Travel Briefings

Freely Travel Briefing: Issue No.68

In what almost resembles a return to normalcy, independent travellers can now enter Japan. A few catches remain, though – so this week, we’ll be getting the lowdown on how to book a trip just in time for snow season. 🏂🏿 Also, in celebrating travelling for pleasure, we think it’s equally as important to keep up with our fellow humans who travel for necessity. The world over, climate change is driving people from their homes, adding to a mass migration that is already well underway. Accordingly, we’ll tune in to a podcast about the century of climate upheaval, and will wrap up with a cross-country journey across North America in search of the best homebrewers and brews! Cheers, Freelies. 🍺

Japan Loosens Entry Requirements for Australian Travellers 🎌

Photo by bobby hendry

There are still a few hoops to jump through…

It’s been a long two-and-a-half years away from the Land of the Rising Sun, but Japan has finally announced a further easing of entry restrictions. There are still a few hoops to jump through, however. Firstly, you have to book a package tour through a travel agent, but unlike before, they can just be the kind that includes flights and accommodation rather than a guided itinerary. Secondly, you need to get a visa, but provided you’ve had three vaccinations, travellers from Australia no longer need to do a negative PCR test 72 hours before entry (phewf!). Visitors from other countries still need to follow testing and isolation-upon-arrival measures, though.

Read: James Manning for Time Out

The Century of Climage Migration: Planning for the Great Upheaval

Photo by Matt Palmer

Over the past decade, the number of migrants has doubled globally.

The world currently sees three times as many days per year where temperatures exceed 50°C than it did 30 ago. Over the past decade, the number of migrants has doubled globally as a result – and the population of displaced people is only increasing. In the New South Wales Northern Rivers region alone, 3600 homes were deemed uninhabitable after the floods back in March – with a rare third consecutive La Niña season underway. So where are all these people going to go? In this eye-opening podcast, we explore what it will look like when large populations are forced to migrate across continents, and the possibility of creating entirely new cities close to our planet’s cooler poles – on land that is already becoming ice free.

Listen or Read: Gaia Vince for The Guardian

Beerland: A Tasting Journey Across North America

Photo by Dawid Zawiła

From colourful New Orleans to garish Orlando, the locations are just as interesting as the characters. 🍻

In this rollicking travel show, we hit the road in the United States and Canada with host Meg Gill to meet with brewers of beer from every corner of the continent. There’s the LGBTIQA+ home brewing community of Northern California, a bloke in New York City who brews out of of a log he found in the park, and a Chilean-American living in West Texas who is super passionate about bringing the farm to the table. From colourful New Orleans to garish Orlando – where two lifeguards are turning ocean water into beer, the locations are just as interesting as the characters, and you can catch all three seasons of this show on SBS.

Watch: Beerland on SBS


Taiwan has opened up visa-free travel to visitors from Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand and “diplomatic allies” – partially ending the travel ban that had been in place since March 19 back in good ol’ 2020. Quarantine regulations and testing on arrival will remain for a while longer though, with a weekly quota on arrivals capped at 50,000 inbound passengers each week.
A floatplane has had a tragic accident in Puget Sound near Whidbey Island in Washington, US. The plane was flying from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to Renton Municipal Airport – a short and popular route for tourists and locals alike – when it went down suddenly and without sounding an alarm. Nine adults and one child were on board, none of whom survived, but the search for the wreckage and the clues it contains is still ongoing.
In more positive aeroplane news, a retired nurse has leapt to service aboard a Spirit Airlines flight from Pittsburgh to Orlando, also in the US, saving a baby’s life mid-flight. Tamara Panzino said she was reading a book with earplugs in when she “heard a flight attendant say, ‘We have an infant not breathing!’”. She asked a couple of questions, then got straight to work before handing the recovered three-month-old to their dad. ❤️

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