What’s hot: August 2015

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world


Phoning home
A survey by inflight connectivity provider, AeroMobile, has revealed that 78 per cent of tourists use their phone abroad. The survey, carried out by OnePoll, shows SMS to be the most popular phone service. Of the respondents, 41 per cent used SMS on a daily basis at home, and 26 per cent while on holiday. Accessing social media is also popular with nearly one in five (17 per cent) tweeting, Facebooking or Instagramming while away. It’s a similar story with instant messaging with almost one in three (28 per cent) using it on a daily basis at home, compared with 21 per cent while abroad. Almost one in five (17 per cent) people use their phone to send work emails while at home; more than half of these (10 per cent) continue to do so abroad. Similarly, 19 per cent of travellers use their mobiles to surf the web abroad, compared to 35 per cent at home. Voice is the only service that falls drastically with 36 per cent of respondents making calls on a daily basis at home, compared to just 16 per cent when travelling.

Hitting the road
British motorists made almost six million overseas trips by car last year, according to new analysis by Sainsbury’s Bank car insurance. France was by far the most popular destination for those travelling by car last year with 3.4 million visits from UK residents.  The Republic of Ireland and Belgium complete the top three.
But the supermarket ban is urging motorists to brush up on the local motoring laws of any countries they are visiting if they plan to drive, as these can differ significantly from UK road regulations.In France, it is compulsory to carry a warning triangle and a breathalyser in the car at all times. Elsewhere in many European countries, a reflective jacket, first aid kit and headlamp converters for driving at night are now required and in Spain, motorists who wear glasses are even advised to carry a spare pair with them if it is noted on their licence.

Shanghai kicks
Heading to Shanghai in October for the Art Deco World Congress? Sign up for 
Bespoke Shanghai’s Art Deco tour which uncovers the secrets of Shanghai’s beautiful 1920s and 30s arcitecture. Alternatively if that sounds too much like art overload, check out their White Russians in Shanghai (contrary to public perception it was the Russians, not the French who brought glamour and intrigue to 1920s Shanghai) or Jewish Shanghai tour which tells the surprising story of the Jews from Iraq that built Shanghai, and the European Jews that fled there. For the full low-down on Bespoke Shanghai – the younger sibling to Bespoke Beijing – and to view the full range of tours and activities (the Xiaolongbao making class gets our vote), visit www.bespoketravelcompany.com

Helping the homeless
Unseen Tours, the social enterprise that offers alternative London walking tours with homeless and formerly homeless guides, has relaunched its Brixton tour after an 18-month break from the area. 
Led by Hazel, a local lady who became homeless after her marriage ended, the tour explores Brixton’s varied history from the riots of the 1980s to its reinvention as a Transition Town with its own currency, the Brixton Pound. And the best bit? £6 from every ticket sold goes straight to the guide, so you can be sure that as well as getting a unique insight into one of London’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, you’re supporting your guide to work their way towards a better future.
Unseen Tours was set up in 2010 and has been recognised with a Responsible Tourism Award and an Observer Ethical Award. There are now six tours, in Brick Lane, Brixton, Camden, Covent Garden, London Bridge and Shoreditch.

Flight Centre’s first Travel Clinic
Flight Centre has launched its inaugural travel clinic at its new flagship store on High Street Kensington, London. The Travel Clinic will be the first of 20 clinics to open across Flight Centre stores throughout the UK this year. The service is the result of a new partnership with MASTA (Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad), an organisation which currently operates the largest network of private travel clinics in the UK.
Consultations with the travel health experts will cover tailored advice for travellers, including recommendations on vaccination requirements, anti-malarials and preventative measures with prices starting from £20 per consultation. The launch of the clinic coincides with the opening of Flight Centre’s new flagship store in High Street Kensington.

Time out in Turkey
Turkey continues to grow as the one of world’s most visited destinations having received a record high of nearly 37 million visitors in 2014.This ranked Turkey firmly in sixth place in the World Tourism Organisation’s most visited destination chart issued at the end of 2014, just one place behind Italy.5.5% more tourists flocked to Turkey in 2014 than in 2013, and despite the political unrest in the region and a slower growth rate at the start of 2015, this high seems to be continuing to grow. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, Tourist Arrivals in Turkey increased from 2,437,263 in April 2015 to a whopping 3,804,158 in May 2015.

Escaping to your favourite exotic destination
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Back at your desk without a holiday in sight? Let Ashleigh & Burwood be your fragrance escape. The fragrance house has launched a luxury destination-inspired fragrance collection, ‘Escapology’, inspired by some of the world’s most captivating locations.
Headlining the range is the glorious ‘Seychelles’ fragrance (red fruits blended with fragrant Indonesian ylang ylang surround a centre of tiare and coconut, supported by sweet vanilla and white musks). Other signature fragrances in the Escapology collection include Egyptian Cotton, Koh Samui, Kerala Spice, Madagascan Vanilla and Moroccan Rose. Each fragrance is available either as a scented candles, reed diffuser and a Luxury Home Fragrance Collection which packages a 50ml reed diffuser with two votive candles.

Package holidays
A new survey shows that 60 per cent of young British holidaymakers would consider booking a beach package holiday in the near future while 14 per cent of respondents were left unsure as to whether a beach package holiday was the right choice for them and only 25 per cent said that they wouldn’t consider that type of holiday at all.
The survey of over 2,000 Brits, aged 21-35, by Neilson showed the surprising news that in an age of boutique getaways and city breaks, the beach package holiday is still as popular as ever. However, the millennials have different expectations to previous generations.  A beach location is ranked as the most important feature with 73 per cent of respondents agreeing it was an appealing aspect. Traditional package holiday elements such as being ‘organised’ by holiday reps and the self-contained resort complex were less appealing with a noticeable shift towards both more active and cultural pursuits. Nearly 40 per cent of respondents stated that local excursions are an important factor in beach package holidays and 27 per cent said that daily activities, such as watersports, cycling and tennis being provided was appealing when deciding who to book with.


Term time holiday fines
The lengths UK parents are prepared to go to in order to avoid the government’s controversial fines for term-time holidays, has been revealed in a new study by travel deals company Travelzoo.
Travelzoo’s ‘Parent Trap 2015 Study’ polled over 2000 parents of state-school children and found that one in five parents had already lied to their children’s school in order to avoid fines for taking them out of school for a cheaper holiday. Over half of UK parents said they were prepared to lie in the coming months. Two thirds of parents are also willing to ask their children to continue the deceit and pretend to their teacher that the reason for absence was not a family holiday.  Just 13 per cent of parents polled believe families should not go on holiday if they cannot afford it during school-holiday dates.

Beach body vanity index
A recent survey looking into the latest travel trends and beach behaviour has uncovered that out of five European countries surveyed (Italy, France, Uk, Spain and Germany) it’s Britain and Germany who rank lowest on a body vanity index.
It seems Brits are not overly concerned about how we look and are the least likely to get a pre-holiday fake tan, and the least likely to hit the gym, go on an extreme diet, lose weight or ditch the carbs ahead of the holiday.
Overall, a majority of Brits (54 percent) feel confident about their beach body with almost half saying they would sunbathe naked on holiday. There is still a gender split with body confidence with a quarter of women (23 per cent) saying they often hold in their stomach to appear thinner (vs 13 per cent). Other results from the survey show Brits can be a bit boring on holiday compared to Europeans, Brits spend just over a quarter of their time at the beach or the pool, compared to the Europeans’ average of 34 percent.

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