Where to travel in 2024: From France and Spain to Australia and the US!
Chalkmarks: Bruges, Belgium, September 2022

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 20th October 2023

THIS week in the Serengeti… lol, we weren’t really there. We just always wanted to say that! It’s better than saying hello from miserable London. What’s new this week? Good question. This week we are back drinking red wine. It’s the change in season. We don’t want any more drinks that are orange, cold – or served with ice. Did you know it was 5C on Monday? How did that happen? We’ve set our clocks, and if everything goes to plan it’ll be warm again in five-to-six-months time – give or take! Until then we will embrace the great indoors. We’ll put on our hotel slippers, pretend we have room service, and open some vin du France. Chin chin. Back in Tanzania, those giraffes are a nightmare to keep up with. Keep scrolling, this week’s travel headlines are in. 

Going further!

Good news: When it comes to travel in 2024, we’re all going to spend the same amount of time away again as we did this year. For most of us, holidays will be our priority, ahead of redecorating our homes, going out to eat or buying clothes, according to a poll of 2,000 by market research firm Censuswide. And where do we want to go? Spain and France came out on top and for long-distance trips it’s the US and Australia. MailOnline has the full report.

National treasures: If you’re looking for a day out this autumn here is a top 20 UK bucket list to keep you busy. According to a poll of yet another 2,000 mysterious people, Loch Ness, way up near Inverness, is the number one place everyone wants to go to, but has never been. Second on the list, commissioned by train company LNER, is the Scottish Highlands, followed by the Eden Project in Cornwall, then the Lake District and Edinburgh Castle. Sadly Chalkmarks has yet to visit any of these, but we’re coming for you. We loch you Nessie! The Daily Record has the full list of castles, palaces and coastlines.

Air pain: Airline bosses were speaking at the government’s transport select committee this week to get to the bottom of what happened when the National Air Traffic Service sparked out during the August Bank Holiday. Here Chalkmarks reported on the chaos. They also want the millions of pounds back they spent on food and hotel rooms for the thousands of passengers on the 1,600 affected flights. On Wednesday Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary gave his verdict saying: “You lot (Nats) not just collapsed the main system, you collapsed your backup system, and all your engineers were sitting at home watching morning television instead of being where they’re supposed to be.” He went on: “We wrote to Martin Rolfe, the vastly overpaid and incompetent chief executive of UK Nats, asking for reimbursement of our £15 million in right to care expenses, and we get a reply saying ‘it’s not in our remit’. You don’t need a remit to do the right thing.” On the issue of reimbursement Mr Rolfe told the committee, the computer says no. Here it is in the Daily Mail

Welcome to Heathrow: As John Holland-Kaye stood down as Heathrow’s boss on Wednesday after almost 10 years at the helm, Thomas Woldbye stepped up. The former boss at Copenhagen Airport said: “I’m looking for how we can make Heathrow even better for our customers and the British economy. It’s humbling to have the opportunity to take on the challenge and I’m excited to get started.” Here it is on London Live.

Meanwhile the boss of AirAsia was errrr: Tony Fernandes posted a picture of himself in a meeting with his top off, getting a massage. Did you see this? The Guardian reported he wrote it had been a “stressful week”, adding, “got to love Indonesia and AirAsia culture that I can have a massage and do a management meeting.” He got it in the neck from everyone. He was criticised for being “unprofessional” and “inappropriate”. A few comments were a bit more fruity. Best not post-it, we say.

The King is in London: Not Charles, Elvis! From today (Friday, 20th October) fans who haven’t had the chance to visit Graceland in Memphis have been saved. Hundreds of the singer’s clothes and belongings have been shipped over from the US for an exhibition at the Arches London Bridge to showcase his legacy. The ticket price for one adult is £31.65. That’ll leave you all shook you up! Here’s more in the Evening Standard.

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!

Next step: The land of rainbows and sacred mountains aka Peru could be setting its sights on promoting itself as a cradle of civilisation much like Egypt. And why not? Around 5,000 years ago, the Caral are believed to be the first civilisation in the whole Americas. They lived in what is now northern Peru. Then there was the Chimú and the Moche, who lived around the same time the Romans ruled Europe. Chalkmarks has written about their impressive sandcastles that have stood out on the Peruvian desert beaches for more than a millennia. And then the Incas, who lived around 500 years ago high in the Andes. That empire ended when the Spanish conquerors arrived in the 1530s. At the World Travel Market in London next month, its tourism board will be shouting: there’s more to Peru than Machu Picchu! And that was the headline in the New York Times. The second message is that more infrastructure is coming, with an airport in Cusco due to open in 2025. The greatest barrier to visiting Peru is that everything is a trek, into the middle of nowhere including the favourites Rainbow Mountain, El Misti, and the popular Incan ruins. Don’t even get us started on the Nasca Lines or visiting the Amazon. The next time we go, we’re heading to Huascarán National Park. It’s the world’s highest tropical mountain range. Plus we’re going to be booking a table at Central in Lima which was voted the No1 restaurant on the planet earlier this year. Is there anything this country doesn’t have? Short answer: No!

Sunny march: For those who enjoy long country walks, you’ll be pleased to hear the UK is getting a new National Park – it’s 16th. A huge site in Wales – from the peaks of Snowdonia (Eryri) down to the shores of Lake Vyrnwy in Powys – has been earmarked as the new site. Here’s a first look at the “draft map” under consideration in Wales Online

This time last year: Winter sun… where to warm up without spending pounds on energy bills The PMs just kept coming… It was three last year… On a rainy afternoon Liz Truss quit as Prime Minister, after 44 days in the job… Twitter blew up… The Daily Star announced the lettuce had won and Ryanair offered Liz a ticket to anywhere… They even gave her Priority boarding… Since the temperature had taken a tumble and the rain started to pour in the UK, many were thinking of breaking out… The secret to keeping warm was to head somewhere hot… Which? the travel consumer magazine put out a list of destinations for last-minute breaks in November… Their picks were Gran Canaria, Spain, Cyprus, Dubai, Florida, Mauritius and Thailand… Readers of Conde Nast Traveller voted for their best cities in the world 2022… From the top, the winners were Mumbai, India in tenth place, Cape Town, South Africa, Québec City, Canada, Mérida, Mexico, Tokyo, Japan, San Sebastián, Spain, Bangkok, Thailand, Victoria, Canada, Singapore and finally San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, took to the No1 spot… The pound rose after the mini-Budget… And Bond Street station, the latest station on the new Elizabeth Line aka Crossrail in London opened and the reviews were Double-0 heaven.

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