aussie lifesaver

Photo by Chris Betcher.

Your weekly roundup of the hottest travel links across the net:

1. Beaches are an obligatory part of a visit to Australia, but many people don’t realize just how different the beaches there are compared to beaches in other parts of the world. Between the sharks, the jellyfish, the strong tides/waves and the harsh sun – there are plenty of things that could get you into trouble. If you’re planning a trip, this handy guide will give you the lowdown on how to stay safe on Australian beaches. And FYI, this wasn’t mentioned in the guide, but as an Aussie, I feel it’s my duty to warn you that if you get caught in a rip tide you should not try to fight it. A lot of people try to fight the tide by swimming towards the shore (an impossible task) and end up drowning from the exhaustion. Instead, you should swim across the rip (i.e. parallel to the shore) until you get out of it, at which point you can safely swim back to the beach.

2. In case you hadn’t noticed, today is a bit of a unique day on the calendar, being 11-11-11. To mark the occasion, one company has put together a list of the top 11 things to do around the world today – based on bookings made by actual travelers. Among the choices is a wedding that’s taking place on a bluff in the Grand Canyon that’s only accessible by helicopter.

3. The Vatican is an enormous and somewhat overwhelming place, and with so much rich history and detail to take in, it’s easy to overlook a few things. This article about the secrets of the Vatican looks at some of the hidden areas that few tourists ever notice.