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Oct
20

RYANAIR have introduced a new charge for check-in.

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The airline have introduced a new cost that will charge passengers £6 to check-in for a flight more than four days prior.

The new cost will be introduced from the 1st of November.

This is a change to the airline’s previous policy, which allowed passengers to check-in seven days in advance for free.

This charge has angered certain customers who have found a very obvious flaw.

Those going on a week long holiday will be unable to check in for their return flight without being charged.

Or they will have to find a way to check-in and print a boarding pass whilst on their holidays.

Customers have taken to Twitter to vent their frustration.

Chris Wood wrote: “@easyJet allow you to check in 30 days in advance, @Ryanair only 7 unless you pay. Guess I’ll gave to find a printer while I’m away then.”

Ryanair has now charged customers for checking in early

GETTY

Ryanair has now charged customers for checking in early

Marketing Chief for Ryanair Kenny Jacobs said: “We’re continuing to listen to our customers through our “Always Getting Better” programme and this change reflects the customer feedback we have received.

“From November 1, we’re offering those customers who wish to reserve seats more time to choose their preferred seat, by reducing the check-in window from 7 to 4 days pre-departure for those customers who prefer a random seat.

“Customers who do not wish to reserve their seat will be able to check-in between 4 days and 2 hours ahead of their departure, using both the Ryanair.com website and Ryanair mobile app, and will continue to be randomly allocated a seat, free of charge.

“Over 13 million customers are using the Ryanair app to download and travel on mobile boarding passes, making travel with Ryanair even simpler.”

This comes after it was revealed Emirates will start charging for economy seat selection.

The UAE airline has introduced a “minimal charge” for economy passengers.

Any customers wishing to select their own seat now have to pay for it.

Special and Saver fares in the Economy Class have been hit with the fee, which varies depending on the flight duration.

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Oct
09

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© Getty My Travelling Nanny will link you up with someone to help out while on the road with your kids.

Parenthood has its joys and its challenges—and like so much else, both are heightened by travel. Parents need to spend time with their kids, but they also need time for themselves, whether to decompress from busy work schedules or to experience a place as adults. Michaela Drake can help. Her company, My Travelling Nanny, has over 150 experienced childcare pros at locations all over the world, pre-screened and vetted. You can book them for a whole vacation or, in a pinch, just for a night. She can find you a combination nanny-swim instructor, or a nanny-math tutor. She can even help you find someone to run your three energetic sons up and down a beach for hours on end to prep them (and you) for a good night’s sleep. Hear the complete podcast.

In this week’s Travelogue podcast—the third installment of our four-part series “Crazy Travel Jobs We Can’t Believe Exist”—Michaela drops by to tell us about her service and share stories from the traveling nanny life. Special guests Zeke Freeman, a busy small-business owner who’s also a frequent traveling parent, and Traveler’s‘s own Paulie Dibner, herself a former traveling babysitter with a story or two to tell, join in the chat.

Thanks to Michaela Drake of My Travelling Nanny for answering the prayers of traveling parents everywhere, and for being willing to talk about it; and to Paulie and Zeke for hanging out in the studio. As always, props to Brett Fuchs, our engineer and sound designer, for making it all sound great. Be sure to tune in next Friday for our latest installment of Travelogue, in which we’ll be chatting with Jim Coyle, head of the Coyle Hospitality Group’s army of undercover hotel inspectors. To keep up with our podcast each week, subscribe to Travelogue on the iTunes store. View our complete list of the best places to visit in the U.S.

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Oct
03

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© Doug Mills/The New York Times Mr. Obama in 2013 at Petra in Jordan, viewing the 2,000-year-old ruins carved into sandstone cliffs.

WASHINGTON — Snorkeling in the crystal-blue Pacific waters off Midway Island. Check. Strolling through the enigmatic columns of Stonehenge. Check. Visiting the Bob Marley Museum in Jamaica, the pyramids in Egypt and the Great Wall of China. Check, check and check.

President Obama visited Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, in 2014.

© Doug Mills/The New York Times President Obama visited Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, in 2014.

It turns out that traveling the globe on Air Force One can do wonders for your tourism bucket list.

