Best places to go on holiday in 2024!
Chalkmarks: Shop window, Crowborough, East Sussex, England, UK, December 2023

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 15th November 2023

HI EVERYONE! We’re back from Madeira. The traveller returns for Christmas. We are ready to start “dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh… laughing all the way!” Scratch that. It’s grey, damp and soggy in London. But we’re excited to be home and we’ve seen plenty of sunshine this year. There’ll be more to come in the New Year. We love to travel. Travel is good for you. Everyone knows it. It’s like carrots and sprouts only better. Much, much, healthier in fact. You get to feel warm, see new landscapes, eat new foods, experience a different culture. One day you’re on a plane, the next you’re wandering a new city, lying on a beach, climbing hills, or watching a lion on a safari. What’s not to like? It’s just magnificent. We can’t go on about it enough. And so we will. We’ll be back next year with our weekly round-up of what’s made the travel headlines. Here’s this week’s. Let the bells jingle!

What to give the person who has everything? A holiday!

Thought about a trip for next year yet? Look no further than the Top 100 city destinations index by market research firm Euromonitor International. They once again crowned the French capital the Number One city on the planet. Paris ticked their boxes for being attractive, its tourism, sustainability and economic performance. Dubai came second, Madrid third and Tokyo fourth. The MailOnline has the full list. 

Also trending: The list saw four newcomers this year: Washington DC, US (48th), Montreal, Canada (68th), Santiago, Chile, (88th) and Vilnius, Lithuania (92nd).  

Golden ticket: The modern delights of ancient Istanbul topped the list for growth in tourists in 2023 with 26 per cent increase followed by London in second place (up 17%) and Dubai in third (up 18%). 

Up your travel game: For 2024 the researchers said travellers are heading to cities that provide high-speed internet, flexible booking, comfortable work environments improving sustainability, transportation networks and social impact. 

Anything else: Nadejda Popova at Euromonitor International, said: “Consumers are expected to look for value for money travel propositions when booking travel. Travellers will continue to favour authentic and local experiences in addition to sustainable tourism alternatives.

Go away: To deal with overtourism, experienced in Venice, expect more crowd control. Ms Popva added: “some destinations are imposing restrictions, steep taxation or reduction of hotel capacity to help limit the influx of tourists and preserve cultural heritage, while others embrace dispersion strategies that promote alternative or off-the-beaten-path destinations.” 

Seasons greetings: Britons on their holidays will have packed their mince pies and Christmas puds – and will still tune in to watch the King’s speech on the big day. According to an easyJet survey one in six is jetting away in December with many saying its cheaper over there than in the UK. They also say it’s for the warm weather. The top hotspots include the Caribbean, the US, Italy, Spain and Cyprus. The Independent has more.

But then: The Eiffel Tower ranked the world’s No1 for the worst tourist attraction queue with 4,799 complaints. One tourist said: “Five stars for the Eiffel Tower. One star for the humongous crowds and long lines throughout. Be prepared.” The London Eye came second with 4,756 queue complaints and the Colosseum in Rome, third with  4,262. The list was compiled by travel website, analysed of 10.74million Tripadvisor reviews. Here’s more on MailOnline

Have you seen our pictures: Our fantastic travel photos, which capture some of our favourite destinations around the world, are now available for sale on Alamy. Woohoo!

The crystal kingdom: For your next road trip visit the southeast corner of Germany for a drive along the ancient Glass Road. This iconic 155-mile touring route winds through the towns and villages in the depths of the Bavarian Forest taking in an emporium of glassmaking factories. For hundreds of years this has been a kingdom of fine crystal glass blowing and today many still use the traditional method. Drop into and shop at the world’s finest glass manufactures including Theresienthal, Eisch and Schott. Taking three-to-four days, stop to see the “Glass Forest”, the biggest glass pyramid in the world and the Glassmaker’s Village in Frauenau. If you haven’t discovered it you can explore it here

Go on treat yourself: Looking for a stylish gift for someone special? Don’t buy this – ho ho ho! easyJet has delivered a swimwear range this Christmas… with designs of cheesy festive jumpers! They have something for everyone! Here they are in The Sun!

Gearing up: Traffic on the drive home for Christmas is expected to peak early this year with an “amber warning” for lengthy jams pencilled in for next Friday, 22nd December. The AA says traditionally traffic builds up on Christmas Eve – but because Christmas day falls on a Monday most people will already be home for the long weekend. It warns of delays around the M25, the M5, the M6, the M1 – with up to 16.1 cars on the road. AA president Edmund King said “New Year’s Day will be the quietest day on the roads which is probably a good thing especially if drivers have been partying the previous evening.” The Guardian has the story.

Did you get the memo? There will be no trains running on Christmas day – that includes Tubes, buses etc etc – and there’ll be a limited service on Boxing Day. Tis the season to be in with fam. Just sit down and some watch telly. Someone pass the Baileys! Where’s the cheese?

Escape: Heathrow reported its passenger numbers were almost back at pre-pandemic levels – standing just below 2 per cent down on 2019. It said 6.1 million travellers had passed through its terminals in November, with 6.5 million expected this month. Travel Weekly has more. Heathrow says tens of thousands will departing the UK on Christmas Day… if that’s you, get an Uber (see above)!

Ho ho it’s hot hot hot! An early Christmas present arrived for holidaymakers in southern Spain this week with temperatures hitting a record breaking 29.9C… in December! The heatwave hit Malaga and is expected to be stay hot this Christmas. One local said: “If you’re planning on going skiing in the Sierra Nevada, don’t forget your bikini.” Back in the UK weather is cold, wet and windy! The MailOnline has more.

In case you don’t follow us on social media you really should. Here we are, here too and over here. Say hola muchacha! 

Isle be back!

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