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You Can Now Book a Flight Based on a Screenshot

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Have you ever come across an Instagram post of a beautiful place from somewhere in the world but have no idea where? May it be sourcing inspiration for your next trip or just wanting to hop on a plane to experience the same beauty for yourself. Fret not, EasyJet is making it possible for you to travel to the places you see on Instagram.

You can now go to that stunning beach you saw on your favourite celebrity’s Instagram or the city you saw on a travel photographer’s feed via Look&Book. With the social app becoming a vital tool for the digital traveller, the airline’s new app will allow Instagram users to spot a destination online and be able to book a flight there.

Before, finding a destination post on Instagram and trying to make up where it is, how to get there and finding the best rates would make up a lengthy process.

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Image credit: Look&Book

For Look&Book, users can take a screenshot of the destination post that caught their eye on Instagram and upload it to the app. By using geolocation tagging, EasyJet will match the picture to a destination, with suggested travel dates and even a few price points that available.

Despite the process being seamless and enticing, you will not be able to book a flight simply anywhere in the world. EasyJet only services airports in Northern Africa, Iceland and Europe.

When you do make it to you Instagram worthy destination, make sure you have that perfect caption to inspire someone else’s trip.

Send Gin Along With Your Holiday Cards

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It’s our favourite time of the year once again with the festive season round the corner and what better way is there to celebrate than with alcohol? If you’re in search of the perfect holiday gift, Scottish small-batch gin distiller Daffy’s Gin is here to help. They have recently launched a Christmas card that comes with a special gift — gin.

Place an order for Daffy’s brand new gin cards to send it to your loved ones and they’ll opening up the Christmas cards to find a miniature bottle of Daffy’s gin sitted nicely within the card.

With the 50ml bottles placed into a letterbox, you have the option to insert a handwritten greeting or message onto the card along with the gin.

If you’re wondering how the card looks like, it includes the brand’s logo right in front, paired with a cheerful message inside that exclaims “Merry Christmas and a Daffy New Year!”

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Image credit: Daffy’s Gin

The cards cost approximately US$10 each when purchased individually. Alternatively, you can get a set of six cards at US$60.

Although UK orders can be placed online, international orders will have to be made by contacting the company via phone or email and delivery begins 22nd October 2018.

Made from pure wheat grain spirit from Northern France, Daffy’s gin is distilled in an ancient single batch copper pot still. It is then subsequently blended with eight different botanicals — lemon peel (imported from Italy), cassia bark (imported from Indonesia), orris root (imported from Morocco), orange peels (imported from Spain), mint (imported from Lebanon), juniper and coriander seeds (imported from the Balkan states), and lastly angelica root (imported from Belgium).

Combining these flavours, you will taste toffee, citrus, spice caramel and mint in your gin.

Let Google Assistant Handle Your Car Rides

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All thanks to Google Assistant, everyone can now have their very own personal assistant. Google Assistant, which is available for both iPhone and Android, as well as the Google Home, now has the capabilities of hailing you a car.

Just by saying “Hey Google, book me a taxi to the airport,” Google Assistant will display a list of available ride services. The list is complete with estimated prices and wait times. Next, all you have to do is to select your preferred ride service and the app will proceed to open to confirm the ride.

This feature will be useful for individuals who are running late and are short on time to compare between service providers for the most cost efficient ride. With the help of Google Assistant, users will be able to see all wait times and prices on the same page rather than switching back and forth between apps.

Apart from hailing rides for you, Google Assistant has been extremely helpful in terms of letting you plan your vacation hands-free. From learning a foreign language to finding you flight options and providing information about the weather, you can rely on Google Assistant. Plus, in the earlier half of 2018, Google introduced a feature that has allowed Assistant to book restaurant reservations and salon appointments.

Sustainable Travel Through Eco-Friendly Airlines

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With sustainable travel getting more attention, travellers who are devoted to protecting the environment while still getting to another country or state, choosing which airlines you take can make a huge difference.

20 major airlines flying between the U.S. and Europe has been ranked according to their carbon footprint. Coming in first, Norwegian Air Shuttle is the most environmentally friendly airline. The airline uses a combination of its seat numbers and uses of newer aircrafts that has lower fuel burn. Other airlines that ranks high with above-average fuel efficiency is WOW Air, SWISS, Turkish Airlines, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, and Thomas Cook.

Right at the bottom of the fuel efficiency list is British Airways. As a matter of fact, the airline’s fuel efficiency worsened by 4%, lower compared to a previous ranking in 2014.

Delta Airlines performed best, among the U.S. Airline, with an industry- average fuel efficiency. Both American and United Airlines ranked below average, with United coming in third from last with only 1% more fuel efficiency that Lufthansa. Though, United is making plans to make changes that would improve its overall environmental footprint.

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An interesting fact, crowded planes are much better for the planet. More people get to one place to another with the same amount of fuel. So by flying in a fully booked flight or a long-haul low-cost airline, could actually be more environmentally friendly, even if it’s more uncomfortable.

