What’s hot: December 2018

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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


Langkawi beach

Legendary Langkawi is the lynch pin of Malaysia’s tourism, and for good reason. Sure, it isn’t the place for schlepping around historical buildings, museums and galleries, but if you want to laze on sand whiter than a dentist’s chair and swim in crystal clear azure waters, look no further than Langkawi.
Surprisingly however, reaching Langkawi has always been a bit of a faff and involved a change of plane in Kuala Lumpur. Thank goodness then that TUI has decided to fly directly to Langkawi from 19 December 2018.

The American Airlines CR Smith Museum at Fort Worth

Texas bound? Be sure to check out the newly reopened American Airlines CR Smith Museum at Fort Worth which tells the company’s history and gives an insight into what goes on in running an airline.
Standouts include a game to test your skills at baggage handling and a MD-80 cockpit where a pilot talks attendees through what all the buttons do. crsmithmuseum.org

When 2 Became 1

For the first time ever, London and Paris have joined forces to show how easy it is to discover both as one amazing destination using the Eurostar which takes travellers between the city centres in just two hours and 15 minutes.
The multimedia marketing campaign is targeted at American first-time millennial visitors and will run for five months.
From 177 Michelin restaurants to 641 parks and gardens, 506 theatres to 325 museums,  some 3,500 hotels to 42 million selfie opportunities, the unique partnership will showcase the abundance of attractions and hidden gems across the both cities, and will urge travellers to visit now, not later as they will take a whole lifetime to explore.

Reaching for Rwanda

2019 marks 25 years since the Rwandan genocide and although visitors will be conscious of the 1994 atrocities, its memory is not overwhelming. Through solidarity, hard work, strength and determination, the country has experienced a miraculous recovery. Tourism has been a particular beneficiary, with the continuing success of gorilla conservation a highlight.
Our advice? Go now, so as to beat the crowds that will be arriving in 2019.

Christmas gifts sorted

outside scene of the Hamburg Christmas Market

Stuck for what to get the (fellow) globetrotter in your life? Secret Escapes has the answer. The members-only flash sales site for affordable luxury travel is offering the gift of travel for prospective jet-setters via their beautifully presented gift cards which can be used to redeem a luxury city break, all singing / dancing holiday or a simple cottage staycation for the winter months – perfect for when you want to book a holiday for your loved one but aren’t able to check their availability. You can buy vouchers from the value of £50 to £5,000 and choose from a sleek and stylish presentation card or, for those who leave present buying until the last minute, a printable e-voucher.

Seeking out Sri Lanka

Travel bible, Lonely Planet, has unveiled its annual collection of the best travel destinations, trends, journeys and experiences to have in the year ahead in Best in Travel 2019.
Sri Lanka – the island opening up to new travellers like never before – claims the coveted spot as the number one country to visit in 2019, while Germany places second and Zimbabwe takes third. Denmark’s “capital of cool”, Copenhagen, is named the number one city as it boasts a world-renowned food scene and credentials as a design powerhouse, followed by the “Silicon Valley” of China, Shēnzhèn and Serbia’s up-and-coming youth and culture capital, Novi Sad.

Start dancing the Charleston

Customers can swing their way to charming Charleston next summer as British Airways launches a new route to the soulful South Carolina city.
From 4 April 2019, British Airways will launch a two-per-week summer service from Heathrow, Terminal 5 and will be the only airline flying direct between Europe and the southern city. The service will be operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner; Boeing has a factory in Charleston where they are currently building the 787-10 Dreamliner.
British Airways is also launching a four per week service to Pittsburgh from April 2019.

Just cruising

More young people are considering going on a cruise in the next 12 months compared to last year, finds ABTA’s latest Holiday Habits report. More than one tenth of 18-34 year olds (12 per cent) are looking to take one in the next 12 months, compared to 11 per cent of 18-24 year olds and nine per cent of 25-34 year olds in 2017.
Although the younger age groups are less likely to have been on a cruise holiday, they are open to the idea. Over half (53 per cent) of 18-24 year olds are interested in taking a cruise (but have not done so previously) – three per cent up on last year, followed by more than two-fifths (45%) of 25-34 year olds.
In recent years cruise companies have clearly recognised this market potential – by developing ships and itineraries designed specifically for these generations as well as through more targeted marketing campaigns to these age groups.

Set sail with Bon Jovi

On the subject of cruises, you can now cruise with the rock idol not once but twice in 2019.
Called Runaway to Paradise, both cruises will bring together 2.200 Bon Jovi fans for four days of non-stop action. The first cruise sails from Miami to Nassau (Bahamas) from 12-16 April onboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) Norwegian Jade while the second sails from iBarcelona to Palma, Majorca in August on board NCL’s Norwegian Pearl.Jon Bon Jovi will join cruisers on board the ship at each destination port and treat them to a full rock show on the pool deck plus a second acoustic storyteller set where cruisers can ask Jon all of their burning questions.
Guests can also also get up close with historic memorabilia in the Jon Bon Jovi Gallery, shop for new looks in the Hart N Dagger pop up shop, and even enjoy a meal while giving back to those in need at The JBJ Soul Kitchen that will be brought to life on board. All guests will take home an autographed event lithograph, and fans who book in the first 400 staterooms on each cruise will get an opportunity to take a picture with Jon Bon Jovi. runawaytoparadise.com



From national parks to sandy beaches, bustling cities and country scenes, the UK has it all, but new research from UK cottage provider Snaptrip has revealed that on average, Brits have only visited a staggering 30 per cent of the UK.
So how do the nation’s famous travel locations hold up? It might be a popular tourist hotspot, but almost a third of Brits have never visited England’s capital city (30 per cent), and an astonishing 57 per cent have never been to Edinburgh.
Elsewhere Brits may love a beach, but the research revealed that the coastline in the UK is going untapped. 66 per cent of people have never been to Newquay, 56 per cent have never been to Brighton, 50 per cent have never been to Blackpool, and only 20 per cent have visited Northumberland.

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