What’s hot: February 2017

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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


Trips to Tenerife

Time for a trip to Tenerife?

It’s official: Tenerife is the favourite holiday destination of Brits. The Spanish island was the most-searched-for holiday destination by Brits in 2016, according to search data analysed by holiday price comparison site, TravelSupermarket.com.
8.3% – 1 in 12 – of all searches by Brits  were for Tenerife, strides ahead of the other top five most-searched-for destinations, New York (3.7%), Amsterdam, (2.8%) Majorca (2.7%) and Lanzarote (2.4%). The top 10 list is completed with the Algarve (2.3%), Orlando (2%), Gran Canaria (1.9%), Rome (1.8%) and Las Vegas (1.7%).

What a carry on! Hand luggage only
With British Airways announcing charges for food on board this year, the beginning of the end for all-inclusive airlines has officially arrived. The majority of carriers are adopting the no frills model of charging for anything they can, and the consumer has voted with their luggage with stats showing already 22%* are willing to travel hand luggage only. This number will no doubt increase in 2017, as savvy travellers pack light to take flight.


Buy before you fly – BYO on board
While, in 2016, eating healthily was ‘pie in the sky’, with less than a fifth of Brits taking their own food on board, new EU legislation just enforced (13 December 2016) will undoubtedly increase awareness of the high sugar and salt levels in airline food. This, and the continued health food revolution – and unfaltering rise of food stars such as Deliciously Ella and the Hemsley Sisters – means  travellers may well make better informed food choices and avoid airline food.


Living like a Duke
Five-star Mayfair hotel, Dukes London, has been hailed the ‘World’s Leading Classic Hotel’ for the fifth year in a row. The quintessentially British hotel was awarded the title at the recent World Travel Awards (WTAs) which took place at  The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi in the Maldives. The awards have been nicknamed the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry and the annual programme is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the travel and tourism industry. www.dukeshotel.com

Adventures in Asheville

Hiking in Asheville, North Carolina

Hiking in Asheville, North Carolina

Travel bible, Lonely Planet, has named the charming enclave of Asheville in North Carolina as the number one destination in the US to visit in 2017. The vibrant small city is known for its welcoming, creative spirit, eclectic architecture, artistic community and booming food and drink scene – all surrounded by spectacular natural beauty.
Following in second place is Western Washington, where iconic landscapes made their way into popular consciousness in Twin Peaks, the television drama making a comeback in 2017. In third place is heartland hub Lincoln, Nebraska, hosting festivals throughout the year to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

The Platt Effect

 Mickey and Minnie need some newer attraction to boost numbers to Orlando

The Platt Effect
The High Court victory of father John Platt, who refused to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter on holiday during school term-time, sparked a surge in demand for term-time travel. Analysis of flight searches to popular family holiday destinations including Lanzarote, Malaga, Gran Canaria and Florida showed demand for travel during the spring and autumn term-time periods jumped by as much as 50% once the ruling was announced. Perhaps emboldened by news of the case, family travellers on trips that see savings of over one thousand pounds by travelling in term time – skiing or Disney World – may weigh up the cost benefits of a statutory fine. Cheapflights has pinpointed a variety of money saving tips that can bring down the cost of travel, without the risk of incurring a fine.

Fun fares

Virgin plane in flight

Looking for an early Valentine’s Day present? Virgin Atlantic are running a fare sale until 7 February 2016 for trips that depart until the end of 2017. Prices start at £469 for returns to Barbados and £539 for returns to LA. To book, simply visit www.virginatlantic.com

Get appy
Come June, all EU roaming charges will be abolished so, to celebrate, we’re letting you in on one of our favourite travel apps that we reckon you’ll want to download.  Take a bow GoGoBot – which is anything but your average ‘what’s on’ app. Firstly, it takes your interests, time of day, local weather and your location into consideration before showing you the best attractions, events, restaurants and hotels, that are waiting to be discovered. It also lets you compare prices, write and read reviews and you can also book directly from the app. Bottom line? Let GoGoBot be your go-to guide when travelling around new and exciting cities in 2017.

Best book

Do you know where in north London grapes for top quality sparkling wines are grown? Or which south London district shares its name with one of the best-selling brands of British car? If not, then you need to beg, borrow or steal a copy of The Blue Badge London Quiz Book in which award-winning Blue Badge tourist guide, Mark King invites us all to discover much more of his home city. Dip into fascinating layers of this modern megacity on 22 entertaining tours that test your knowledge and inspire you to explore more widely than just the usual tourist areas. (The Blue Badge Guide’s London Quiz Book; out now; £7.99; www.historypress.co.uk)

Canada calling

an image of Brtish Columbia

Canada  is firmly back on the travel map for 2017 – partly because of recent Royal visits. (The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, together with their two  children –  Prince George, 3, and Princess Charlotte – toured Canada towards the end of 2016) at the invitation of Justin Trudeau, the country’s energetic new leader, while Prince Harry was papped visiting new love – Canadian actress, Meghan Markle, who is best known for her role as Rachel Zane in US legal drama Suits – in Toronto. But it’s not just the new generation of Royals who have helped make Canada cool again: travel specialists Lonely Planet have gone so far as to proclaim Canada to be the best country to visit in 2017.
And for good reason: In 2017 Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary of confederation with a whole year of exciting events planned across the country. However it’s Ottawa that will be the epicentre of the nation’s celebrations. The Canadian capital is hosting an array of festivities including world skating competitions down the Rideau Canal, a communal picnic on Alexandra Bridge and a fireworks display on Parliament Hill.


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