One of the most gratifying facets of being a travel editor is being able to help real-life travellers with their travel dilemmas. And, more often than not, a traveller’s problem shared is a problem halved. You may think you’re the only person who wants to know whether it’s cheaper to catch a ferry to Tasmania with your car onboard or fly there and hire, but tell that to the thousands of YourLifeChoices members who were also interested in the answer.
Same goes for all of our Travel SOS questions. You may not be surprised to know that everyone wants to know how to get cheap (or free) upgrades or how upgrade bidding works, but you may not realise that the holes in airplane windows also tickled the curiosity of many a flyer.
Without further ado, here are the top five travel tips of 2017:
5. Travel SOS: do I need a visa for Canada?
It seems that most Australians have wanted to visit Canada at some time. We love Canada (as you can probably tell) and we love the fact that you do too. So, it wasn’t surprising to us that many of you wanted to know if you need a visa to enter the country. The good news is that you don’t need a visa to go to Canada if you’re an Australian citizen.
4. Travel SOS: which passport should a dual citizen use?
Dual citizenship was a hot topic this year, and not just in Parliament. Dual citizen and YourLifeChoices member Mary also wondered about the best passport to use when entering and exiting a country. Turns out that dual citizens should always use the same passport to enter and exit a country. So, to avoid any border control issues, use your Australian passport to exit and enter Australia, but use your British (or other) passport to enter and exit that country.
3. Ex-mugger tells all: who they target and how they do it
Safety regularly rates highly for most travellers. So when we came across an interview with a real-life mugger telling investigative reporter Jeff Rossen how he chooses and targets his victims, we just had to share it with you. And you just had to know!
Here it is again (in case you missed it).
2. Travel SOS: what happens if someone dies on my flight?
It’s not a question I’ve ever pondered, let alone been asked. But Pauline threw us a spinner when she wondered what happened to a dead body on a plane. Well, thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, the body is handled in the most respectful way possible. That may mean the body is moved to a spare row of seats (if possible) or the body may be covered and placed in the galley.
1. Travel SOS: can you get cheap upgrades to business class?
It may be thrilling to board a plane on your way to a well-deserved holiday, but even better would be stopping a few steps onboard and plonking into those cushy seats in first class or business class. Even better would be having that privilege for free or little outlay. Little wonder then that the top clicking travel tip for the year was how to get cheap upgrades. And, as Jason found out, there are a few ways to make that dream a reality. They include finding the upgrades online, using your points, bidding for them in an upgrade auction or, on the rare occasion, dressing nicely, smiling and batting your eyelids (and being in the right place at the right time talking to the right person at the flight desk).
We love to solve your travel dilemmas. So, if you ever have a Travel SOS question, send it to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it (or find someone who can).