Vlogger Kim Dao Releases New Video On Travel To Osaka

Anyone who’s dreamed of traveling to Japan has probably run across YouTuber Kim Dao’s videos online. Over the past few years, this Australian vlogger has produced some of the most viewed vlogs dealing with Japanese travel, culture, and fashion.

In one of her latest videos, Kim takes viewers on a three-day trip around the popular city Osaka. She also spends some time in this vlog touring the nearby historic city Nara. First-time travelers to Japan can’t afford to miss the travel information Kim shares in this recent vlog.

First off, Kim gives her viewers details on visiting one of Osaka’s major sites: Osaka Castle. It costs Kim ¥600 to get inside this majestic castle built way back in 1583 AD. When she reaches the top of the castle, Kim Dao shows us incredible panoramic views of Downtown Osaka.

After taking in the views, Kim Dao walks inside to learn more about the castle’s long history. Originally built for the leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Osaka Castle faced many challenges throughout its long life including lightning storms and invasions. The version of the castle standing today was completed in 1997.

Once she’s done learning her Japanese history, Kim takes a train to the Namba region of Osaka. She then takes us to Shinsaibashi, one of the most popular shopping streets in the city.

When she reaches Dōtombori, Kim Dao takes a picture by the famous Glico man advertisement and encourages all tourists to do the same. Since there’s so much to do in Dōtombori, Kim recommends every traveler schedule at least a few hours to check out all the nightlife, restaurants, and shops in the area.

To find out more about Kim’s tips for traveling to Osaka or Nara, be sure to check out her official YouTube page.

Disney World Will Soon Allow Guests To Use Phones To Get Into Hotel Rooms

Long gone are the days of using a physical key to get into your hotel room…especially at Walt Disney World’s hotels. Believe it or not, guests staying at Walt Disney World resorts will soon be able to use mobile phones to open their hotel room’s doors.

Today, people who stay at Disney resorts have to use MagicBands – electronic wristbands that store every guest’s travel data – to get into their rooms. MagicBands not only allow guests to enter their rooms, they can also be used to get into Disney’s theme parks, pay for food & merchandise, and use FastPasses.

Disney will first test this new mobile-key program at the Wilderness Lodge resort near the Magic Kingdom. Once they’ve got all the kinks worked out of the system, Disney employees will begin offering this feature at all of its other resorts.

In addition to unlocking hotel rooms, Disney executives want to extend this digital key service into other areas of their hotels. Eventually, guests will be able to use their phones to get into exclusive areas like resort pools and special lounges.

Even though customers can’t use their phones to get into their rooms just yet, Disney already released a new service that allows guests to check in to their hotel online. Once the room is ready, Disney employees send out a text message to let guests know they can enter their room with their MagicBands.

There’s no word yet whether Disney is planning on introducing this phone-key feature to its other theme parks or cruise line.

Kim Dao Reveals 100 Best Things To Do In Tokyo For First-Time Travelers

With Tokyo’s cherry blossom season in full bloom, beauty & travel vlogger Kim Dao decided to record a helpful video for any first-time travelers to Japan’s capital city. In her video “100 Things to do in TOKYO, JAPAN | Japan Travel Guide,” Kim recommends 100 of her all-time favorite attractions in Tokyo every visitor should add to his/her bucket list. Below, we’ll go through Kim’s top three suggestions for anyone traveling to Tokyo.

First on Kim Dao’s itinerary is to explore Shinjuku Station. Not only is Shinjuku Station the busiest train station in Tokyo, it’s one of the busiest and largest in the world. Kim Dao advises everyone to just “get lost” in this massive station and enjoy all the world-class shops and restaurants.

The second suggestion in Kim’s guide video is to take a trip up to the top of Tokyo’s Government Building for a superb panoramic view of the city. Since it’s free to take a ride to the top of these towers, it’s recommended you visit the Government Building as early as possible to avoid long lines.

Third, Kim Dao recommends taking a stroll through the alleyways of Omoide Yokocho to get a feel for “olden times” in Japan. She also says this is an exceptional place to order authentic Japanese cuisine at tiny food stands.

Anyone interested in hearing Kim Dao’s other 97 things to do in Tokyo can see this full video on her main YouTube page right here: https://www.youtube.com/user/kimdao.

By the way, Tokyo’s cherry blossoms officially opened on March 17th and reached full bloom around March 25th. While the petals have started to fall in Tokyo, there are still many other cities either at peak or close to full bloom across the Land of the Rising Sun. People visiting Japan in mid to late April should head to cities like Sendai, Fukushima, and the Sapporo to see cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Fascinating International “No-Nos” Revealed In New UK Report

The UK government just released a surprising list of cultural taboos around the world in preparation for spring break. Although the authors of this new report were targeting younger people, the advice could help anyone going on an international vacation. Below, we’ll share some of the most shocking lesser-known taboos at the world’s top tourist draws.

