What to see and where to go in 2024 – if flight prices don’t soar!
Chalkmarks: Leaves, London, England, UK

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 27th October 2023

DRUM roll please: Chalkmarks is so happy this week! Our picture of Banksy’s mural of a migrant girl holding a flare, on a building by the side of the canal in Venice, has been used in the well-respected The Art Newspaper. It illustrated the story that the faded graffiti is set to be restored. Here it is. #smallwins! Air kiss to all! And check out more of our pix from Venice here. Now, let us return to this week’s travel headlines.

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See you in Europe: If we want to keep going across to the continent in 2025 it’s going to cost £6. The EU’s post-Brexit visa scheme for British travellers was due to be rolled out next year but it’s been put back to spring 2025. It was supposed to start in 2021 but they keep delaying it for some reason. But in 2025 we will have to apply for a €7/ £6 visa known as ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), which will work similar to the US waiver. It’s expected to be valid in our passports for three years. Everyone’s travel friend Simon Calder has the details.

The price we pay: Thought airfares were high? Just wait until you hear they are going up again. Sky News reported that the Civil Aviation Authority has increased the amount airlines have to pay for better air traffic control from £47 to £64. Yes, even after they had to fork out millions when the National Air Traffic Service sparked out during the August Bank Holiday. Here Chalkmarks reported on the chaos. The increase will mean around £2.08 per passenger. The airline trade body, Airline UK, said the hike was ‘“another kick in the teeth for passengers” who will “inevitably end up footing the bill of millions of pounds for increases”.

Pin this: Get your coat we’re off to Bude! Yes, everyone’s talking about the supermarket plastic tunnel in Cornwall, which has become one of the most reviewed attractions on Tripadvisor, and the top attraction in the seaside town, over its beaches and castle. Because of the silliness Tripadvisor suspended comments… but it lifted that ban this week. Here are a few reviews, just from this week, about the Perspex walkway next to Sainsbury’s. “A MUST for all to visit whilst in Bude,” says one. “A jewel in the crown of Bude – of Cornwall, even,” writes another. “Better than Alton Towers,” someone says. This is not a trick. Here’s the story on Cornwall Live.

Bookmark this: Make space in your calendar for a trip to the US in 2024 as JetBlue will be flying new routes from Dublin and Edinburgh to New York and Boston starting in March. Trade mag TTG has more. What a treat.

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!

Rolling and riding: The world’s coolest water sport in the world’s coldest waters – way up in the Arctic Circle. There are six of us at the Unstad Camping surf school in the Lofoten Islands, northern Norway. It might not be the place to sunbathe but Unstad Beach on Vestvågøy island offers some of the best waves in the world. While it’s easy to think that a trip into these Polar isles would be blisteringly cold given that they lie further north than Iceland and parts of Alaska, it is actually warmer than you’d think because of the Gulf Stream that sweeps across the Atlantic Ocean. This means there’s are no polar bears or sea ice. The average winter temperature is around the same as in Britain while in the summer it has been known to hit 30C. The landscape is stunning with needle peaked granite mountains covered in fresh snow and paradise-white beaches that provide the perfect playground for outdoor-types. Watch us go

Expert help: What if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? It’s a tough one… well, thanks to Lonely Planet they narrowed it down for us to 50. On Wednesday they put out their 50 Best in Travel destinations for 2024. They broke it down into five categories: countries, regions, cities, sustainable and value. Here’s the full list. Two were in Britain.

Where the UK leads: Caithness and Sutherland in the tippy-top far north of Scotland made it on to the must-see 10 regions list alongside Tuscany in Italy, Donegal in Ireland, Montana in the US and southern Thailand. They said: “2024 will hopefully mean new recognition for this region, as it aims to achieve Unesco World Heritage status. Now is the perfect time to make a trip to the far north of Scotland, exploring both its unsung boggy interior and a coastline of heartbreaking beauty.”

Next: Then Wales’s Trails took 4th spot on the sustainable must-visit list for 2024. Lonely Planet says the “rail revamp – one of the world’s first countries to legislate for sustainability – will expand the planet-friendly possibilities of exploring the nation’s wild, wonderful west. You can get around fairly easily without a car: out-of-the-way Pembrokeshire National Park is pretty accessible and set to become more so. New train stations and increased services are being planned for South Wales’s main rail line in early 2025″.

This time last year: UK currency rallies: What the rising pound means for our holidays! Ex-ex-PM Boris Johnson was staying at the high-end resort Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic where celebs Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, the Kardashians and US politicians Bill and Hillary Clinton also go… The best part of this week was the pound rising… It was a month ago that the pound fell to $1.03 – a record low… Since Rishi Sunak took the reins at No 10 so the markets settled… For now the pound rose to $1.16 and €1.15… Heathrow announced it would lift its 100,000 passenger cap after three months… The idea was to end the long queues, lost baggage and last minute delays… Brazil, the US, Peru, Japan, and the UAE still had Covid travel restrictions… Travel by train became more popular than planes between the capitals of London and Edinburgh… Scotland’s Hogmanay party was back after a two-year pandemic hiatus with the Pet Shop Boys headlining… Happy 2023… Dance like everyone is watching. 

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