Airbnb not helping hosts during COVID-19 emergency

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the toll the virus has taken on small business has been substantial. As a real estate agent and property owner of several vacation rentals, Janice Overbeck has experienced the effects on her business first hand. The financial crisis that Airbnb has left their 650,000 hosts in is getting attention all over the world thanks to Janice’s petition on Change.org. The petition is gaining traction and quickly making the rounds on social media groups and pages for Airbnb hosts. Unfortunately, the story is the same from host to host where Airbnb is overriding the host cancellation policy and refunding travelers 100% of the reservation with no support to the host whatsoever.

The petition points out the issues and is asking Airbnb to help small businesses during this crisis. “Airbnb is pulling rank and using their “extenuating circumstances” policy under the Coronavirus and refunding guests 100% of what they paid. This is a good thing and what they should be doing! What is not good, is that regardless of the Airbnb hosts cancellation policies, the host is left without any income from this booking and many hosts on Airbnb all over the world, (an estimated 650,000 small businesses) are being left in terrible situations right now, possibly unable to make mortgage payments come April 1st.
Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-founder of Airbnb, has an estimated net worth of $3.8 billion. We are asking Airbnb to do the right thing and help take the hit to help hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the world and still pay out 50% of what the host would be receiving on the booking,” Overbeck writes. This has been detrimental to hundreds of thousands of hosts and small business owners who rely on rental income to pay their mortgages and support their families. Airbnb has not responded to this petition or offered any financial relief to hosts on their platform. For more information, visit https://www.change.org/AirbnbDoTheRightThing

The top luxury safari destinations in Africa

Are you looking to experience a safari packed with the raw wildness of nature and pure luxury? Well, the Big 5 and exclusive accommodation are waiting for you. Here are three ultra-luxe safari destinations in Africa. 

The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Tanzania

The archipelago of Zanzibar is located in a region of Tanzania in East Africa. It consists of numerous small islands and two large islands named Unguja and Pemba Island. The latter is home to the Manta Resort that boasts a triple-level floating utopia known as the underwater room, located 250 meters off-shore.

The bedroom is on the bottom level, which lies underwater; you’re literally surrounded in an underwater world that has 360-degree views of shoals of fish. At night, the room’s spotlights attract other marine life such as octopus. It’s a must-have experience for those who want to leave the fast-paced world behind and live in the moment.

The resort also offers an amazing safari opportunity in East Africa. Be prepared to see some of the most beautiful animals on the face of the earth. 

Pondoro Game Lodge, South Africa

Pondoro Game Lodge provides the quintessential lavish safari experience. It’s located in a pristine private conservation in the Balue Nature Reserve.

It’s renowned as one of the most opulent game lodges in South Africa, offering a choice of five suites and two chalets that each promise supreme comfort.  You also have the pleasure of feasting on delicious, local cuisine as well as the opportunity to unwind in their world-class spa. 

The lodge also offers exclusive game drives operated by experienced trackers who know precisely where to find many wild and wonderful animals, including the Big 5 (lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo.)You’ll never experience anything quite like Pondoro anywhere else in South Africa.

Olarro, Maasai Mara, Kenya

Olarro is a place where the untamed wilderness meets pure extravagance. The 20,000-acre ‘world’ boasts two exquisite opulent lodges: Olarro Plains and Olarro Lodge. 

The lodge is a hidden gem, high up in the hills. It’s your ideal getaway from the rest of the world. You’ll only find tranquility and seclusion here.

Olarro Plains is located further south, bordering Tanzania. Here, the open, airy retreat is complemented by sprawling vistas. The property overlooks a waterhole where numerous animals congregate – it’s a sight to behold.

After each day of sight-seeing; sit back and relax with a drink on verandas that overlook the majestic savanna. Enjoy the delectable signature dishes at dinner and wake up to a tasty gourmet breakfast.

The area is known for the spectacle known as the Wildebeest Migration. It begins in the Serengeti and descends into the Mara between July and August every year. Make sure that you don’t miss out on this natural phenomenon.Olarro is situated in the wildebeests’ migratory path – you have a front-row seat to the unrivaled action and drama.

Whichever luxury safari destination takes your fancy, get ready for a combination of deluxe bliss and heart-pumping adventure in Africa.

