Travelling after the pandemic

Table mountain as the backdrop to the city of Cape Town

Cape Town Sunset

Travelling is more than experiencing a place we’re visiting. It’s about connecting with new people, exploring new cultures, and meeting new friends. Travel is a mixture of emotions and experiences. It can be an adventure, a learning opportunity, or both. It motivates you to live more than your daily routine. It can get you out of the city on a date with your lover or friends. Travelling will change how you see the world and open its doors to new opportunities.

There are many reasons why people go on vacation to a different place. Some choose to escape everyday life and stress, while others do it for fun and relaxation. But whatever your reason is, one thing remains true: you want to travel.

 

Traveling after the Pandemic- Covid 19

The Pandemic has transformed the world of travel. At the peak of the Pandemic, traveling ceased as International borders closed and canceled flights. Global Tourism Organization stated that 100% of destinations implemented travel restrictions. 

Tourism Council and World Travel, established various protocols for Airlines, shops, and hotels. Now in traveling, there is a must-use of masks. Infrared and thermal scanners are now installed at different places. 

Today, many countries are emerging from lockdown. And the world’s largest industry which accounts for almost 10% of world GDP, is now looking towards the new normal. It’s a welcome sight to see many travelers dreaming about beaches and mountains again as they were stuck in their homes for months.

Travel Restrictions in South Africa eased.

In South Africa, travel is opening up after Covid-19. If a family has traveled to one of the three African countries where the outbreak was most severe or at risk. So, they must still be careful and stay healthy while traveling. There is no limit on how many travelers can visit other countries as long as they put into effect that:

  1. Weigh your luggage
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Cover your mouth while coughing
  4. Don’t touch your face
  5. Call ahead of time for pickup
  6. Stay away from crowds.

 

Best destinations to travel in South Africa

Have you missed the Pandemic? And want to go on a trip or travel around a beautiful environment. Then you are just in the right place!!! This blog will tell you about South Africa’s most beautiful places. And how you can make your trip memorable.

Where to go in South Africa? Look no further; we’ll tell you where the most beautiful adventurous destinations in South Africa are.

Why should you visit South Africa?

South Africa offers you a wide range of options to plan the most adventurous and memorable trip for you. There are several popular destinations that you can visit in South Africa. Such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pretoria, Stellenbosch, etc…

 

Johannesburg

Best Places to visit in Johannesburg

Johannesburg is said to be the city of Fashion, the city at the heart of nature. With approximately 5 million populaces, it is among South Africa’s largest cities. It offers much to discover in the country’s economic center: great Malls, Restaurants, and Nightlife. A beautiful landscape surrounds it.

A great way to see Johannesburg is by car. How about a drive over the iconic bridge known as “Nelson Mandela Bridge”? This architectural landmark leads to the colorful districts of New Town, which is near the central business district.

 

Neighbourgoods Market

Neighbourgoods Market is a trendy place where you can get every possible type of food. There is no better way to start the weekend than at Neighbourgoods Market. A place where you get every type of Johannesburg meat every Saturday. There are many different things to try here. Neighbourgoods Market has a little something for everyone.

 

Apartheid Museum

The 1970s marked the beginning of the end of apartheid. Johannesburg played a significant role in that period. Thirty years later, South Africa even has their fifth black president. This Apartheid museum shows the awe-inspiring history of the country. Absorbing and quite an emotional shock for all who visited the apartheid museum is a must-see. This Museum presents history in a contemporary and inspiring way. Museum used various media to tell the story of apartheid and democracy’s road to freedom. It also has unique rooms dedicated to the 1976 Soweto uprisings and Nelson Mandela.

 

Maropeng Museum

Innovating and interactive, Maropeng Museum is a national treasure. Let your curiosity get the better of you and go back in time. This Museum is located in the Cradle of Humankind near the Sterkfontein Caves. Be sure to get the kids on the underground tugboat ride, where they find many showcased items.

Johannesburg is home to a variety of shopping destinations. We can find both local and international clients. It delivers when it comes to shopping opportunities. Big Malls featuring every high street brand imaginable are right next to small local boutiques as worthy of your attention.

 

 

 

44 Stanley

You can visit many places in Johannesburg, but 44 Stanley is a hidden treasure. Located in the heart of Johannesburg, 44 Stanley is one of its best-kept secrets. 44 Stanley is a former industrial area. It has a variety of places that excites. The area has 25 specialty boutiques, restaurants, and design studios.

 

South African Breweries

South African Breweries is among the most prestigious breweries on the continent. The process here starts with brewing the hops. It is the only place in South Africa besides George where hops are grown.

The traditional beer of Johannesburg is onboard tea. Tasting this famous tasty beer is an essential part of the tour.

 

Market Theater

The Market Theater is one of Johannesburg’s most famous theatres. Theatrical history is infused into the theatre. Grammy and Tony award-winning musicals like Serafina have graced the stage. You will find this theatre in the middle of the Newtown cultural precinct. Its stages have seen South Africa’s most famous actors, so book in advance for a glorious evening out.

 

Signature Restaurant

The signature restaurant is one of the city’s most trendy and exclusive. But what fascinates me more is the live band game to enjoy. The signature restaurant has an international kitchen of which they are proud. Their cuisine has a creative interpretation. It is one of the most exciting places in Sandton. It offers a unique mix of comfort and sophistication. You can enjoy the magnificent sunsets through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

South Africa is famous for its dramatic landscapes and swooping vistas. An exciting way to see this is through a hot-air balloon. A balloon ride is a great way to see the African wilderness from above, as there is no distraction from engine noise. The experience of drifty where the wind takes you is unique.

There is something about Johannesburg that makes you want to stay. Like the beautiful people and incredible sights.

 

Cape Town

Why Visit Cape Town

One of the most multicultural capital in the world is colourful Cape Town. Situated on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula, the city is the second largest in the country. Spectacular mountains are tumbling towards the sea where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. In Cape Town, there are a variety of things we can explore. But one of Cape Town’s most significant benefits is the nature that surrounds it. It would help if you climbed up Table Mountain as it provides a spectacular view of the city. They also have a cable car if hiking isn’t for you. Up here, you can also see the iconic layer of clouds covering the mountain’s peak. 

Lion’s Head Mountain

Another great hike is the lion’s head mountain. If you time it right, the Sun will set as you reach the peak. It’s one of the most rewarding hikes around. 

