What’s hot: December 2017

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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


Visting Verbier

Verbier’s new apres ski destination, Vie Montagne, is due to open its doors any day now. Expect a fine dining restaurant and an on-site microbrewery called The Bier Haus where you can enjoy a pilsner-style lager, an IPA beer and a coffee-milk stout, all made from lovely Alpine water. www.viemontagne.com


Choosing your room with Thomas Cook

Not a fan of surprises? Look to Thomas Cook’s new ‘Choose Your Room’ service, which is currently available in 28 hotels across Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. Early risers can enjoy a room with sunrise views, families can settle as close to the kids club as possible while night owls can select a room as far away from it as possible.


Lonely Planet’s best travel destinations for 2018 revealed

Travel bible, Lonely Planet, has revealed its selection of the top 10 countries, cities, regions and best value destinations for travellers to experience in 2018.
Chile takes the coveted top spot of the best country for travellers in 2018, while Seville receives the accolade of number one city in the world to visit next year. Hot on the Spanish city’s heels is the American comeback city of Detroit and Australia’s oft-overlooked capital Canberra.
The region hailed as the number one must-see in the coming year is Belfast and the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, with Alaska and Slovenia’s Julian Alps also making the top three. Tallinn, Estonia has been crowned Lonely Planet’s best value destination of 2018, closely followed by Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and Arizona in the USA.


From Russia with love

2017 marks the centenary of Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution, which brough in 74 years of Communist rule. To mark the occasion, there’s a whole of walking tours taking in the haunts preferred by Ra-ra-Rasputin, the mystical monk who befriended the last Tsar Nicholas 11 and was reportedly the lover of the Russian queen.
Sports more your bag? The upcoming 2018 World Cup is another reason to pack your suitcase and head to land of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Andrei Arshavin. The Russians love a big event – this is the country, after that put the first man into space – so expect some party. Even better, the former Soviet Republic will be scrapping its strict visa requirements for the duration of the tournament.

Say oui to Paris
Eiffel Tower enveloped in smog

The French capital has topped the table of 100 of the world’s most cultured and fashionable places in a list compiled by the fashion app Zalando. Cities were given scores based on factors including architectural beauty and how they were seen by both visitors and inhabitants. Cleanlieness, culture and style were also included, with ratings from fashion experts and architects. London claimed the second spot, with Vienna taking third place. Venice, Florence, Barcelona, New York, Bordeaux, Milan and Rome rounded out the top 10.

Earning holiday funds by sharing your travel tips

Travellers looking to put their travel tips and stories from holidays to good use can now do just that – and get paid for it. Enter IQ Planner – a great way to to get enthused about travel choices, as well as make money from your travel experiences. Globetrotters, travel bloggers and local experts upload their unique itineraries to inspire others to look for inspiration and book. The best part? Anyone can become an IQPlanner author and start monetising their holiday experiences. IQPlanner’s new remuneration model rewards authors for each click on their itinerary and out to a partner booking site. Share through social media channels, and each like and share of the itinerary post will also rack up earnings, so the more inspirational the itinerary, the better! www.iqplanner.com

Dubai is flying high

“Miss a week and you’ll miss something major” is a favourite local saying in the dazzling desert kingdom of Dubai. And for good reason: in the emirate’s desire to take its place on the world stage, change is the only constant.
For while the former fishing village may boast the world’s tallest building – take a bow the 828m Burj Khalifa which opened in 2010 – plans are already in place to top it. Enter the Dubai Creek Tower which will become the highest in the land, standing at 928m upon completion in 2020.
Dubai is also gearing up to welcome the world’s largest Ferris wheel. Situated on Bluewaters Island (bluewatersduabi.ae), the Ferris wheel will boast 48 air-conditioned capsules when it opens in 2018.
Back on the ground, the glitzy emirate will host the 2020 Expo ( a prestigious global event) between the 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021.
Not that anyone should be surprised by by the scale of Dubai’s ambitions…. In the words of the emirate’s charismatic ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, himself: “Becoming number one is not impossible – the word impossible doesn’t exist in our dictionary.”


Go east

After a romantic weekend getaway that won’t break the bank? New research by No 1 Currency shows that starry-eyed sightseers looking for a European escape could save up to £550 by heading East. Although Eastern European cities have long been cheaper than those in the West, the fall of the Pound against the Euro has widened the gap andBritish travellers who are willing to look beyond the Eurozone’s usual suspects could save hundreds of pounds on a three-day trip.
If value is your priority, try choosing vodka over vin rouge – a mini-break in Poland (£259) is less than half the price of a weekend in Paris (£549). And while Paris has a romantic reputation, lovers could save £100 a day roaming around Roses Park in Romania instead. However one of the cheapest capitals to enjoy a weekend of eating, drinking and sightseeing is Moscow. A day in Madrid (£128) is triple the price of a day in Moscow (£40) so try swapping paella for pirozhki to make your money go further.


Singapore surprise

New direct, low-budget flights from Norwegian have just opened up the sunny Lion City in Southeast Asia like never before. Still need more reasons to visit Singapore where modern skyscrapers sit alongside historical sites in Asia’s ‘second city’, showing what happens when the Western world successfully collides with the Orient? Check out JAT’s guide here.


A British Christmas

cartoon of beach and Merry Christmas

This winter will be one of content for Brits, with 13 million not coming home for Christmas and swapping summer holidays for winter tans according to research commissioned by MyVoucherCodes.co.uk . Over half of Brits (57%) are more likely to book a winter holiday now than they were five years ago, with a third of Brits (31%) saying that it’s worth spending £700 on escaping a “boring Christmas” at home and unwanted evenings with relatives and friends. When asked where Brits will be escaping the UK to, Tenerife (30%) is the UK’s most popular winter sun destination. Lanzarote (21%) and Florida (17%) follow, while  21% of Brits would choose long-haul getaways in Australia or New Zealand.


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