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Top Instagram Landmarks Around the World

Times Square

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.

Kickstart Your Oktoberfest Celebrations on Board Lufthansa

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The annual Oktoberfest is kicking off this week and Lufthansa will be celebrating it with you! If you’re flying with Lufthansa airlines, you can begin you Oktoberfest celebrations on air provided that you’re flying from Germany to several specific airports.

Lufthansa announced exciting plans of bringing actual kegs on board their flights from Munich to New York/Newark (19th September), Singapore (25th September) and Shanghai (6th October). Passengers flying with Lufthansa would be able to get a few pints of draft beer during their journey.

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There’s more exciting things in store for business class travellers. These passengers will be able to enjoy a selection ok Oktoberfest-specific foods ranging from ox tartare with truffle, Arctic char with Riesling sauce and pistachio pesto.

If you’re flying into Germany, you’re part of the celebration too. Passengers who arrive in Munich during the first weekend of Oktoberfest will get themselves an “Oktoberfest treat box” containing snacks and a vitamin drink — just to get you prepared for the festivities coming up.

Plus, choose to dig into an Oktoberfest menu in the airline’s lounges and grab a yummy snack before or after your flight.

Make and Taste Pizzas At Home

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Image credit: Ooni

Who doesn’t love a yummy pizza? Here’s your chance to get paid up to US$1,000 a day to make and taste your very own pizza.

Ooni, an outdoor cookware company is looking for 10 pizza taste testers to create and taste pizzas. The pizzas will be made from the company’s two different portable wood-fired pizza ovens, namely the Unni 3 and the Unni Pro.

The 10 successful applicants will work on a part-time, freelance basis with the company. They will also have the opportunity to use the ovens, which are cable of cooking 13-inch and 16-inch pizzas in just 60 seconds. In addition, the hired applicants will be coming up with their own pizza recipes and to taste and provide feedback on the company’s new products.

With varying experiences, each hired applicant will be receiving varying compensation that ranges from US$300 minimally to US$1,000 for the more experienced candidates. Usually, if the candidate has added skill sets such as filming high quality video content, or has been a cook who worked at cooking demonstrations for large crowds, will have a better chance at receiving the higher compensation rates.

Pizza (1)
Image credit: Ooni

Ooni will be shipping its ovens to the 10 candidates and covering relevant expenses for any ingredients used for recipe testing. It is then up to the candidates to develop new recipes, test the products and also work as a brand ambassador for Ooni via social media platforms and at live events.

Although there are no fixed number of days that the candidates have to work, Ooni hopes to find people who are willing to work on at least two days of the month from 9am to 5pm and taking a one hour lunch break in between. You can be from any part of the world since it will be a work from home position.

To apply for the position, you’ll have to submit a video of up to one minute to elaborate on why you’re suitable for the position in addition to showcasing their pizza skills. The video file should not be larger than 20MB and can be sent to jobs@ooni.com.

Remember to send in your application by October 14 and Ooni will be in touch with successful applicants shortly after.

 

Get Up Close and Personal With a Giant Moon

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Image credit: Museum of the Moon

Not everyone has the opportunity to become an astronaut and eventually set foot on our Earth’s beautiful moon, but with the Museum of the Moon you can now view a giant reproduction of the moon up close. That’s probably as close as you can get to the moon, but it’s still an amazing experience nonetheless.

The Museum of the Moon is a touring artwork installation created by  UK-based artist Luke Jerram. Measuring seven metres in diameter, the giant moon is internally lit and allows visitors to study the images of the real moon’s surface that has been attached to the sculpture’s surface. As these images com directly from NASA, rest assured that they are probably as scientifically accurate as it gets. The sculpture is scaled at 1:500,000 — each centimetre of it actually represents 5 km of the actual moon.

You’ll be pleased to know that the Museum of the Moon is currently touring various countries and being displayed both indoors and outdoors. The experience of the artwork would be altered in each brand new venue. Plus, the surround sound music has been composed specifically for the installation by Dan Jones, a BFTA winner.

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Image credit: Museum of the Moon

By bringing his artwork around the world, Luke Jerram hopes to inspire artists, poetes, scientists, writers and musicians, just like the actual moon. At the same time, he hopes to take the opportunity to observe cultural similarities and differences amongst people across the globe when it comes to our satellite system and our relationship with it.

Moon (2)
Image credit: Museum of the Moon

Some visitors lie down and moon-bathe on the outdoor lawn while admiring the installation, and there were even some visitors who dressed as spacemen and arrived in slow motion to the exhibition.

