A TALE OF TWO CITIES
In June we are joining a tour of Scandinavia in Copenhagen, but arriving earlier so that we might be able to pick up an escorted day tour that crosses the Oresund Bridge to Sweden, tours the sights in Malmo and Lund and returns us to Copenhagen. Any suggestions? DOC
Have a look at Tour Swedish Copenhagen (swedishcph.dk). One of their tours is the Lund and Malmo City Tour. This begins by meeting your guide at the Copenhagen Central Station, who will then take you across the Oresund Bridge. Once in Sweden, you will be guided around several monuments, the university and the medieval Lund cathedral while learning about the Vikings.
Lunch will be in Malmo before a tour of this city. You then have the option of returning via the bus or taking yourselves back to Copenhagen at your leisure. This tour is about $230 a person.
Malmo is a 30-minute train trip from Copenhagen (16km), so the other option is to grab a train ticket for $17 a person each way and explore the city of Malmo at your own pace.
AT A STRETCH
Has anyone done any research comparing the available distances between economy class seats on planes? Front and back, not sideways. Or are they all exactly the same? I imagine people with long legs might be interested to know when choosing an airline, or avoiding one.
Sitting for 17 hours down the back of the bus with your knees around your ears would definitely be an uncomfortable way to start or finish a trip. So yes, it is important to check on a seat’s pitch – the distance between the back of your chair to the back of the one in front, because they do vary a bit between the different airlines.
Each airline will list the pitch for each class on their website. The difference between economy and business or first class on most carriers is well worth considering if you are tall. Qantas, for example, features a pitch of 32 inches in their economy class seats on the 787 Dreamliner, used for the Perth to London, non-stop flight.
Premium Economy seats on this flight have 38 inches (96cm) of pitch, and business class a whopping 46 inches (117cm) with the seat then extending to lie flat at a length of 80 inches (2m).
With some airlines, the economy seat pitch can drop down to 29 inches (74cm) and although three inches (8cm) doesn’t seem like much to worry about, it will affect your flight, particularly if you are blessed with long legs. Seat Guru (seatguru.com) is an online tool listing most airlines and their seat pitches and is a quick way to check who offers what. If you are travelling in economy class and would appreciate a little extra leg room, pay for or ask at check-in for an exit row or bulkhead seat. Both will allow you to stretch out.
GAME TO GO
We are travelling to South Africa in July and staying at Londolozi Game Reserve in Kruger National Park. We will be flying into Johannesburg and staying seven nights. Do we need to apply for a visa?
If you are travelling on an Australian passport, you may visit South Africa for up to 90 days without the need for a visa.
Your passport must have at least six months’ validity remaining from the time you enter South Africa plus two empty pages.
I am a teacher and would like to travel to New Zealand before Christmas for about
10 days. Can you recommend a tour? I will possibly be travelling solo. I would prefer to see either island well, rather than try to fit in too much.
When travelling solo, it can be a nice idea to join a group of like-minded individuals, all interested in the same destination. It gives you a sense of security, you will make new friends, and you will have other people around to share the wonderful experiences you encounter in your trip.
If you can, travel with a company specialising in solo travel or who waives the single supplement. This supplement, if you have to pay it, can often increase the tour cost above your budget. Solo Connections (soloconnections.com.au) features fully escorted, small group trips from Brisbane to both islands of New Zealand. They are over 10 and 11 days and include single room use.
Having your own room and not sharing with a stranger gives you your own space and privacy when and if you want.
Intrepid (intrepidtravel.com) offers a variety of northbound or southbound itineraries through New Zealand. They range from seven to 22 days and cover both islands indepth. The 11-day New Zealand South Island Explorer may interest you as it explores the key destinations of interest in the south island.
It begins and ends in Christchurch, is rated Explorer, so includes activities like hiking, white-water rafting and a scenic flight, plus the group size is limited to a maximum of 15 participants.
You will spend a night aboard a boat travelling the fjords of Doubtful Sound, spend several nights in Queenstown and take a guided hike across the Franz Josef Glacier.
After many years and many happy trips here and overseas, we finally had a nightmare holiday with a local provider. Who regulates the travel industry in Australia?
The travel agent industry in Australia is governed by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (afta.com.au) and its travel accreditation scheme ATAS.
Bookings should only be done through accredited ATAS travel agents as this ensures a standard of practice and a code of ethics is adhered to.
You have referred to a travel provider, so you may mean a tour operator, hotel or travel package company rather than travel agent.
In this case, CATO the Council of Australian Tour Operators (cato.travel) is the representative body for Australian wholesale tour operators offering travel and tour packages domestically and internationally.
You could also contact Australian Consumer Law (consumerlaw.gov.au), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (asic.gov.au) or an ombudsman (australia.gov.au).
The 8km Oresund Bridge carries trains and vehicles across the Oresund Strait between Denmark and Sweden; there are small group tours to Queenstown for solo travellers and Australians don’t need a visa for South Africa for up to 90 days.