Bow caps adorn a colorful neighborhood in the city. Each hose has a unique color. This place is a photographer’s dream. You can go there and discover on your own. Even the residents give you free walking tours, from which you will learn more. 

Cape Town surrounds by beautiful beaches. But, one of the best for catching some waves is Llandudno Beach. It’s a small spot and an excellent place for a chill. If you are not interested in water sports, you can always have fun playing at the shoreline. 

 

Travel to Cape of Good Hope

We have a couple of recommendations if you are looking for a great memorable day trip. The first is to drive from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope. It is considered one of the most splendid drives as there is so much to experience. Take the Chapman’s peak route. Your First stop should be Hout Bay. There is a lookout point where you can see the entire Bay.

Further down, you will reach Nord Hurich beach. It is a massive beach with incredible white sand. It will be super windy here, but an excellent place to stop for a nice view. You will come across Table Mountain National Park. It is a beautiful area preserved with natural beauty. When you reach the Cape of Good Hope, you will have completed one of the best days of traveling.

Kirsten Bosch Garden

If you don’t have time for a full-day trip, we have you covered. Check out Kirsten Bosch Garden. On the slopes of Table Mountain, it is considered one of the world’s best botanical gardens. Walk along the overhead canopy walkaway for the best experience with stunning views.

Kayaking with Dolphins

Another Great Experience you can have is Kayaking with Dolphins. For this epic adventure, you have to leave from Victoria and Albert waterfront. There is no guarantee you will see dolphins. 

 

Why Visit Bloemfontein

The city of Bloemfontein is one of the three capitals of South Africa. It is the city of roses. The city of splendor in the province is known for its dry landscape. It is the most popular stop for ones traveling from Johannesburg to the cave. Besides, it serves as the nation’s judicial capital. The city offers a comfortable and peaceable regime which is an escape from typical bustling South African cities. With several graceful museums, the historical buildings capture the essence of country history.

 

Port Elizabeth

The city of Port Elizabeth is located on the southeast coast of South Africa. It is famous for its friendly atmosphere. Here the locals are very relaxed, and they welcome vacationers. A bustling coastal city with sunny shores, Port Elizabeth has a relaxed coastal vibe tempered by a thriving metropolis. The drive into the city is remarkable, with splendid sights of white sand seashores. In addition to having the best summer weather in the world, this region is known as the water sports capital of South Africa. Great beaches are the reason tourists love to visit here. 

 

Pretoria

Pretoria is laying 50 Km from Johannesburg, South Africa’s undivided capital. It is an attractive place to travel from its luxuriant roads that align with the enchanting old construction to its multicultural populations. There are many museums in South Africa that display various cultures and people.

Jacaranda trees line the streets in early summer in Pretoria, giving it the name Jacaranda city. In addition to many embassies, museums, and monuments, it is home to many international embassies. Here the weather is slightly warmer.

 

You can visit many more places when you arrive in South Africa. This blog shows that something here makes you want to stay here for a long time. When someone arrives in South Africa as a tourist, they don’t want to leave. The friendly people and breathtaking scenery didn’t allow you to return to your respective countries.

 

Are you planning to visit South Africa now???

 

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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The A380, a giant of the skies that just didn’t take flight.

When you see the A380 for the first time, there’s something special about it. It’s a large aircraft – the biggest passenger aircraft ever built with a wingspan that could easily fit across a football field. If the aircraft was fitted only with economy seats, it would take 800 passengers. We all know how uncomfortable a long-haul flight can be but aboard the A380 a flight of 16 hours half-way across the world is like a ride in a Rolls Royce of the skies. This has made it a favourite amongst passengers and crew with its spacious and well-heeled interiors.

 

Airlines saw this differently: Airbus has only sold 250 aircraft that has rolled off the production line with early estimates, Airbus was hoping to sell 750. Now its production line will go quiet at the end of 2021. The A380 has only been in service for 13 years. It was conceived on a philosophy of a bygone era in which the 747 ruled the skies in large numbers. And with a hefty price tag of over $450 million per aircraft, this engineering marvel eventually had its wings clipped by rising fuel prices and maintenance costs. The Coronavirus pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the aviation industry which will reduce the lifespan of this mighty jet. The end is approaching rather quickly with multiple aircraft already having been sent to the scrapyard by several airlines. One wonders how such an aircraft took to the skies in the first place.

 

A ‘747’ for Europe  

Airbus A380 in flight

The 747 is the original jumbo jet from which the A380 was inspired by. For many people within Airbus, this aircraft would rule the skies for decades to come. But for a brief period, the unthinkable was considered where Boeing and Airbus would work together to produce a Super Jumbo. Both companies eventually joined forces in 1993 and shared a study of the potential market size of a large aircraft. They both ended up with different conclusions and so they never joined to work together. In the 1990s, Airbus had just 20% of the large aircraft market and looked at growing their market share and working with Boeing seemed like a good idea as it would not create competition. However, Boeing was never really ready to give up its highly successful 747 programmes and it was in 1996 that Airbus realised this and decided to go it alone. By 2000 the demand for the 747 was 1200 units for the following two decades and Airbus was ready to capture half of this market. Boeing instead saw it differently and decided to build variants of the 747 rather than build a whole new aircraft. Airbus pushed on with the project. Early signs were encouraging for Airbus with 50 initial orders from six airlines

Airbus wanted to take on Boeing at their own game by flying the same routes like the 747 such as London to Singapore. The goal for Airbus was to offer an aircraft that was 20% to 25% more economical. Boeing’s 747 had profited handsomely from the large hubs and a handful of carriers. Passenger numbers had risen sufficiently to create congestion at large airports like JFK in New York, Heathrow in London and  Narita in Tokyo, which all have been running at full capacity. Airbus believed it had the solution by building a larger aircraft thereby getting more people out of the airports with fewer flights. But change was in the air. The popular ‘Hub and spoke’ model was slowly being favoured by the ‘Point to point’ model. Airlines now chose smaller cheaper aircraft over larger more expensive ones to carry passengers on more financially viable routes like the secondary airports which were never congested in the first place. According to one aviation expert and historian, Graham Simons, the world had changed. Smaller more fuel-efficient planes were on the rise and the 747 and A380 would slowly drift away into the scrapyard. The airlines were now heading in a new direction, one with low priced flights to every destination an aircraft can take you point to point.

