What’s hot: July 2019

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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

No plastic, no problem
Barbados, everyones’ favourite Caribbean island, has banned the import, sale and use of single-se plastic plates, egg cartons, cups, cutlery, straws and styrofoam in a bid to protect the country’s beauty. And Rhianna’s homeland isn’t stopping there… Barbados will ban all petro-based plastic bags at the start of 2020. We approve and can only hope that the rest of the Caribbean, not a part of the world that’s known to be especially environmentally friendly, follows suit. visitbarbados.org

Get arty in Toronto
Art lovers won’t want to miss the epic 90-day Toronto Biennal of Art that’s launching this September. That’s not the only attraction enticing art afifoniados….the Museum of Contemporary Art recently moved into a former industrial space but continues to showcase a diverse range of international art. seetorontonow.com

Berlin bound
There’s arguably never been a better time to visit Germany’s edgy capital as events to commemorate  the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Bauhaus and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall get underway. Expect exhibitions, films, performances and special tours. See you there? visitberlin.de

La Boca, Buenos Aires

Head to Helsinki
Finland is half way through its presidency of the Council of the EU while its capital – say hello to Helsinki – is being hailed as the European capital of smart tourism owing to the authentic tourism experiences that the city offers.
All of which means it’s time, if you haven’t already, to make a foray to Finland. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Helsinki Central Library, Oodi, which opened at the end of last year. Situated in a striking building made of wood, glass and steel, it’s definitely one for Instagram. myhelsinki.fi

Make a beeline for Buenos Aires
Argentina’s charismatic capital is always hot but it’s set to get even hotter next month when the city welcomes the World Tango Championships.  And rightly so because BA is the capital of tango and, as such, the sexy yet melancholy strut attracts a cult like following – young and old alike will dance until dawn and not only at weekends.
Even if you’ve got two left feet, milongas (tango clubs) like La Cathedral and La Viruta are worth visiting for the atmosphere and phenomenal people watching alone. turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar

Starbucks goes green at Gatwick
Starbucks’ Gatwick outpost and environmental NGO, Hubbub, have teamed up to launch the first ever reusable cup scheme carried out in an airport. The one month trial – which ends on 10 July -aims to test and learn how to drive reuse in environments where it is typically harder to do – such as airports. During the #cupcupandaway campaign, Starbucks customers will have the option to borrow a free reusable instead of a paper cup which they can then drop these off at one of five ‘Cup Check-In’ points throughout the South Terminal.  The trial aims to put 2000 reusable cups in circulation – if 250 customers opted for a reusable each day, it could see over 7000 paper cups saved in one month. gatwickairport.com; starbucks.co.uk

barbados beach
Barbados: paradise but it has a price tag

Travel insurance claims
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed  that the average medical claim on travel insurance surpassed £1,300 for the first time ever in 2018 – reaching £1,368. Claims can easily reach the tens of thousands of pounds, and one recent example saw a couple in America require nearly £600,000 worth of support from their travel insurer.
The ABI’s figures also show that the total amount paid to Brits abroad in 2018 – at £400 million – was at its highest level since 2010. In the past 10 years, the average medical claim has nearly doubled from £768 in 2008. abi.org.uk

Cultural and tourist organisations across Stoke-on-Trent and The Potteries are encouraging visitors to venues, events and attractions this summer  to share their experiences and photos by tagging #MyStokeStory. The project coincides coincides with ‘a year of anniversaries’ including 10 years of the Staffordshire Hoard at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, 10 years of the British Ceramics Biennial, 15 years of Trentham Gardens, 130 years of Burleigh at Middleport, and 260 years of Wedgwood. visitstoke.co.uk

Calgary calling
The Canadian city of Calgary comes into its own this month largely due to the Calgary Stampede, an annual 10-day rodeo festival that takes place every July. Known as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” the festival sees over one million visitors every year, making it one of the world’s largest rodeos. The event also features parades, stage shows, concerts and local traditions like chuckwagon racing. visitcalgary.com

Keep dancing with Kimberly Wyatt on board Royal Carribean’s Explorer of the Seas. Credit: Royal Caribbean

Learn to dance like a Pussycat Doll
On point!  Cruise giant, Royal Caribbean, has teamed up with Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt to host an exclusive series of onboard dance classes this summer. The new partnership comes after new research found that one in five British adults claim to never dance at all and that 37 per cent of people are self-conscious about dancing in public with those aged 18-24 most likely to shy away from the dance floor.
Passengers will be able to lose their inhibitions and shimmy and shake dance like Pussycat Doll on one of three sailings (21 July, 4 and 18 August) onboard Explorer of the Seas, departing from Southampton. royalcaribbean.co.uk

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