Readers' tips: The golden rule for packing light

BLACK AND BLUE

When travelling overseas take clothes of only one colour (recommend navy blue or black). It's simple to co-ordinate, and if you want a bit of flair add a bright red, green or yellow accessory. You'll be able to survive with just one carry-on bag, and never have to wait for your luggage at the carousel.

Rhona Mayers, Toorak, VIC

TIP OF THE WEEK

My husband and I used the Alaska Highway Marine System ferry service with layovers in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan then Prince Rupert, Canada. Stops of one to three hours or so gave us time to wander towns such as Valdez, Yakutat, Sitka and Petersburg.

On the way to Juneau we saw the beautiful La Perouse Glacier and a launch trip out of Juneau gave us close-up views of  Tracy Arm Fiord and Sawyer Glacier, as well as plenty of seals. We pottered about for more than an hour, much closer to the action than other vessels. We were escorted by a large pod of orca whales while on a float plane to Skagway and saw glaciers and snow-covered mountains.

After a couple of nights in Skagway, we took a train to White Pass before another AHMS ferry to Ketchikan through the Narrows to enjoy breathtaking scenery and animal life. In Ketchikan, there was plenty to do, including a float plane trip over Misty Fiords for a pontoon landing and small ferry back. On the AHMS ferries we had cabins and enjoyed the company of interesting locals.

We had 12 exciting, interesting and enjoyable days along the Alaskan coast followed by nine days out of Anchorage to Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Santa's House at the North Pole and Barrow, among other things, before taking the train to Seward.

P. Cortese Belrose, NSW

THE PAIN IN SPAIN

In March, I booked four days through Airbnb in San Sebastian with my girlfriend. The owner advised us that major renovations had been under way but all "heavy" work was complete.

Upon arrival we mistook the property as it looked like a demolition site; with scaffolding, tarpaulins and "danger" signs. It was unrecognisable from the Airbnb photos. The next morning at 7am, workmen with pneumatic drills began.

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We complained to the owner many times, she claimed it was beyond her control. On departure, I reviewed the property and asked Airbnb to contact me for a discount.

I learnt that when changes are made to properties, they must be approved and new photos loaded onto the Airbnb website. This had not been done. Airbnb denied the claim as I had not gone through their formal complaint channel.

Buyer beware of Airbnb protocol.

Kati Ezard, Albert Park, VIC

SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM

When travelling on long trips I always sleep well. My rules: no alcohol, airline food or watching TV. Sit down in your seat with a bottle of water and an apple, put on an eye mask and earplugs, and don't talk to anyone.

The rhythm of the plane will soon put you to sleep.

Philip Mayers, Melbourne, VIC

RIGHT ON TRACK

Brian Johnston's tips for visiting some of the great tourist attractions of the world (Traveller, Sunday, May 21) showed much insight. However, I strongly disagree with his "Insider Tip" regarding the Swiss train to the Jungfraujoch.

Yes, the cable car to the summit of Schilthorn, offers great views. But this cannot be compared with a train that travels through a mountain, stopping twice for passengers to alight and peer through windows which look out of the mountainside, and at the summit has views of mountain tops, the Aletsch Glacier (Europe's longest ) and on a clear day Germany is visible.

An engineering marvel completed in 1912 and one of the greatest train rides in the world.

Irene Dunstan, Wodonga, VIC

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