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Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.

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Amazing things that should happen more often

One of the many ways the US government messed up people's lives when it decided to just, you know, stop working, is by closing all national parks. This has not only ruined vacations, it has wrecked the livelihood of locals who depend on tourism. Luckily, four states have offered to pay to reopen national parks themselves. Visitors to parks in the other 46 will just have to find something else to do. [NBC]

If you always wanted to be like those twins in primary school who got to dress alike every day, you might get a chance to live out your fantasy. Couples wearing matching outfits is all the rage in China, and there is no saying where the trend will move to next. Keep your fingers double crossed. [Wall Street Journal]

A passenger with no flying experience (and who had reportedly only flown as a passenger once before) made an emergency landing at Humberside Airport in North Lincolnshire, England, after the pilot fell ill. Two instructors talked him through it, and he landed the plane successfully. [BBC News]

Consultant group Henley & Partners created an index of the world's best passports according to the number of countries passport holders can enter without a visa. Among the top-ranked countries are the UK, Finland and Sweden, whose citizens can enter 173 countries visa free, while Afghanistan is at the bottom of the list with 28 countries visa free. [The Age]

 

Ready for takeoff
All set to go, but too soon to tell what’s ahead

Thanks to a massive increase in the number of Chinese travelling abroad in the last few years, coupled with cultural differences and a slew of recent incidents, Chinese tourists have earned a bad reputation in certain parts of the world. As a result, the Chinese government has created a 64-page guide teaching Chinese travellers how to behave abroad. Some highlights include "don't assault animals" and "don't relieve yourself in public". [Kotaku]

In its continued tourism push, India is extending its visa on arrival to 40 countries and unrolling online visa applications for citizens of other countries. The decision to make entry to the country easier was made in hopes that tourism can help solve its economic deficit. [MSN]

In-flight entertainment
Photos and videos that went viral on the Web this week

Can't get enough Betty White? Don't worry. You're not alone. Air New Zealand is using everyone's favourite nonagenarian actress in its new safety videos. Perhaps now people will finally pay attention before takeoff. [stuff.co.nz]

Turbulence
Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride

A nine-year-old boy skipped through airport security and passed right under the nose of Delta employees to board a plane from Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport to Las Vegas, alone with no ticket. Investigators are looking into how the TSA and the airline allowed this to happen. [Gadling]

Cancelled
It’s a no-go

Police tasered and arrested a drunk 52-year-old passenger after he urinated on the terminal building and stripped naked on the tarmac at Manchester airport. Word later surfaced that he was an Oakland Raiders fan, which made sense of the whole issue for American football fans. [Guardian/CBS Sports]

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