President Obama has spent most of his travel time the past eight years on official duties: countless fund-raisers, state visits to foreign capitals, pep rallies with American troops, policy announcements and never-ending summit meetings in hotel ballrooms the world over.

But maybe more than any of his predecessors, Mr. Obama has also seized the opportunity to become the ultimate tourist, methodically setting aside time to marvel at the world’s most spectacular sights, seemingly soaking up every experience. (Want proof? Watch the episode of “Running Wild With Bear Grylls” in which the president joins the host in eating some salmon already munched on by a bear.)

“It’s a Jeffersonian impulse. He’s intellectually curious,” said Jon Meacham, a presidential historian, who compared Mr. Obama’s penchant for sightseeing to Thomas Jefferson’s travels through France from 1784 to 1789, though that was before Jefferson became president.

“He’s trying to do something that’s incredibly difficult,” Mr. Meacham said of Mr. Obama. “He’s trying to replenish his intellectual capital in a job that really just demands expenditure of that resource.”

Not all presidents are eager tourists. President George W. Bush was impatientwhen it came to seeing the sights. In 2002, Mr. Bush spent only 30 minutes at the Great Wall of China. It took him the same amount of time to visit theNational Archives of Canada, where he gazed at portraits of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. One White House aide told a reporter in 2004 that Mr. Bush liked a clean, tight schedule.

President Bill Clinton was by all accounts more willing to squeeze in tourist stops, even if it meant late-night visits before early-morning departures. On a visit to Madrid, Mr. Clinton toured the Prado, Spain’s national art museum, at 11 p.m.

President George Bush was well traveled while in office but less of a tourist than Mr. Obama, said Mr. Meacham, who recently finished a biography of the senior Mr. Bush. If he had some free time, “he was going to set up a game of wallyball at Camp David,” Mr. Meacham said. “He would order up spur-of-the-moment horseshoe tournaments.”

Aides of Mr. Obama’s say he has been relentless in urging them to schedule stops in places that give him a chance to do some sightseeing. In Rome to meet the new pope in 2014, Mr. Obama also took a private guided tour through the Colosseum. After four days of Mideast peace negotiations in 2013, the president played tourist at Petra in Jordan, viewing the 2,000-year-old ruins carved into sandstone cliffs.

And in 2014, at the end of a three-day trip to Estonia and a NATO summit meeting in Wales, Mr. Obama hopped in a motorcade for a short drive to the monoliths at Stonehenge, where he had a leisurely walk. He declared the site “spectacular” and “a special place” before telling reporters, “Knocked it off the bucket list!”

Mr. Obama’s travels — along with his frequent golf outings and summertime visits to Martha’s Vineyard — have generated some criticism, especially from Republicans who question the value of the trips and the cost to taxpayers.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, has used Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits to try to get information about the cost of the president’s travel. The group claims that Mr. Obama’s travel, official and personal, has cost taxpayers about $80 million.

Of course, the exact cost of the president’s sightseeing is unknowable because it is mixed in with the overall efforts required to protect and support the American leader no matter where on the globe he finds himself. The infrastructure of the modern presidency always accompanies the Oval Office occupant, whether he or she is on official duties or vacation.

The president’s aides point out that previous presidents have always traveled with the same security and administrative needs. And they insist that most of Mr. Obama’s personal tourism serves important diplomatic purposes. Eating in a noodle shop in Vietnam with Anthony Bourdain for his CNN program, they say, helped deliver the president’s hope for a deeper relationship between the people of the two nations. And the Obamas’ dinner date in a restaurant in Cuba helped cement the image of a new kind of relationship between Washington and Havana, two longtime adversaries.

“These moments allow the president to highlight issues he cares about by experiencing them firsthand,” said Liz Allen, the deputy White House communications director. “Seeing a melting glacier in Alaska or walking the trails of our national parks really drives home the impact of climate change and importance of conserving our lands and waters.”

“And when traveling overseas,” she added, “getting off the beaten path to visit a cultural landmark further deepens ties in that country.”

