What’s hot: December 2016

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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


Making for Medellin


Picture: Kaye Holland

Colombia’s second city may have once been associated with  cocaine and kidnapping (the city is the former headquarters of Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel) fast forward to 2016 and the City of Eternal Spring’ (so called owing to its year round mild climate) is as safe as any other South American city. And accessible too: Colombia’s national carrier, Avianca has just launched a new weekly flight to Medellin via Madrid.

Checking out the new Design Museum
The long awaited new Design Museum reopened recently (24 November 2016) in its spectacular new location at the entrance of Holland Park on High Street Kensington. Situated in the former Commonwealth Institute building, founder Sir Terence Conran, says he aims to create “the best and the most important design museum in the world”.  www.designmuseum.org

Getting au fait with Alix Experience
Attention all female travellers! If you’re not au fait with Alix Experience then that’s something that needs to be righted. The company – which launched in London in May 2016 – is considered to be the first-ever concierge service catered exclusively to solo female travellers. Created by women for women, the platform provides opportunities for travellers to connect through dinners, VIP experiences etc. Alix Experience currently operates in New York, San Francisco and Paris in addition to London and there are plans to expand to a further 30 cities from Seoul to Sydney by 2020.

Get appy


Picture: Kaye Holland

Nervous flyers rejoice! New app, Sky Guru, aims to calm jittery passengers by providing them with information that is usually only available to pilots. The app – which doesn’t require Wifi – tracks the flight path and relays reassuring messages to passengers when it picks up on turbulence. Sounds good? Simply enter your flight details prior to departure so as to download data about the journey. Find out more at www.myskyguru.com

Snorkelling in Scotland
Scotland’s first ever snorkel trail connecting nine beaches and bays on the coast of Sutherland and Wester Ross in the northwest Highlands, has opened. The route is detailed in a complimentary leaflet which also gives snorkelers the low-down on the flora and fauna you can expect to see. One negative? The chilly water temperatures…. brrrr!

London is open

International travellers are of the opinion that London is still “friendly” and “welcoming” – despite June’s Brexit vote – according to a survey by Airbnb of 1,000 people from France, America, Spain, Germany and Italy. A staggering 86 per cent of this surveyed said they thought the capital was an inviting place to visit, with 43 per cent  claiming they were more likely to visit London following the EU referendum result owing to the weaker pound. Reasons for visiting London included the capital’s culture (58 per cent), history (56 per cent) and diversity (54 per cent).

Be spellbound on a safari
Arranging a safari can be something of a headache which is why, here at JAT towers, we’re thrilled by the arrival of travel company Timbuktu – a brand new Africa focused website that allows you to build your own safari according to your budget and tastes. Simply select your country, camps and the animals you’re dying to see and allow the Timbuktu team to make the necessary arrangements.

Seeking out Seattle

Seattle seen from the Space Needle at dusk

Seattle seen from the Space Needle at dusk

Never been to Seattle – the birthplace of Starbucks which, earlier this year, edged out Portland to be crowned the most ‘hipster’ city in America? It’s time to change that and, thanks to Virgin Atlantic, you can. Richard Branson’s airline has announced new flights to Seattle for as little as £550 return. Beginning on 26 March 2017, Virgin Atlantic will fly daily between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and London-Heathrow. Bottom line? We’ll see you in Seattle in 2017.

Glamping in Cali
Mud, musty tents, cold weather, cooking on rusty gas stoves, sweaty sleeping bags…yep camping has never held much appeal here at JAT HQ either. needless to say camping has never held much appeal here. However the the new  the Autonomous Tent –  a stunning semi-permanent structure designed by fabulous architects such as Patricia DiMario and Harry Gesner- might convert you to camping. The exquisitely-designed yet sustainable solar powered tent can be enjoyed anywhere, all year round without detriment to our planet’s ecosystems. The downside? The autonomous tent ain’t cheap: we’re talking  US$100,000 for the smaller, 700-square-foot Cocoon version and US$200,000 for the 1,000-square-foot, two bedroom Tipi. Gulp.


Snapping selfies in India

India’s Ministry of Tourism has ordered sites such as the Golden Temple, Amber Fort and Taj Mahal to rope off “selfie danger zones” and post tourist police to stop selfie-obsessed visitors ducking beneath barriers. And for good reason: since 2014, India has recorded more selfie-related deaths (54) than any other country.

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