What’s hot: September 2018

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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


HOT

Make a beeline for Bucharest
Looking for cheap summer getaway? Make a beeline to Bucharest as the Romanian city has come in as the cheapest major European capital for rail travel, according to new research.
The study, which looked at the cost of a day travel pass for the metro systems of 20 European capital cities, found that a family of four could get around Bucharest for as little as £9.09 per day.
By contrast, the figures from CasinoLounge.co.uk reveal that popular holiday destinations including Paris and Madrid cost up to eight times as much.


Mongolia made easier

Travellers to Mongolia will find it easier than ever to navigate their way around the country, thanks to a guidebook industry first. Lonely Planet has joined forces with what3words to marry expert travel advice with innovative location technology, meaning people on the road can pinpoint locations with exact precision.
what3words is a simple way to talk about location. The company has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a unique 3-word address. It means anyone can accurately find any location, anywhere in the world, more quickly, easily and with less ambiguity than any other system.
Chris Sheldrick, co-founder and CEO of what3words, said: “Many of the best places in Mongolia are off the beaten track – but you need to be able to find them. Now that Lonely Planet, leaders in the travel space, have included 3-word addresses for each listing in their latest guidebook to the country, less time can be spent finding them and more time can be spent appreciating the great experiences the country has to offer.”


Visiting Vienna

What thrills millions of visitors to Vienna has been confirmed for the ninth time by a renowned, international city comparison.
Each year, the international consulting firm Mercer carries out a study in order to assess the quality of life in 231 cities around the world. The results of the study in 2018 gave Vienna top marks and has made the Austrian federal capital the most liveable city in the world for the ninth time in a row.
Offering a varied landscape from green parks to tree lined boulevards, Vienna is the only major world capital with an extensive wine growing industry operation within its city limits. More than half of Vienna’s metropolitan area is made up of green spaces including 280 imperial parks and gardens enriching the cityscape.
www.vienna.info


Big Apple on a budget

New York bound?  Look to low-cost Nordic airline, Primera Air, which recently launched brand new North American routes to New York as well as Washington, Boston and Toronto from London Stansted Airport.
Although the Nordic airline is already well established, having successfully operated in Northern Europe for the last 14 years, the North American routes will be the first time Primera Air has graced British soil.
Primera Air is the first airline in 10 years to operate scheduled transatlantic flights from London Stansted Airport – bringing new North America links to the area.


The road to Rome

The Sistine Chapel is one of the world’s most iconic sights so it won’t come as any surprise to learn that some five and a half a million visitors flock to Rome each year to gawp at the Vatican’s myriad of museums. If you don’t fancy jostling with the hordes (we can’t blame you), try TripAdvisor’s new ‘Waking Up The Vatican’ experience which allows guests to walk through the Holy City before it opens to the public. There’s only one catch: tours start at 6am. Ouch.

Out of Africa

If you’re keen to get away from it all this autumn/winter, you may want to head to Namibia, where there are just over seven people for each square kilometre. It’s famous for its epic sand dunes and shipwreck-littered Skeleton Coast, but there’s much more to see here. Escape the travel crowds with trips to Fish River Canyon or Etosha National Park, go fatbiking, visit a rich array of rock art sites or track the planet’s largest free-roaming population of black rhino. Namibia has plans to scrap visa requirements for African passport holders, and 2018 is set to bring two new Zannier Hotels properties: a themed Shipwreck Lodge in Skeleton Coast Park and a new luxury adventure from Silverseas Cruises, in what it calls the ‘country of untold stories’. A desert flower is about to bloom.


Dam good

Outdoor outfitter, Patagonia, launched a campaign a few month back to prevent the incredible wild rivers of the Balkans, among the last wild rivers in the world, from being damned. Fast forward a few month and we can report some success: the women of Kruscica, who are demonstrating on the ground, have managed to halt the dam-building in their local community.
Inspired to join the fight? Patagonia, along with NGO partners, is asking concerned citizens around the world to sign the petition urging international banks to stop investing in the destruction of Europe’s last wild rivers, at blueheart.patagonia.com/take-action


NOT
Brits bamboozled by European road signs
Old Town Stop sign
Brits are left baffled when driving around the continent, as four in five (80%) struggle to correctly identify foreign road signs whilst driving abroad, according to a new study commissioned by commissioned by easyJet and car hire provider, Europcar.
Driving on the right-hand side of the road (59%), identifying foreign traffic signs (44%) and understanding foreign rules and regulations (51%) prove the biggest challenges for British holidaymakers. Knowing the difference between kilometres and miles per hour also stresses a quarter (25%) of Brits out whilst driving abroad.
The majority (89%) of those surveyed admit to having little to no understanding of foreign regulations and road signs, and 87% conduct no research into a foreign country’s Highway Code before driving on the roads.

 

EasyFX’s #WomenWhoTravel Call for Photos

In the last few years, we’ve seen Getty Images and other stock photo companies release collections of photos – like LeanIn and No Apologies – aimed at correcting the lack of stock images that at represent the true diversity of women’s lives.
EasyFX recently relaunched their currency exchange service and during their digital preparations, scoured stock image sites for travel photos, but were still surprised to find a lack of options portraying diverse women travelling solo so are taking matters into their own hands. EasyFX are calling upon female bloggers, influencers and photographers to collect and curate a database of images of diverse female travellers. They plan to build a database that will be open and free to the public that portrays true diversity. See more details about the project at www.easyfx.com/womenwhotravel

 

NOT
Making the most of your free time

A staggering 52 per cent of people agree that they don’t make the most of their free time, according to a survey by Lonely Planet. The data, collected for Lonely Planet as part of a Walnut Omnibus Survey, showed that four in 10 (37%) of respondents claim they try a new activity – either before or after work, or during lunch breaks – less than once a month, while another third (33%) never do, which means that 70% of respondents who work rarely try a new activity during their working day.
This issue is perhaps compounded by the fact that only 36% of workers claim they are able to take their full lunch break every day. However, two in five (42%) of those surveyed did agree that they would like to know more about their local area.
In light of the results, Lonely Planet is encouraging people to revitalise their relationship with their local area and to experience an “everyday adventure.”
To aid inspiration, Lonely Planet has released a 
brand new guide, Everyday Adventures, which outlines 50 new ways to experience your local area and to discover a new side to where you live or work.

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