Snorkelling and seaweed farming in Indonesia




Jack's Flight Club ✈️ Travel News & Inspiration

Selamat siang, JFC-ers!

We’d like to start off by wishing a very Happy Lunar New Year to all those who celebrated at the weekend! From firecrackers in Wuhan, to acrobats in Bangkok and the Lion Dance in Panama City, it’s always a joy to see the colourful celebrations taking place around the world.

While most countries are celebrating the Year of the Rabbit, over in Vietnam, it’s all about the water cat. There are two main theories as to why the rabbit didn’t make the cut there, one of which involves a mix-up between the words for "cat" and "rabbit" in Chinese and Vietnamese. Some reckon that the real reason quite simply comes down to the popularity of cats, who are beloved in Vietnam for keeping rice fields clear of rats.

Of course, to the Scots out there with tim’rous beasties on the mind, we wish you a very happy belated burns night. We hope your haggis was addressed, and you didn’t have to go around half of the supermarkets in town at 5 PM to find neeps, like a certain Detour Editor’s mum.

So, a word to the wise: if you’re planning to celebrate International Lego Day this weekend, make sure you get some Lego in advance.

Happy travels and international celebrations,



Your Next Trip

Well, dear reader, here’s our short but sweet answer: Go!

As with most of the smaller islands around Bali and Lombok, it’s a veritable paradise. Nusa Lembongan lies around 15 miles southeast of Denpasar, alongside Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. But despite the proximity, getting there isn’t straightforward, since the island has neither an airport nor a pier. So, whichever boat transfer you pick from Sanur, just know that you’ll be getting your feet wet before you even reach the hotel (heavy, wheelie suitcases not advisable).

Of the three Nusa Islands, Lembongan is the most developed, offering the most accommodation and dining options. Unsurprisingly, that also means it’s the most popular of the three as a base for visitors to the islands. So if it’s a hidden gem you’re looking for, this might not be the one - you should expect more than one or two "Instagram tourists".

There are good reasons why people want to come here, though. The picturesque beaches exist IRL as well, with never-ending sandy bays ideal for swimming, snorkelling and surfing alike. Lembongan is regarded as having the Nusa Islands’ best surf spots, which also come with names that mean business, like Razors and Lacerations. If you’re brave enough, even beginners can head out on Razors, though we’d probably start with the less aggressive-sounding Playgrounds.

You can also lean into Bali’s hippy yoga lifestyle on Nusa Lembongan, with several schools on the island offering multi-day retreats. Aside from coming away feeling more chilled and flexible than if you were just sipping mojitos at a beach club, booking a retreat package tends to mean that your accommodation, breakfast and transfers from Bali are completely sorted. Most generally give you the option to include surf classes and/or snorkelling, too. We found to be a handy comparison site for seeing what’s available and when.

One of the most authentic Balinese experiences you can have on Lembongan is visiting the seaweed farms. Seaweed farming is the area’s main source of income after tourism, and it made a real comeback during the COVID-19 pandemic. At low tide, you can see hundreds of locals working on their plots in the channel between Jungut Batu Bay and Nusa Ceningan. It’s an impressive sight, especially when low tide happens to fall at sunrise or sunset, but please remember to ask permission from the farmers before taking any pictures!

Crossing the channel to Ceningan is easy, too, since it’s connected to Nusa Lembongan by its iconic Yellow Bridge. The island is small and walkable, although you may want to rent a motorbike to avoid spending hours walking in the sun.

Natural coastal beauty is on the cards here as well, with the Blue Lagoon topping every list of things to see. Since you can’t actually get in and swim here, you know it must be impressive when the colour of the water alone is enough to draw crowds. Thankfully, you don’t have to go far for a swim, since there’s a really popular cliff diving spot just around the corner.

On the road back towards the Yellow Bridge, look out for little signs pointing you down to Secret Beach. It may not really be a secret, but it is secluded and has some of the clearest waters around. There’s a good chance you’ll have all 50 metres of coastline to yourself, as well as the perfect conditions for checking out its reef.

While the Nusas definitely aren’t as hopping as Bali proper, this is probably about as much real peace and quiet as you can hope for in an area that’s only growing in popularity. Here are a couple of other nearby suggestions (relatively speaking) for an even better chance at seaside serenity:

Lombok: Just next door, but so much less popular with the Instagram crowd (except maybe Pink Beach!). The landscape is varied, with hikeable volcanoes, a deluge of waterfalls, and a huge choice of quiet beaches, where you can build sand castles without worrying some big brute will come and kick them over. Unless you’re on Selong Belanak beach at sunset when the water buffalo come out.

Flores & Komodo Island: Flores is much less developed for tourism than Bali or Lombok, but as the gateway to world-famous dive sites and real life dragons in Komodo National Park, we can’t imagine that’ll last too long. This trip can involve as much activity as you like, with canyon jumping, cave swimming and treks through the highlands to visit the traditional village of Wae Rebo all on the cards. But don’t miss out on their Pink Beaches, either - they’re arguably much pinker than Lombok’s!

Weh Island: Much more off the beaten path, everything moves more slowly on Weh Island. The waters here are warm, clear and full of marine life, making it the ideal place for some leisurely snorkelling or affordable diving. Iboih and Gapang Beaches are best for proximity to the dive centres (and seaside bungalows), but if you just want to float around in peace, head to Sumur Tiga Beach.

As a Muslim island under Sharia law, you won’t find much partying going on here - but tourists aren’t held to the same rules as locals, so long as you’re respectful of local tradition and etiquette. In short, you’ll find the odd beer on sale here or there, and bikinis tend to be okay on the beach.

