Travel etiquette

Viewer discretion advised.

OK, not really. But if you’re like me– which is to say you’re a minor major germophobe– this is the stuff nightmares are made of.

I say this without bias: (some? most?) people on planes are horrific. Horrendous. I was sat on a flight from Miami to Frankfurt last week, and the gentleman next to me sneezed. Into his hand.

I icked instantly (who wouldn’t?) but he followed it up with another sneeze and a coughing fit. Now, I’m not heartless– clearly the guy was having a fit of some sort, but has no one heard of the vampire cough?!

Anyway, this is the physics behind sneezes on a plane by a 17 year Canadian brainchild. And a cost-effective solution to limiting the spread of pathogens from a sneeze:


Travel hack: Collecting air miles

Note: this post refers to accruing miles using schemes associated with groceries, credit cards, and such; not to be confused with frequent flyer programs for airlines. 

I recently came across an article about how great air mile schemes in the States were, and I can honestly say, I thought a lot of the options back in Canada were great back in 2013 before I left. That said, all these air mile collection schemes come with a caveat or ten. And, excuse me for being so blunt, the schemes they have in Australia are plain awful! (Flybuys, for example, is an absolute waste of money).

Anyway, now that I’m (sort of) done with the whinging, here are some good sources to check out whether or not your air mile collection scheme is worth the effort, and what you can do about them if they’re not (just don’t sign up for them if they’re not, OK? ‘Kay.):

The Air Miles Game and How to Play It, Jonathan Hirsch from

A Beginner’s Guide to Airline Miles, Thorin Klosowski, from

How to Get the Maximum Value from Air Canada’s Aeroplane, Grace McClure, from (somewhat outdated, but good for understanding the theory, anyway)

Bottom line— do your homework before committing to some dementor-worthy ‘rewards’ scheme (I’m looking at you, Flybuys!), there’s nothing worse than realising your air mile scheme is getting you less than a mile a month.

Featured image by Dominik Schröder,, a great source for ‘Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos‘.