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Abigail Wunderlich

United Kingdom

NA

Member since October 12, 2013


  • “BREAKFAST is nasty, the rooms are nasty.” So complained a reviewer of an Oregon guesthouse earlier this year. There is nothing unusual in that: all hotels must deal with the odd disgruntled guest. This critique, though, appeared on TripAdvisor, a travel-review website. When the correspondent went on to document drunken housekeepers and licentious receptionists, the owners sued him. It was more than a point of pride. What customers say on TripAdvisor can make or break hotels. Around 260m people visit the site each month to read some of the 125m reviews.

    The firm makes money by displaying prices from online travel-agents (OTAs) alongside its reviews, and then charging those agents each time a customer clicks through. It is such a good example of a network effect that it is the subject of a Harvard Business School (HBS) case study. The more users post reviews, the more useful the site is to those about to book a holiday. This makes it more important to hotels and travel agents, who offer better deals. This results in more traffic—and more reviews—closing the virtuous circle. Last year TripAdvisor reported revenue of $944.7m. Because users post reviews free of charge, in 2012, Jeffrey Bussgang, an HBS lecturer, calculated that its gross margin was an astounding 98%.

    For these reasons, some think TripAdvisor may be able to take on the “big two” OTAs, Expedia (from which TripAdvisor was spun off in 2011) and Priceline, which on August 6th bought up to 10% of Ctrip, a lar...

  • Weekend Escapes of The Corliss Group review

    Community, Communication Design

    Image_177_ Taste of Travel: 5 weekend escapes 1 - Kennebunkport, Maine Aside from President George H.W. Bush leaping from the sky in celebration of his 90th birthday, Kennebunkport is a fun summer destination filled with picturesque outdoor activities and endless people-watching opportunities. Whether you opt to sit on a bench in the downtown area and absorb the views that include quaint inns, shops and the river, or participate in kayaking, a whale-watch or sunset cruise, you’ll be able to unwind and enjoy the scenery in the process. STAY: The newest inn on the block is The Boathouse, located right on the river for the best views. Relax on your balcony, open a bottle of wine and watch the boating action before heading out to join in the fun. EAT: At The Boathouse for oysters and fried clams. Wash it down with a few specialty cocktails. For breakfast, it’s best to head out for a walk to Mornings in Paris, where you’ll get an authentic French experience; the staff and many of the customers practice the language of love. *DO*: Kayak along the river, and spend some time strolling along the shops downtown. 2 - Tybee Island, Georgia Also referred to as “Savannah Beach,” Tybee Island is a quintessential beach town offering constant ocean breezes and a salty ocean aroma to lure Savants from their steamy streets in summertime. A mere 18 miles away from Savannah, the best days on this easily accessible barrier island are spent doing nothing but rocking on a porch swing, looking out...
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    The Corliss Group review – The trick with London is to spend as little as possible on the journey so that you can splash out a bit more on accommodation.

    An open return in standard class from Manchester Piccadilly to London is now an eye-watering £321. But book ahead for a Friday afternoon trip, returning home the following evening, and the price plummets to £54.50.

    Travel with a loved one and you can bring this down to £36 per head if you invest in the new Two Together railcard.

    On arrival make your way by bus – more on this later – down to Theatreland and envelop yourselves in the delights of the sumptuous Waldorf Hilton hotel.

    This, as they say, is a bit posh. It dates back to 1908 and retains all its Edwardian grandeur while incorporating the comforts of today.

    Our recently refurbished room referred to another era, the art deco style of the 20s, complete with black and white photos from the first golden age of Hollywood.

    The hotel is in Aldwych and if your aim is to take in a show then this is the perfect base with Drury Lane and Shaftesbury Avenue close by.

    But the theme for our trip was fine art and fine beer.

    Take a short stroll down to the bank of the Thames then along to the Millennium Bridge and over to Tate Modern where the magnificent Matisse – The Cut-Outs is running until September 7.

    This is a fantastic insight into his delicate later works when Matisse, too ill to paint, found a way to create stunning works of art with coloured paper and sc...

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    Food + Mouth = Survival. Simple math...you'd think.

    But the task of feeding yourself can seem like Mission: Impossible once you step off the continent. Language, culture and availability make finding animal-free nosh a massive ordeal that can swallow up a whole afternoon of your hard-earned vacation/travel time. And when your blood sugar starts to dip, after a long bus ride or a day traipsing around some ruins, the difficulty and frustration involved in finding vegetarian food can wreck your day.

