The £1k holiday bombshell: Average spend for week away soars to a grand new total!
Chalkmarks: Santander, Spain

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 16th June 2023

THERE’S a gold rush on travel this summer. Whether it’s private jets and villas with butlers and Qi Gong or an easyJet flight and an Airbnb with a shared bathroom and beer pong, holidays are spectacularly expensive! But also, as the cost of living crisis rages, they are mind-bogglingly all booked up! How is this? As we write, we’re drinking coffee – a double espresso, our favourite – but more importantly we are pouring over the options of spending two weeks in Naples in July. We want to cross the bay to Sorrento, sail over to Capri, visit Pompeii, climb Mount Vesuvius, wander around Herculaneum and live la dolce vita on the Amalfi Coast. But forget it! The cost of a hostel (not even an Airbnb) is around £100 a night. So before we have even landed we would have to fork out almost £1,000, including the flight, for the first week. And we want to go for two. This is a moment to stop. A moment to look around and say huh! Is this how we are living now? This isn’t a break this is breaking the bank. Yes, inflation is up, interest rates are high and the travel industry is recouping money lost during the pandemic, but £1,000 a week for a budget trip? That’s not value for money. We’d need a six-figure salary to finance this. Maybe it’s time we got shot of the coffee and started saving. If any of you manage to get away next month, please send Chalkmarks a postcard and pop us a pound or two! While we put our suitcases away, here’s this week’s travel headlines. 

Seeking fun ’n’ sun!

Look away now: Holidaymakers have ramped up what they’re spending to getaway this summer by almost double. According to a survey of 2,000 by hotel group Travelodge, Britons are spending up to £1,000 on staycations – compared to £513 last year. The survey didn’t say if that was for one-or-two-weeks, or for how many people. It did reveal that two-thirds of us are going away on holiday with nearly three-quarters travelling within the UK. They didn’t say what the spend was to go overseas but we have a fair idea! Costa lot! This Morning wrote about it.

One more thing: Holidaymakers are starting to notice the cost of travel is creeping up by £135. Post Office Travel Money found that 66 per cent of people feel ripped off once they’re away. They are caught out by unexpected charges for food, drinks, transport and day trips. Many were annoyed by being charged for extras not included in their all-inclusive holiday. Seven in 10 said they’d overspent by £135. Their survey, also of 2,000 people, found that 57 per cent of us are going oversees this year. PA Media had the story. 

Up in the air: It’s a race to Jet Zero for the airlines which were warned this week that those who don’t start switching to sustainable aviation fuel could find themselves out of business. Aviation minister Baroness Vere told industry bosses at Abta’s Travel Matters event in Westminster that decarbonisation had become “the elephant in the room” and that passengers would demand greener travel. Over on Twitter she said: “We have already taken strides in tackling these issues through funding to boost recruitment and to decarbonise flying with sustainable aviation fuel”.

Union strikes back: On Wednesday train drivers voted to continue their walkouts for the next six months in their long-running pay dispute. Aslef boss Mick Whelan said: “Once again our members have decided that we are in this for the long haul. Train drivers are sick to the back teeth of their employers and the Government failing to negotiate in good faith, and blaming drivers for their inability to manage services and the rail industry effectively.” No dates have been announced. The Evening Standard had the story.

Flying high: Over at Heathrow the first two-day security strike at terminals 3 and 5 for later this month was called off as union members consider a new pay offer. The rest of the strikes planned for July and August are still in the calendar to go ahead. The BBC had the update. The Daily Mail has a useful list of all the dates.

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!

Italy, yes please! How about slowing down in Sardinia or nibbling bite-sized treats on a city break to BolognaSicily? This is the largest island in the Mediterranean and the biggest region in Italy. It’s home to many of Europe’s volcanoes – Etna being the biggest, Vulcano the stinkiest and Stromboli one of the most active on earth. The Valley of the Temples is older than the Acropolis in AthensThe Aeolian islands are outrageously stunning but so few tourists make it there. And if all this is not enough, Palermo has the best pizza on the planet and in Catania they eat ice (granita) for breakfast. Irresistible! Watch this to find out where to start.

Bored by ordinary travel: If you’re looking for adventure go to Peru. We’ve travelled up and down this South American country in pursuit of adventure, culture and food. We haven’t been back since the pandemic but we miss ceviche and Pisco sour. It was here we learned to salsa in Arequipa, how to speak Spanish in Lima and where to watch the condors fly high in the Andean villages. It was the beginning of our love affair with the country. You’re about as far away as you can get from the UK. But where to start? How about here! 

Got the lot: Banksy’s famous murals including the Kissing Coppers, and the stab-vest worn by Stormzy at Glastonbury will be on display for the first time in Scotland…! Eh? Yes, Chalkmarks did report that his exhibition would open London in July but it seemed plans have changed. This exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) called Cut & Run has been officially authorised by the anonymous street artist and opens on Sunday. The London exhibition will follow in the autumn. The Herald had the scoop.

This time last year: Strike out for the summer: travel chaos heats up! Across the cliffs and beaches of Britain the glow of summer shined bright and it was as warm as Jamaica … Chalkmarks visited the famous Unesco-listed Roman spa city of Bath …Train strikes went ahead … It was historic with 40,000 staff walking out from sunrise to sunset, closing half of the UK rail network … Everyone was angry … Eurostar announced it was cancelling trains from St Pancras to Paris because of the UK rail strikes … The UK’s biggest music festival was back at Worthy Farm after being cancelled for two years but no one could get there … The BBC reported the pound had dipped to its lowest level buying just $1.20 … Across the pond, the US finally got the memo and dropped its Covid testing requirements three months after the UK and the rest of Europe … Wales rebranded itself as a destination of adventure, great food, drink and world heritage sites, wanting to get away from the image ‘sheep, wet weather and rugby’. Did it work?

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Happy Father’s Day!

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