What’s hot: April 2016

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot in the travel world right now

HOT

Out of Africa
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In the aftermath of the 2014 ebola outbreak, the number of tourists to Africa plunged. Fast forward to 2016 and the continent is staging a comeback with traditional safari destinations such as Tanzania and Botswana once again in vogue. Kenya is another african country once again in demand following a terrorist attack in Garissa in March 2015.

Oz is wizard once again
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Meanwhile the Land Down Under is back in the spotlight – especially coastal Queensland – thanks to David Attenborough’s BBC1 Great Barrier Reef documentary. The fact that Oz currently offers outstanding value for money helps. “There arguably hasn’t been a better time for Brits to head down under, with an Australian holiday the cheapest it has been since about 2009” says John O’ Sullivan, Tourism Australia’s managing director.

The special one

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Obtaining information about the special assistances provided by various airports has just got a little easier. The Civil Aviation Authority has created a CAA web directory – in effect a single page which included direct links to the special assistance pages of all of the UK’s airports, as well as major airlines flying to and from the UK. Result.
bit.ly/SpecialA

Air Passenger Duty refunds
Children in Hammock
Following the Autumn statement in December 2014, the Chancellor announced the abolition of Air Passenger Duty on children’s flights. This was removed for the under 12s from the 1 May 2015 and travel companies issued refunds. This process will now be repeated and anyone who booked an economy flight taking off after 1st March 2016 for a 12-15 year old could well be due some cash back. Reports estimate that APD abolition is said to cost the treasury £40 million in 2015-16 and £80 million in 2016-17.Much of this should end up back in consumers’ pockets if everyone affected gets their money back.

Seeking out Swansea

Swansea University (image courtesy & copyright City and County of Swansea)

Swansea University (image courtesy & copyright City and County of Swansea)


Wondering where the most beautiful place to live in the UK is? Say hello to Swansea which has pipped the top spot in a survey aimed at finding the the most attractive locations to live in good old Blighty. If Swansea doesn’t take your fancy, plump for Plymouth, Derby, Bristol and Brighton which fared well. All of the destinations which made it into the top five benefit from coastal views, apart from Bristol and Derby. However Bristol is home to a beautiful 70-acre harbour and the River Avon, which stretches through the centre of the metropolitan city while Derby sits on the edge of the Peak District.

Fast and free in-flight Wifi with Qantas

wifi
Aussie airline, Qantas, has promised fast and free in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic flights. The Australian flag carrier says that customers can look forward to fast internet speeds as part of a partnership with global broadband services provider ViaSat. Translation? Anyone flying internally in Australia with Qantas will be able to stream live sport, news, movies and more. Bottom line? Flying within Oz is about to get more fun…

Best book
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Love London? Then you’ll love London: a City in Pictures (
Ammonite Press; March 2016: £9.99) – a stunning visual guide to the capital’s pomp and pageantry, celebrations, carnivals, and glittering night life. This new book – featuring more than more than 500 photographs hand-picked from the archives of the Press Association – forms a tour of the city’s historic streets of medieval and classical architecture, sumptuous palaces, distinctive bridges and modern skyscrapers such as The Shard. Even better? We have three copies to give away! To be in with a chance of winning one, simply email editor@justabouttravel.net with the subject ‘London love story’ by midnight on Friday 15 April.

Going solo to Spain
spain
Spain – with its 5,000+ miles of coastline – has topped the list of destinations to visit alone this spring, according to travel dating website and app, tourbar.com. UK members (14.7%) named Spain as the country they were most likely to visit alone this spring, closely followed by Greece and Italy. The Netherlands was named the fourth most popular destination (7%) for solo travellers this spring, due to its sightseeing opportunities and busy calendar of events and concerts


NOT

Norway
Norway might be outside of the EU but the country has long shared an open border with its Scandinavian neighbour, Sweden. Not so now… Frontier controls have once again been reintroduced with the Foreign Office also warning of passport checks on ferry passengers arriving from Denmark and Germany.

Lost passports
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Official figures show a 22% increase in the number of emergency travel documents issued between April 2014 and March 2015 with over 20,600 passports reported as lost or stolen. It costs at least £167.50 to replace a lost or stolen passport abroad. Obtaining an Emergency travel documents (ETD) costs £95, (plus travel costs to the embassy or consulate, replacement photographs and, any replacement visas you may need for your journey) and when you get back to the UK, the fee for an adult replacement passport is £72.50. Just About Travel says: keep your passport safe!

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