 

Giant of the Skies

Airbus A350 landing

The unveiling of the A380 took place in Toulouse in 2005 and flew for the first time on 27 April 2005. Chief engineer test pilot Robert Laftontan commented about how gently the plane landed even when it was 100-tons overweight. The aircraft quickly became favoured by pilots on how easy it was to fly and felt like a smaller lighter aircraft. Airbus explored various options in the design phase but eventually settled on two full-length double-decker aircraft which is essentially two widebody aircraft on top of each other. One of the concept designs had two widebody fuselages side by side and using existing components from an A340 Airbus passenger aircraft. There were several configurations and fuselage designs but Airbus, in the end, decided to follow one simple rule: to design the A380 inside an 80-metre box so that it’s compatible with airports. The 80-metre limit was set by airport authorities in the 1990s when it came to the 747 superjumbos. And the A380 is just short of it which thankfully allows it to operate using existing airport infrastructure although some airport gates needed upgrading.

At high speeds, the constrained wingspan creates more drag which in turn increases fuel consumption. More problems were to come for Airbus when the wings failed a load test and had to be reinforced adding extra weight. The four Rolls Royce engines were chosen to sit on these very large wings with Engine Alliance in the United States as a second option. The combined thrust output for these engines is 240 000 pounds providing a lift to its maximum take-off weight of 650 tonnes and within 15 minutes it takes to reach cruising altitude. The Airbus can fly from Dallas to Sydney non-stop, a range of over 15 000 kilometres. Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace engineer called the four-engine aircraft an anachronism in this day and age. At over $40 million per engine, this is a significant cost for the whole aircraft meaning that having four engines, raises the price. Unlike the more favourable option of a twin-engine aircraft, the A380 requires twice more the maintenance, tons more fuel and has a higher carbon emission. At the time Rolls Royce had produced a state of the art engines with the best fuel consumption and power to weight ratio, but in this high tech field of engine development, it took Boeing just a few years to surpass the technology with the Boeing 787. It was hard for Airbus with four winged engines to compete with the newer generation of long-haul more fuel-efficient, twin-engine low-cost aircraft.

 

Comfort

Close up of an Airbus A380 engine

The A380 gave Airbus a chance to showcase the latest technologies, airframe and avionics. But it was passenger comfort that was to receive top priority with a cabin designed to reduce passenger fatigue and increase the quality of their experience, especially on long haul flights. This was achieved with lower noise levels, higher cabin pressurisation and relaxing ambient lighting. Since then this has become standard on all new aircraft. Industry experts agreed that comfort leads the way and influenced the design direction of the aircraft from day one. A mock-up was even built to fly around the world to get feedback from all passengers on what they wanted. These insights were used and influenced the interior design to a great deal. Passengers were so impressed with the interior space and the fact they could stand up straight whilst at the window seat. On aircrafts such as the 737 or A320, you can’t stand up at the window seat because of the low overhead bin but in the A380 the walls are almost vertical. The interior space was set out to allow customisation for airlines to choose and even a shower option was added to the business deck. This was an idea that was well-received by passengers. Features were added like heated marble floors, mood lighting that changed as the aircraft’s environment changed and a bar at the back for the thirsty traveller.

There’s no denying that the aircraft offers genuine levels of comfort and it’s a firm favourite with passengers and crew. It’s quiet and pleasant, has a low cabin noise, sits nicely in the air with pressure and humidity levels not found on any other aircraft. However, storm clouds were brewing when the fuel price started to increase and new more fuel-efficient engines started to debut.

 

Delays and cancellations

A380 cockpit

Singapore Airlines was the first A380 customer on 25 October 2007 to receive their pride and joy, but by the time it was delivered it was late and already outdated. Aviation had shifted, drastically! Smaller more efficient aircraft designed for point to point travel emerged like Boeing’s 787 and Airbus A350 were piling up the orders in the hundreds. The writing was on the wall. The only hope that was left is that history reversed itself and went back to a bygone era when the Super Jumbo’s flew the sky, a return to the ‘hub and spoke’ model. For that, you’d have to go way back to the Pan-Am days. The A380 programme was hit by delays which caused some airlines to cancel their orders and opt for other options like the 787 and A350 even though it would be years before it was delivered. Airlines could already buy a long-range aircraft that was smaller and more fuel-efficient like the Boeing 777-300ER which was soon to become the most popular of the 777 variant. These aircraft allowed for larger margins of profit which pleased the airlines. The 777-300ER was a four-engine Boeing and Airbus killer.

 

No US buyers

A380 in hanger while getting built-up

Emirates Airlines have come to the rescue and kept Airbus afloat, but just temporarily with almost half of all A380’s made, been sold to the Dubai based airline. Who knows how much sooner the A380 would have been shut down if were not for Emirates Airlines ordering 36 A380s in 2018. So, when Airbus’s biggest customer, Emirates cut down its order from 53 to 14 aircraft, Airbus had no choice. Production had to stop. It all had to come to an end for Airbus’s $25 Billion investment that did not yield a profit. Airbus’s European clients had bought aircraft but not nearly enough as expected or hoped for but the real telling sign of success or failure was the US market – where not a single aircraft was sold. Airbus has in the past been very successful in the US with its easy to fly aircraft, so it wasn’t about being patriotic towards Boeing that prevented sales. American Airlines operates a large fleet of A319’s and A321’s. Jet blue’s fleet consists of 80% of Airbus’s and United has the fourth-largest fleet of A350’s. It just came down to the idea of four fuel-hungry engines attached to a very large expensive jet that didn’t fit in with current aviation trends. US airlines were also falling out of favour with their all American homegrown favourite, the 747.

 

Dark skies ahead

Airbus A380 at the passenger terminal

The A380 project turned out to be a $25 billion disaster and Airbus admitted to their mistake. Airbus was juts 10 years too late and was aimed at a niche market and despite its failure, the aircraft paved the way for many brand new technologies. With production now sure to stop in 2021, support for the existing aircraft will continue for as long as they fly which is expected to be around 2040. But its future could end sooner with the advent of Corona Virus making this aircraft most vulnerable. There is no secondary market to speak of with most airlines priding themselves on young fleets – so what could happen is that many 12-year-old jets will be retired and recycled in the soda cans in a very quick time. It was thought the fleet could linger on up until the early 2030s but now the timing could come sooner like the 2020s. Could the airline survive the pandemic because its large size could assist with social distancing within the aircraft, but that would mean dramatically reduced passenger numbers which would be extremely uneconomical to fly half empty. With low demand during this pandemic, it has become difficult to fill up these large aircraft. It is thought that for a while the A380’s capacity won’t be needed and quite a few are currently parked, that may just remain parked.

