THIS WEEK IN TRAVEL (ISSUE NO. 5)


With the drone age sweeping in, notably through drone travel photography, there’s more potential of discovery within transportation methods. Travelling in drones may just be the new way of travel. We may soon bid a sad farewell to chatty cab drivers, but a less sentimental goodbye to street traffic, because drone taxis are here . Yes, you read correctly; no longer a fantasy lived out by The Jetsons, Dubai is set to become the first in the world to transport people around in the skies. Launching this summer, passenger-carrying Chinese drones will take flight in Dubai. One passenger (plus a bag) can be flown, or delivered, directly by the driverless drone to the passenger’s specified destination simply by tapping the location. Our habitual nature to seize control may force us to opt out of the drone experience, but as far as we can tell the future is here—in the skies, that is!

And not too far off, distant supersonic travel pipe dreams may not be so distant after all. Project “Baby Boom” is lifting off at supersonic speeds—2x faster. Sir Branson unveils prototype for world's fastest passenger jet with first flight test planned as early as late 2017. And although we are all about the journey and not just about the destination, but who are we kidding, we would love to cut our flight times in half! You can expect to fly to London from New York in 3.5 hours with the airliner Boom Supersonic. The cost maybe heftier, but our time is precious. Reserve us a spot!

Prototype of the Boom supersonic passenger jet. Photo courtesy of Condé Nast Traveller

But budget British travellers can jump for joy at the soon to be reality of direct low-cost flights to South America, Asia and Africa. By the end of 2017, ambitious airliners, Norwegian and WOW Air, plan to expand their transatlantic services at lower fare costs while offering new high tech aircraft. A win/win for consumers!

If that’s not enough to tingle the travel bug inside you, Quantas is offering free Netflix and Spotify on flights! You had us at Netflix. Within the airline’s domestic Australian routes, you can experience an uninterrupted, delightful, guilty-free binge of your favourite Netflix original TV series. Or jam it out to some tunes. Hell, yes! But you may not need to indulge in such distractions when faster flights are in the works. Either way, travel has never been better.

Have you heard of Earth's lost continent? It seems that deep below the Indian Ocean beneath the island of Mauritius rests the sunken, long lost ancient supercontinent, Gondwanaland. The once existing landmass vanished from view, but Mauritius rose above remaining as a reminder for the missing continent. How neat! And once again, we are prompted to discover the lost wonders of the world.

Photo from the Kosan archives. 

In case you happen to be in the Philippines, World Nomads features three scams to avoid while travelling around . The Philippines is a beautiful country definitely worth seeing, but there are risks of danger, as with every country, that can be avoided. Look out for being approached by someone claiming, “You look familiar”, illegal taxi drivers and horse drawn buggies. They all may seem innocent and charming, but beware!

With further news, Trump’s wall won’t be the only one constructed. The French government plans to build an 8.2-foot high bulletproof glass wall around one of the most famous world landmarks, the Eiffel Tower. Terrorism threats remain high according to Deputy Mayor Jean-Francois Martins, and so security measures must be taken. Not all locals are content with the news of the wall referring to it as a psychological barrier, which doesn’t seem that farfetched.

And Trump’s decision to issue a new travel order, rather than fight in court, raises questions yet again of our rights, specifically our border rights. Individuals prepare themselves to protect their property as we hear more stories of boarder agents detaining travellers for questioning and pressuring them to unlock their phones. Fear has been escalating and sparking concern in individuals, begging us to sift through the endless often muddled media coverage on Trump’s travel ban. And we must acknowledge the best course of action for ourselves. It is within our rights to refuse to unlock your phone and inquire for a lawyer, however agents can escalate the situation making it rather uncomfortable if you do choose to resist. Although travellers should know their rights in any given circumstance, it is valuable to know it may not be easy defending your rights.

After all, as Nelson Mandela wisely said,

The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

 

Photo from the Kosan archives. 

And with that we leave you with the Kosan quote of the week:

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.”

–Cesare Pavese

 

Happy Travels!

The Kosan Team