First, many over-the-counter medications in the West are banned in Japan. Believe it or not, if you bring a bottle of Vicks VapoRub or codeine hydrochloride into the “Land of the Rising Sun” you could be deported.

Continuing on into another Asian nation, the Thai government has strict laws against e-cigarettes. Any traveler caught using a vaping device could face a steep fine.

Just like in Thailand, Buddhism plays a central role in Sri Lanka’s culture. Sri Lankans take their religion so seriously that they won’t let you into their country if you have a Buddhist tattoo. Also, you could be deported from Sri Lanka for taking a selfie in front of sacred Buddhist monuments.

Moving on in our list to the Caribbean, travelers of all ages cannot legally wear camouflaged clothing. The most popular islands that enforce this law include Barbados and St. Lucia.

Anyone who wants to overcome a bad cussing habit should visit the United Arab Eremites (UAE) in the near future. Citizens and visitors to the UAE could be thrown in prison if they swear online or in public.

Similar to the UAE, Greece doesn’t take kindly to indecent public behavior. You can be jailed in Greece for dropping your drawers in public, even if it was done as a joke.

Virgin Atlantic Announces Three New Class Fares

Virgin Atlantic is jumping on the bandwagon of the latest trend in air travel. The airline announced on Wednesday that it is rolling out three new branded economy fares in an effort to entice bargain travelers. The new fares will launch this spring and are intended to align more closely with global partner Delta Airline’s class of economy fares.

The most basic of the three fares is the Economy Light version. Travelers booked in this class will need to pay extra for any checked luggage and will not be assigned their seat until checking in at the airport. The next step up in the fare ladder is the Economy Classic level. These passengers will be allowed one free checked bag and will be able to choose their seat when the ticket is purchased. The most premium level in the economy class offerings is the Economy Delight. In addition to the complimentary baggage allowance and advanced seat assignment benefits offered by Economy Classic, travelers booked with an Economy Delight ticket will enjoy three more inches of legroom and priority check-in.

All economy passengers can still expect to receive the same level of exemplary service provided by Virgin Atlantic. Complimentary food and drink will be offered to all travelers, regardless of the fare that was originally purchased. In addition to the new fare structure, Virgin Atlantic also announced that they will be adding Wi-Fi and charging outlets for each seat.

New In-Flight Menu Promises To Help Passengers Overcome Jet Lag

Australia’s Qantas Airways is getting ready to test a new in-flight menu designed to help travelers naturally overcome jet lag. These healthy food options, which were designed by Australian nutritionists, will be served for the first time on March 24th to people taking Qantas’s non-stop flight from Perth to London.

Researchers at the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney developed all of these menu items with the goal of promoting a natural circadian rhythm and preventing dehydration. They also hope these innovative choices will improve passengers’ immunity while they’re up in the air.

Qantas has released three of the main courses that will be made available on this special flight. The first is seared sea bass drenched in a lemon garlic sauce with sides of broccoli and an almond salad. If that doesn’t sound appetizing, perhaps you’d prefer a beef salad with a lemony sauce, corn, and zucchini. Lastly, one breakfast option will be eggs served on a bed of quinoa with plenty of green kale and pistachios.

To help with hydration, doctors included fruits like strawberries and veggies like cucumbers in many of their dishes. For a snack, researchers encourage guests to dig into a raw Hawaiian poke bowl.

As for drinks, doctors have come up with their own unique herbal tea blend to promote relaxation. In-flight attendants will also offer guests a warm chocolate milk concoction to help them fall asleep and a probiotic-dense kombucha to help them wake up.

On this first test flight, doctors will simply collect data from guest surveys to gauge the success of their menu. In the near future, researchers hope to get more objective measures of their menu’s success by tracking passengers with interactive apps.

More People Seek ‘Transformational’ Vacation Adventures

One of the fastest growing trends in world travel is the demand for trips that are considered “transformational.” It’s clear that more people are seeking something beyond the same old basic rest and relaxation vacation time.

Transformational travel is defined as going somewhere and doing something that can trigger a deep emotional impact or create a meaningful experience. People want to “break old molds” and get pushed out their comfort zones, says travel tour advisor Matthew D. Upchurch.

Transformational travel can take many forms. For example, instead of taking a week to kick back on a cruise ship and stuff oneself with rich foods, entertainment and glorious ocean views, people are opting to get their hands dirty in a remote Third World village while helping disadvantaged people improve their lives in some way.

Another increasingly popular transformational journey is visiting a remote village in a Brazilian rain forest to partake in a psychedelic drug experience called an ayahuasca ceremony. Ayahuasca is a powerful hallucinogenic substance used for thousands of years by Amazon shamans to explore the outer reaches of consciousness.

Upchurch said that people are seeking profound connections with people of different cultures in exotic locations around the world. If that means a grueling hike through mountainous terrain or a lengthy trek across a high desert region – so much the better.