 

So, now that you have discovered a better way to travel to, you can now reserve your seat and book your Low Price Flights to some amazing spots around the world.  www.lowpriceflights.co.za

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Why France is the World’s Top Tourist Destination

Paris-at-night

Europe’s top tourist destination is also the world’s most visited country and this may come as no surprise to many when they discover that it is France. With 89 million visitors a year, France comes out tops above Spain which is in second place with 82 million visitors. The USA comes in at number 3 with 78 million tourists. So, despite a few uncertain years, France is once again the world’s number 1 tourist hot spot. So, why are people from all over the world attracted to France specifically. 89 Million people made it their holiday destination of choice so there must be a lot going for it. Let’s get into it and discover all of France’s charm and mystique that makes it so popular.

 

Paris

Paris street cafés and restaurants

There really is not much more that you can say about the most charming and romantic city in the world. Paris takes your breath away with it’s enchanting buildings, chic cafés and alluring art galleries which there are plentiful off, captivating both your heart and soul. Seek your thrills by climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower or make sure you get in with the locals at one of the many bars and enjoy a Pasti, Parisian Style.

Low Flight Price’s top tips for visiting Paris. Skip the Eiffel Tower for now and climb to the top of Paris at the Montparnasse Tower. Here you will find short lines and the views are much better and they include the Eiffel Tower as well. When visiting the Palace of Versailles it will serve you well to book online for the guided tour of the King’s apartment. You will be able to go straight into the palace avoiding the queues. The King’s apartment is a separate tour from the rest and can only be viewed by booking online. However, it is a more expensive add-on than your regular priced ticket.

 

The landscapes are breath-taking

castle-in-france

The French Countryside, beaches and mountains offer tourists an all in one package when it comes to its natural beauty. The French scenery is diverse with the sparkling coastlines of the French Riviera, old harbour towns of Normandy, the snow-capped mountains of the Alps and the patchy fields of the Loire Valley. And if you’re a lover of the great outdoors, you can find this very appealing as you won’t have to choose between a mountain or the ocean You can have both in France. This gives you real value for money making your holiday all the better. Best you have your camera with you – the photo opportunities will be the envy of Instagram.

 

There is history all round

Arc-de-triomphe

France has its history written all over in every corner. The country has witnessed numerous empires rise and fall and republics crush oppositions to their rule. There’s been bloody revolutions with the fight taken to every street corner. The Loire Valley is a must see with its legions of castles stoically sitting behind perfectly manicured gardens. Incredible replicas of cave paintings can be seen if you head down to the Dordogne region of the pre-historic paintings of Lascaux. Or you can see the real thing in Font-de-Gaume if you book early. In Provins you find a beautiful old town to the south-east of Paris or Bayeax in Normandy. In the blog we’ll share some of our favourite villages in France.

 

It’s all in the Architecture

French castle with a french chateau and some flowers

Where-ever your eye goes, you cannot escape the sublime French architecture. You’ll discover it in cathedrals like Notre Dame de Paris, Notre Dame de Strasbourg and more, abbeys like Abbaye de Sénanque in Provence and Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, medieval market halls like that of Dives-Sur-Mer on Normandy and Roman temples and amphitheatres like the Maison Carrée in Nîmes. But there’s also typical architecture in the regions such as timbered houses of Normandy’s coast. Check out the traditional Basque architecture of the French Basque Country. Buildings all across France are full of incredible diversity.

 

The cuisine is mouth-watering

French-cheese-tray

If you haven’t eaten French food, you are missing out on the best cuisine in the world. You should definitely try French cuisine at its best especially in every region of France. Each region is known for its own gastronomic delight. As you travel across France, you are bound to find food you have never discovered before. Enjoy the feast of confit de canard, rillettes, beef bourguignon and much more. And remember to drink a glass of Bordeaux every time you eat on a fresh baguette with stinky cheese.

 

Get to a wine tasting

French-vintage-wine-bottles

French wine is world renowned to suit all tastes and can pair perfectly with any French cuisine. So, whether you are a beginner, a connoisseur or just your average wine lover who enjoys a fine glass or two, France has something for you. Discover the finest and most delicious wines in your travels by visiting the famous vineyards of Bordeaux, the terroirs of Burgundy and the bistros in Paris. You can explore some vineyards by golf cart and even organise a picnic on others surrounded by beautiful nature. When you visit Paris make sure you visit O Chateau, a wine bar and restaurant which is highly recommended. AT 68 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, it’s a short walk from the Louvre museum.

 

Sexy Beaches

French Riviera

France has two great coastlines: the beautiful Atlantic and the Mediterranean coastlines. Many of which were made famous by great artists in paintings of years gone by. Make sure you spend a day or two at the beach if you’re visiting between late spring and early fall. Normandy and Brittany are great Atlantic beaches for the summer months. It’s too cold and windy before June and after September. However, the French Riviera will be warm in late April through to early October.

 

44 unesco world heritage sites

castle mont saint michel

UNESCO World Heritage sites include forts, castles, religious buildings, medieval towns and landscapes all of which are spread throughout France. These 44 sites all over France are a big draw card for tourist. We are concentrating the tours to cover the ten regions of France. For the full list, you may like to visit the UNESCO website

 

The French Slopes

Snow capped French Alps

The French Alps in the winter season is very popular with professionals, couples, families and novices or just groups of tourists. Every level of skill is welcome. You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy the experience on the Alps. Most resorts cater for all skill levels with wide open pistes on very gentle slopes. This is ideal for beginners and there’s fast-paced red runs for intermediate skiers. The pros are left to the more daring and challenging black runs. For skiers who want to go ‘off-the-beaten-track’, there’s some great off-piste areas for the adventurous. The popular resorts of Courchevel, Tignes Morzine, Chamonix and Val d’Isère are often chosen by the more experienced skiers. If you want to be guaranteed some snow, then the high altitude terrain of the ski area Les Trois Vallées is a must as it is the world’s largest connected ski area.

