What’s hot: January 2019

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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



Flying to the Falklands

Flying to the Falklands will get easier following an announcement of a new route from Argentina. However the new route will only run monthly, making it one of the world’s least frequent flights. The flight, whose start date is still to be confirmed, will operate weekly with Latam from Sao Paulo in Brazil to Mount Pleasant airport, 33 miles from Port Stanley. Once a month the flight will touch down at Cordoba in Argentina.

Phoenix Rising
American Airlines has added Phoenix, Arizona, to its flight map. The US airline will fly directly to Phoenix from London Heathrow, from 31 March 2019.
Serene desert gardens, one-of-a-kind museums and award-winning dining are just a few can’t-miss spots that should be on your to-do list in the perpetually sunny destination.

Best book

Lonely Planet fans have been waiting a long time for this… the travel bible has released its first ever dedicated atlas, a collection of Lonely Planet’s own cartography that covers the world and presents thousands of sights, experiences and itineraries.
JAT has seen a copy and trust us when we say: it will inspire all readers to explore the world and make a journey, whether long or short, near or far. lonelyplanet.com

Acacia Africa asks travellers to open their hearts and their backpacks
Acacia Africa is asking all of its travellers who are finishing their tour in Cape Town to open their hearts and their backpacks and consider donating to SAVE, a registered non-profit organisation that works to enrich, educate, and empower various township and settlement communities, with every donation going to families affected by the shack fires in the Dunoon and Morning Star housing areas on the outskirts of South Africa’s Mother City. Find out more at acacia-africa.com.

Seeking out Sharjah

The Blue Souq, Sharjah

Done Dubai? Over Abu Dhabi? Why not soak up some winter some in the lesser known UAE emirate of Sharjah, thanks to the launch of low cost carrier, Pegus Airline’s new direct from London to Stansted. Stretching from the Arabian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman, Sharjah is the third largest of the emirates which make up the UAE and was once the most important of the seven sheikhdoms owing to its importance as a trading hub. Rich in history and culture and, of course, sunshine, Sharjah is emerging as an attractive and safe destination.

Bussing around Jamaica
Think you need a car to explore and enjoy Jamaica? Think again. While driving remains an essential part of life on other Caribbean islands (Cayman anyone?), public transport options are plentiful on the “Home of All Right” – as I discovered on a recent solo trip to Jamaica.
Comfortable Knutsford Express coaches are air conditioned, equipped with WiFi and serve all major destinations on the island.  Feeling more adventurous? Local buses, minivans and route taxis (communal taxis, marked by red license plates, that pick up as many passengers as they can squeeze in) link virtually every village and are a great way to interact with locals, although they’re not a quiet experience. Most blare out Bob Marley and other reggae stars – and it can take an age to get from A-B, because the drivers keep stopping to drop off/pick up passengers.
My tip? Just relax. “Soon come” is a favourite Jamaican patois phrase that means “it will happen when it happens”.

Budget flights to South America

Statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking city and Sugar Loaf mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America

Always wanted to tick South America off your bucket list but never been able to afford the (extortionate) flights? Well now you can. Budget carrier, Norwegian Airlines, will launch its first flights to Brazil in March 2019 with a brand-new direct route from London to Rio de Janeiro and prices from as little as £240 (one way). This follows the launch of Norwegian’s Gatwick to Buenos Aires route, and domestic flights in Argentina from BA to Mendoza and Cordoba last year. More Buenos Aires routes are planned to Salta, Iguazu, Bariloche and Nequen as Norwegian looks to increase its routes to, and within, South America.

Running green
The unique Maraisthon,the first marathon in the world to support a 100 percent eco-nature mandate, will celebrate its 10th anniversary later this year from the 15-16 June.  More entrants than ever before are expected to take part with participants travelling to the Marais Poitevin France from all over the world.
Last year there were 1,950 participants in all the races from Japan, New Zealand, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, the UK, Brazil, Italy, the USA, Russia and Switzerland. 60 percent were male and 40 percent were female.
In the last nine years there has been the smallest footprint left by the races  – just 500 kilos of rubbish a year (which was recycled) and 30 tonnes of CO2 produced – despite the fact that there have been, for example, 135,000 glasses used and 9,0000 medals given out.  The amount of the carbon footprint diminished by 10 percent in 2018 over 2017.  250 volunteers keep the events ticking over so there is a seamless transition between everything that is happening. To reserve a place, email maraisthon@gmail.com

Havana Nights

The Grand Theatre of Havana

Cuba’s emblematic capital is gearing up for a huge celebration in 2019: the 500th anniversary of its foundation on 16 November 1519 by Spanish settlers. To mark the milestone anniversary, the city has embarked on an extensive regeneration programme, which covers landmark sites such as the Cuatro Caminos Market, the Central Railway Station, the Castillo del Morro lighthouse and the hospital La Edad de Oro. In addition, work has started to rescue archaeological remains that testify to the foundation of Havana (originally named Villa de San Cristobal de la Habana), as part of plans to create a new museum complex.


UK rail stations
A staggering 40 percent of UK rail stations are not accessible to physically disabled people according to research by disability charity Leonard Cheshire. 
The study revealed that 50 percent of stations in Scotland, 40 percent of stations in England and 32 percent of stations in Wales do not have full step-free access, which prevents passengers with physical disabilities travelling.

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