    Maintaining an alternative food lifestyle while traveling in countries that do not understand or recognize vegetarianism as the moral/ethical/healthful imperative that it is to you, will always be a challenge. But there are ways to make it easier.

    After globe-trotting across every continent, 30+ countries, I've developed a few strategies to help keep my lean, mean, vegetarian machine meat-free on the hoof.

    Research

    Going to Egypt? Friggin' Google "vegetarian Egyptian food!" Of course you could probably eat pizza and french fries for every meal and have a (very dull) vegetarian holiday but the whole point is to sample the local flavour. A little research will go a long way and you won't miss culinary gems like kosheri (Egypt's delicious, and vegetarian, ode to carbohydrates).

    Pack your own seasoning

    The sad truth is that to stay veggie in certain countries and regions you may end up eating some boring, bland and tasteless food. On a three month trip to South America m...

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    Regular exercise and good eating habits will help you stay lean and toned during your busy summer. You can easily put on 20 pounds of fat during a 2-week summer vacation! Have fun on your vacation and do fun exercises and workouts.

    Clothing usually is looser in the summer to keep us cooler in the summer heat, so keeping up with exercise and eating right is a huge challenge. Since you will wear less clothing in the summer, you want to look good, right? Well, you may need to pay more attention to your diet and level of activity to stay in shape!

    While traveling, vacations and summer plans may keep you busy, don’t neglect your workout schedule. You can still exercise and do everything you need to do – including enjoying your summer! You just have to be a little creative.

    So, here are my 6 exercise and eating tips for this summer:

    1. Never skip both your Friday and Monday workouts. If you do this, you will probably go 4 full days (Fri, Sat, Sun, Monday) without working out. Four missed workout days could turn into weeks, months, summers and years!

    2. Get a stability ball, medicine balls, resistance bands and dumbbells to do exercises anywhere, anytime.

    3. Walk 30 minutes every day whether you workout or not. This keeps your fat-burning enzymes working for you. For better overall health and fitness, it is critical to be as active as possible every day.

    4. Exercise at your hotel while on vacation. Most hotels will have a pool and small gym. Some even have obstacle courses.

    5. Don’t for...

  • London_177_

    What’s the world’s most expensive city for a pint of beer? How about a pair of jeans? Or a date?

    Sadly for French beer quaffers, Swiss fashionistas, and romantically-inclined Brits—the answers are Paris, Zurich, and London.

    Deutsche Bank has compared the price of everything, everywhere (OK, not quite), so you don’t have to. And for a third year in a row, the priciest country in the world is Australia (that’s of the 19 countries included in the survey). If you’re looking for the lowest prices overall, head to India. A weaker rupee has helped it remain the least expensive major economy despite persistently high inflation. Among developed countries, the U.S. is easiest on the wallet. Brazil is costly by emerging-world standards.

    But the overall rankings mask some sharp differences for individual products. A day’s car rental in China costs $31.90, a mere 26% of the price in the U.S. But Levi’s jeans, Adidas trainers, or an iPhone 5 are all cheaper in the States.

    Moscow’s five-star hotel rooms are ruinous—at $905.60 a night, more than double the New York equivalent—and it’s the costliest city for a weekend getaway. But public transport in the Russian capital is a snip.

    The survey also tracks the cost of living in major cities. Tokyo, by far the most expensive back in 2001, is now cheaper than a number of cities including Melbourne, Geneva, Oslo and Caracas.

    Zurich deserves another mention for the eye-watering cost of its hairdressers—at $60.47, a hair...

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    I AM TRAVELLING WITH MY HUSBAND AND TWO YOUNG GIRLS TO GUANGZHOU, LONDON, MANCHESTER AND BERLIN. THERE ARE SO MANY APPS FOR TRAVEL I FEEL OVERWHELMED. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE BEST APP THAT IS SIMPLE AND QUICK TO USE WITH MAPS, THINGS TO DO, SUCH AS GALLERIES AND POSSIBLY CHILD-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES. ALSO WHAT MUST I TURN OFF TO AVOID GLOBAL ROAMING CHARGES? T. LAKE, BILGOLA

    I use City Maps 2Go, which accesses thousands of city and regional maps that you can download for use in offline mode. It locates your position, lets you search for addresses and locates ATMs, restaurants, points of interest, including galleries, museums and child-friendly activities. You can stick pins into the map, which is helpful to find your way back to a particular shop or restaurant. City Maps 2Go is available for Apple ($3.79) and Android (free) platforms. Another option is Pocket Earth, however, it is available only for Apple, also at $3.79. To avoid data roaming charges turn off the data feature on your phone. On an iPhone, tap "Settings" and turn Cellular to "off". On most Android phones, find "Settings", tap "More Settings", tap "Mobile networks" and set Data roaming to "off".

