I’ve accepted that I’ll never visit the US again

I've accepted that I'll never visit the US again

US OF NAY

My spouse and I are invited to a marriage in Seattle in September. I’ve travelled extensively on enterprise over the final 10 years, together with to Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, all on the US checklist of undesirable nations. So I anticipated my ESTA software to be rejected and to have to use for a visa and interview. However, the web site suggested the ready time for a visa interview is between 216 and 300 days, and as the Sydney consulate is closed, I’d need to go to Melbourne for it. The marriage ceremony shall be over in 261 days. Similar occurred a number of years in the past after I utilized for a US visa, for journey as a part of an Austrade delegation with the visa refused at the interview, then two months after the delegation had returned, it was granted. I settle for that I’ll never visit the US again.

Ben Adamson, Woolloomooloo, NSW

TAKE NOTE

If you propose to take any money whenever you journey abroad remember that some banks in Australia are not promoting abroad forex. When I just lately tried to purchase some kilos sterling, an NAB teller advised me the financial institution not sells forex. Yet one other disappearing customer support, nevertheless, a Google search did find different sources for forex together with Australia Post.

Mary Hoffmann, Richmond, Vic

LETTER OF THE WEEK

SOUK IT UP

While touring Cairo ourselves (Traveller, April 16) a couple of years in the past we have been lucky to visit the grand market Khan el-Khalili and have been awestruck by the superb wares that have been on present. However, after the tour we caught a tuk tuk and requested the driver to take us to the place his mom and spouse shopped. To be in a non-touristy space, experiencing the on a regular basis lifetime of Cairo inhabitants, was an expertise past measure. It could have been soiled and dusty with fairly intriguing smells however the friendliness of the locals and distributors was heartening. The style of freshly fried potato crisps ready proper in entrance of us was out of this world after which a day cuppa in the neighbourhood cafe topped off a completely unimaginable out of the method expertise I’ll never neglect.

Carolyn Fraser, Geelong, Vic

COLOMBO PLAN

I’m an Aussie expat who owns a guesthouse and tour firm right here in Sri Lanka with my Sri Lankan companion. The nation has had setbacks over many a long time with the long-running civil struggle which resulted in 2009, the 2004 tsunami, the 2019 Easter bombings after which COVID-19. Now the individuals are protesting over what they are saying is the worst financial disaster they have been by way of. However, vacationers are largely unaffected by the present issues and Sri Lanka wants tourism – beforehand the third largest overseas alternate earner in the nation. It is an inexpensive vacation spot for Australians, the individuals are very pleasant and welcoming, the variety on this small island is superb and the meals is fabulous. I’d urge Australians to nonetheless contemplate a vacation to Sri Lanka and luxuriate in the magnificence and wonders of this marvellous nation.

Deb Riedel, Negombo, Sri Lanka

GIVE ME A SIGN

I’m wondering if it is ever occurred to the safety authorities in any respect the primary airports in Australia that all of them have completely different guidelines at the screening level relying on the system put in. If they made every little thing rather a lot clearer, the course of might be streamlined and the workers wouldn’t have to take action a lot shouting. Some do not require you to take away laptops from baggage. Some insist that you take away belts. I recommend massive clear indicators (which everybody has loads of time to learn and put together for whereas queuing): 1. You should take away the following objects out of your baggage and put them in a tray (laptops, aerosols, and so forth) 2. You should take away the following (cellphone, belt, jacket, hat, footwear, watches, and so forth) out of your pockets/individual and put them in a tray or in your bag 3. The following objects (footwear with steel sole inserts, massive watches, chunky belt buckles, and so forth) typically trigger an alert on the walk-through detector and we advise you to take away them and put them in a tray 4. Shoes do (or don’t) should be positioned in a tray. 5. All baggage have to be positioned in a tray. It would additionally assist if there have been longer counters for decanting out of your bag to the trays (Canberra is nice whereas Qantas at Sydney and Melbourne are insufficient).

Kevin Hunt, Kenthurst, NSW

EDITOR’S NOTE: Traveller can affirm, based mostly on a current journey, that such useful signage, as urged by our reader, is on distinguished show at the safety channels at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

HELP YOURSELF

An expensive pal in her 80s and a frequent traveller was just lately flying by Virgin Australia from Brisbane to Adelaide. She was accompanied by her husband, additionally in his mid 80s, wheelchair certain with superior Parkinsons. On leaving the plane she requested for crew help to handle the wheelchair. She was refused and advised, “We don’t do that.” She struggled on her personal vowing never to fly Virgin again. I do not blame her. Neither will I.

Jeffry Farman, Brighton, Vic

EDITOR’S NOTE: Traveller shares our reader’s disappointment. We checked Virgin Australia’s web site which asks that passengers request particular help wants upfront of journey. “If booking mobility assistance online please ensure you complete the Specific Assistance section on the passenger page.”

STAMP OF DISAPPROVAL

In regards to Lindsay Somervile’s current letter (Traveller Letters, April 16), a ten yr passport at $308 is $30.80 a yr. Not with the ability to submit date it by 4 months saves him a measly $10.25. Fancy writing to complain that the Australian authorities would not let you save $10.25 whenever you’re utilizing mentioned passport to journey abroad on a vacation the place you would be throwing away many extra {dollars} on a lot worse purchases. For $30.80 a yr, a passport is the greatest funding you will ever make.