How-To-Find-Affordable-Parking-At-Airport

Last year around 2 billion people travelled to different locations around the world as reported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The reason behind this travel is different based on their needs like work, study, and holidays. One of the most noteworthy issues that they bump into was finding a safe and decent spot to park their vehicle before leaving for their destination. The journey and time duration vary so the requirements for parking is also different. For some travelers, this could be a bit challenging, especially those who are on tight budget.  Since, long term airport parking is expensive one so travelers and vehicle owners are always eager to find an affordable airport parking solution. Here are some low-cost airport car parking solutions that may help you save some money and also let you enjoy your trip inn a better way. If you want to compare the car parking rates, you will find a lot of competition, but if you follow these tips, you might find your dream car parking spot without wasting your time and money. 

Find Driveway Rentals

Parking your car at airport is now made more accessible through Parkos as it is one of the best sites to compare parking anywhere especially if you are looking to find a car parking place at Brisbane Airport. First of all you must find a place according to your requirement. The first option you may check is placing your car at car parks near the airport terminals., but even though this may cost less than airport parking, they are quite expensive if you are on an average budget. Driveway rentals has made it much simpler and easier for travelers on the tight budget. Most of these types of facilities offer parking spots inside their personnel properties for low-cost. Looking at the property owners prospective, it’s another advantage for them since they earn extra money by simple renting out driveways they don’t utilize normally. So, it is a win-win situation for both parties, travelers and rentals both enjoy their share. For better experience, find driveways near airport terminals so that you may easily park your car for specific period of time, take a short walk, or even ride a cab to the airport. 

Automated Parking Systems May Help

For travelers who don’t mind spending more than driveway rentals, they can utilize another parking option that supports eco-friendliness and sustainability. Almost all of you may find it difficult to park find a car parking facility in rush hours or holidays, but with automated parking systems, you can find a place anytime anywhere. When you hire an APS, which is normally available on automobile apps, you can avail a tension free way to park your car at airport. Comparing different car parking solutions, you will find that by using automated parking systems less than 49% volume and 69% space can be saved. But major disadvantage for Automated parking system is that it can cost a bit. But, when you compare the hassle-free facility, it is certainly more cost-effective and then normal parking as you use less fuel. Many big airports like Melbourne airport are surrounded by hotels. You can use them to great effect if your departure timing us very early oy arrival is too late. There are several complains form travelers to deal with but to be professional, you need to be patient.  Finding a public transport at that time can be stressful. You need to book your place 8 to 10 hours before departure. Most of the airport hotels offer car parking facility even if you don’t lodge too much inside your hotel room. 

While visiting to different counties can be expensive, it is convenient to save up more bucks by finding affordable and low-cost airport parking facilities. Use these tips to enjoy a hassle-free trip to your destination.

Some of Tuscany’s Popular Towns

Tuscany is one of Italy’s spectacular destinations. Among the many attractions that bring tourists to this region, are museums filled with art, churches rich with religious statues, great wine, a diverse selection of culinary experiences and an array of medieval towns and villages.

No part of Tuscany is like the others and visitors have to tour the entire region to truly appreciate its uniqueness. Ask someone who has been to Tuscany to make a list of their best experiences and they will be lost for choice – this is understandable given that the region is rich in superlatives. The following places are just a guide for those who want an idea of what Tuscany is like. They are in no way conclusive but they are definitely among the top rated in the region:

Florence

You cannot say you have visited Tuscany, without a visit to Florence. The heart of the region, Florence is an important destination for history lovers. It is a Renaissance city and its buildings feature architecture and art that resonates with ancient Roma. The Duomo is a major landmark in Florence – if you don’t have the time to see it close up and view its baptistery which baffles architects to this day, at least make sure to take a photo from afar.

Siena

One of the medieval towns in Tuscany, Siena is a hill town famous for its Piazza del Campo – a piazza in the shape of a fan with a famous bell tower (the Torre del Mangia). Have you ever been to a horse race? Well, forget that experience because the The Palio di Siena gives your idea of a horse race a whole new dimension. Held once a year, on two occasions in the summer, it is nothing like the Kentucky Derby. Riders are not only bareback but they are racing along the streets. Nothing can take one back to medieval times like this race does.

Along the streets of Siena, you will find plenty of shops and restaurants. Make sure to stop by if you are interested in treating yourself to a bite of Tuscan Cuisine. If you pick one of these rustic trattorias, choose a spot near a group of Italians – they will entertain you with their fare as you take sips of locally made wine.

