Fear of Flying? This Airline Has You Covered
Are you part of the 25% of people that have some fear of flying? Then book your next flight on British Airways. On September 1, the airline is launching an in–flight video geared to calm your fears by explaining the technical side of the aircraft and why you shouldn't be concerned about turbulence. There will also be advice from clinical psychologists on relaxation techniques.
BA released a short preview, where a pilot with a soothing voice explains the rigorous training pilots go through.
This is all part of the airline's Flying with Confidence program, a one–day course that has been offered for more than 25 years. BA boasts that the program has helped more than 45,000 people with a 98% success rate.
Despite making a career out of traveling, I'm not the world's most confident flyer. I take the approach of staying blissfully unaware of how the mechanics work and attempt to blindly trust that the plane will go up and down as scheduled. What about you? Would watching a video like this calm your nerves, or make you more anxious?
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What's The Worst Travel Advice You've Ever Received?
We recently asked our readers on our Facebook and Twitter pages to tell us about the worst piece of travel advice they've ever received—and the responses were overwhelming! Most ranged from misguided generalizations (never eat street food, you'll get sick!) to questionable sightseeing tips (can you really go to Paris and NOT see the Eiffel Tower?). Read on for the worst advice our readers have gotten, including our picks for the worst advice...ever! Planning It's true that travelers checks used to be the easiest way to have access to money abroad. But times have changed. Still, @faveplaceSsue followed that advice, brought travelers checks on her trip, and called them "a royal pain." Other readers were given poor advice about trip planning: one was encouraged to wait to the last minute to buy a cheap ticket to New York, which left him scrambling with whatever high–priced seats were left over. And @excursiopedia was told not bother learning the language of the place, since everyone speaks English! Transportation Someone insisting @Shemkus only take a bus tour—which she adds, "leaves no room for serendipity." Reader @drnels was told not to use trains to get around the U.K., since flying would be faster. "We ignored this and loved the sights from a restful train ride." Another reader was told not to worry about the plane ride from the U.S. to Nigeria, it isn't really that long—she later described it as "22 hours of hell, with a child." Sightseeing Barb Mardis was encouraged not to spend too much time in Dublin, and just travel west to see the best of Ireland. She said, "We filled up three days in Dublin—could have spent more—then headed west." Someone told reader Dotty Kurtz not to waste time visiting both Oxford and Cambridge, since they're both college cities, implying their similarities. She ignored their advice, visited both, and had a great time. Finally, reader Sophia Rigatou was encouraged by both French citizens and fellow travelers to skip the Eiffel Tower when she went to Paris, referring to it as "touristy" and nothing but "a heap of metal." She says, "I love everything Paris has to offer, but I also love the Eiffel Tower experience and the amazing views from the top. I've visited the Tower on each of my three trips, and plan to do so again in the future." Safety Jackie Turner, another reader, was constantly asked why she was going to Mexico, because, you know, it's not safe there. "I have traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula several times in the past three years—Cozumel, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen—and had no problems," she said. And the winner, for all-time worst travel advice: It's a tie! Sometimes bad advice is silly, but these two broke our hearts. Someone actually told @traveleditor, "Isn't that country represented at Epcot? Why don't you just go there instead?" Another person told @bradshawtara not to go someone where because it could be viewed on Google Street View—"same effect and it's free!" Not quite. Think you can top these? Let us know in the comments below. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL 15 International Food Etiquette Rules the Might Surprise You 6 Foolproof Tricks for NOT Embarrassing Yourself in a Foreign Language What Was Your Most Embarrassing Travel Moment?
Best Tips for Saving Money on Gas
Packing the car for a road trip might seem like a silly idea, especially with gas prices averaging $3.69 per gallon (up 14 cents in the last two weeks). The good news is, there are easy ways to save big. The key is to approach it from two angles: how you drive, and how you pump. Did you know that for every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph, you're paying an extra 26 cents per gallon for gas? If you have a 17–gallon tank, that's almost $4.50 a fill–up. Also, be efficient about your pit–stops. It might be tempting to pull over at every quirky roadside attraction, but several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Those tips may lower the amount of actual fuel you need, but there are also ways to save on gas outright. GasBuddy's Heat Map will help you choose destinations with cheaper gas, while apps like iGasUp point you to stations with the lowest prices in real–time. Clubs like Costco and Sam's Club offer members gas for about 10 cents less on average, though the $50–$100 annual fee has to be considered. Most major grocery store chains have free programs that allow you to earn points towards gas just by picking up milk and other necessities. If these tips inspire you to hit the road, but you need some inspiration, check out our new Ultimate Road Trips app. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: One-Tank Escapes from 8 Cities 8 Ways to Save Big on Summer Travel 5 Classic American Drives
10 Airports You Might Actually Want to Be Stranded In