Ashley Deppeler, Southbank, Vic

WEB SLEIGHT

We have a credit score with Webjet following cancellation of a visit final yr and have been attempting to make use of it to e-book a visit to Broome to hitch a tour there. This has proved unattainable with no response from Webjet regardless of a number of emails, apart from one reply indicating the worth. You can’t get them on the cellphone except your journey is going on the subsequent day, as per their cellphone message. I’m at a loss as to the way to get Webjet to reply as I don’t need to go away the Broome reserving too late. Any solutions ?

Sumathy Krishnaswamy, Kew, Vic

TIP OF THE WEEK

EASY DOES IT

If you are nervous about the hassles of going to Europe, do not. I travelled to Europe a month in the past and Sydney International airport, I confirmed Qantas my triple vaccination printout, checked in my baggage, took my boarding cross and flew to London. At Heathrow, I solely needed to present my passport to enter the UK. To take my connecting flight to Paris I again merely confirmed my triple vax certificates to British Airways. At Charles de Gaulle Airport my passport was stamped and I used to be capable of enter the nation. I later returned to London by Eurostar with no documentation required apart from my passport. Returning to Australia on April 18 from London, I again offered my vax certificates and my (superfluous and annoying) Digital Passenger Declaration and flew again to Sydney. It was all surprisingly simple.

Kim Buddee, Roseville, NSW

FINE TIMES

My household had rented a cottage in Germany, close to Munich, and we did lots of driving between Austria and Germany. One day, at nightfall, I used to be pulled over by an Austrian freeway patrolman (I named him “Otto”). He requested: “Why are your headlights not turned on?” I replied: “Because it’s not dark yet.” He then defined that in Austria it is the legislation that your headlights have to be on everytime you drive on Austrian autobahns. Point taken. I used to be fined €28. Then he requested, “Where is your sticker?”…..”What sticker?” The €8 sticker you have to journey on our autobahns so that shall be one other €120 wonderful. Thank goodness Otto took pity on us naive Australians and waived the €120 wonderful. We then proceeded to the subsequent service station and purchased the sticker, with Otto following us. So, folks, if you happen to’re driving on Austria’s autobahns, keep in mind your sticker and keep in mind to show in your headlights at nightfall.

James Trianta, South Hurstville, NSW

THE GREAT ESCAPE

My husband and I travelled to France earlier this yr with a two evening stopover in Singapore every method. We needed to get a PCR to depart Australia, one other one on arrival in Singapore and one other one to get out of Singapore to Paris. When we arrived at CDG airport in Paris it was a ghost city (as was Changi airport each methods). The aircraft taxied to the closest gate and we have been by way of customs and baggage assortment in lower than 20 minutes. We paid our euros to show our triple vaccinated International Certificate right into a French certificates and downloaded the app in a couple of minutes and off we went. We might go wherever so long as we confirmed our app. The French have been delighted to see us and everybody stored saying to us, “you escaped Australia – well done”. Vive La France

Caroline Augherson, Melbourne, Vic

NORTH TO ADVENTURE

In March, my spouse and I, accompanied by our labradoodle, drove out of Sydney on a 8,000 kilometres 5 week North Queensland seashore and outback vacation. Driving alongside the bumpy Bruce Highway, we spent a couple of days at Airlie Beach and loved some crusing, albeit tough seas and excessive winds. We arrived in Cairns for a couple of nights with buddies, experiencing the nice Skyrail and Scenic Railway on an ideal day. Onto Port Douglas, which has misplaced none of its appeal with its beautiful folks and nice meals. The drive again to Sydney was a dream come true with the inland path to Charters Towers gave us a way of what was to come back as we made the transition from the tropics to the outback, following the Dinosaur Trail, Hughenden, Richmond and Winton, with visits to Kronosaurus Korner, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and the Dinosaur Stampede Monument at Lark Quarry. Alas the Flinders Discovery Centre was present process renovations.

John Verhelst, Huntleys Cove, NSW

WIN A SET OF THREE HARDIE GRANT TRAVEL BOOKS

The Letter of the Week author wins Hardie Grant journey books value greater than $100, together with Undiscovered Tasmania by Rochelle & Wally Dare; Emma Shaw’s Ultimate Weekends Australia; and Vantastic by Kate Ulman.

See hardiegrant.com

SHARE YOUR TIPS AND WIN THREE LONELY PLANET TRAVEL BOOKS WORTH $100

The Tip of the Week author wins a set of three nice Lonely Planet journey books, together with Australia’s Best Trips, Best Day Walks Australia and Gourmet Trails Australia and NZ.

See shop.lonelyplanet.com

HOW TO WRITE TO US

We give choice to letters of 100 phrases or fewer and so they could also be edited for house, authorized or different causes. Please use full sentences, do not use textspeak and do not embody attachments. Email us at travellerletters@traveller.com.au and, importantly, embody your title, tackle and cellphone quantity.



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