 

There’s a festival for everyone

French man and woman drinking beer at a French festival

Tourist to France will be spoilt for choice when it comes to festivals. The Carcassonne Festival of contemporary music, dance and theatre happen in the summer and attracts brilliant performers from all over the world. Performers like Elton John, Moby and Deep Purple all attended. On the little town of Menton on the French Riviera, there’s classical music under the stars. This festival takes place during July and August and is an Annual event called The Menton Music Festival. The glitz and glamour of Deauville’s American Film Festival attracts film buffs from all over. There’s a 400 seater open-air cinema on the beach at the Cabourg Film Festival which is much more low-key. However, if you’re looking for something way different, the Lemon Festival in Menton in February, or the Gypsy pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer happens in May.

 

Inspiration for creatives

Louvre at night

For centuries musicians, photographers, dancers, artists and journalists have found inspiration in Paris. The grand work of the mainstay of the Wisdom, the Golden and the Romantic Age, la Belle Époque or Golden Age and les Années Folles still withstands and is ever popular even today. The Enlightenment inspired the works of philosophers such as Francis Bacon, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire and Adam Smith. Victor Hugo, whose most famous novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers, were more associated with the turbulent Romantic era.  France’s ‘Golden Age’, ran from 1871 up to the beginning of 1914, the First World War. This period is often looked to as a time of prosperity and peace because it was right before World War 2, a time of terrible destruction and loss for France. The arts flourished during ‘The Beautiful Era’ (La Belle Époque) as did many theatrical, musical and artistic masterpieces gain appreciation. Many great Impressionist and post-Impressionists like:

  • Claude Monet
  • Paul Gauguin
  • Henri Matisse
  • Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
  • Pablo Picasso

Gained prominence in the era which saw the rising of the Eiffel Tower as a grand celebration to the 1889 World fair, the Art Nouveau movement and Moulin Rouge. As war broke out in Europe, The Golden Age came to an abrupt end and was followed by the roaring twenties (Les Années Folles). France is credited with inspiring the lost generation in writers like Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce. In modern times, France continues to inspire creative people from all over the world, like Kate Mosse, Anthony Doerr, Woody Allen and Peter May who have all used France as a setting for the works. Has France inspired you?

So, now that you have discovered France to travel to, you can now reserve your seat and book your Low Price Flights to some amazing spots around France.  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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10 most overlooked countries people need to travel to

Female tourist walking through a busy city street

It’s time to rethink your travel plans. We know Covid-19 has made a huge dent into your dream holiday. So, we thought we’d share some of our favourite destinations from around the world just to keep you dreaming along. Have you thought about the places you’d like to go to when everything starts working again? Be it long days on a tropical beach or a bustling city or something to tick of your bucket list. And then there are those singular experiences where you put away the camera and fully immerse yourself at the moment. We’ve looked far and wide, dug deep into our treasure cove of adventures and came back with experiences without the scourge of over-tourism but with an abundance of journeys, safaris, beaches, culinary adventures, indigenous music and more.

 

View of Panama City with traffic

Panama

Get your innermost desires for adventure revved up with these remote islands and untouched forests. Often referred to as the hub of Central America, Panama is also overlooked as a vacation destination. Instead, it’s the Panama Canal that takes centre stage in a country where two oceans collide with two continents, scenes to breath-taking beaches, rich culture heritage, tropical wonderland packed with mountainous cliffs. Many tourists make the mistake of passing off Panama for Costa Rica, its highly rated neighbour to the north. In many ways, Panama is one up on Costa Rica in many categories. There are more mountains and island retreats like the San Blas Archipelago which houses a labyrinth of over 400 islands, almost all of which are unnamed, uninhabited and are surrounded with coastline made up of entirely coral.

 

Panama maintains a higher level of internet connectivity with its business-friendly city, Panama City. When you venture outside the city, musicians and dancers take part in regional festivals throughout the year. Here you will discover that the culture is reflected in traditional products, architecture, cuisine and festivals. If you decide to venture into Panama City during the festive season, you’ll be greeted with the Christmas parade known as El Desfile de Navidad celebrated with floats, a full marching band and women dressed in dresses called pollera and men wear the traditional montuno. You can’t leave Panama out of your dream trip as it will certainly surprise you with its treasures.

 

Beautiful architecture of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Taiwan

Taiwan gives you a surprise quick-fire introduction into eastern cuisine, culture and nature. If you’re travelling to East Asia, then Taiwan should be high up on your list of places to visit. It’s one of the great culinary delights of the world with over 300 buzzing night markets to feast from. The Shilin night market is the largest of its kind and you’ll find it the capital city Taipei, where Taiwanese cooking takes a whole new turn in flavours and experiences for street food. Enjoy the taste of fried milk balls, pork paper, charcoal meatballs or even something out-of-the-box? Try The Modern Toilet restaurant where food is served up in mini toilet bowls.

 

Taiwan is served up to guests with just the right mix of attractions to its size, small enough tour comfortably but just large enough for nature to expand into. Its infrastructure is modern and the high-speed network of trains will get you around effortlessly to explore the near 700 000 exhibits from China’s imperial collection at the National Palace Museum. Whilst you at it visit the ultra-modern National Kaohsiung Centre for Arts, the world’s largest performing arts centre. If you want to relax and destress, there are never-ending geothermal hot springs to take away aches and pains or find peace and harmony amongst the nine national parks.

 

Fisherman on boat of the island Caper Verde

Cape Verde

The beautiful warm beaches provide a great backdrop to music and multiculturism. The Cape Verde islands seem like they are adrift at sea some 350 miles off the coast of Senegal. If it’s an idyllic tropical paradise you’re after, then Cape Verde ticks all the boxes with its sweeping mountain vistas, sparkling beaches, colonial towns, shipwrecks and whales in its crystal-clear waters. For any traveller, it’s the multiculturalism that gets the top spot of interests. It’s hard to believe that these lands were once arid and uninhabited when the Portuguese landed there in the 15th century.

 

Cape Verde certainly had its struggles to maintain and grow to forge a truly modern society and culture across its 10 beautiful islands, each as unique as can be with their own character. Nowadays, it’s where you’ll find the rich and warm goulash of Senegal, the colonial past of the Portuguese, the festive spirit of Brazil, the egalitarian ideology of Ghana and wine mastery of French. And this is all set to Morna, a soundtrack of the national music style that combines joy, sorrow, struggle and celebration.  This music suffuses the complex beauty of the islands singing to the struggles of its past and the light of its future.

