Grown-up Travel Guide News Update – 05.01.2012

In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel

The Numbers Behind the Travel Industry: Pigs, Planes & Urine

As people book their holidays they rarely pause to consider what they are part of. You may be heading off on a simple, and luxurious, holiday to Tenerife, yet you are also taking part in an annual rite in which millions of people log countless hours on beaches, planes and in hotel bathtubs. At travelmatch, we did a bit of digging and discovered that we take a staggering 8.93 billion holiday days annually!

This huge number inspired us to do some further research. So we cracked out our abacuses and did some computing – the results were pretty staggering. Did you ever wonder how much bacon tourists eat each year? Or how much urine gets slyly excreted into hotel pools around the world? Check out the infographic below to see the results. If the numbers seem a bit staggering, just remember: your upcoming holiday in 2012 is part of a massive global tradition that sees millions take off on great breaks to lovely destinations around the globe. Enjoy your trip!

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California politician Tim Donnelly cited for loaded gun at airport

A Californian politician known for backing gun owners’ rights was stopped by security officials Wednesday as he tried to board a flight with a loaded gun in his hand luggage, police said.

Republican Tim Donnelly was briefly detained at Ontario airport east of Los Angeles, from where he was heading to Sacramento for the first 2012 state legislature session after the Christmas and New Year holidays.

“At approximately 7:45 am, Ontario Airport police officers responded to… a report of a weapon at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening station,” said a Los Angeles Airport Police statement.

“The investigation… revealed the suspect, 45-year old Tim Donnelly, a resident of Twin Peaks, had a loaded firearm in his carry-on baggage,” it added.

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Shark sightings on the increase as tourists warned of possible attacks

Tourists and locals at NSW holiday hot spots have been warned that warmer water and tonnes of baitfish are luring sharks close to popular beaches, increasing the risk of attacks.

Experts said the next six weeks were “a real worry”, with aerial searches yesterday spotting as many as 10 sharks close to beaches, swimming aggressively into schools of baitfish, salmon and bonito that have massed in their millions along the east coast, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The warning followed an attack at North Avoca on a surfer who was forced to punch the shark on the snout after what was believed to be a bronze whaler grabbed him on the right arm.

Michael Wells, 28, of North Avoca, was surfing shortly before 8pm on Tuesday when the animal latched on and pulled him down. He was able to swim to shore and raise the alarm after hitting it.

Mr Wells was rushed to Gosford Hospital where he was treated for a 5cm laceration on his forearm and a puncture to his wrist.

“He’s up talking and in good spirits,” a hospital spokesman said.

A crew from the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter saw two 4m sharks close to shore at Copacabana – one beach away from where Mr Wells was attacked – about 7am yesterday.

“They were sighted aggressively swimming into a large school of baitfish in the middle of the beach,” helicopter chief executive Stephen Leahy said.

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Couple Uses Dart, Map and Chance to Plan Vacations

ABC News

On the first day of every new year, an Ohio couple uses an unconventional method to decide where they will be vacationing–a dart.

Jen and Bob Westerfield flip a coin every Jan. 1 and whoever wins the coin toss is blindfolded and handed a dart. They throw the dart of a map of the United States in their Waynesville, Ohio, home and find out where chance is taking them on a trip the next year.

“Wherever the dart lands, we open up an atlas, take a piece of paper and pinpoint where we’re going,” Jen Westerfield told “Each one has been a great experience, so we’ve kept up the tradition.”

The couple started the tradition in 2004 when they were still dating. Their first trip took them to Marsh Island, La. The island itself is a wildlife reservation, but they stayed at a nearby town and visited the island and a tobacco factory.

“We really like people and we like spontaneous things and we don’t think through our decisions. We just love this kind of vacationing,” Westerfield said. “I think [for] a lot of people, it would make them crazy not to know exactly what they’re going to do or exactly where they’re going to go. We just get there, contact the visitor’s bureau and take it from there.”

In 2007, the couple visited their smallest town–Two Buttes, Colo.

“It’s a town of 45 people,” Westerfield said. “They have nothing there. They don’t even have a restaurant. The post office was the only thing.”

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Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

Not meaning to brag, but here goes. I can say I’m a travel expert and have spoken at multiple travel conferences and trade shows.

I enjoy travelling all over the world but my big passion is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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