What’s hot: July 2015

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel reveals what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world this month


Big spending Brits
Britain is a nation of travellers, it seems. Travel search site momondo.co.uk found a resounding 21% of a 1,000Brits surveyed prefer to spend their spare cash on holidays. This was when given a choice between a selection of ways to splurge, including on home improvements (of which 10% opted), clothes (14%), health and well-being (6%), dining out (14%), cars (3%) and cultural events (7%). And when it comes to splashing out, say on luxury or long haul trips, 10% of Brits plan to spend between £4,000 and £8,000, and 2% plan to spend more than £8,000 on their 2015 summer holiday. Compared to 16 other nations surveyed by momondo, these figures place Brits as the third highest spenders, with only China and Norway spending more.

Talking about tax

passengers will children will be better off

Thinking of jetting off to sunnier climates? Beware that, with the recent announcement that Greece plans to almost triple their tax rates on hotel rooms from 6.5% to 18%, holiday bills could significantly increase. Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has therefore created a guide highlighting the different hotel tax rates throughout selected European cities, which can be found in the Know Before You Go section of the APH website. The research compares the varying hotel tax rates in 24 major destinations such as Paris, Berlin, Athens and Rome, and differentiates between those that charge a flat rate and those that have tax brackets depending on the hotel’s star rating. Furthermore, the research also highlights the different stipulations relating to tax regulations including age of the traveller, length of stay in the city and reason for visiting. See www.aph.com/hoteltax.

Globe-trotting kids
Today’s under-18s are significantly better travelled than their parents’ generation, according to research1 from Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance, with 69% of parents in Britain saying that their children have travelled overseas more often than they had at the same age.
The study highlights a continual reduction in the average age at which people take their first trip abroad, from aged 12 for those now over 65 to less than four years of age for under 18s.  According to parents, over a quarter of those who are currently under 18 have visited another country before their second birthday and 63% have done so by the time they were 10. Among globe-trotting children, 81% have travelled abroad with their parents and 35% with their school. Over a quarter (27%) have taken a long haul flight and 11% have been overseas with their friends or friend’s parents. An independent 9% have even travelled alone as an unaccompanied minor.

Hamburg ships


Holidaying in Hamburg and Antwerp
Headed to Hamburg and Antwerp this summer? Southampton Airport and Belgian operator VLM Airlines have launched daily scheduled flights each weekday between Southampton (England), Antwerp (Belgium) and Hamburg (Germany). Flights between Southampton and Hamburg (one of Europe’s busiest international ports) are linked via a stopover in Antwerp – aka the diamond capital of the world. “We are delighted to welcome VLM and the new route to Antwerp and Hamburg,” says Dave Lees, managing director of Southampton Airport.

Playing it safe this safe
Summer is definitely a time where pre-booked summer holidays and family vacations away are all part of the routine. New country, new faces, new surroundings, new FOOD  – eek. Different experiences are the best but what happens when your tummy doesn’t adjust to the new recipes so kindly prepared to the locals? Chances are you definitely didn’t expect to spend the next several days cooped up in your hotel room feeling like hell. Happily help is at hand in the form of BioCare BioAcidophilus – a nutritional supplement specifically designed to a high potency blend of the unique LAB4 complex of probiotic bacteria in convenient capsule form. Each capsule contains 10 billion viable bacteria in each capsule making it ideal for gut-health and to cure the holiday bugs!

Spending the night in jail
Fancy sleeping in a prison cell? Well now you can for Fremantle Prison YHA in Western Australia has opened its doors. YHA has converted the World Heritage-listed nineteenth century jail into a 200-bed place to stay – guests can even sleep in original cells or guards’ cottages! Stays cost from AUD$28 per person per night in dormitory-style accommodation to AUD$120 per night in a twin or ensuite room. Elsewhere perfectly-preserved eight -bed Victorian-era guards’ cottages, located just outside the front gates, cost from AUD$280 per night. For the real deal, twin bed cells are available from AUD$68 per night. The history of the site dates back to 1829, when the area, dubbed the Swan River Colony was designated for free-settlers. However, the settlement’s fledgling agricultural industry soon floundered, due to a lack of workers and transport and administrative issues. With the colony’s future looking bleak, convict labour was introduced and Fremantle Prison was created for the newly constituted penal settlement.

Learning about Pride – for free
Lonely Planet has released Guide to Pride: 20 Cities & Their Celebrations, a free digital book now available worldwide, exclusively on iBooks: http://itunes.com/prideguide
Since the first Gay Pride marches took to the streets 45 years ago, Pride has blossomed into a worldwide celebration of community, diversity, inclusiveness and individuality. Inspired by festivities hosted by cities large and small throughout the year, Lonely Planet’s Guide to Pride covers 20 of the biggest, most-welcoming and jump-on-a-plane-worthy Pride events around the world, from Taipei to Toronto, San Francisco to São Paulo. Lonely Planet’s Guide to Pride features cities ranging from Amsterdam to Atlanta, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Melbourne, Taipei and Toronto.

Eastern Europe
New data from Visa Europe shows Brits are flocking in ever greater numbers to Eastern Europe and the Baltics for their holidays. The analysis also shows a renewed appetite overall for overseas holidays as total spend by UK cardholders on overseas trips grew by 25% from 2012 to 2014. Croatia, Romania and Lithuania are among the top five fastest growing destinations for Brits in terms of holiday spend, while other Eastern European and Baltic countries also make up six of the top 20 list.  Spend in pubs, bars and restaurants has seen fastest growth across these countries, suggesting they are fast becoming popular party destinations. Croatia leads the way with spend on bars and clubs by UK cardholders up 202% since the summer of 2012. Meanwhile summer spending on restaurants in Croatia also rose 80%.

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