisle as we have gone through earlier. Window seats are great if you want the view or extra space to lean against the curved wall but can be bothersome if you want to go to the loo or just stretch your legs.

You can be sure that meals on international flights are served hot together with light snacks and something to drink. If your dietary requirements differ from that of the menu, you can notify the airline up to two days prior to departure. Most international airlines provide an extra amenity kit for extra-long flights which includes the basics that are needed for a comfortable flight, such as night mask, socks, earphones, toothpaste and a toothbrush.

Domestic Flights Economy Class

Domestic economy flights have fewer amenities on offer but instead offer a seat at a price you simply can’t get anywhere else. In South Africa, budget airlines like Mango and FlySafair offer you cheap seats instead of hot meals and personalised screens. The short duration of these flights of a couple of hours means that you don’t miss the additional extras of a long-haul international flight. You can buy snacks and drinks on-board and even pay a little extra for priority boarding which include early boarding and snacks.

 

Premium Economy Class

Premium economy class is only offered by a few of the large international carriers like Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Etihad and what they offer is truly remarkable for a premium economy class seat – that has created a demand for a gap between economy and business class. The price is exactly in-between that of the economy and business class and has attracted passengers who simply can’t afford business class but can have a similar experience. Here you are greeted with a welcome drink as you sit down on your seat, and given an amenity kit that may include a few more items than in economy class. You may find the packaging a bit more expensive and may include a pen, earplugs and soap.

The most attractive feature of the premium economy class is definitely the extra seating space. Seats are wider with more elbow room space and a very comfortable headrest. Depending on the airline, your seat can recline much more than economy class. If you’re flying overnight on Lufthansa, you might just be given access to business free of charge. When it comes to meals airlines such as British Airways, offers you a 3-course meal served in fine china and linen napkins making this the best seat money can buy.

 

Business Class

Business-class can make you feel like a VIP starting at ground level as a business class come with its own check-in queue at the airport and priority boarding is a must. There’s even a lounge where can go to enjoy extra comfortable rest with some light snacks.

You’ll soon discover the magic onboard as most airlines will offer you spacious leather seating that reclines to a fully flat bed and if not, it will be one of the most comfortable seats you’ll have on-board. And when it comes to the food, you’ll be spoilt for choice from a larger menu specially prepared for you. There free drinks and even your headphones are special like Qatar Airways with its special noise-cancelling headphones that are only available to Business and First Class passengers.

Throughout the various stages of the flight, the lighting changes to match the mood going from awake to dinner to sleep. A little more about the airport lounges where you can expect fine dining, spacious areas for work or rest, bathrooms and showers and sometimes even a spa. Business-class tickets are expensive and expect to pay anything from twice and up to three times the price of an economy class ticket.

 

First Class

Emirates first class

Emirates First Class onboard the Airbus A380

When it comes to first-class, it’s luxury all the way. If you have the first-class then you access all the amenities at your beckoning, extra special services and an experience like no other. You get the standard priority check-in and boarding but some airlines go the extra mile by offering you a complimentary chauffeur and pick-up service from your home or hotel.

You a get personal service from the air hostess and will assist you to turn your seat into a comfortable bed alongside widescreen TVs, personal desk lamp and a number of facilities. If there’s one thing that will excite on-board a first-class seat it has to be the amenity kit. You could have amazing perfumes or deodorants such as those found on Air France.

Mealtime is an extra special experience where you can only expect the best. There is often a private chef to take care of any special requests or whip up something special. Passengers are seated in individual pods and there are between 10 and 12 seats available.

 

Private Suites

Private suite on boad Songapore airlines

Private suite onboard Singapore Airlines

This is the ultimate experience for those looking to fly in a class of their own where privacy and luxury go hand in hand. It’s the most expensive seat that actually doesn’t buy you a seat but a whole cabin with a bed, lounge and a luxurious chair and comes with your own bathroom. To top it all, you get your own personal assistant who sees everything. Currently, there are only 3 airlines that offer this exclusive private suite and they are Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Etihad.

 

Should you upgrade?

This is a question of affordability vs comfort or could even be a combination of the both i.e. the most comfort at the best price. Or you can take another pragmatic view such as ‘how long is the flight?’ The longer the flight, like 5 hours and more the more you’ll appreciate the comfort and conveniences of comfortable seating and better services. If your budget allows it to take the upgrade. An economy seat with smaller seats and less to offer is good for the short-haul flight of around two hours and more if you don’t mind seating in-between two passengers.

For most travellers, first-class might be out of reach and too expensive but an upgrade from economy to the premium economy might be the more affordable option. As for an upgrade from Business to First Class, there are fewer changes in amenities making less attractive from business to first class. So, now that you know all about the different seat positions and cabin classes, we hope we’ve made it easier to choose your seat for your next flight when you book through us on www.lowpriceflights.co.za

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