What’s hot: March 2015

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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


Conquering your fear of flying
Hands up if you have a fear of flying? If you’ve raised both hands and have an iPhone, download new app – Am I Going Down?  – created by husband and wife team Nic Johns and Julie Postlethwaite of Vanilla Pixel. Using publicly available statistics, Am I Going Down? is designed to calculate the likelihood of a plane crash. The app takes safety statistics for every airline, aircraft model, and airport, and uses this information to calculate the odds of any given flight “going down”.  App users can simply input the details of their planned journey, leaving the app to calculate just how likely it is that the plane will crash. Am I Going Down? also ranks worldwide airlines and aircrafts based on their records, using a sleek design and plenty of visual imagery that makes it easy to see – thanks to its colour-coded rankings – which options are the safest.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica beach
When reading 2015 travel ‘it lists’ and ‘hot spots’, one country emerges above all others: Costa Rica. The Latin American destination is being hailed as the new Tulum boasting world class surfing opportunities, a breathtaking jungle and hip hotels such as the Andaz on the Papagyo Peninsula.

Music to our ears
Mad about music? Then you need to book a mini break at the Aria Hotel Budapest for the hotel – which opens on 15 March – is barmy about music. Case in point? Caricatures of music legends like Mozart greet guests outside their rooms while the flat screen TVs show classic performances. Elsewhere you’ll find a glass enclosed Music Garden courtyard with a tiled piano  plus a spa whose treatments are matched to playlists.

Learning the lingo made easy
Britons are notoriously bad at learning foreign languages. It’s fair to say that our continental cousins certainly put us to shame when it comes to being bilingual. But help is at hand thanks to a new gadget – The SpeechTrans Wristband Watch –  which can put what you say into 44 languages with the translation broadcast over a built in-speaker. For £64, charades could soon be a thing of the past…

Travelling by train in India
indian pacific train and desert, great southern rail
India has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently so, in a bid to rectify this, dedicated tourist carriages on trains that travel to tourist hotspots are being introduced. India’s Tourism Minister, Mahesh Sharma, says the tourist carriages will included ‘extra’ facilities – for example bathrooms and beefed up security.

Repelling insects made easy
PreventRange HR
Planning your summer holiday? Insect repellent should be top of your seasonal shopping list but so many products are packed with chemical and other nasties. Which is why JAT is championing a new product – PreVent from Agropharm – that’s made from natural ingredients including one per cent pyrethrins which is derived from African chrysanthemums. The active ingredient in PreVent has been used as an insecticide as well as a repellent for over 200 years and it is safe and effective on both adults and young children. It has extremely low toxicity so it’s good for the environment as well as being perfect for sensitive skins. A natural alternative that doesn’t compromise on effectiveness? We like! The range includes PreVent Pump Spray, PreVent Insect Repellent Wipes, PreVent Powerful Insect Repellent Cream, PreVent Insect Repellent Aerosol and PreVent Central Candles and is available from www.hygienesuppliesdirect.com.

Hello Kitty is feline fine
A £210 million Hello Kitty theme park has opened in China’s Zhejiang province in celebration of the cult brand’s 40th birthday. Sanrio, the Japanese company that created the iconic Kitty character back in 1974, has teamed up with Hettema Group – an entertainment design company from California – for the 9.5 hectare site that according to The Hettema Group website’s will be “a very special home-away-from home for Hello Kitty and all her friends.” Visitors to China’s first theme park can expect to see plenty of pink (everything from the furniture to the Ferris Wheel is pink hued) and enjoy daily parades in – what else? – pink performance venues.

Going solo
Thinking of travelling solo in 2015? You’re not alone: solo travel is predicted to be in of the biggest travel trends of the year. Holiday companies including G Adventures, Intrepid Travel, Cox & Kings estimate that as many as 38 per cent of their customers will travel solo in 2015. Subsequently a new website – www.101singlesholidays.co.uk – has launched to meet the demands of solo travellers. As the name suggests, the site has 101 suggestions from female only trekking tours across the UK to sumptuous single rooms in Barbados.


Wearing onesies up in the air
Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic has collaborated with designer, OnePiece (aka the original onesie designers), to trial a limited edition onesies for Upper Class passengers on board a select number of flights. Fay Burgin, Virgin Atlantic’s head of global public relations, said: “We are passionate about new innovations such as bringing our Upper Class passengers the first ever airline onesie.” Here are JAT we think that passion is misplaced. Onesies maybe comfortable but they’re certainly not chic…

Bookings across eastern and southern Africa have fallen drastically due to travellers postponing – or worse cancelling – their trips because of the ebola outbreak. Consequently hundreds of safari camps are faced with closure meaning that thousands of staff are set to lose their jobs. And for no reason for as Nigel Vere Nicoll, chairman of the African Travel and Tourism Association, is at pains to point out: “The simple truth is that there has not been a single case of ebola in sub-Saharan Africa.”

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