Two news items and a couple of tips before the holiday.

A Chinese firm has received approval for its acquisition of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the flagship of that brand owned by Hilton Worldwide, for USD 1.95 billion. It’s kind of funny that Hilton owns the Beijing outlet, which only opened in 2014, and an insurance company in China will own the New York location. Talk about globalization.

Jeju Air has begun thrice-weekly service to Beijing from, you guessed it, Korea’s Jeju Island. Jeju is oh-so-2012, namely as a group-tour and honeymoon destination for travelers from China, but this will certainly cut the travel time, rather than having to go via Seoul or elsewhere.

As your writer is just ending one trip and about to start another with another after that, some tips come to mind.

When packing, take less. Pack everything you think you need, and then everything you put in “just in case” or as a back-up, take it out. You won’t need it, or if you do, you can just buy it on site.

The same applies for toiletries. Unless you need a prescription sunscreen, anything you use only on holiday, just buy it there. You’ll buy less, and you won’t have to tote it back and forth.

It also applies to things like reading material. If you take periodicals, read it on the plane or on the beach, and then leave it behind, tearing out any pages that are critical. Avoid carrying paper books; go electronic, unless you really can’t stand to read off of an iPad or other such device.

The opposite applies regarding time. Give yourself maximum time wherever you’re going. After many years of using their service, I’m probably giving up Cathay Pacific/Dragonair for regional flights not directly to Hong Kong. With Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines both members of Star Alliance, flying via Hong Kong without stopping there really gains me nothing, and I was a little disappointed in Cathay’s level of service on recent flights too and from Bangkok. Next time, I’ll take the Star Alliance miles and get there faster.

If you’re heading out of Beijing, have a wonderful trip, and we hope the road is both flat and safe for your journey.


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