Got an idea or a request for an article? Please share it with us!

Ask us for a travel tip! 🌴


Student Savers

If you’re one of the lucky youngsters among us, rather than just young at heart, we’ve got just the thing for you. Not content with being an expert in finding cheap flights, Flight Finder Allan went on the hunt to find out which airlines would give him extra money off for being youthful, and whether any offer a good old-fashioned student discount.

Thankfully, he wrote it all down so our lovely JFC readers could benefit too.

The typical college experience is made up of late nights (because of hitting the books, obviously), tight budgets, and the best years of your life. But college also comes with an underrated benefit: taking advantage of those sweet, sweet student discounts.

You may have used them for cheaper museum admission or at a clothing store, but you may not know that student discounts can save you big money on your airfare.

So, which airlines offer discounts? How do they work? And the big one: Are they even worth it?

United Airlines is one of the few North American airlines that offers any kind of student discount worth a second look. It can be a little fiddly to access at first, but once you’re set up, you get 5% off all fares.

This isn’t technically a student discount, but rather a discount for travelers aged 18-23. So if you’re a student aged 24 and up, this won’t work for you.

Is it worth it? Keep in mind, United’s cheapest fare does NOT include a carry-on bag, while most of their competitors offer one by default. So, to us, this discount is only worth it if United is one of the few airlines serving the route you want to fly, or if they are already significantly cheaper on that route than any of their competitors.

Iberia’s student discount is through their Iberia Joven (Spanish for "young") program and claims to offer 10% off bookings and 15% off group bookings if you are between the ages of 16 and 30. While not explicitly a student discount, it works just the same, so we’ll include it here.

The site will ask for your passport information as well as a scan of it to make sure that you’re the age you claim to be. You’ll have to wait for approval, but once you get it, you’ll officially be "Joven" in Iberia’s eyes, and you can head back to the central home page and do a typical search to find your itinerary.

Is it worth it? This discount is one of the better ones in the bunch. Its identity check isn’t too stringent, you don’t even have to be a student, and it actually works. If Iberia is operating generally one of the cheapest flights on the route you’re trying to fly, then an extra 10% off never hurt anyone.

Read more…

Sounds like a few of us might have been missing a trick! No matter whether you’re a student looking to save a few quid or a relative trying to goad your young person into one more family holiday, you’ll want to take a look at the full article here to find out which airlines offer up the best discounts.

If you can only reminisce about the days of student discounts, check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Cheap Flights Anywhere.


Around The States In 50 Editions: New Hampshire

Each week in 2023, we’ll be going on a whirlwind tour of a different randomly selected US state. This week, we’re heading to New Hampshire.

Whoever said you had to go north of the border for liquid gold? The sweet, sticky goodness of sugaring season in New Hampshire could keep anyone abuzz - even amidst the lingering wintry weather necessary for tapping that sap.

Conditions early in the year do lend themselves to experiencing a more adventurous side of the state. The most exciting way to take in views of Mount Washington has to be from a zip line, sailing over the canopy of the Bretton Woods ski resort. That said, summer and autumn hikes in the White Mountains offer up cascading waterfalls and endless vistas across New Hampshire, as well as cosy log cabins where you can curl up for the night.

But despite more than 81% of the state being forested, you can still hit the seaside - all 18 miles of it. What New Hampshire lacks in coastline, it makes up for in quiet lakeside beaches and full-on boardwalk enthusiasm. And come September, Hampton Beach turns into crustacean chaos for the Seafood Festival - complete with live music and a lobster-roll-eating competition.

All in all, entertainment in New Hampshire seems to be pretty wholesome. There are numerous choices for a scenic drive through the New England nature, like taking a whirl around Lake Winnipesaukee for a spot of leaf peeping and taking in the views of the almost Scandinavian houses on Alton Bay.

But then there’s the famous Antique Alley route, which we reckon makes the most exhilarating weekend road trip. More than just a street of antiques shops, you’ll find over 500 dealers located along one route running through the state. If that sounds like your idea of hell, take some light relief in the form of giant pumpkins being raced down the Piscataquog River.

These people sure know how to have a gourd time!


Our Pick Of The Clicks

All the important (or silly, or strange) travel news from across the web this week.

More airline awards have been announced, and this time it’s for the world’s safest airlines. Qantas and Air New Zealand came in top of the pack thanks to their stellar safety records, but for something a little closer to home, you’ll have to opt for TAP Air Portugal, who came in 6th.

As civil unrest continues in Peru, the government has decided to close Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail indefinitely in order to protect tourists and citizens. Hundreds of visitors to the site were initially stranded, as rail services to the area were suspended due to damaged tracks.

The coldest city on earth just got even colder. At -62.7 °C, Yakutsk in eastern Siberia is seeing temperatures drop lower than they’ve seen in over two decades. Locals would usually expect a balmy -36 °C in January, so we hope they have a few extra layers handy!

Back on the topic of more sustainable air travel, NASA is getting in on the game by partnering with Boeing to develop a low-emissions short-haul aircraft. The pair plan to have a brand new single-aisle plane flying passengers by some point in the 2030s. Watch this space…

It looks like Ryanair are at it too, as they launch their first retrofitted "greener" plane. The changes made to the aircraft should reduce the company’s annual fuel consumption by 65 million litres and their carbon emissions by 165,000 tonnes.

And finally, with everyone trying to predict the top travel trends for 2023, we’ve found one we think we can get behind - set-jetting. No, that’s not a typo! Set-jetting is planning your trip around visiting film and TV locations, and while that’s hardly anything new, it’s really taking off after a few years spent bingeing Netflix shows on the couch.

We’ll see you in… Atlanta, apparently!