The demands of the presidency sometimes get in the way of Mr. Obama’s sightseeing. The president skipped a planned stop at the Taj Mahal after the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in early 2015 forced him to cut short a visit to India. Despite taking several trips to Southeast Asia, Mr. Obama has never been able to persuade his handlers to get him to Angkor Wat, a complex of magnificent temples in Cambodia.

“The president was quite disappointed to not have an opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal on his last visit to India,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said after the schedule change in India. “I wish I could promise — I think the president wishes I could promise — that he would have an opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal before the end of his presidency, but I’m not sure that will happen.”

And one of the biggest boxes on his tourism list is likely to remain unchecked during the remainder of his presidency: zipping across the frozen tundra of Antarctica, on a snowmobile that might be called Snow Force One. Top aides say he has been wanting to visit for years, but no trip there is on the schedule.

Still, there is no question that the presidency has given Mr. Obama extraordinary access to people, places and experiences that most others do not have.

“Jefferson had this incredible sense of curiosity. He wanted to be a kind of conveyor belt of culture,” Mr. Meacham said. “He saw tourism as, I suspect, the way the president does: widening the aperture of experience and learning as much as possible.”

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Sep
26

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Spring break is right around the corner, which means flying is about to get way more irritating than it already is. If you’re looking for a stress-free travel experience, sorry to break it too you, but you picked the wrong time to book your flight.

According to a recent survey by Expedia, 50% of Americans get annoyed by the “Audio Insensitive” person, who talks loud, and plays their music loud enough for their neighbors to hear. But what do they do about it? Culture Cheat Sheet explains, “even when another traveler acts like a jerk, most people let it slide. Half of people said they’d ignore an inconsiderate passenger. Ten percent said they’d secretly record the offender on their phone, 3% said they’d shame them on social media, and 21% admitted they’d ask the person to stop.”

Unfortunately, disturbing incidents are common, according to CNN, “a new low may just have been reached for weary road warriors: The overwhelmingly smelly passenger.” They explain, a man was reportedly kicked off a plane because of his strong body odor.

Well, its life… annoying passengers exist. But do they know they are actually annoying? Read below to see the Most Annoying Passengers on Your Flight. If you happen to relate with one of them, there is still time to turn it around because let’s be honest, no one really wants to be the annoying passenger.

1. The Talker– You get on the plane, hook your travel pillow around your neck and as you’re about to doze off, your neighbor begins talking. Nothing is worse than sitting next to a stranger who won’t stop talking.

2. The Armrest Hog– So you’re stuck in the middle seat, yeah I know it stinks. Sorry, but you are not entitled to both armrests. Share the armrests and leave some space for the person sitting next to you.

3. The Drinker– OK, we understand some people get nervous on flights.Drinking may even help you fall asleep faster. However, when one drink turns into five it has a tendency to transform that passenger into a loud, annoying flyer, that probably gets up to use the restroom one to many times. You’re on a plane, not at a New Year’s Eve party, there is absolutely nowhere else to go. Wait until you arrive at your destination, then celebrate and have a few drinks.

4. The Kicker– To the person who adjusts themselves several times throughout their flight, please stop kicking and bumping into the seat in front of you. According to Expedia, “when asked to choose from a list of annoying behaviors, 61% of Americans cited seat-kicking as a top in-flight concern.” We are all crammed into a small place suffering with little leg room. Have some respect for the passenger in front of you and stop waking them up by moving their seat.

5. The Leaner– Your body is yours and it’s not meant to be used as a human headrest. Falling asleep on your neighbor is rude and makes them uncomfortable. If you have a tendency to lean over as you fall asleep, purchase a travel pillow.

6. The Person with Too Many Carry-On Bags– First of all, how did they make it through airportsecurity without being told to check some of their bags? Bringing too many bags on the plane is rude; the overhead compartments are there for everyone, and they end up taking too much space. Or, end up sitting with their bags crammed at their feet and making the flight uncomfortable for everyone.

7. The Sick PersonAirplanes are full of germs and there is always that one person (hopefully not your neighbor) constantly sniffling or coughing. We get you can’t miss your flight because you are sick, but at least bring some tissues and make sure cough away from your neighbor.

8. The Screaming Child– Trying to sleep on a plane while listening to a screaming child is very disturbing. Don’t take it personal, it’s ruining the flight experience for you and everyone else around you. Make sure you bringheadphones, they may not completely block the noise, but listening to music may at least help distract you from it.

