The use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) has long been synonymous with business travel and accessing data from a remote location (read: outside the office). However, with the expansion of leisure travel over the years, VPNs are used increasingly to access blocked (geo-restricted) content (read: Facebook and Instagram in China). What most people do not realise however is that VPNs are also extremely important (even in Singapore!) if you are logged a public WiFi as personal details can be stolen from you fairly easily.
One of the questions I get a lot whenever I talk about VPNs is what exactly is a VPN? As mentioned earlier, it stands for a Virtual Private Network and here's a real-world example that will help you understand it better: Everyone knows about the infamous Great (Fire)Wall of China and more importantly, how websites like YouTube and Facebook (amongst many others) are blocked when you are in the country. It is easy to find out where you are accessing the internet from (be it via WiFi or a mobile network) - click HERE to find out if you are not convinced - in this example, it is also how you are identified as being in China. Therefore, the easiest way around this is to 'hide' your actual location by using a VPN. Think about the VPN as a third-party gateway, instead of delivering internet content directly to you, it first gets redirected to a location (as configured on your VPN) before getting delivered to you - this allows you to bypass blocked sites easily!
As long as you are not connected via a secured WiFi (read: outside of home), you SHOULD be using a VPN in order to benefit from online anonymity. Since I travel quite a fair bit and spend a lot of my time in hotels, I do need a VPN to perform information-sensitive transactions (e.g. online banking) online. While some VPN-providers offer a limited bandwidth package, VPN Unlimited offers well, UNLIMITED bandwidth for a duration (or unlimited if you purchase the lifetime access!) of time.
The first Hotel Indigo that was signed in Vietnam is the Hotel Indigo Phu Quoc Starbay that is slated to open in 2021. Even though the Hotel Indigo Saigon The City is signed on a later date, it is slated to become the country's first Hotel Indigo-branded property that will open in Ho Chi Minh City come 2019.
Australia's first Curio Collection by Hilton property has just opened up in Sydney's Central Business District (CBD) and next to the brand new waterfront leisure and commercial Barangaroo precinct. The West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection by Hilton is a newly-built hotel with 182 beautifully-appointed rooms and suites.
The first St. Regis-branded property in Hong Kong (St. Regis Hong Kong) is slated to open in early 2019 in collaboration with China Resources Property. Marriott International has nine properties in Hong Kong currently and the introduction of the St. Regis brand in Wan Chai will make it the perfect luxury accommodation for business travellers and leisure guests.
When you have memberships across different loyalty programs, it is always a good idea for you to keep track of it (manually or otherwise). I have previously written about AwardWallet which is free to use (but premium features can only be unlocked when you make a contribution) and today I just wanted to mention how useful it actually is because I actually discovered that my account got hacked through this very platform - 339,500 points were gone!
I recently stayed in a Premier Suite at the InterContinental Singapore over New Year's Eve (well, I actually checked-in on 30 December 2017 and checked-out on 01 January 2018) and was curious to know which set of Accelerate challenges it would count towards. More importantly, I was curious to know whether the elite-qualifying nights counted towards my 2017 or 2018 quota.
MGallery by Sofitel adds three new iconic properties to its growing portfolio of 90 hotels. The addition of the Victory House Leicester Square in London and The Retreat Palm Dubai as well as Tarcin Forest Resort & Spa is part of the rapid expansion of the MGallery brand that is slated to happen over the next five years.
The Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Soi Soonvijai is the fourth Holiday Inn Express property to open in Bangkok. This 206-room property is located just two minutes walk away from Bangkok Hospital and a short trip to both Piyavate Hospital and Rama 9 Hospital, making it perfect for medical tourists.
Singapore's largest tour agency that specialises in tours to Europe and the USA has just launched a brand new website today that enables consumers to not only access full itineraries but also to make payments for their upcoming trips online. Travellers who are interested in any Premium Tours will also be able to enjoy a discount of S$128 by simply entering a promo code.
IHGA Hotels Group Japan, a joint venture between InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and ANA has just signed an agreement to bring IHG's popular boutique brand, Hotel Indigo, into Japan. This is in response to a growing segment of travellers who are constantly looking for a different travel experience. The Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora is slated to open in 2019 and it will be a place where guests and locals alike can gather and enjoy the rich culture and history of Gora, with its famous, pastel coloured hot springs surrounded by majestic, green mountains and the charms of nature that change with the seasons.
Following its official opening on 15 July 2017, the Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore has just unveiled The Oakwood Executive Club which is an add-on membership for in-house guests. Similar to an executive lounge in hotels that most travellers are familiar with, The Oakwood Executive Club offers Prosecco breakfasts, a stunning private poolside lounge, stylish boardroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and cocktail service, as well as free-flowing evening canapés on the terrace to discerning corporate and leisure guests in Singapore’s downtown.