For most travelers, there are only two goals when it comes to the airport: get in, and—in as little time as possible—get out. But after a look at Cheapflight.com's list of the top 10 layover airports around the world, you might be tempted to linger for a few extra pre–flight hours. Boasting world–class museums, shops, and even movie theaters and golf courses, these airports are arguably destinations in their own right. Below, some of the coolest offerings at the airports that made the cut. Munich Airport is a kid's paradise, with a mini–golf course, a Christmas market complete with ice rink, and specialty "Kinderterminals" that allow youngsters an inside look at flying. And for the adults? The al fresco Airbrau biergarten gives a traditional (and literal) taste of Germany, with a side of live entertainment. Amsterdam's sleek, modern Schiphol Airport offers travelers a free extension of the Rijksmuseum, displaying works by Dutch master painters, as well as a casino for guests aged 18 and over. You'll also find a museum at San Francisco International Airport—in fact, the 22–year–old SFO Museum, dedicated to aviation and history of the airport itself, is the first fully accredited museum located in an airport. SFO also debuted a yoga room earlier this year, and features an aquarium operated by the California Academy of Sciences. Vancouver International Airport's five–year–old aquarium is home to over 5,000 sea animals, and is paired with a dedicated jellyfish exhibit. But the marine critters aren't the only otherworldly creatures you'll find at YVR. The Airport hosts "Take Off Fridays" during the summer, with an "underground circus" on display in domestic and international terminals. You'll be able to catch acrobats, face painters, live DJs, and local musicians, plus sample free food and score discounts on restaurants and shops. New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport also draws crowds with live performances in JetBlue's airy Terminal 5 (or T5, as it's nicknamed). And amateur hour, this is not: past headliners have included Taylor Swift, Chris Isaak, Robyn, and Raphael Saadiq. The casts of Broadway musicals such as Catch Me If You Can have even dropped by to give a sneak peek of their shows. When it comes to entertainment, however, it's tough to beat Hong Kong International Airport, which just broke ground on the world's first airport IMAX movie theater on July 5. The 350–seat theater shows current movies in English with Chinese subtitles, from HKD 100 (about $13 USD by current exchange rates) per ticket. Pretty impressive—and we haven't even mentioned the iSports simulator (like a giant Wii) and nine–hole golf course also available to passengers at Hong Kong International. Seoul's Incheon Airport reigns supreme as the Best Airport Worldwide according to Airport Council International, so what do they have to offer? How about the world's only Louis Vuitton airport boutique, an 18–hole golf course, an ice rink open every day, and a casino open 24/7? Due to South Korean laws, only those with a foreign (non–South Korean) passport are able to gamble at the casino, but the golf course and ice rink are open to everyone, with fees of KRW 30,000—about $26—and KRW 5,000—about $4.50—respectively. (Or you can opt for a visit to the driving range instead of a full golf game, from KRW 2,000—about $1.75—for a 30–minute session.) Singapore's Changi Airport took second place in the ACI rankings, but it's pretty spectacular in its own right. It might not offer IMAX movies like Hong Kong, but it does have a 3–D and 4–D theatre with $6 admission, and it shows its 2–D films in two cinemas open 24–hours—with free admission. Plus, Changi features six gardens (with a koi pond and a butterfly garden among them) and a near 20–foot waterfall. Not too shabby. Dubai International Airport offers a gateway suited to the City of Gold, with a whopping 50,000 square feet of duty–free and luxury shopping. You can also take a dip in the pool or work out on state–of–the–art fitness equipment located in the swanky G–Force Health Club. The shopping scene at London's Heathrow Airport doesn't disappoint either, with an 11.000–square–foot Harrod's extension, as well as outposts of Brit fashion staples Burberry, Thomas Pink, and L.K. Bennett. And if all that retail therapy has worn you out, not to worry—you can rent a 75–square–foot personal 'cabin' from trendy hotelier Yotel, outfitted with futuristic purple lighting, a "power shower," refreshments to order, and free wi–fi (from about $50 for the minimum four–hour stay). What do you think of Cheapflight.com's picks? Have you ever traveled through these, or other, posh airports? MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL America's Cheapest Airports The Five Busiest Airports in the U.S. 10 Scenic Airport Landings
America's Cheapest Airports
Looking to save on your next getaway? A new report released by Cheapflights.com ranks the average price of flights to the 101 most popular airports in America from the most to the least expensive. The three airports where prices were the lowest were all in California, with Burbank's Bob Hope Airport coming in as the cheapest with flights averaging $221. Long Beach and Fresno were two and three, with flights averaging $250 and $290 respectively. Rounding out the top five were two Pennsylvania airports—Harrisburg International ($304) and Lehigh Valley ($307). Wondering what the most expensive airports were? New York's JFK came in fifth with flights averaging $678, followed by Kahului in Maui ($712), Charleston, South Carolina ($717), and Honolulu ($854). The top spot went to Anchorage's airport, where flights averaged a whopping $964! The study was based on prices in June 2012, and also compared this year's prices with the averages found in 2011. There were some major fluctuations, including Dallas Love Field, which was the 13th most expensive in 2011 and the 66th in 2012, with flights averaging $544 (flights out of Dallas/Fort Worth averaged $432, ranking the airport 32nd). On the other hand, Albany International got cheaper this year. In 2011, it ranked 82nd. In 2012, it came in at 41st thanks to flights that averaged $463. The moral of the story? Consider smaller, regional airports when booking trips, but remember to shop around. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL 11 Surprisingly Lovable Airlines 4 Most Common Reasons Airlines Lose Luggage 8 Common Air-Travel Snafus (And How to Beat Them)