Pisa

The most that many people know about Pisa is its historic leaning tower. Thousands of visitors flock to the location of the leaning tower of Pisa each year. A climb to the top and an opportunity to take a touristy photo is all the satisfaction that a traveller needs to take back home.

Have you ever climbed down the leaning tower? Make sure you are not in a hurry to leave – your standing on the Piazza dei Miracoli. The cathedral and baptistery therein are great sights which bear evidence of the Italian Renaissance. The tower might be the most known attraction in Pisa but it is not the only one. To take a tour of the historic Piazza dei Cavalieri, visitors just need to stroll along Arno River. Make sure you try the chickpea flour bread, also known as Cecina, a local delicacy of the area. June in Pisa is a month of festivity as the city honours San Ranieri – its patron saint.

Lucca

You can easily tell Lucca apart from the rest of the towns because of the wall that surrounds it; this wall came up during the renaissance. The wall itself is a point of interest because it has gardens and paths on top. Apart from offering visitors a great view of the city, this wall provides paths for walking and cycling. Inside the town of Lucca are towers which have been neatly preserved through the centuries; they are spots from which visitors can enjoy 360 views of the city.

Cortona

Cortona first came into the limelight when writer, Francis Mayes, chose to set the scene of her book “Under the Tuscan Sun” in this Tuscan hilltop town. The town is famous for its Etruscan wall around its perimeter which is believed to have been built more than 3000 years ago. Much of Cortona remains untouched – a must for art aficionados. Historic buildings in Cortona include the Chiesa San Francesco and the Abbazia Farneta.

English-speaking visitors will find it easy to blend into the city as there is a large American community here, comprised mostly of expats.

Chianti Classico Wine Region

This region in Tuscany is sandwiched between Florence and Siena. Many people travel far for the opportunity to discover where their favorite wines come from: their final stop is the Chianti Classico Wine Region. The Chianti Wine Region is composed of many towns and villages – Greve in Chianti, to name one, is a haven for photographers. We can guarantee that even amateur photos taken in this area are bound to sell as masterpieces. There are many wineries in this area – make sure to stop by at Brolio Castle and Barone Ricasoli Winery for a wine tasting.

Any visit to Tuscany, is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. Every location with a name in this region is a spectacle. Did you know that most villas in Italy were initially used for other purposes? It is actually an invaluable experience if you can book a Tuscany villa in Italy accommodation. One of the world’s leading providers of rental villa services is in Italy; Tuscany Now & More. Since they started their business in 1990, they have travelled throughout Italy looking for premises they can turn into holiday accommodation. Only a small percentage of all the properties they view make it to their portfolio – that is how much they value excellence. Those who book villa accommodations with Tuscany Now & More can request to have an itinerary of their visit drawn for them. How about Italian Cuisine cooking lessons or a Truffle hunt? They can organise this all!

Discover small-town Tuscany or tap into Umbrian village life with this collection of villas where no car is needed. You can walk to the local trattoria, join locals for a caffè in the piazza, or spend the evening at a friendly village bar — without driving home afterwards.

How to Save the Most on Airplane Tickets

Who doesn’t want to travel? We all have places we want to visit and say we’ve been to, but travel has many gatekeepers. You need time off; you need to make sure your children can either stay at a sitter or can come with you, and then there’s the biggest gatekeeper of them all: money. 

The smartphone world has made some aspects of travel much more affordable. Ride sharing services have saved some of the headaches that come with cab fare. Airbnb offers places that are much cheaper to stay at than your average hotel. You can make your own food while you travel, such as sparkling water and donuts. However, when you have to fly, there isn’t any new services to make the cost easier. Not yet, anyway! 

However, it’s possible to get plane tickets for cheap. Here are a few ways how. 

 

  • Choose the Cheapest Days to Fly 

 

Some people cannot pick the day they fly, but if you can, make sure you choose the cheapest days. This can differ, but in general, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday is your best bet, at least in the domestic US. Any weekday is better if you’re an international travel. 

The days to avoid? Friday and Sunday. These days do make sense, since many people fly for a weekend trip. 

Of course, there are some exceptions. In fact, some may tell you that this is a myth, and instead you should look at it. 

 

  • Avoiding Busy Seasons 

 

The busy seasons can depend on country to country, but for people in the US, the busiest seasons are during the peak of summer and the holiday season. Consider a springtime or autumn trip, and you may not have to pay too much. 