 

Yurts with mountain backdrop

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is probably the most beautiful mountainous country you’ve never heard of. And once you’re there, you’re probably on top of a mountain. About 80% of the country is covered by a range called the Tian Shan or ‘Heaven Lake’ in Mandarin Chinese and most of it is at least 1000 metres above sea level. The Tian Shan and its geological features vary from peak to peak but somehow all of this a held together by its exquisite beauty. You can choose to roam the countryside by foot or by horse and embrace then nomadic lifestyle by living in a yurt and feasting and warm stews. You discover how mystical and wonderous this country truly is.

 

This central Asian country from its capital Bishkek to the never-ending landscapes rewards exploration and effort. Kyrgyzstan is home to the World Nomad Games which is an international competition the mimics the Olympics with sports like Horse racing, belt wrestling and Kok-Boru – in which horse riders fight for a goat carcass. It’s unlike any sporting event you’ve ever seen. Lake Issyk-Kul is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kyrgyzstan with numerous hotels, resorts located along its northern shore.

 

Woman at festive parade

Ecuador

This magnificent landscape is known for its diversity despite being a small country. Ecuador’s neighbours, Peru and Colombia took advantage early on to promote themselves in a tourism race for over two decades with the former renowned for its award-winning restaurants and Columbia for its white sandy beaches. Ecuador found itself in a rather unique situation of being sandwiched between the two countries whilst boasting its own style of ceviche and gorgeous inviting coastlines which are super easy to manoeuvre. The local currency is the dollar and the language is Andean Spanish, to be spoken nice and slow for clarity.

 

The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve will take your breath away with its natural beauty of the floating forests together with its towering peak of Cotopaxi or taunt your tastebuds at the sprawling indigenous market of Otavalo and the quaint architecture of Quito. Ecuador can be best described as a compact country with diverse landscapes and ideal for people who have a fear of missing out. You won’t be missing out with activities like swimming in the Amazon basin watching blue-footed boobies and enjoy the delights of munching on beef empanadas in their dozens. Indulge your senses with a deep dive into one of the smaller cities like Cuenca or even a little village town of Loja where you can breathe in the splendour of an Ecuadorian plaza or visit historic buildings from pre-colonial times or even enjoy a hike in the surrounding countryside.

 

Montenegro

This place can be best described as a stunning mini version of Italy with some of Europe’s most stunning beaches. Its neighbour, Croatia gets a lot of the attention and tourists, but Montenegro is as beautiful as a blue diamond and is every bit as gorgeous but without the crowds. Just of the Adriatic Sea, this tiny country feels huge but is slightly smaller than Connecticut, meaning you can get a lot more done in a shorter period of time. The lush coastline harbour some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches in Europe where parts of it rival the party scenes of swanky Ibiza or Cancun.

 

Caper between the ancient Venetian like towns of Budva, Kotor and Perast sporting its armour and fortifications, alluring red roof tiles and sumptuous seaside restaurants. There’s more to Montenegro than its sun-filled sandy white beaches, try and head out to the country’s less travelled inland regions with its pristine mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes and old wild forests. The great Tara river canyon feels like it’s been purpose-built for white water river rafting down its iconic river or you could choose to hike through the Biogradska Gora National Park – a haven for skiing during the wintertime.

 

City of Sighisoara

Romania

Now, most people think of Dracula when it comes to Romania or its wacky underground theme park for those who are in the know. Let’s be clear, there much more to Romania than Count Dracula and its mystical misty Transylvania. Take a tour through its medieval towns, World Heritage sites and mysterious architectural wonders, Romania is a treasure trove for any wannabe archaeologist. But not surprisingly most tourists target in on the myth of Dracula and vampires instead of its rich cultural history, leaving Romania somewhat of the map of places to visit when compared to other Eastern European countries like the Czech Republic or Hungary.

 

Romania is a relatively inexpensive place to visit with endless adventures to explore, like a visit to Salina Turda, an underground theme park situated in the world’s oldest salt mines with the added wellness benefit. There’s space for sports underground too, like Badminton, soccer and mini-golf, a museum and a 180 seater amphitheatre alongside dry and wet saunas, sunbathing and joy rides. Sighisoara Citadel is a well-preserved UNESCO medieval town and you simply can’t afford to miss. This town is inhabited to this day and boasts original medieval architecture, cobble lined streets and ancient landmarks that will make you feel like you’ve travelled through time

 

Lebanon village and mountain

Lebanon

You’ll be surprised at what you can do, ski, jet ski or just party. Once you visit Lebanon, you’ll discover a vast amount of pleasures to explore that you could pack into your itinerary that seems almost unreal and you’ll also discover just how diverse the country is. Just visiting Beirut on your own could keep you busy for days on end. If it’s your first time in Beirut, then a must-see is the Beirut National Museum with its collection of relics pre-dating recorded history up until the Arab conquest. You don’t have to go so far back in history when you visit Biet Beirut, a bullet-marked museum which shares its past memories of the civil war the derailed the ‘Paris of the Middle East’ from its decadent reputation.

 

Beirut takes art overs on an epic journey of enchantment with its growing roster of galleries of which the opulent Sursock Museum should be the one you visit. But move further out the Beirut bubble, the rewards are even greater. Get it right and you could be skiing in the mountains in the morning and skiing in the Mediterranean by the afternoon. Take a tour to one of the sustainable wineries like award-winning IXSIR in the hills of Batroun or explore the Grand Sofar Hotel which is an abandoned retreat for the rich and famous. The hotel now stands as a grand monument after it was restored as an art exhibit. Feel like partying the night away? You’d have to leave the city for that and head of into the mountains. 6000 feet up, the Frozen Cherry will keep you going from dusk till dawn.

 

Buddhists with orange clothing in Nepal 

Nepal

Go to the world’s rooftop and let that journey enlighten you on the way there. Nepal is wedged between India and China making the beautiful little Himalayan dominion more than just a quick stopover but land you’d want to pay a little bit more respect to. International currencies like the dollar go far and relationship with tourists are lukewarm to friendly while nearly half of the locals speak English which eases you into the culture as you drop into the cultural cauldron of Kathmandu. The country inherits a strong spiritual vibe from India and although most people are Hindus, Buddhist culture permeates throughout the countryside giving travellers a chance to meditate on its strong spiritual vibe.