The Museum of the Moon has visited China during Summer and is currently travelling back to Europe for Autumn. Between September and November 2018, you’ll be able to catch the moon through the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland. After the Europe tour, the installation will be travelling to Melbourne, Australia until Spring 2019.

Mark down the tour dates here and start planning your visit!

You Might Just Be the Next Travel Photographer of the Year

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If you haven’t heard, the hunt for the next Travel Photographer of the Year has begun!

The Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) awards is an annual competition run by photographers for photographers. It does not matter which part of the world you live in, whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, or whether you’re young or old. The awards attract entries from more than 140 countries each year.

Judged by leading photographers and experts in the field, you’ll receive great prestige regardless of whether you’re shortlisted or being selected as a winner eventually.

This prestigious photography award provides a platform for a huge exposure to the work of participating photographers through the media activities, books, photographer profiles and exhibitions that come together with the competition.

As a winning photographer, you’ll see your work being showcased around the world. In the past, established photographic careers have received a huge boost, new careers were kick-started and some photographers even had the chance to witness their own work published in print. The touring exhibitions held in 2016 and 2017 received a crowd of 250,000 visitors and it is estimated that 2018’s exhibition programme will be receiving a crowd 1.8 million people.

Photographs will be judged across several categories including ‘Travel’, ‘Faces, People, Cultures’ and ‘Natural World’ alongside ‘One Shot’, ‘Beauty of Light’, ‘Hot, Cold’ and ‘Tranquility’.

This year, there would also be prizes going out for the Young Travel Photographer of the Year for contestants under 18 as well as a New Talent award dedicated to images taken on a smartphone or tablet.

Entries close on 1st October 2018 and you can submit them here.

Explore New Cities With Google’s Touring Bird

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Image credit: Google

Google’s in-house startup incubator Area 120 has developed a variety of apps, and it is prepared to dazzle us once again with a new tool to help travellers find vacation activities. Touring Bird helps travellers to explore, compare and book experiences all in one place. This website that has been designed for mobile lists tours, attractions and activities that people embark on in popular travel destinations. Depending on your own preferences, choose to filter your preferred price range, time of day, duration and cancellation policies, which makes it convenient for most users.

Currently, Touring Bird only provides information for a select few destinations which include Prague, Toronto, Orlando, Chicago and Amsterdam. The information is only available in English at the moment, and travellers who are comfortable with other languages might not be able to benefit from the site.

What’s interesting about Touring Bird is that travellers may find themselves discovering some tips that even locals might not know about. For example, clicking on cities such as Las Vegas or Barcelona will allow users to see the top three attractions listed right at the top that most if not all travellers would already know about. However, upon scrolling further, users will find tips that even some locals might be unaware of. According to Google, these tips are curated by a team of experts.

The site is also largely beneficial for users who want to gain access to the cancellation policy terms of various tours and attractions as these are usually buried in the fine print or would require you to call up the service providers. As Touring Bird emphasizes on its free activities, it can be used to complement Hopper for discounted flights and Kayak for hotels.

Brilliant Tips From Locals To Assist Your Itinerary Planning

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Guests of Hilton’s properties will now have new means to receive recommendations during their stay with them.

A brand new collaboration between Hilton properties and Foursquare offers guests a new location-based feature called “Explore”. This is available in the Hilton Honors app that currently provide travellers with recommendations from local experts on the top activities and spots to be explored around the hotel’s vicinity.

Guests who have a confirmed booking with a Hilton property will be able to use the Hilton Honors app as of 12th September. Guests will be able to get recommendations on anything and everything ranging from the top restaurants to the most popular activities and points of interest to visit during their stay.

What’s unique about the function is that each recommendation includes personalised tips such as the best dishes to try at the restaurants or the best timings to visit locations taking into consideration what you’re looking for. The app also provides photographs of what to expect at each venue. Users will be able to plan their trip more effectively as they will have access to details such as each location’s hours of operations.

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Choose to save your preferred recommendations into a favourite folder and start planning your itinerary prior to arriving. Depending on your travel companions, receive suggestions across various categories such as family-friendly destinations or ideal restaurants for business dinners or romantic adventures for couples.

The “Explore” feature is currently available in 28 cities at the moment, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Los Angeles, London and Rome.

The only requirement is that you have to be a Hilton Honors member to gain access to this new feature. The good news is that signing up for the loyalty programme would not cost you anything and would instead bring you additional benefits that include discounts on stays, free Wi-Fi, digital check-in and a point accumulation system for each stay.