The key is to be challenged and to confront people and situations that “blow the mind.” The journey must leave the traveler with an expanded perspective and emotional impact once they return home.

TripAdvisor Announces Top Specialty Tours Of 2017

Travel company TripAdvisor just revealed the top ten specialty tours of 2017. While the most popular tours of last year were focused on bringing guests to iconic monuments, TripAdvisor also saw a huge growth in new industries like culinary tours.

The top spot for 2017’s list of TripAdvisor sponsored tours went to a walking tour of Rome and the Vatican. People who book this one-day tour get to skip lines into major monuments including Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, and the Vatican Museums. This walking tour costs about $140 per person.

Second place went to TripAdvisor’s exclusive cruise down the Chicago River. This particular river cruise takes guests by some of the Windy City’s most recognizable buildings like the John Hancock tower and the Aon Center. This tour lasts about 75 minutes and costs only $40 per person.

La Città Eterna comes in yet again at the number three on this list. The major differences with this tour and the first is that it includes a walk through the Roman Forum and lasts only half a day. This special tour also costs $140 per person.

Amazingly, Rome won the fourth spot on this list as well. This tour is significantly cheaper at only $33 per person, but guests get no privileged access to attractions. Instead, guests get to ride in a big tour bus for either one or two days to some of the hottest sites around Rome.

Rounding out the top five is a special tour of the massive Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain. Guests on this $45 tour will get to cut to the front of the line and experience this masterpiece by artist Antoni Gaudí in relative peace.

From number six to number ten, here are the remaining tours on TripAdvisor’s list: priority access to Paris’ Eiffel Tower, London’s Harry Potter experience at Warner Bros. Studio, a tour of NYC’s Empire State Building, a half-day tour of islands on the Venetian lagoon, and a one day tour of Tuscany. All of these tours on this list are still available on TripAdvisor’s website.

New Study Reveals The Dirtiest Surfaces In Airports And Planes

Before you touch your airport’s self-service check-in kiosk, you might want to wipe it down with an alcohol swab. According to a study just released by the US insurance company InsuranceQuotes.com, the screens on self-service check-in kiosks are the dirtiest surfaces in most airports.

Researchers involved in this study used standard swab tests on six different surfaces in three of America’s busiest airports. In total, InsuranceQuotes.com employees gathered data from 18 tests and measured their results in the number of bacteria that formed colonies per square inch (aka CFUs).

So, just how bad is the check-in kiosk? According to the data, an average check-in screen has 250,000 CFUs. The worst check-in kiosk in this survey had well over 1 million CFUs.

The second dirtiest surface in the airport went to the armrests on chairs by various gates. These commonly touched surfaces had an average score of 21,000 CFUs.

Lastly, water fountain buttons came in third place. Researchers say these buttons averaged 19,000 CFUs, which is still significantly less than the touchscreen kiosk.

After completing their studies at the airport, investigators also wanted to see how different surfaces on planes fared. Unsurprisingly, they found that the plane’s bathroom had an average of 95,000 CFUs on the flusher.

Other germy areas on the plane include the tray table and the seat belt buckle. These two surfaces, however, had far fewer bacteria than the toilet button coming in at approximately 11,500 and 1,100 CFUs, respectively.

Just as a point of reference, this report also found that toilet seats in most airports have fewer CFUs than all the more commonly used surfaces listed above. Believe it or not, a toilet seat only has about 170 CFUs on average.

Everyone involved in this research hopes this will encourage anyone going to an airport to bring plenty of hand-sanitizer and to wash their hands thoroughly with soap.

South Korea And Singapore Win 2018’s Award For Most Powerful Passports

South Korea is now tied with Singapore for the title of the world’s strongest passport. That’s according to a new annual ranking of the world’s passports put out by the group Passport Index.

 

This marks the first time two Asian nations are at the top of the list. For many decades, the most powerful passports in the world always went to European nations.

 

One of the major reasons why these two Asian nations were awarded the top prize this year has to do with a change in Uzbekistan’s visa policy. As of this year, passport holders in both South Korea and Singapore have been granted visa-free status by Uzbekistani authorities.

 

Passport Index added that Somalia has made changes in their visa procedures in recent years. This is yet another reason why South Korea was able to tie for first this year. Singapore and South Korea have visa-free scores of 162 in this year’s survey.

 

There was also a tie for the second most powerful passport on Passport Index’s list. Both Germany and Japan were given visa-free scores of 161.

 

Many significant European nations were able to clinch the bronze prize this year with scores of 160. A few of these nations include Italy, France, and Sweden.

 

Executives at Passport Index believe this year’s survey proves how powerful and trustworthy Asian nations are becoming in the globalized era.

 

Analysts at Passport Index worked with the financial firm Arton Capital when compiling this year’s list. Anyone can check the status of their home country’s passport on Passport Index’s official website.