 

  • The Cheapest Tickets Doesn’t Make the Cheapest Flight

 

When searching for tickets, you may see tickets that are much cheaper than the rest. One such example is Spirit Airlines, whose prices are too good to be true. However, Spirit and similar airlines are known for their baggage fees, which do add up. If you’re traveling light, it may be worth it, but if you’re packing a lot or plan to take a sackful of souvenirs home with you, you may want to look for someplace else. 

 

  • Have a Flexible Schedule 

 

If you want to pick the cheapest tickets, you may have to pick an hour that is not comfortable for you. For example, a flight early in the morning. Few people like to get up extremely early or pull an all-nighter to fly, but a little sleep deprivation can save you some money. Make sure you have a neck pillow and some noise-canceling headphones so you can catch up on rest! 

 

  • Stay in the Loop for Deals 

 

With flight tickets, there’s always a deal or a price drop going on. Some sites can allow you to sign up for the latest deals. These include The Flight Deal and Hitlist. Google Flights can alert you to dates or routes that you specify. 

Also, there is no shame in trying Priceline or Expedia. You can find good deals there. 

The point is to look everywhere for your best deal. You may be surprised with what you have. 

 

  • Brand Loyalty 

 

Some people don’t care what company they choose for the flight. As long as the price is fair and it can take them from point A to point B, that’s all that matters, right? 

Well, don’t forget about rewards programs. Many companies will give you rewards the more flights you purchase, or if you sign up for their deals. This can lead to future flights that are free or low-cost. 

 

  • Look at More Than One Airport 

 

If you live in an area where there is more than one airport within driving distance, compare airports. You may find that even though one airport is an hour further than the other, they may have cheaper tickets that make the extra drive worth it. 

These are just a few tips. Finding cheap tickets can be stressful and something that’s a job for therapy, but by being mindful of some travel trips, you can get the best flight for the price you want. 

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

PASSENGER RIGHTS FOR TRAVEL TO CORONAVIRUS RISK COUNTRIES

Italy currently has the largest coronavirus outbreak in Europe. The FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) recommends against all but essential travel to towns in Lombardy and Veneto already isolated by Italian authorities. Because of the high risk of infection, the FCO also recommends avoiding travel to all Category 1 countries/areas including Wuhan City and Hubei Province in China, Iran, Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea, and Hong Kong. What rights do passengers who have already purchased tickets to a coronavirus risk country have if they cancel their flight?

Due to the high risk of coronavirus infection, airlines such as British Airways and Air China have cancelled flights from the UK to China and Hong Kong until April 17th and offer a free change of flight date service or ticket reimbursement.

All other countries with outbreaks, including Italy, have nearly all flights running to schedule. British Airways, however, has cut some services to Milan until the 11th of March. No airline has suspended any of their Italian routes and all airports remain operative. Should a passenger with a flight to Italy wish not to travel, they can cancel or rebook the flight if the airline permits. However, the chances of a refund if cancelled are low, and additional costs may apply for a change of travel dates. If travelling with a low cost airline or if a reduced or special offer flight was purchased, the cost of changing dates may not be cost effective. But you should keep in mind your passenger rights. “Cancelling a travel contract with an airline may appear difficult, but passengers may try to claim exceptional circumstances, that is the real risk of contracting a coronavirus. This is the same as what airlines do when cancelling flights to infected regions”, says Aleksandra Detyniecka, lawyer at GIVT who specialise passenger compensation claims for delayed and cancelled flights or denied boarding due to overbooking.

Each airline has their own policies for a refund so you should read their rules and regulations as stated in their General Conditions of Carriage. You should also try and contact the airline directly.

Spread of coronavirus – important links:

Map of affected areas

Foreign Office travel advice

Foreign Office travel advice Italy

Coronavirus public information

Shared via GIVT

Essential Tips for the Newbie Caravanner

So you have decided on your first caravan holiday? We can’t tell you enough, the amount of excitement lying ahead of you. Before the actual trip begins, another exciting part is the planning for the trip. The apprehension and preparation is a good boost to look forward to actual caravan holiday. 

A holiday with a towing caravan includes many factors like packing essentials, road safety, destination choice, and parking points, etc. However, don’t let it dampen your spirits. We have some essential tips for the newbie caravanner to have a great first caravan holiday.

