Don’t let social media scams ruin your holiday!
Chalkmarks: Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 26th January 2024

SOME call it dry January others call it veganuary, Chalkmarks is declaring it traveluary. C’mon, it works! The challenge is not not to travel. We’re not on the holiday wagon by choice, the real reason is that we are saving up. Actually that’s the fundamental problem. And, survey says, most of us are doing the same… so, this week we were mostly indoors. And there’s absolutely no need to mention that Mallorca enjoyed a heat wave – avert your eyes. It’s been 24C if you were wondering while we’ve been blown around by storms Isha and Jocelyn. But we’re not gloomy. We’re looking forward to falling off the wagon next month. The truth is, we haven’t decided where we want to go – and looking at maps is one of our most favourite things, as is going through the travel headlines. Here’s what made the news. 

Meep meep!

Holiday scams: Britain’s biggest building society reveals that one in three of us book holidays without doing any proper checks, meaning we could get scammed. Nationwide found that 14 per cent search for travel deals on social media where we don’t know who’s behind the profile. The Bournemouth Echo wrote about it.

About time: Is it cake? No, it’s better, it’s holiday help from the boffins at Nationwide. They have created a holiday-scam checker to help us before we book. Wannabe holidaymakers can pop into a branch and they’ll do the rest. Jim Winters, at the building society said: “That age-old adage of ‘if it looks too good to be true, it probably is’ most certainly applies with holidays – do your research and if in doubt get support.” Abta approved.

Meanwhile the airports: The deadline was 2022, then 2024… and now it’s 2025. We’re talking the billion-pound upgrade to airport security scanners that will allow us to keep our little liquids in our bags. This week we heard that Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, and Stansted, will not be getting them this year. The Guadian has more. A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “For security reasons we don’t talk in detail about aviation security measures.” Eye-roll emoji. Plastic bags at the ready!

That’s the ticket: easyJet says its Big Orange January sale has seen holidaymakers book trips to Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey – but also Mallorca in the Balearics, Skiathos, Greece, and Calabria in Italy have been popular. And so, we asked the world’s brightest mind chatGPT what to do in Skiathos and Calabria.

In Skiathos: Explore the pristine beaches like Koukounaries, visit the iconic Evangelistria Monastery, and stroll through charming Skiathos Town with its vibrant tavernas and shops. Discover hidden coves, take a boat trip to the nearby islands, and indulge in local cuisine. Enjoy water sports, sunsets, and the island’s lively atmosphere. Chalkmarks highly recommends visiting the best view on the loo on the planet.

In Calabria: Visit the stunning beaches like Tropea and Scilla. Explore historic sites such as the ancient ruins of Locri and the medieval town of Gerace. Indulge in local cuisine with dishes like nduja and swordfish. Hike in Aspromonte National Park for breathtaking views. Immerse yourself in the region’s rich culture and hospitality.

You’re not going to like this: easyJet also forecast that demand for travel will be high this summer, which means high prices. Boss Johan Lundgren says this was due partly to industry-wide delays of new Boeing planes, but also flight diversions due to weather and wars. This is Money has the story.

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!

Holocaust Memorial Day: Tomorrow we remember of the victims of the holocaust. Auschwitz, the concentration camp, just outside Krakow in Poland, where 1.1 million innocent people died, has become a huge tourist draw. Should we be worried? Has it turned into just another tourist attraction? Here’s what happened on our journey to Auschwitz

This time last year: Holiday bookings and prices soar as travellers lock in early-bird deals Travel agents were heaving … Trailfinders said it’d broken its all-time sales record a number of times over … 61 per cent of people said they planned an overseas trip … The cost of holidays was skyrocketing – way above inflation, at 10 per cent … Which? found the price of a package holiday to Spain, Turkey and Italy had jumped by more than 20 per cent since last summer … Also, a room in a three-or-four star hotel in 2022 cost £100, but £119 in 2023 …. Heavy snow fell across Ibiza, covering its beaches in fluffy white stuff … Which? recommended six holiday hotspots for February … They were Tenerife (18°C), Sardinia (15°C), Malta (15°C), Maldives (31°C), Oman (26°C), Grenada (29°C) … The European Union’s high-tech biometric screening system for Britons (and all non-EU passengers) was due to start in May but was postponed until the autumn … Peru’s biggest tourist attraction Machu Picchu closed due to protests across the country … The Ancient Yemenite Kingdom of Saba, in Yemen, and the Rachid Karami International Fair in Tripoli, Lebanon made Unesco’s list of World Heritage Sites in danger.

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

Go while it’s hot!

Write to us and send in your travel tips