Ibiza, Morocco and Turkey revealed as cheapest last-minute summer holiday destinations
Chalkmarks: Vlore Old Town, Albania, September 2023

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 28th June 2024

IT’S that time of year where the world starts its mass migration for two weeks for a rest in each other’s countries. Choosing where to go though is a pain. The list can be as long as your arm. It is for us at Chalkmarks, both arms, in fact. But you’ve earned it. And if like us you were born to travel but forced to work, you don’t have much time to research where to go in the world or analyse flight prices and read hotel reviews. Planning a trip these days feels more like a side hustle. We need a financial adviser not a travel agent. Back of a fag packet maths this year says the cost of an average trip abroad, for a week, is £900. Yes, like you, we can’t believe the numbers. We don’t even know if that’s all inclusive. There’s more. The stats then show we spend an extra £250 while away on treating ourselves. While finding that golden ticket feels harder than ever, more than 60 per cent of us are willing to dig deep and travel, whatever the cost. If you’re ready for a great escape, let’s see what’s in this week’s headlines. 

More to come!

Holidays are coming? It’s a week before the general election – and if you still haven’t got a holiday booked, Which? has come to the rescue. They looked at 3,500 package holidays to find the cheapest last-minute escapes. Get a pen – these are Agadir and Taghazout in Morocco, Ibiza, and Dalaman in Turkey.

Sorry for the inconvenience: You know, straight away, when you arrive at an airport and see a queue outside the terminal, it’s going to be a bad day. All you can do is get in line and shuffle along. This was the fate of thousands of passengers arriving at Manchester Airport on Sunday. More than 100 flights were cancelled when the lights went out due to a dodgy cable in the early hours of the morning. Pictures on X showed the impact of the two-minute power outage with crowds of passengers and suitcases piling up. Worse news was to come though as those who lost their flights, also missed out on their whole holiday, with no compensation. It’s not the airline’s responsibility to compensate passengers when there’s a powercut, which is considered an extraordinary event. A reminder to readers: before you put your feet up after booking your holiday, get travel insurance. The BBC had the story.

We’re not done: A few days later, on Wednesday, there were more tears, this time, at Heathrow Airport after a glitch with its baggage system. It meant British Airways passengers flew off without their luggage while others arrived in London without their bags. It was the usual nightmare. PA Media reported on the chaos.

More fresh hell: Nevermind trying to catch a flight or find your luggage, Heathrow has launched a live-music stage in terminal 5 for emerging talent. This is the latest in airport one-upmanship. Can’t they just get our flights off on time? Tbh though they could get big audiences if the aggro continues – and who knows maybe music execs will be impressed. The next shows are on July 12 and 24. It’s on the BBC.

If you do get away on holiday: You’ll be spending £250 on extras per week, according to HSBC. The banking giant asked 2,000 people what they splash out on when out of the country. Turns out we all like to have a good time and splurge on eating out, live events, clothes and transport. Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings put it down to a “holiday mentality”, which means cos’ we are out of our usual routines, we’re more relaxed and spend more… and we all deserve a little treat. We’ve all been there! STV has the data.

Carrying on: Following on with the surveys, Barclays went further. It found that over the next four months – between June and September – we’ll each be spending £1,520 on holidays. That’s broken down as £906 on overseas trips and £615 on staycations. Their research revealed we’re spending more money on activities and experiences rather than goods which don’t give us the same satisfaction. They also revealed that travel spending has risen by 11.6 per cent on last year.

And there’s more: Of course, Mastercard then put out its survey which found that 63 per cent of Britons were planning to spend money on travel this year. Who knew? No one ever mentions it! Chief economist Natalia Lechmanova said: “Excitement driven by prominent events such as global sporting competitions, music artist tours and international film festivals coming to Europe this year are likely to keep the spend on experiences high.”

Airbnb booked: The pitter patter of holidaymakers arriving in Spain is no longer welcome. As sunseekers turn red so do residents – with rage. First it was Spanish islands and now it’s the mainland. Bit awks if you’re heading there this summer tbh. Barcelona mayor Jaume Collboni says he’s looking to ban Airbnbs from the city by 2029, and hand the flats back to locals. Being a tourist is a dirty word in 2024. You’ve got to keep your head down. MailOnline has more.

Sunbathers paradise: If you think summer holidays are best on the Med think again. Varna is the bluest and most beautiful beach resort on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. It’s everything you’d find on the Côte d’Azur or on the Costa del Sol but it’s also packed with history and culture. They even use merci as thank you and chau as goodbye. Very handy! Varna is an extremely pretty and leafy seaside port with a huge landscaped park on the waterfront with a mile-long stretch of glamorous bars, restaurants and clubs to go with it. There are sofas, beanbags, and brightly painted wooden arm chairs down on the sand. As well as being a sunbathers paradise, further along the coast are the popular resorts of Sunny Beach, Golden Sands and Sunny Day – popular with Britons on two-week packaged holidays. Hear more here.

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!

In-flight entertainment: The latest social media trend when on a long-haul flight is to just sit there… and do absolutely nothing. Yep, it’s called rawdogging. You don’t watch a film, you don’t read a book and you don’t listen to a podcast. You just look forward and stare at the map. But you are allowed to record yourself and then post about it on TikTok. How entertaining. If you want to take it to another level, you don’t even eat the in-flight meal! Anything to become an influencer! MailOnline has more.

Taken for a ride: A fleet of luxury coaches should be paid for by the government to take us away on UK mini-breaks in a bid to boost tourism and reduce private car journeys and carbon emissions. On Tuesday charity Possible also called on the government to create 300 miles of bus lanes on motorways by 2030. Possible co-director Max Wakefield said: “It’s time to replace those traffic jams with a new fleet of luxury, electric coaches zipping to and from our most beautiful destinations.” What a request! But, who knows, anything is possible!

Postcard from Dover: If you’re planning a road trip to visit England’s great White Cliffs of Dover, you’ll discover the cost of parking will go up £1 from £5 to £6 from Monday 1st July. Kent Online has the scandal. If only there was a free electric coach!

This time last year: Pay less, stay longer! Top tips for booking a holiday in July BBC News reported how one week, on an all-inclusive package, in Mallorca was up 21 per cent on 2022, Tenerife up 22 per cent, Crete 25 per cent, Morocco 27 per cent, and Bulgaria 13 per cent … Research by consumer magazine Which? showed that by booking even one day longer can save hundreds of pounds … It’s short holidays that cost more, up to double … They found that an all-inclusive trip with Tui to Fuerteventura in August cost £2,960 for 11 nights, but £4,148 for ten – a saving of £1,188 … For reasons unknown, the government postponed its plans to hand passengers better compensation when flights are cancelled … Glasgow was named one of the top under-rated hidden gems for a UK staycation … Blackpool came top, and Carlisle second.

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

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