 

Bhaktapur is an ancient city not far from the bustling capital where a stunning range of religious sites can be toured in a day trip for quiet reflection. Later, you can explore the rural dwellings of the Annapurna mountain range, drink tea with Yak butter, trek around the city of Pokhara or give it a serious go to get to the base camp of Mount Everest. The Chitwan National Park offers tourists an alternate to trekking to Mount Everest to view the one-horned rhinos, monkeys, leopards and tigers – all the while riding on top of an elephant.

 

Worlds deepest sinkhole in Belize

Belize

If you’ve never heard of it, you will now as it has the best scuba sites in the world amongst a jungle paradise located in Central America. Wake up to the chirps of exotic birds in your bungalow as you wake up to endless possibilities and adventures. Swim in hidden waterfalls or test your skills in the Great Blue Hole, an underwater sinkhole visible from space or explore decaying Mayan ruins and get blessed by a shaman. You will find yourself hiking amongst jaguars and monkeys.

 

And the best part is that all your guides and operators speak English. Silk Caves offers a great spot for snorkelling which is a tiny island 22 miles offshore with only palm trees and grill. There’s a wide variety of coral and tropical fish around the Belize Barrier, the largest reef system in the Northern Hemisphere where you bound to find nurse sharks loggerhead turtles.

 

So, now that you have discovered more places to travel to you can now reserve your seat and book your tours 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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Why Ecotravel is the next big thing in 2020

Environmentally friendly

Environmentally friendly wind Turbine

There are not many places on the planet that you can’t fly to. In the past year, there have been well over 1.4 billion international travellers touring the world and leaving behind a significant carbon footprint. Organised tours are the daily diet of the hospitality industry often with little or no regard for the routine negative impact on the areas visited. When you have such a large footprint impacting the environment on such a scale, it doesn’t take long to realise this is not sustainable. So what is the solution? For many years now environmentalists have been pushing for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way to travel and encouraging the idea of ecotourism together with eco-conservation. Essentially, ecotourism is a way to respect the environment without degrading it and helping elevate the many communities that habitat it. It involves learning about these eco-sensitive areas and preserving it. According to the International Ecotourism Society, Ecotourism is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”.

Travelling often brings about joys you won’t experience anywhere else, looking for that perfect photo opportunity, learning something new in a foreign land about a new culture and having a unique culinary adventure into tastes you could never have cooked up yourself. It allows us to immerse selflessly into a new world and lifestyle that leaves a lasting impression that etches a memory for a lifetime. Now take all of that and give it purpose, give it meaning for whole communities that live of the land you visit. As an eco-tourist there is a whole new satisfaction and meaning to your journey apart from just adding another new selfie, you’re helping the planet through conservation and others lead a better life. Ecotourism offers you unspoilt landscapes showcasing nature’s enchanting beauty and a look into the lives of people who are its guardians. Responsible ecotourism, when approached correctly minimizes the negative effects of conventional tourism and enhances the cultural identity of the locals. An essential part of ecotourism is to educate around recycling, energy efficiency, water consumption and the economic well-being of local communities.

It is true that once our ignorance is washed away and replaced with knowledge and understanding, tourists grow to love and admire the places they visit and will inspire them to see that these fragile environments are protected. Adding to the new perspective that comes from learning the historical and environmental significance, tour guides and local communities also have deeper learning and appreciation for the lands they administer. For ecotourism to truly enhance its surroundings, it has to come with a spirit of curiosity and kindness. Unfortunately, many locals view tourists as rude, inconvenient and disrespectful of their local culture and norms. The increased traffic and unreasonable expectations and demands aren’t viewed kindly. When people are to travel sustainably, there has to be a mutual understanding and the ability to learn from one another. There has to be an exchange of values and that of ideas too. This creates unity and a shared identity. We have to be careful not to allow corporate greed and shareholder expectations to take over and force the direction in which locals have previously been disadvantaged. Many indigenous people and areas have been destroyed to set-up tourism. This isn’t about what is most profitable, it is about what is most sustainable. Visiting these local attractions creates new exciting experiences and provides much-needed income and jobs to boost the local economy.

Ecotourism or sustainable tourism is sometimes a phrase referred to as an oxymoron. With any form of tourism, travel is a major part of the experience from renting a car, point to point hopping to and from an aircraft. Carbon offset schemes are offered by some airlines these days and you could look at alternate tour options like guided tours on foot. There are hybrid buses and shared transport options in some countries to take advantage of. Admittedly, we still have a long way to go to get to a zero-carbon footprint which must be the goal for the future starting now. And let’s forget about the effect we have on animals where some enterprises have been set-up to save these creatures from extinction and funding is greatly needed. You can do your part by avoiding places where animals are caged, stressed and forced into performing for crowds and instead pay to go and see them in their natural environment. You’ll find a great more to explore on a hiking trail with a diversity of life up close and personal, especially with a well-informed guide. Travelling sustainably is now easier than it has ever been making tourism one of the world’s largest industries and with that comes behaviours that can destroy the planet. Large amounts of waste are left behind by crowds of people at certain attractions without the necessary means to dispose of them. With a bit of proper research and planning, you can find eco-friendly for both the solo traveller and large groups. Travel connects and attracts people and can be used as an ideal platform to foster greater concern and awareness of ecotourism. Now with the great advances in technology, it is easier to find a tour package that meets your needs.

 

You can follow these basic principles should you want to travel with sustainability in mind:

  • Reduce your physical, behavioural and psychological impact
  • Foster greater cultural awareness and respect for communities
  • Ensure the experience is positive for both local people and tourists
  • Environmental conservation should be well funded
  • Boost the local economy.
  • Create and promote awareness of the host’s ecotourism needs.
  • Operate low impact equipment and facilities.

 

The impact of ecotourism is wide and varied:

  • Ecotourism broadens your horizons and deepens your knowledge and understanding of the environments you visit.
  • Wherever you travel you are bound to have unique and intriguing experiences. Like dances with locals in an open-air performance or just meeting and sharing stories of family and friends. No matter what your experiences, they are bound to be memorable and distinctive.
  • There are many tours and adventures for a thrill-seeking tourist like zip-lining through a rainforest or scuba diving amongst rare tropical fish and coral.
  • You get to learn a foreign custom or language that will enrich your experience and try the food you would almost never cook.
  • Discover the rich history of the region and its many old buildings and enjoy its architecture. Take a tour of the cities and its ancient religious past and discover what makes their culture unique.
  • Support the local economy with a purchase of its arts and crafts and souvenirs. There’s always an opportunity for a memorable selfie.
  • Make your dreams come true with a unique eco-friendly tour and know that you are amongst a small group of people positively impacting the environment through tourism.

