Departure Lounge: Starry night skies in Western Australia

Plus: how to deal with lost baggage, walking with the Snowman; and Women's Christmas in Inchydoney
Departure Lounge: Starry night skies in Western Australia

Tent accommoation at Sal Salis, Western Australia


The night skies in Australia are breathtaking and Journey Beyond’s nature-led luxury experiences, such as a stay at Sal Salis in Western Australia, allow you to enjoy them in style. 

In Cape Range National Park, far from urban light pollution, the 15-tent eco-conscious beachfront accommodation offers up the pristine beauty of Ningaloo Reef for an off-grid adventure.

Come to hike, kayak, paddleboard, and snorkel among 500 colourful fish species and 250 coral types on this UNESCO World Heritage-listed reef. 

Whale sharks and humpback whales are frequent visitors here too. 

By night, marvel at the majestic constellations above. 

Lost baggage

Last year 26 million pieces of luggage were misplaced or lost on flights and in airports globally. Shipping experts 1st Move International recommends these smart tips.

Fly direct, where possible: Most baggage losses occur in transit on international flights. The shorter the layover the higher the risk of a bag not making it.

Remove old airline stickers and tags: Old luggage tags can confuse airline staff. If your baggage is lost, it will be quicker to get back to you if they can scan the right tag!

Use a luggage tag: Attach a durable and distinctive luggage tag with your contact details to each suitcase.

Get a GPS luggage tracker: Pop a good quality GPS tracker like Airtags or Tile Mates in each case. Simple to use, they allow you track the location of bags from your phone.

Put a copy of your itinerary in your case: A printed itinerary in each case could prove useful in tracking you down should your case get mislaid.

Take a photo before check-in: A photo reference of your luggage can be helpful if it goes missing. And remember to avoid buying black cases at all costs!

Walking in the air

If you’re visiting Belfast, why not visit the historic Hillsborough Castle? 

Here 12 giant snowmen have taken up residence, in celebration of Raymond Briggs’ classic Christmas story The Snowman. 

Walking with The Snowman features a garden trail of giant sculptures inspired by the Christmas classic 12 Days of Christmas. 

Between the walled gardens, waterways and walkways it’s a beautiful spot for a fun family stroll.

Deal of the Week

Celebrate Women’s Little Christmas, on January 6 at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, just outside Clonakilty on Inchydoney’s Blue Flag Beach. 

With beach walks, a thermal suite and afternoon tea in the mix, it’s a tempting post-Christmas break. 

The package includes two nights B&B with a balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a Gin Afternoon Tea experience, Saturday morning yoga class and access to the relaxing heated seawater therapy pool, hammam and ocean view relaxation areas in the hotel’s Island Spa.

Napoleonic Spain

For a slice of history, book a stay at the Parador de Lerma in Burgos, in Spain’s Castilla and Leon region. 

Built on the site of an old medieval castle, the parador is a 17th-century palace built by the Duke of Lerma. 

The area played a pivotal role in Napoleon’s campaign, serving as his headquarters during the Battle of Gamonal in 1808 when French and Spanish forces clashed, resulting in the conquest of Burgos.

Napoleon frequented the Palacio Ducal of Lerma, now the Parador de Lerma, and guests can check-in to walk in his footsteps. 

This year, the imposing Parador is celebrating its 20th anniversary of welcoming guests.

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