The environmental impact of aviation is actually a hot issue. With airlines contribution about 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and boeing expects as many as 43,000 planes will be needed to fly all 7.8 billion people by 2036.

Many airlines are now making plans to be more fuel efficient, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the new Boeing 777X, Airbus A350, and the new Airbus A220.

Biofuels are also taking off, having Boeing play and important role in their advancements. Though there are challenges that come in to play as well, including getting enough to supply airports and also reducing the price of biofuels so that they can be used by more airlines in a regular basis.

Back in 2016, Oslo Airport became the first airport to have stock and supply for biofuel in large quantities to support airline operations. The blend of biofuels in Oslo is a combination of used cooking oil and Camelina, a Spanish plant.

Are you up for ‘The Thrill of the Chase’?

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When we think of ‘Treasure Hunt’, we would often think Indiana Jones or it being as simple as an Easter egg hunt. However, former Vietnam fighter pilot and art dealer, Forrest Fenn made treasure hunting an exhilarating reality eight years ago.

Somewhere in the Rockies, roughly 1,000 miles between Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Canadian border, is where Forrest Fenn hid the treasure. Or that’s where many think its buried. The chest is estimated to be worth millions, filled with riches Fenn has found over his years looking and collecting treasures himself.

Of course, a good treasure hunt wouldn’t be any fun without a twist. Fenn has named the hunt, ‘The Thrill of the Chase’, and has only provided a very cryptic poem that is said to contain nine clues that will lead the hunter directly to the treasure. Fenn has kept the location of the chest from everyone and anyone, even his wife.

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Image credit: Forrest Fenn Instagram

The chest, about a square foot in size, is supposedly filled with emeralds, rubies, diamonds, gold coins and other artefact Fenn has amassed during his explorations in the Southwest. Fenn initially planned on dying beside the chest after he was diagnosed with cancer back in 1988.

After he survived, Fenn left the chest in storage only to take it out years later during the Great Recession. He did so to lighten the spirits of the people and give them some hope.

After a few years of hiding the treasure, there have been a handful of hunters that has made it their full-time career to hunt for the chest. From hiking and trekking every inch of the questioned locations to spending their nights looking for clues and piecing the poem in and out. An estimated 350,000 people have gone hunting for the treasure and some have even risked their lives for it.

Fenn has addressed this, saying that the treasure hunt is suppose to be fun and that the hunt is suppose to encourage people of all ages to go out and enjoy the outdoors.

Let Google Assist You In Your Travel Research

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Image credit: Google

Remember Google Trips app? It was released in 2016 and has been available on both iOS and Android platforms. Google Trips assists you in keeping track of your itinerary while travelling by automatically collecting information from your Gmail inbox, and subsequently organising it and making it available offline. In addition, it offers suggestions on things to see and do.

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Image credit: Google

This time round, Google is introducing new features to its Trips tool that makes it even easier for users to keep track of their travel plans. As of this October, Your Trips will be helping users handle and manage all that information, organising your searches and allowing you to resume planning where you left off. Plus, Google will be assisting you with planning via suggesting things to do, day plans and travel articles in Search. It will become more customised along the way as you gradually confirm your travel dates and hotel reservations.

Google will also be assisting users to determine whether flights they find during festive seasons such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s travel times are decently priced. You’ll be notified whether the price is higher, lower or typical for that period based on historical data gathered by Google and also get an idea of whether the price is likely to drop or increase in the coming days.

Last but not least, Google will be rolling out hotel location scores. This provides summaries of the surrounding area of a given hotel, giving an idea of whether bars, landmarks or transport options are close by. This feature will give you a guide on how to travel to and fro the airport.

This Backpack Massages Your Shoulders and Back On the Go

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Image credit: Eume

We all need some good gear for our travel adventures, and having a handy backpack is great for carrying our travel essentials. Unfortunately, wearing them for extended periods of time may add some unnecessary strains to your back and tire you out.

With the advent of technology and vast improvements in travel gear, Eume is introducing travel backpacks that come with a built-in massager.

Eume has three different TSA compatible backpacks that come with a built-in massager. The massager consists of two points to massage your shoulders and back, and users are able to move the massage points to their ideal spots with the attached adjustable straps.

Eume’s founder Naina Parekh conceptualised the idea after noticing how her back gets sore while carrying her bags from one work conference to another while she is travelling, and she wanted a massage to relieve the backache.

Eume has spent the last three years creating the travel backpacks and they have recently surpassed its goal on Kickstarter and is not accepting pre-orders. It is estimated that the product will launch late 2018.

The massagers are powered via a power bank and users can choose to activate the massager for the shoulders, the back or both. You will however have to purchase your power bank separately.

In addition, the Eume backpacks have been designed with a flexible back torso so as to hug the back of the wearer. This helps the user to maintain a straight posture and assist in the weight distribution when you’re carrying heavy loads.

