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This Week in Travel: Google Street View Goes Underwater, World’s Best Cycling Cities, Americans Skipping Vacations, Southeast Asian Travellers Speak Up

Our picks from this week’s travel headlines

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MAPPING THE OCEAN Always dreaming about being part of the little mermaid’s world? Now you can! Using a neat-looking basketball-shaped camera, Google Street View is bringing you highly-detailed 360-degree photos of underwater scenes around the world. What this means for travellers? Well, for example now you can take a peek into Indonesia’s Komodo National Park even before you buy tickets for the trip!

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HAVE BIKE, WILL TRAVEL If your idea of a cyclist is someone on a mamachari (literally: mom’s bike, with a shopping basket and kid’s seat), then you probably live in Tokyo, named by CNN as one of the World’s Best Cycling Cities. As a study has shown that those who walk and bike are the happiest commuters, a city of 13.35 million like Tokyo can certainly do without the road rage. 

AMERICANS PREFER IT SHORT  There were fewer Americans with jobs in 1976, but 80 percent of them took an annual weeklong vacation. Fast forward to 2014, when more people have steady jobs—only 56 percent will take a weeklong break. It looks like the U.S. is behind when it comes to paid leaves and fear being replaced upon their return from vacations. But we hope they will sort it out soon because they are giving the Koreans some competition

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SEA TRAVELLERS HAVE THEIR SAY  TripAdvisor’s inaugural travel survey in Southeast Asia confirms that travellers are an opinionated bunch. Of 1,200 seasoned travellers in the region, 48 percent would pay to sit in a child-free section, Singapore Changi is the region’s preferred airport, and AirAsia is Southeast Asian travellers’ favourite low-cost carrier. We are humbled by the results. At the same time, noise-cancelling headphones sound like a good idea.