10 things we didn't know last month
1. Airport parking ripping off families during holiday season
Rip off airports are hitting families with inflated car park fees during the school holidays says the Daily Mail. Heathrow charges up to £4 more a day from July 21 to August 28 and over Easter and Christmas. Stansted's fees are £2 higher from May to September and a ten-minute stop at Leeds Bradford Airport's 'Premium' short-stay car park would cost £39, a fixed daily rate. Source: Daily Mail
2. Tourist in the soup for hiding a crab in his room
A tourist from China has been fined US $300 for hiding a crab in his room safe at a resort in the Maldives. The tourist admitted catching the crab at the beach and was planning to cook it in a rice cooker he brought with him. He had first tried to store the crab in the bathtub but later moved it to the safe after it made repeated attempts to escape, he said.
3. Roaming wasn't 'built' in a day
Travellers have been advised to check the small print of their contract
Mobile phone users have been warned that they could still face hefty bills for using their device abroad, despite a ban on roaming charges within the European Union that came into effect last month. Making calls or using data may continue to cost over the odds in non-EU countries such as Turkey where Vodaphone is the only provider to extend the benefit. Travellers have also been advised to check the small print of their contract for any caps that may be in place on the amount of data that they can use for free in the EU, and also on the many clauses regarding length of time users must spend in the UK to qualify for free roaming.
4. Orient Express to get even more luxurious
The luxury and sophistication of the Venice Simplon-Orient Express has been raised to a new level with the introduction of long-awaited en-suite facilities. Belmond, the company that operates the train, has just announced the addition from next March of three spacious Grand Suites, which will include private bathrooms with showers, as well as double beds and a sizeable living area. The new suites will be in keeping with the original Art Deco motif of the original Orient Express and will include flourishes like embroidered pillows, Venetian-style glass lamps and chic Parisian-style furnishings. But all this added luxury comes at a price - £5,500 per person for one night instead of £2,129.
5. Tusk trio up for top award
Unsung heroes on the front line of conservation in Africa have been hailed in a shortlist for the prestigious Tusk awards. Three finalists, Brighton Kumchedwa from Malawi, Nachamada Geoffrey from Nigeria and Serah Munguti from Kenya, have been selected in the main category of the awards. The Duke of Cambridge, the charity's royal patron, who has spent time in Africa working with the recipients of past commendations, said it was "vital" that their work was recognised.
6. Now it's an attraction of two halves
The hugely popular Inca citadel of Machu Picchu has moved closer to being more sustainable with the announcement that access to the site is being restricted via a new timed ticketing system. From the first of this month, anybody journeying to Peru's best known attraction will need a ticket for either the morning (6 to noon) or the afternoon (midday to 5.30). The ticket price is still £36 although anyone wanting to linger for longer than their allotted session will need to buy a ticket for both time segments. Splitting the day into two halves is an attempt to control the bunching of tourist groups and excessive crowding. All of our tours to Machu Picchu include entrance tickets, so you won't need to navigate through the complicated ticketing website.
7. No need to cry over these Argentina air fares
Argentina - new fares from £299
Buenos Aires is the latest destination to join the list of long-haul cities available to British budget travellers. Low-cost airline Norwegian will offer 13-hour flights from London Gatwick to the Argentina capital from February next year, with prices starting at £299 for a one way ticket. The no-frills airline is now flying to lots of cities worldwide.
8. Face up to having no boarding cards
Boarding passes could be phased out as airlines use facial recognition and fingerprints to identify passengers at the gate. The "One-Identity" project is being run by the Air Transport Association, the trade body that represents 275 airlines, and trailed by Delta in the US. Ultimately, the industry hopes that biometric information will be used throughout a passenger's journey through the airprt, from check in to boarding, reducing queues and hassle.
9. Perfect stay for the nuclear family
The Ukrainian Government has opened a hostel in the uninhabitable Chernobyl exclusion zone. The new accommodation is set in a former Soviet dormitory and about nine miles from the site of the nuclear disaster that destroyed the area in 1986. Visitors are allowed into the exclusion zone that covers 1,000 sq miles in the north of the country, but only if they have been granted permission and only for short periods. The area, within which is the abandoned city of Pripyat, is still deemed highly contaminated with radioactive material, but has become increasingly popular with tourists who take tours from Kiev. Experts say the area will not be fully habitable for 20,000 years.
10. Everest climbers reach a peak
Mount Everest is in danger of becoming dangerously overcrowded, experts have warned, with the world's tallest mountain facing the prospect of "traffic jams" this summer. Concerns are growing over the record number of climbing permits issued with the total number of people ascending the Himalayan peak likely to reach 800. Three years of turmoil on the mountain, including an avalanche in 2014 that killed 16 and the earthquake in 2015 that claimed 19 lives, meant that this year was always likely to be busy, but sherpas and local experts fear that it might be too much for Everest to cope with.