What’s hot: August 2017

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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

Getting wet and wild in Dubai

Dubai is continuing its bid to rival Las Vegas with its first permanent show this summer. Step forward La Perle – an aqua themed, Cirque du Soleil extravagansa. The show – which will be staged in a purpose built theatre in the glossy new Al Habtoor City development – is set ensure that the spotlight remains firmly on this ambitious Arab emirate. Not that any of this should come as a surprise given Sheik Mohaammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s dream, drive and determination to transform Dubai from a sleepy pearl diving village into one of the most talked about towns in the world. Or in the words of Dubai’s charismatic ruler himself: “Becoming number one is not impossible. The word impossible doesn’t exist in our dictionary.”

Best book: welcome to London

This stunning picture book (£10.99; Button Books; out now) will be a treasured title for any young visitor to the UK’s capital. Playfully combining information about what to look for during your visit with magical unexpected twists, the images in this book bring the city to life in the most unexpected ways. Is that a bear riding in a taxi? Where is Sherlock Holmes going on that bus? Who guards the Queen? Where are the best shops? And can you name all the famous bridges over the River Thames? As well as providing endless surprises, Welcome to London features lots of fun activities to keep young travellers entertained as they explore their surroundings.

Saying hello to Hercules

Having briefly banned uncensored photos of German city Kassel’s prized nude statue of the Ancient Greek hero, Facebook has had a change of heart and is now allowing Hercules to be posted in all his glory.

The rise of the friendly-moon

A study of recently married couples has revealed that many are spending their honeymoon holidaying… with friends. The team behind online travel agency www.sunshine.co.uk put the question “Did you spend your honeymoon with just your partner, or did other people go with you?” to 2,768 people aged 18 and over from the UK who had become married in the last 12 months. A staggering 22 per cent of the respondents revealed they hadn’t honeymooned alone. Rather they had opted for friendly-moons with friends (52%), siblings (31%) and parents or in-laws (12%). Cyprus emerged as the most popular destination for ‘friendly-moons’ followed by Jamaica, America, Dominican Republic and Mexico.

Flexible check in times

Isn’t it frustrating when you arrive at your hotel ready to start your holiday only to find that you won’t be able to check in for several hours? It’s also perfectly reasonable to want to relax in your room on your last vacation day without getting the boot before noon.
Well, much to the delight of weary travellers, “a 24-hour check-in/check-out policy is a welcome new trend emerging in hotels across the globe”, according to Yahoo TravelWhile many hotels have been offering a flexible check-in/out option to VIPs for years, more and more hotels are jumping on the flex check bandwagon and providing the amenity to all guests in order to stand out in the market. That sounds like a good thing to us.

Checking out the Chable Resort & Spa

Situated in Mexico’s Yucatan region, the luxury resort (Chablesresort.com) was a surprise winner of the Prox Versailles – a prize for the world’s best designed hotel given out by Unesco and the International Union of Architects.  But it’s not just Chable Resort & Spa that has thrust Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula back in the spotlight. Merida – the state’s old colonial city- has been named American Capital of Culture 2017 for the second time, the first-ever city to win the accolade twice. 2017 also happens to be the 475th anniversary of the city’s founding, meaning Merida is in in full-on party mode.

Blue flags for Cancun’s beaches

Staying in Mexico, seven of Cancun’s stunning white beaches – step forward Las Perlas, Chac Mool, Delfines, Marlin, Ballenas, El Nino and Coral – recently received Blue Flag certification. Blue Flag bestows a mark of quality on Cancun’s shores and means visitors can can expect beaches with said flag to be safe and clean, meeting the highest environmental standards, as well as the most stringent standards for international bathing water.
In terms of beaches with blue flags Cancun is the undisputed leader in Mexico. “It is the municipality with the most flags in Mexico,” confirmed Manuel Linss de la Pena, director of the Federal Maritime Ground.

Making for Montreal

Place Jacques Cartier

Place Jacques Cartier in the old part of the city © Mownet

French speaking Montreal has everything: an amazing eating out scene, a scenic waterfront, stunning stone buildings, magnificent cathedrals, cobblestone streets and charming cafes.
It’s also a destination that knows how to let its hair down– particularly this year as Quebec’s largest city celebrates its 375th anniversary. And, at less than seven hours flying time from the UK, Montreal is closer than you think. Check out JAT’s guide to Quebec’s largest city here


Instagrammers in Bergun/Bravuogn

This scenic Swiss Alps village has imposed a photography ban because it believes that “beautiful holiday photos on social media make the viewer unhappy because they cannot be there themselves.”

Mixing with fellow Brits

UK passport

Travel site Momondo has discovered that most of us steer clear of fellow Brits when on holiday. Surveying British attitudes, Momondo found that, if we hear someone with a familiar British accent while travelling abroad, 32% of us,we will only talk to them if they initiate contact.  Meanwhile 15% of us will simply smile but not initiate contact,and 6% of us will even go so far as to lower our voices, so the other person doesn’t know we are from the same country. Additionally only 15% of Brits surveyed will start a conversation with a fellow British traveller when on holiday while 5% of Brits will shun fellow compatriots abroad, altogether!

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