    I AM A 62-YEAR-OLD FEMALE AND I WILL BE TRAVELLING ALONE TO JAPAN IN OCTOBER. COULD YOU RECOMMEND A GOOD PLACE TO STAY IN TOKYO? I AM NOT INTERESTED IN NIGHTLIFE, JUST GOOD, CHEAP RESTAURANTS, INTERESTING SHOPS, MUSEUMS, GALLERIES AND BEAUTIFUL PARKS. HAPPY ...

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    To properly impress, celebrate, or indulge - and we mean once-in-a-lifetime properly - you'll need to push the fine-dining boat out a fair bit further than usual. Here are our recommendations and tips.

    Many of the world's finest dining experiences require more than deep pockets. A certain level of ingenuity and persistence are necessary to garner the “impossible to get reservation”. Intensive research, some local knowledge and foreign language skills can also help to open doors to Michelin-star restaurants' little-known private rooms and to members-only clubs. Some equally special experiences merely require travel to exotic, faraway places.

    Here, you'll find a handful of unique dining destinations, hidden rooms and places of pilgrimage,that only those in the know, know about.

    Noma, Copenhagen

    Claims to be the most difficult restaurant in the world in which to secure a reservation. On the sixth day of the month, every month, reservations open for tables three months in advance. Allegedly more than 20,000 emails flood Noma's computer system on that day. One way around the issue is to book Noma's private dining room, located above the restaurant's main dining room and next door to the prep kitchen and culinary "lab". The long, private space overlooks Copenhagen's waterfront warehouses and a new pedestrian footbridge that links the dockside with the city.

    Annabel's, London

    London's older clubs, like Annabel's, on Mayfair's Berkeley Square, has been welcoming m...

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    TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR butler service? Free kid’s club

    What would grab your attention to book a package holiday? Australians have been touted as the second-biggest holiday spenders in the world (after the Saudis), and travel companies are working hard to nab a lucrative share of that travel dollar.

    On average, Australians spend $3962 on an overseas trip, shadowing the global average of $2300, according to Visa’s latest Global Travel Intentions study. The report also revealed Aussies plan to increase their holiday budget by almost 10 per cent on their next trip to an average $4331.

    So what are travel companies willing to do to turn a holiday-maker’s head?

    Colin Bowman, Flight Centre’s general manager of marketing, says companies are always looking for ways to add value to a package. “I was in Hong Kong recently and the hotel we stayed at offered guests a mobile phone for the duration of their stay with calls charged at a local rate,” he says. “It’s the small but very important inclusions like these which can set a package aside.”

    Matthew Cameron-Smith, managing director of Trafalgar Australia, says savvy Australian travellers want an experience that offers authenticity.

    Cameron-Smith says: “Anyone can pay to have dinner on the Champs Elysees in Paris, but how many can organise a meal in a private 100-year-old goat farm in rural France or a lemon grove in Tuscany?”

    Creative Holidays managing director James Gaskell says everyone loves a bonus – welcome coc...

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    <b>EXPERT weekly advice on your travel dilemmas.</b>

    <b>My husband and I will be arriving in Hong Kong in June at 5am and departing at 8.15pm the same day. Is there anything we can do during this time?</b>

    <b>Doc:</b>With comfy shoes and lots of energy you should be able to make the most of your day. Start by jumping on the Airport Express to Kowloon – it takes 24 minutes and departs every 10 minutes. Then take an early- morning walk along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. You’ll get a great view of the busy harbour and see the Avenue of Stars, with statues and handprints of celebrities. Next to the ferry terminal is the Museum of Art showing collections of ancient art and antiques (note: it’s closed on Thursdays). Hop on the Star Ferry across to Central then head to the Pier Eight bus terminus and take shuttle bus No. 15 to the Peak Tram Station. Board the tram for the climb up Victoria Peak for fantastic views. Grab some traditional Asian food at one of the restaurants, then do the one-hour walk around the peak. You may then have time to go back to Central Pier Six and catch the ferry to Mui Wo. From here take New Lantao bus two to Ngong Ping Village (about 40 minutes), where there’s the giant Tian Tan Buddha and the reconstructed village showing traditional Chinese architecture. Or, for a more relaxing afternoon, head back down to the Central MTR train station and take the 10-minute trip to Mong Kok. This is known as “the area that never re...

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design