What’s hot

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Whether you’re staycation-ing or vacationing, CD Traveller tells you what’s happening in the travel world

HOT
Lover’s Day

Catalunya in Spain celebrates its own version of Valentine’s Day: Lover’s Day on April 23 – a perfect excuse to explore the region’s wildly romantic capital, Barcelona.
Sant Jordi (St George) is patron saint of the region and is strongly associated with the notion of chivalry. Here, he is the equivalent of St Valentine and he presides over a day of romance and the exchange of gifts between sweethearts.
Traditionally, girls are given white roses while the boys get a book. And on Lover’s Day, Las Ramblas – the vibrant promenade which cuts through the heart of the city, filled with musicians, street theatres, artists and cafes – teems with row upon row of pop-up bookstalls and rose-sellers.
So popular is this tradition that by the end of the day, some four million roses and 800,000 books will have been sold.

Sir Paul to play
Sir Paul McCartney will headline at The Isle of Wight Festival on Sunday June 13.
With his extensive back catalogue, McCartney’s set promises to be a fantastic close to the three-day music festival which takes place from June 11-13.
The festival also features Jay-Z, The Strokes, Pink, Florence and the Machine and Vampire Weekend. Tickets are available through Red Funnel www.redfunnel.co.uk/iwfestival.

Night at the Museum
Here’s a date for the diary of all culture vultures: ‘Museums at Night’ is back in May. Bigger than ever before, night owls can look forward to a weekend of ghostly goings on as museums and galleries across the UK unlock their doors for the annual after-hours celebrations.
14-16 May, www.culture24.org.uk/museumsatnight

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Stratford
New York’s Fifth Avenue may be worlds away from London’s East End, but work has begun on a £10 million scheme to turn Stratford High Street into a “Manhattan boulevard.”
The mile long route is a key access point for the London Olympics and will form part of the 2012 marathon.
A facelift aiming to “breathe fresh life” into the high street will replace roads and pavements, remove railings and street clutter, improve lighting and plant 70 trees and 3,500 shrubs. Authorities hope this will work in tandem with a series of major developments planned for the area.

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Male pilots
The majority of passengers – 83 percent, in fact – are more likely to trust a male pilot than a female one, according to a recent survey carried out by sunshine.co.uk. The research also found that travellers feel more at ease if their pilot speaks with a ‘posh’ accent rather than a regional twang!

Saving Mana pools
Plans to build a hotel and conference centre at one of Africa’s most spectacular beauty spots have caused outrage among conservationists and wildlife groups. The 72 rooms “ultramodern” property is to be built on the Zambian side of the Lower Zambezi, just across the river from the UNESCO listed Mana Pools National Park, and will bring 25,000 conference attendees annually to the (as yet) unspoilt wilderness sites. The Zambian developer Protea Hotels is expecting planning permission to be granted on Wednesday, but Save Mana Pools – an 8,000 strong Facebook group, is fighting a last-ditch battle to stop the project.

BBQ
BBQ summer
Remember when the met office said last summer was set to be one for BBQs? It ended up being wet, windy and wild, then came the big Freeze which had been billed as a mild winter.
But now a small firm of forecasters from Wales, called Positive Weather Solutions, who’ve correctly predicted the wet and the cold, are saying this summer will be the hottest on record.
They say average temperatures in June, July and August will beat even those of the 1976 heat wave when stand pipes and drought became a feature of daily life. Here’s hoping for a hot summer!

New jab for travellers
A new vaccine can protect travellers from four major strains of meningitis when visiting Africa.
The Menveo jab will make holidaymakers immune against the meningitis strains A, C, W-135 and Y.
Travellers planning to visit African countries within the meningitis belt are advised to get the jab. This region includes a huge swathe of Africa south of the Sahara, stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopa in the east.

NOT
Travel insurance: the small print

Travel insurance policy holders should check the small print closely to ensure that they are really covered on their holiday, consumer champion Which? Advises.
Half of insurers quizzed in a Which? Holiday survey will not pay out if you miss your flight due to bad traffic but they might fork out if you are delayed due to public transport.
Only a third of insurers would pay out of the hotel, care hire company or other supplier at the destination goes bust.
A total of 41 percent of insurers don’t cover an airline going bust but only 18 per cent of insurers will not cover the cost of a holiday cancelled due to terrorism.
“Holidaymakers tend to assume they’ll be covered for disasters beyond their control,” Which? Holiday’s Rochelle Turner said. “Sadly our research has found that’s always the case.”

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American airports
Heading to America this summer? Expect to face even longer queues and delays at departure gates, after the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) announced broad-ranging secondary security measures at British airports.
Under the new scheme, all passengers on America-bound flights who have cleared airport security could be subject to additional searches, body scans and behavioural observation before being allowed to board.
Right now, the new security protocols apply only to America bound passengers, including those transiting through US airports enroute to other destinations. However, US Homeland security boss Janet Napolitano is urging the International Civil Aviation Organisation to extend secondary screening to all departure gates in order to “strengthen the global aviation security system against terrorism.”

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