  1. Make a list, and check it twice. You can never go wrong with a checklist. From kitchen to bathroom, bedroom, outdoors and everything else in between, there are some packing essentials which will let you off on a good start. Check our recommendations here and you will rarely miss a thing on the road.
  2. Check van health. Your caravan and vehicle readiness for the road is an essential part of caravanner preparedness. Lights, tyres and other tool kits like spare fuses, a set of battery leads, extension towing mirrors, and a strong tow-rope along with crisis dealing equipment should hold you in good stead.
  3. Get towing ready. Most new caravanners take time to adjust to twoing. Make sure you have all the basic manoeuvres under control. Parking, reversing, over-taking, etc. take some getting used to. Don’t panic if your caravan is swaying, lower the acceleration and loosen the steering a bit. Be aware of side-winds from larger vehicles and keep an eye on fuel consumption. Fellow caravanners will be happy to help with useful tips. 
  4. Practise a set-up routine. After a long time on the road towing for the first time, the last thing you want is a setting-up hassle. Remember, you are on a caravan holiday and stress should not be a part of it. Draw out a set-up routine starting with unhitching your caravan and parking your vehicle away. Steady your caravan and set up gas and water systems. Connect the power and check all appliances. You are now set to enjoy as a caravanner.
  5. Start early, start small. Take it easy on your maiden caravan trip. Remember, you are getting used to everything from driving a tow car, to setting-up and packing for a caravan holiday. Get an early start to avoid morning rush hour traffic, same goes for evening. 

Choose a less ambitious, nearby route. If you are within an hour’s drive from home, the return trip will be easier and shorter too. Familiarise yourself with the caravan’s system before venturing out.

There are numerous other things that are equally important, but as a newbie caravanner these essential basics should boost your confidence. For everything else, you can always rely on expert advice from the community and reliable caravan establishments like Camp Smart. Just remember to secure all drawers in the caravan before you accelerate!

Congratulations new caravanner, the great Australian outdoors is waiting to be explored. 

 

Planning A UK Break This Summer? Have A Read of This!

Have you decided that this summer you’re going to spend some time exploring the UK? The great thing about the UK is the fact that there’s so much on offer to see and do, and so many amazing places to head to for a fun summer break. 

Whether you’ve got a couple of weeks free or even just a weekend, there are plenty of places and trip types on offer, it’s just a case of finding the right one for you and your family. 

If you’re thinking about exploring more of the UK this summer but aren’t sure where to head to and what to do while you’re there, have a read of the tips and ideas below!

Head to Cornwall 

Cornwall is one of the UK’s top holiday destinations, and it’s easy to see why. Picture this: beautiful beaches, huge waves perfect for surfing, lots of cute, quirky towns, and some fantastic restaurants to die for – many of which are child-friendly, not to mention several renowned art galleries and other fabulous attractions. Plus, there are some incredible accommodation options on offer, from hotels to caravan parks. To find the best caravan holidays in Cornwall or to source the perfect hotel, go online and take the time to do some research – there are some amazing places on offer. 

If you’re heading to Cornwall, some locations you don’t want to miss are: 

  • Lizard Point – home of an amazing lighthouse and lots of seals
  • Mousehole – the birthplace of the Mousehole Cat
  • Tintagel – the village with the healing waterfall
  • Padstow – renowned for its incredible fish and chips

Go to Devon 

Devon might be Cornwall’s rival county but it is also the home of the famous cream tea, in addition to an array of spectacular stretches of pristine coastline, some of the UK’s most breathtaking coastal pathways, and a number of impressive sights and attractions, from model villages and steam trains to theme parks and cathedrals. Devon is also home to some amazing accommodation options, from yurts set in the tranquil countryside to fancy hotels in the city. 

If you’re planning on visiting Devon, some locations you don’t want to miss include: the seaside towns of Dartmouth and Salcombe, Exeter cathedral and the city itself, the Seaton Trams, Overbecks Garden, and Killerton House. 

Visit Dorset 

Devon’s neighbour, Dorset, is another coastal county that’s a popular travel destination with visitors. What sets Dorset aside from other travel destinations is the fact that it is renowned as being the UK’s Jurassic county, with a number of beaches including Kimmeridge, where visitors can search for real fossils hidden in the rocks. 

If you’re thinking about visiting Dorset, some locations you don’t want to miss include: Swanage Bay, Corfe Castle (and the village), the Swanage Steam Railway, the lost village of Tyneham, Durdle Door, and Lulworth Castle. 

When it comes to travel, the UK has a wide number of fantastic destinations on offer and so many things to see and do.