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Image credit: Eume

You’ll be glad to know that all of Eume’s bag come with a rain cover, reflectors as well as anti-theft features such as hidden pockets and covers that can be slipped on the bag’s zippers conveniently. Ideal for travels, the backpack also comes with an additional USB charging port, toiletries pouch, clothes bag, a sleeve for digital devices as well as a shoe compartment.

Although the backpacks are only available for pre-orders through Kickstarter at the moment, there are plans to launch the backpacks on their site as well as on Amazon as early as beginning 2019.

Travelling to the Moon is No Longer a Distant Dream

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SpaceX has recently revealed their first private passenger who will be going on a tourist trip to the moon. Founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars, SpaceX will be flying Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon on their Big Falcon Rocket.

However, the Japanese online fashion tycoon will not be journeying alone. He plans to bring along six to eight artists with him on the trip. He mentioned that he has a love for art and is looking forward to seeing what the different artists can bring to life by working together. He also mentioned that going to the moon was his “lifelong dream”.

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Image credit: SpaceX

The artists invited by Maezawa will be asked to create a work reflecting their experiences post-trip. Maezawa is currently reaching out to artists specialising in different mediums, be it painters and sculptors or film directors, musicians and architects.

Big Falcon Rocket will not be landing on the moon per se but will instead travelling along a “free return trajectory” which sets the rocket on a course back to Earth once it is done circling around the moon.

Big Falcon Rocket is not built at the present moment and getting it into flight condition in the near future will be a big challenge. Maezawa has named the trip #DearMoon and is currently planned for 2023.

Why Is Travel Important

In this time and age where we use our interconnectedness to broaden our knowledge and understanding, we often just reinforce our prejudice and fears. Despite us living in a beautiful and diverse planet, it can sometimes be intimidating. By looking at the small screens, our devices only shows us a small part of the big picture.

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One of the best ways to see the big picture, is by travel.

Travel has a way of waking us up from our fears of the unfamiliar and unknown. Most people who fear travelling the world often have the same response, whether they read an article from way back, anecdotes from others, or politically driven tales that may or may not have an agenda.

You will notice that when you meet a fellow globe-trekker, they rarely seem fearful. It’s undeniable that there are some parts of the world that are inadvisable to visit, such as disaster or conflict zones, but those are only small parts of the world.

Through travelling, you would quickly realise that putting people into categories and caricatures that others assign to other nationalities are consistently inaccurate. When you travel, you spot more similarities than differences.

We could all be different in outside appearances, languages, religion, mannerisms and many more. But all cultures love their children, are proud of their heritage, want to improve their family’s conditions and in some way or another, leave a legacy of some sort behind. In short, we basically share the same hopes and aspirations.

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When we travel, the way we see the world and its residents are challenged for the better. You would find ways to conquer and accomplish obstacles positively.

With the news that we read or watch on a day to day basis, it seems like the world is obsessed with negativity, making the good news go unreported. It’s good to be informed about the problems that is circulating beyond our borders, but we need to be better informed about the success and other milestones these places have achieved.

When we hear something negative about a particular place, we tend to build a wall around it instead of understanding. When you travel, you are stepping out of your bubble and experiencing and getting information about the world first hand.

It is a sad truth that travelling doesn’t necessarily make you a better person, but being uninformed and having an irrational fear of the world doesn’t make you any better either. Travelling is all about learning about the world and its people. It teaches us to be open to be open minded and willingness to change.

Top Instagram Landmarks Around the World

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It’s no surprise that more and more millennials are taking up gap years and longer breaks to travel and explore the world. According to a study by Schofield Insurance that was conducted in 2017, the “instagrammability” of a destination tops the list of factors that influence millennials in choosing their next destination. Going along with that train of thought, the most shared landmarks on Instagram would probably be the ones where millennials flock to as well.

This study has led a UK-based camping and hiking retailer Winsfields Outdoors to analyse the number of times a landmark’s hashtag was used on Instagram. They subsequently compiled a list of the 18 most Instagrammed landmarks in the world.

Central Park

New York City’s Central Park tops the list with its hashtag shared over 5.8 million times. Paris follows closely at second place with the Eiffel Tower’s hashtag used approximately 4.7 million times. The third place goes to New York’s Times Square, where it was hashtagged 3.2 million times. London’s Big Ben takes the fourth place with its hashtag shared around 2.8 million times and the Grand Canyon in Arizona was hashtagged 2.7 million times.

Other notable mentions include the London Eye with 2.5 million hashtags, The Musee du Louvre with 2.3 million hashtags and the Brooklyn Bridge with 2.3 million shares and the Golden Gate Bridge with 2.2 million shares.

There are several popular landmarks that didn’t make its way to the top ten of the list — Niagara Falls, the Statue of Liberty, the Colosseum, Machu Picchu as well as Angkor Wat.

You can look through the full list here.