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Sep
11

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THE ABSOLUTE BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL BY TRAIN

Tourists prefer to fly because it saves them time. But TSA security lines that can last for hours,lost luggage horror stories, and annoying fellow-passengers make the short trip feel like a lifetime of misery. Go ahead then, and take the train. Choose the scenic route over the quick one and make getting to your destination part of the vacation. Relax, take in the stunning sights and explore parts of the world you have never seen before. Some people prefer the train because it’s mysterious, others because they have the time and not the money for a plane ticket. Whatever the reason, the outcome is often the same – an iconic journey.

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ACROSS GORISKA BRDA, SLOVENIA

Explore Slovenia’s upland highlights and rustic mountain villages. This is a 3-hour long trip aboard a vintage train. Enjoy the stunning views of Lake Bled, passing through numerous gorges, crossing many tunnels, the longest of which is 3.93 miles long, according to Slovenia Info.

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THE COASTAL PACIFIC, NEW ZEALAND

You’ll go from the enchanting port of Picton, the gateway to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, to Kaikoura, the home of whale watching, and onto Christchurch, according to Rail New Zealand. You’ll pass stunning wine regions and the Pacific Ocean coastline with seals and penguins.

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HAPUTALE TO ELLA, SRI LANKA

Take a trip across the mountainous part of the country. The region between Haputale and Ella is “one of the world’s most scenic train rides,” Lonely Planet says. The line performs a complete loop around a hillside and tunnels under itself. You’ll pass by Kandy, famous for its sacred Buddhist sites.

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DANUBE EXPRESS TO TRANSYLVANIA

Hop on the luxurious train and travel back in time. See some of the ancient architecture in Bulgaria. In Transylvania, you’ll see medieval towns, mountains and castles, including where the legend of Dracula still lives. Romania is one of the most dollar-friendly destinations in the world.

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Aug
29

The idea of an all-inclusive vacation may conjure images of insipid buffets, watered down drinks, and long lines. But many of today’s all-inclusive resorts have a lot more to offer—including quality food–and can still provide great value to both luxury and budget-minded travelers alike, as well as those traveling with multiple generations.

The shift to higher end amenities came during the Great Recession when even wealthy travelers became more conscious about the cost of vacations. “Suddenly, luxury travelers were looking for package travel bargains,”according to a new report by Skift, a travel industry data and marketing firm, and Club Med. “A new influx of high-end consumers willing to try higher levels all-inclusive resorts for the first time spurred higher and higher levels of luxury product development and resort services based on heightened guest expectations.”

SLIDESHOW: The 10 Best Islands in the World

The competition from high end and newer resorts that include fine dining and butler services has forced the entry-level properties to increase services and amenities, while still focusing on delivering value to the consumer.

All-inclusive deals aren’t always lower in price than a vacation booked a la carte, but they’re comparable and they offer the convenience and luxury of leaving your wallet in the hotel room safe for the duration of the trip. “All inclusive doesn’t really mean cheap anymore,” says Michelle Weller an associate with Travel Leaders in Houston. “But it does mean value.”

Follow these tips to find the best all-inclusive summer vacation for you.

1. Find a resort that speaks to you.

1) Providenciales, Turks And Caicos: Attractions: Diving and snorkling, upscale resorts and turquoise waters.© Flickr/Kenji Ross Attractions: Diving and snorkling, upscale resorts and turquoise waters.

With a growing number of all-inclusive resorts, the hotels have tried to differentiate themselves in order to find their consumer niche. Of course there are resorts that cater just to families with small children, or to couples looking for a romantic getaway.

Related: When to Book You Flight for the Best Deal

There are also resorts created specifically for those who want to be pampered at the spa or golf all day. Think about whether you want to pay more to stay at a smaller resort that may offer more personal service, or whether you’d like to dress up for fine dining each night.

“You want to make sure you’re going to the right resort for you, because once you’re they’re you’re going to stay put for most of your stay,” says Gabe Saglie, a senior editor at Travelzoo. “You want to make sure you like your neighbors.”

