Travel

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This week we're tackling the topic of urban cycling. Our guests include Eben Weiss, author of The Ultimate Bicycle Owner's Manual: The Universal Guide to Bikes, Riding, and Everything for Beginner and Seasoned Cyclists; Rosemary Bolich, the Director of Community Outreach at We Bike NYC; and Doug Gordon, better known as Brooklyn Spoke - a TV producer and outspoken cycling advocate. We'll find out what some people have against mandatory helmet laws, how cities can make their streets safer for cyclists, and why it isn't worth it to argue with a motorist (but it is worth it to quietly hate them).

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As a parent, you often don't remember how much easier life was pre-kids until you try to do something basic, such as stay in a hotel. Before being with child, you could walk into the room, plop your stuff down, climb into bed, and watch the Reese Witherspoon movie marathon on TV for hours while eating Flaming Hot Cheetos (or, you know, do the things you love). When you have a baby who sleeps on a very particular schedule, under very particular conditions (sunlight is evil!), hotel living can be an ordeal. (Note: If you have a baby who can snooze like a log at a monster truck show and believe it is parents who create delicate infant sleep habits, look, I'm... too tired to fight.)

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Today, Star Wars: The Last Jedi releases in cinemas. I was lucky enough to head to a preview last night and aside from the usual questions I had ("How delicious would a Porg be?") one of the (many) things I was thinking was "Damn, Luke lives on one of the most stunning islands I've ever seen, I want to go there."

And I can.

Because it's a real place on Earth.

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The Trump administration - you know, the one that was all about making America great for middle-class Americans - has changed the rules about how US airlines disclose luggage fees. From this week, airlines will no longer need to tell you what the luggage fees will be at the start of the booking process. Instead, you'll find out what you're being slugged for baggage after you've chosen your ticket and fare.

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Plane travel is incredibly safe -- your odds of dying on a commercial flight are about one in 11 million -- but accidents still happen and travellers sometimes make it to a different kind of final destination. Many past fatalities may, however, have been avoidable. Here's the safety info you should be up on in case you go down.

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Almost everyone has a nightmare travel story from some flight. For some of us, it's about crazy flight delays, mid-air reroutes due to bad weather or unruly passengers going nuts mid-flight. But for others, it's the person you sit next to who's an incessant talker, fidgeter or has the worst bad breath ever. A fiend of mine had a terrible passenger experience on a flight yesterday and shared it with me.

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Next time you go to book a flight you might want to look at the early-morning options first. Getting out of bed to make that 6am might be a struggle, but Travel and Leisure suggests that you should exclusively fly in the early morning. The reason? You'll have a much better chance of getting to your destination.

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According to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures, Australian petrol is the worst of all 35 OECD countries. Aussie standards allow for 150 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur - the stuff that, once it hits the atmosphere, can form acid rain and also cause respiratory issues for anyone who likes breathing. It's been 15 years since we last revisited the standards in our fuel - it's time we took another look.

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iOS: I still think augmented-reality goggles are the future. Yes, Google Glass was creepy and off-putting, and yes, Snapchat Spectacles tanked, but as I crick my neck after a morning commute spent staring down at my phone, I feel nostalgic for the promise of a heads-up display that replaces my phone's most mundane functions. Especially navigation, the most ridiculous task to accomplish by burying my head in a device. And the iOS 11 app HotStepper reminds me just how fun AR navigation could be.

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Google is rolling out an update to its Maps app, giving it a refreshed visual style, more easily recognisable markers, and context-aware information. If you're prone to getting disoriented using public transit, or get frustrated searching for a petrol station during a road trip, the update makes it easier to know where you're going, what's around you, and where you'll end up if you've missed your station.

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I know, you're busy and you have work to do, but you also need to take some time off to recharge those batteries. So, should you plan one big holiday for the year? Or should you sparse out your days for multiple holidays throughout? Quantity can sometimes beat quality.

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I think the first time it happened to me this year was last weekend, the beginning of November, in an IKEA. When we rounded that final corner to the cash registers, my boyfriend and I came face to face with hundreds of artificial Christmas trees waiting to be bought. Afterwards, I started noticing advent calendars and ornaments popping up almost everywhere I go, along with mentions of the holidays in my social feeds.

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My favourite part of staying in hotels is hotel breakfast. Breakfast food, or at least the breakfast food I traditionally eat, is some of the simplest to prepare, but I really love it when someone else scrambled those eggs or fried that bacon for me. I genuinely look forward to it every time I travel.

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Hostels are an inexpensive option when you want to stretch your travel budget and don't mind sharing space with strangers (who might even become your friends). The downside is that if you want to hang your clothes or towels up to dry, you're fighting for the same common drying spots with everyone else in the hostel. Toss a couple of small magnets in your bag and you have this problem solved!

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The best way to save money on Starbucks is to make your coffee at home. The second best way is to buy it somewhere cheaper. But the third best way is to hack your Starbucks order to pay less for the same (or similar) drink. Some hacks are innocent; others less so. Here's a compilation of the best Starbucks hacks from over the years.