Traveller: Takeoff travel news August 3, 2014

Bon Voyage shoes

World at your feet
Click your heels and find yourself wherever in the world you want to be with the cutest women’s shoes from Venuzuelan brand Hot Chocolate. Imprinted with an old-school map of the world, they have a rubber sole for comfortable strolling and the soft polyester upper makes them easy to clean. Flip the buckle and they’re an ideal inflight shoe, but if you’re not travelling anywhere soon, just look down, map out your route and daydream. Bon voyage shoes, $75. Phone 0499 116 659, see

Fabric of life
Weave through India’s exotic Rajasthan with Christina Sumner, OAM, former principal curator at Sydney’s The Powerhouse Museum and Indian textiles aficianado. You will watch silk and cotton weaving in women’s charities, learn about ancient tribal dyeing techniques, block-printing and visit renowned ateliers during this new 15-day textiles tour. Other highlights include the 1st-century Buddhist caves of Ajanta, sufi concerts, local village visits and the photogenic Rajasthani cities of Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Accommodation includes Jodhpur’s Ajit Bhawan Palace and Samode Haveli in Jaipur Threads of Rajasthan tour numbers are capped at 12, tour departs February 7, 2015. Costs from $11,500 a person, twin share, including flights ex-Sydney, meals and guides. Phone 1300 130 218, see

Rajasthani woman
Case closed
Choose zingy tangerine or strawberry and you can bet your bottom dollar you won’t miss your luggage on the carousel amid a sea of boring black. Online retailer Kogan’s new budget-friendly three-piece luggage sets are lightweight with a hard-side shell, and sit sturdily on four multi-directional spinner wheels. The set has two suitcases, 100-litre (4.2kg) and 65-litre (3.5kg), and a 40-litre (2.6kg) cabin bag, with TSA-approved locks and a one-year warranty. Colour challenged? Available also in charcoal. Kogan Hardside Spinner luggage set, $159, three pieces. Phone 1300 304 292, see
Bespoke beauty
You’re the belweather, the pack leader, the one who swims against the masses, and you’re demanding the hotel room decorated with street art. You’re the epitome of the new traveller. “Curation is the future of online travel,” says Mat Lewis of new boutique accommodation booker View Retreats. Travellers are seeking architectural statements for eye-popping travel snaps. “Our most-viewed property is the Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse in the Blue Mountains, followed by Campbell Point House on Victoria’s Bellaraine Peninsula and Alkira Rainforest Retreat in the Daintree.” Romantic cocoons are the top request. See

Taming travel with tots
A new travel website devised by mother-of-two, Ingrid Huitema, is dedicated to journeys with babies. The site aims to take the grunt out of travelling with young kids and give parents time to reconnect as a couple. “Taking a few hours each day to eat lunch uninterrupted, walk on the beach or try a surf lesson are things that usually don’t happen when you’re on holidays with babies and toddlers,” says Huitema. “We want to change all of that.” Packages in baby-friendly Bali comprise villas tailored for children, with pick-up at Denpasar airport, car seats and pool fences with nannies. A five-night stay in Seminyak starts from $1895, with four days’ nanny service. Phone 0408 112 728, see

That's not your kids screaming all night on the plane. No, they're the ones cosily bedded down with their own neck pillows and eye masks in cute-as jungle scenes or candy-pink babushka prints. The Australian-designed travel products are kid-sized and include matching passport covers and luggage, thus teaching kids that if they want to bring it, they also have to carry it. Each item is sold separately so you can build the collection as your kids' needs change. Pillow, $19.95, eye mask and passport covers, $16.95 each. Phone (07) 3018 3504, see

Belinda Jackson's weekly travel news column, Takeoff, is published in Sydney's Sun-Herald's Traveller section each week. Visit  


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