What’s hot: August 2014

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world. This month it’s good news for Turkey and anyone planning a trip to the Big Apple but Oxford Street should be avoided



Two Turkish destinations – Bursa and Pergamon – have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List at the recent 38th World Heritage Committee meeting held at Qatar’s National Congress Centre in Doha. Bursa is the Ottoman Empire’s first capital and contains many historical remains from the Empire’s founding years. Meanwhile Pergamonis considered one of the most important centres for culture and arts of the Hellenistic period.With the addition of Bursa and Pergamon, Turkey now has 13 World Heritage sites.

Raffles arrives in Istanbul
Staying in Turkey, Raffles is set to open its first Turkish outpost on 1 September in Istanbul.  The high end hotel chain has chosen Besiktas on the European side of the Bosphorus as the site for its Turkish property. Promising a helipad, champagne bar, rooftop bar, two upscale restaurants overseen by Ali Ronay and spa specialising in treatments using Organic Pharmacy products, Raffles Istanbul is clearly targeting the Istancool crowd.

London Luton Airport to get a revamp
London Luton Airport has been given the green light for a £100 million revamp that, when completed, will increase capacity to 18 million passengers a year. The project will bring the terminal into the 21st century and help ease congestion at other terminals while creating some 5,000 jobs. 9.7 million passengers used Luton Airport last year where operators include budget airlines easyJet and Ryanair and charter airline, Monarch. The expansion should bring in new airlines and connect passengers to more destinations. Construction is due to take place in three phases over the next 12 years.

Virgin and Vivienne’s collaboration

Vivienne Westwood – the grand dame of British fashion – has redesigned Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew uniform using a polyester made from recycled plastic bottles. The male crew have a new Savile Row-inspired three piece suit in deep burgundy while the female uniform compromises a high collar jacket inspired by Westwood’s Bettina jacket and matching red pencil skirt. The new Vivinenne Westwood uniforms will be unveiled at airports and on board Virgin Atlantic flights from 1 September We can’t wait!

New York on the cheap

The Big Apple has been mesmerising Brits for years thanks to landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Tiffany’s, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Central Park and Bloomingdales. But flying over the Atlantic to New York can make quite a dent in your bank balance.  Happily visiting the Big Apple has just got a lot more affordable thanks to Norwegian Air. These guys are now offering low cost to New York (and also LA and Fort Lauderdale) in what they’re calling a “long distance revolution”. With one ways flights to New York costing just £149, they can call it what they want: we’re in.

Travelling with tea bags
What is one item we Brits can’t travel with out? Turns out it’s tea bags. Yes the trusty English tea bag is the number one choice when it comes to holiday essentials with more than a third of us stashing a supply in our suitcases – according to a survey carried out by International Currency Exchange. As well as a decent cuppa, women will reach for sun cream and a good book while men like to pack biscuits (presumably in which to dunk their tea). Younger holiday-makers consider their smartphone and charger as top travel items whereas travellers over 45 are prone to pack painkillers.

Transformers take over Macau
Calling all Transformers fans. To celebrate the release of the new Transformers film, Transformers: Age of Extinction and 30 years of Transformers, a giant exhibition has opened in Macau. Running until 5 October 2014 at the Venetian Macau, the new ‘Transformers 30th Anniversary Expo’ showcases more than a thousand toys and collectibles in 10 different interactive zones. For more information on the Transformers 30th Anniversary Expo click here



Oxford Street

West End Ambassadors on Oxford Street

Beijing is infamous for its appalling air pollution problem but apparently the air in Oxford Street has higher levels of nitrogen dioxide than the Chinese capital – and anywhere else in the world. Just About Travel’s verdict? The toxic air is yet another reason to avoid the hell hole that is Oxford Street.

Packing your own suitcase

Over 50 per cent of women pack some or all of their partner’s holiday suitcase for them, according to new research from comparison website TravelSupermarket. The survey of more than 2,000 adults revealed that over half of the fairer sex take on the responsibility of packing their plus one’s travel bags. Seven per cent say they do so  for fear that their other halves will commit serious wardrobe faux pas if they don’t. Interestingly despite being prepared to pack for their partners, 49 per cent of women claim that they would never consider letting a man near their own luggage.




Heathrow Airport has hit the headlines all the wrong reasons, yet again. Last month it was because of baggage chaos: a computer glitch paralysed the conveyor belts forcing baggage handlers to load cases manually but they were unable to keep pace with flights meaning that thousands of air travellers were without their luggage for several days. The embarrassment came just several days after Heathrow – aka Europe’s busiest airport – shouted about its ‘world class’ status as the Queen opened the new Terminal 2.


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