2. Check second-tier sites.

1) Providenciales, Turks And Caicos: Attractions: Diving and snorkling, upscale resorts and turquoise waters.© Flickr/Kenji Ross Attractions: Diving and snorkling, upscale resorts and turquoise waters.

Travelocity and Orbitz have good deals, but you may find an even better package on lesser known sites that specialize in all-inclusive travel and may have connections to the hotels on the ground. CheapCaribbean.com, for example, was recently offering a four-night trip to Jamaica, including airfare, for $1,189 per person, a trip that would normally cost $1,649.

3. Watch out for extra charges.

Most resorts aren’t truly “all-inclusive.” “You need to carefully look at all of the amenities to find out what’s actually included,” says Brian Shilling, managing director of travel products and services for AAA.

Expect to pay extra for off-site excursions and for Internet access. (Unlike cruises, alcohol is generally included in the price.) To keep these extras from breaking the bank, set a budget upfront for additional costs and stick to it. Sometimes you can get a deal by booking such activities before the trip actually begins.

4. Look beyond the Caribbean.

1) Providenciales, Turks And Caicos: Attractions: Diving and snorkling, upscale resorts and turquoise waters.© Flickr/Kenji Ross Attractions: Diving and snorkling, upscale resorts and turquoise waters.

A Caribbean or Mexican all-inclusive vacation may still be the cheapest option, but if you’re willing to pay more for value, European resorts are on sale right now thanks to the cheap Euro. “You may not get that traditional tropical beach vacation, but you will find resorts with prices that include meals, cocktails, and access to amenities,” Saglie says.

Be flexible with dates.
You’ll get the best rates traveling mid-week or while kids are still in school. Summer prices are at least 25 percent less than winter prices because of the heat, and they’ll drop even further in August because of hurricane season. If you’re willing to risk it your trip getting cancelled, buy travel insurance, and you can get a great rate. “Seasonality is extremely important to the price for these places,” says Michael Rainey, an editor with Cheapism.com.

Related: 7 Secrets to Scoring Cheap Airline Tickets

5. Plan ahead and pay upfront.

It’s too late for this summer’s vacations, but some resorts offer a discount for those who book at least six months in advance and pay upfront. That move could shave 10 percent to 20 percent off your total bill.

6. Be loyal.

If you decide that you’d like to regularly vacation at all-inclusive resorts, pick one international chain (like Sandals or Club Med) and enroll in its membership rewards program for access to free upgrades and access to reserved parts of the resort. “They’re usually free to join,” Saglie says. “Sometimes it only takes a few visits to start enjoying some of the perks.”

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Aug
28

Passengers have described the terror they endured when part of a plane’s engine was ripped off thousands of feet in the air.

Southwest Airlines Flight 3472 from New Orleans to Orlando was forced to make an emergency landing after the heart-stopping high-altitude malfunction this morning.

An Oklahoma mum, who was travelling with her husband and their three children – who are 5 and 7, and a baby – described the moment she she heard a boom outside the plane.

© Provided by Mirror“It was just a big explosion. There was some smoke and then nothing,” she told KOCO 5.

“I saw parts flapping in the wind because it was right outside my window.”

“I held my kids, and one was freaking out, crying. And so, we’re trying to hold his hand and singing and praying a lot,” she said.

“I had my faith in God, so I knew that whatever was going to happen, He was with us,” the mother said. “So I was able to stay calm. It wasn’t until after I got on the ground that I got emotional.”

The pilots managed to stabilise the plane and then told passengers that one of the engines was lost, she added. The plane then made an emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida.

The mum praised the crew’s handling of the situation.

© Provided by MirrorA spokesman for Southwest Airlines said: “Today, the Captain of Flight #3472 from New Orleans to Orlando made the decision to divert to Pensacola due to a mechanical issue with the number one engine.

“The flight landed safely without incident at Pensacola International Airport at 9:40am central time.

“Initial reports indicate there were no injuries among the 99 passengers and five crew members on board.

“We have notified the NTSB, and when authorised, we will be inspecting the aircraft to assess the damage. The aircraft is out of service, and we will work to accommodate the passengers to Orlando or their final destination as soon as possible.”

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