TIP OF THE WEEK
FILL UP WITH FILOMENA
The highlight of our trip to Portugal last year was a gourmet food tour in Lisbon. Conducted by the wonderful Filomena we spent a delightful four to five hours walking around the Chiado area tasting traditional Portuguese food and wine.
The best thing was that we were not rushed and really enjoyed the opportunity to sit and relax in the beautiful restaurants Filomena had chosen for us. She has a passion for food, wine and her city and we can't wait to go back this year to participate in another of her tours.
If possible, do one of her tours on your first day in Lisbon as this will set you up for the rest of your time there, with lots of dining and travel tips. No need to plan for dinner after the tour either! See eatdrinkwalk.pt
Carolyn Allison, Balaclava, VIC
ON THEIR MINDS
Which country has spectacular snow-capped mountains, ancient monasteries, a humid subtropical coast, a totally unique language, alphabet and cuisine, a capital that was once a playground for Tsarist royalty and celebrities, picturesque wineries, towns carved out of cliffs in the desert, gives you a free full year visa on entry, is ridiculously cheap and the home of Jason's Golden Fleece? It's Georgia, and we were lucky enough to visit this paradise for three weeks last August. Hotels range from luxury to homestays and as it is a small country, travel times are short, if a little hair-raising.
David Berg and Merrill Sells, Canterbury, NSW
I am about to travel to the US and was informed about the Online Travel Authority system that we in Australia could apply for without having to line up at a US Consulate.
I went into the ESTA website and applied. I was then asked to pay $US72, which I duly provided. Later that day, on discussing the matter with friends, I was informed that the cost should only have been $US14 and that I had been scammed and unknowingly led into this site.
What I don't understand is how the consulate is not aware of these people.
David Rosenwax, Dover Heights, NSW
I saw the letter from M Aikenhead, Brunswick, asking about Airbnb in Japan. In December 2015 our family of five spent three weeks travelling in Japan and stayed in Airbnb accommodation in Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. I would highly recommend Airbnb for stays of three plus nights – we had great experiences and all owners spoke English.
The apartments in Kyoto and Hiroshima were quite roomy. I also found it easy to book everything myself – all other accommodation and train passes. I researched via TripAdvisor first and found places I wanted to stay.
I originally contacted the Japan travel specialists, JTB, to organise an itinerary for us but didn't get a timely response from them – after a month and numerous reminders I gave up on them.
Janette Asche, Indooroopilly, QLD
GIVE IT A WHIRL
Garry Watson, they're dervishes. They whirl. What else did you expect them to do? The Cha Cha?
Greg Walsh, Black Rock, VIC
BEST TIP BRA NONE
Security persons at different airports have given me some valuable guidance. Firstly, keep your money belt in your carry-on until you are through security and then you don't have to go through that search. Secondly, one I have discovered myself, for females, don't wear an underwire bra when travelling through international airports as you will be directed to a curtained or secure area where a female officer will feel around your breasts. Then, thirdly, as most travellers would now be aware, some shoes for men and women contain metal so you will be required to remove them. My husband, who has had a joint replacement, has to remove shoes and belt as well as the usual pocket contents.
Marie Murray-Prior, Korora, NSW