We at Low Price Flights have put together a list of 10 Eco-friendly tourist spots you must have on your bucket list. Once we have safely navigated the Covid-19 crisis, we hope you put ecotourism at the forefront of your hearts desires as many communities around the world would have been negatively impacted by little to no tourism without income. Make a positive impact by visiting one of these 10 regions.

 

Nicaragua

Nicaragua Volcano

Volcanic mountain in Nicaragua

It is a big surprise to many and an unexpected one to see Nicaragua as an eco-friendly destination with its rain forests, mountains and volcanoes that is biodiverse and home to much wildlife. Nicaragua’s unstable past has meant that many parts of the country have been untouched by the tourist industry leaving many areas ripe for ecotourism. Tourism is still in its infancy and making touring a little challenging for tourists. However, there are tour packages being designed that will alleviate this issue. For a reliable ‘off the beaten track’ try using Tours Nicaragua.

 

Amazon

Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle

The Amazon remains our most biodiverse rainforest in the world but is being destroyed at a rapid pace by wildfires, deforestation and mining. And despite these issues, it does come as a surprise that ecotourism can help save the Amazon as it has been proven that ecotourism is a far more profitable long term model than all the other industries like mining, logging, cattle farming and agriculture. The spin-off from ecotourism can and will be felt by many small businesses and communities. Trekking the Amazon is a real adventure and it is recommended to use companies like Responsible Travel and Adventure Life.

 

Finland

Finnish winter with sleigh dogs

Finnish winter with sleigh dogs

Finland is one of only a handful of countries that have taken a deliberate step to sustainable living and have been doing so since 1987. Finland has shown it is possible that conscious living can be a way of life when supported by the government and all other industries. Finland has adopted a very deliberate strategy to encourage tourism companies to honour local culture, leave a very low carbon footprint and make a positive impact on nature and the economy. Efforts to buy local fresh food, slow shopping, green-designed buildings are encouraged. Not every tour operator is within the green zone operationally, but there is still an abundant choice of tours like Harriniva who operate throughout the country.

 

Slovenia

Bled island church

Bled island church

The European Commission named Slovenia with a population of only 2 million as the most sustainable destination in the world in 2017. This beautiful destination is more than 60% forest with over 40 parks and game reserves sprinkled quaint cobblestone villages throughout. Slovenia is not a well-known ecotourist spot which makes it ideal to visit and enjoy its unspoilt natural environment. With so much of the eco-friendly environment to explore, the Slovenian tourist board has put together a list of eco-friendly accommodation and places to go to.

 

Seychelles

Seychelles white sand beaches

Seychelles white sand beaches

Seychelles is one of the most beautiful island resorts with over 115 islands of white sand beaches and crystal blue waters. Due to its low lying landscape, the islands are left exposed to climate change and rising sea levels, coral bleaching and reduction in tuna fishing which is critical to its economy. The Seychelles Tourism Foundation has taken swift action to ensure that all tourist activity is sustainable and environmentally friendly working closely with the community receiving support from The Nature Conservancy and The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. This island paradise can be enjoyed by staying at Blue Safari which is a local hotel brand.

 

Morocco

Morocco Aït Benhaddou

Morocco Aït Benhaddou

Morocco has seen a complete transformation in its tourism industry which was once in a downward spiral negatively impacting the indigenous communities and the environment. A clear ecotourism strategy was adopted putting a focus on sustainability and protection of the deserts, cities, mountains, beaches and forests. International guests are now immersed in a true Moroccan way of life when they visit due to the many travel-related eco-initiatives that have been set-up. Such experiences can be had through Kasbah du Toubkal, a local tour company to give travellers a true taste of Morocco.

 

Palau

Island water resort

Island water resort

This tiny cluster of islands in the Pacific has taken ecotourism to a whole new level. When visitors enter the country you are expected to sign the immigration stamp on your passport to ‘tread lightly, act kindly and explore mindfully’. The local authorities have added to this pledge by enforcing practices like capping the number of tourists who come to visit and using only experienced divers to assist in protecting the coral reefs. There are also strict regulations on the fishing and mining industries by protecting up to 80% of its waters. If you are an eco-warrior then Palau is definitely the place you should visit where the biggest attraction is diving, bird watching and cultural events. To ensure a totally green experience, Dolphin Bay Resort is an eco-friendly accommodation you’ll enjoy.

 

Nepal

Nepalese buddhist monks

Nepalese Buddhist monks

Nepal has been named as one of the top eco-destinations in the world for 2020 and this is due largely to its rich heritage, culture and magnificent natural beauty. Tourism is a vital lifeline to Nepal and its communities and is enough motivation for the government to make ecotourism as a central theme to its tourism development plan. Nepal is home to Mount Everest thereby enjoying great tourist numbers, but there are other aspects to Nepal that makes it such a great eco-friendly destination like Her Farm Nepal which has to set-up entirely by women.

 

Western Australia

Ningaloo Reef Western Austalia

Ningaloo Reef Western Austalia

The Ningaloo coast of Western Australia is popular amongst ocean lovers for the swimming with the biggest fish in the ocean, the whale shark. Over 500 whale sharks congregate off the Ningaloo coast between March and July. This heavily protected waters is also a United Nations  Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation World Heritage Site. As a result, many companies like Ningaloo Discovery educates its guests like staying 3 metres from the whale shark at all times and only spending an hour with the animal. Not more than 10 people at a time are allowed. For accommodation, the Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef beachside camp is designed for min environmental impact by generating 100% of its energy through solar power.

 

New Zealand

Mount Cook New Zealand

Mount Cook New Zealand

New Zealand has more than 14 national parks and about 30% of its land is protected for its wildlife. With a population of only 4.5 million, it’s not surprising that it has one of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions in the world of only 0.2% of the worldwide total! Its motto of ‘Green, clean New Zealand’ is one of many eco-initiatives in place since becoming the first country to proclaim its vision of being a carbon-neutral country by 2050. Tourist can also participate in the initiative by renting a fully electric campervan from a company like Britz.

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