The Tale of Souvenirs and Why We Buy Them

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Wherever you travel, you are bound to take a little something from there as a reminder. Though some may think that collecting these souvenirs, may it be a magnet or a t-shirt, to be ‘uncool’. Some of us who do collect these trinkets do so by being tad bit self-conscious, double checking the tags of the item whether they were made somewhere else or not.

The term ‘souvenirs’ dates back to the 1700s, but grew in epic proportions during the 20th century, together with the emergence of tourism and the accessibility of travel. It is in our nature to collect and boast about where we have been and what we have done, so getting our hands on these not-so-cheap tokens of remembrance does the job.

From the early days of cave dwellers, humans have been decorating their caves with items and drawings they have hoarded throughout their time. Even in ancient Egypt, when Prince Harkhuf travelled to Sudan and came back with leopard skin, ivory and incense to present to the Pharaoh. It was in the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans when manufactured items like painted pots and silverware became an industry.

So even before, we have had the urge to take a piece of memento to take back with us. Its as if getting a souvenir will make one feel extraordinary and different from others. Many would buy magnets, plates and even spoons to display in their homes, acting as some sort of evidence of your travels.

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Image credit: Przemek Pietrak

Bringing home a piece of remembrance from your travels is not considered a bad thing. Collecting these trinkets is just our way of having a physical remembrance of where we have been. From t-shirts, hats, key chains and bottle openers, you name it, we might all have it.

But what makes a good souvenir? Is it the eye-catching designs or is it the obvious design of a landmark? In all honesty, there isn’t really a perfect souvenir. Everyone has their own version of a perfect souvenir, may it be a postcard or a rock you found on the ground. As long it gives you reminders of your travels and gives you a sense of nostalgia, that’s what makes a good souvenir.

Cruise Through 5 Continents with Extraordinary Destinations

Seabourne Sojourn
Image credit: Andrewrabbott

Embark on a 146-day journey which takes you across five continents with luxury cruise line Seabourn. This is the first World Cruise Seabourn has unveiled in six years, setting sail in January 2020.

Dubbed “Extraordinary Destinations”, your journey will begin in North America and take you around the globe visiting 62 ports of call on five continents and travellers will arrive at their final stop in San Francisco, California, in May.

The cruise will be making stops in 26 countries and major cities which include Cape Town, Durban, Ho Chi Minh and Sydney. Apart from these, you’ll also be visiting lesser-known destinations such as Cape Verde’s Mindelo and Namibia’s coastal town Luderitz.

Great Barrier Reef
Image credit: Wise Hok Wai Lum

Nature lovers should also be thrilled to find out that the cruise will be making stops at Australia’s Hamilton Island. Here, travellers will be able to enjoy pristine beaches and colourful coral reefs. If you’re into diving, the island of Praslin and its gorgeous beaches in the Seychelles will be perfect for you.

Cruise-goers will be able to complete their experience by opting for offshore excursions and extensions to visit a safari in Mombasa and Durban. Other options include snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef or shopping at regional markets alongside the cruise line’s chefs in Phuket, Cairns or Barbados.

As part of a collaboration with UNESCO tour operators, travellers onboard Seabourn would able to visit locations such as the island of Mozambique to get a glimpse of its fortified city with traditional dwellings and also to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park to experience one of the most impressive cave systems in the world.

The Extraordinary Destinations cruise will take place aboard the Seabourn Sojourn, which has a maximum capacity of 450 guests. You can sign yourselves up for this world cruise starting from US$66,999 per pax for ocean view suites.

Breeze Through Check-in Procedures When Flying out of Australia

Airport

We’re all dreading the long lines in front of the check-in counters at the airports. However, all of this is going to change for international flights departing Australia. In bid to reduce the waiting time at Australian airports, passengers can now check in for their flights using their mobile phones.

Airlines have since begun to issue electronic boarding passes for international flights departing Australia.

This eliminates the need for passengers to drop by check-in counters to verify their passport details and collecting a paper boarding pass.

Alan Tudge, Citizenship Minister of Australia mentioned that Australia is a world leader in the field of seamless travel and with this new move, travellers will better able to move across Australian borders smoothly. Approximately 75% of travellers are screened through the country’s automated SmartGates which helps to speed up the process as well.

It has been recorded that more than 21 million people passed through Australia’s border in their international airports  the last financial year, but that number is projected to rise even further.

With an increasing volume of passengers crossing Australia’s borders, authorities will always be looking for new methods to help legitimate travellers clear the borders efficiently and at the same time sieve out those of interest to law enforcement.

This change has been implemented after several successful trials of mobile boarding passes introduced for international flights.