British thumbs up for foreign delicacies

A recent survey has shown that the majority of Brits (97 per cent) questioned are likely to be more adventurous with their food when on holiday than when at home in the UK.

The research from Viking River Cruises also found that three out of four Brits (77 per cent) try to recreate their favourite foreign dishes when they return to the UK.

With more Brits heading further afield than ever before, holidaymakers are now giving weird and wonderful delicacies a go; the most popular dishes Brits tried for the first time include snails (six per cent) and frogs (five per cent). The survey also unearthed the more unusual items eaten by Brits abroad included sheep’s brain, cherry soup and one person admitted to eating bees whilst on holiday.

Whilst ostrich, birds nest soup and even guinea pig aren’t unlikely to make the menu, Britain’s ‘Come Dine with Me’ culture means that we’re trying to impress friends with our culinary creations more than ever before, taking inspiration from our travels.

Respondents also identified food markets as a must-visit on their trips away, as food lovers take inspiration from the likes of Rick Stein and The Hairy Bikers to pick up ideas to take back home.

The top five foods that we are most likely to taste for the first time when on holiday are:

  1. Snails
  2. Frogs legs
  3. Crocodile
  4. Kangaroo
  5. Snake

Cabin and flight deck crews’ travel secrets revealed

If you’re looking for the next up-and-coming destination, the best beach to top up your tan or the hottest high street for hitting the shops, who better to ask than someone who travels the world for a living?

That’s exactly what Jet2.com did when it polled its 940 cabin crew members and pilots to ask them to reveal their top travel tips.

The airline’s crew members have built up a wealth of knowledge on the best places to visit and the airline has tapped into this to share with customers its top travel hotspots.

Ian Doubtfire, managing director of Jet2.com, said: “It’s always interesting to hear where those in the know go! We thought it would be good to find out some insider information from our aircraft-based staff on where they love to visit when they have some time off. So if you have ever wondered where cabin crew go on holiday, their secrets are finally revealed!”

The best destination for beautiful beaches

Providing a great service to customers and flying aircraft is no mean feat, so like all of us, air crew need a well earned rest somewhere warm and sunny. When it comes to perfect sandy beaches and gorgeous blue sea, Spanish resorts bagged the top three spots, with Majorca receiving the most nominations.

1. Majorca – especially the resorts of Pollensa, Cala D’Or and Palma.

2. Malaga – from the black sand of Playa de la Malagueta, to the quieter beaches a short drive up the Costa del Sol.

3. Tenerife – with white, golden or black sand beaches, it was felt there was something for all.

4. Croatia – from the spectacular Golden Horn, to the long sandy Nin’s Lagoon.

5. The Algarve – with over 100 miles of spectacular beaches, varying from the surfing heaven of Praia da Arrifana to the secluded Praia da Marinha.

The best city break

It seems old favourites really can’t be beaten, with cabin crew preferring to visit cities which combine history, shopping, culture and great hospitality. The city with a beach, Barcelona, was the clear favourite with capital cities – Rome and Paris – neck and neck for the second spot, the fourth favourite was the popular city of Prague and the fifth favourite was the stunning city of Venice.

The best locations for retail therapy

If you’re planning on hitting the high street for a spot of serious shopping, then Jet2.com’s cabin crew know the best destinations for picking up bargains or splashing the cash.

1. New York – from Bloomingdales and Macy’s to Fifth Avenue there’s great shopping at stateside prices.

2. Turkey – open air markets, chic boutiques and Turkish bazaars, whether you’re a haggler or high end fashionista, you can shop to your heart’s content.

3. Milan – the home of Armani and Versace, Milan is a must-visit city for lovers of designer labels.

4. Nice – the place in France to see and be seen, with the shops to match!

5. Estepona – this small Spanish town on the Costa del Sol came out high in the rankings, with cabin crew recommending leather goods and the great market.

Dream destination

Even though they spend all their working life in the air, cabin crew still dream of spending their spare time getting on a long flight to some of the world’s most exotic destinations. The top tipped aspirational escapes were: the Maldives, Australia, the Caribbean (Barbados), USA and Canada and Hong Kong. Jet2.com’s flights from northern airports to Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona offer the opportunity to connect for a long haul flight to destinations across the globe.

Thongs voted 2010 top holiday fashion faux pas

Beach thongs have been named the top modern holiday fashion faux pas of 2010 beating off stiff competition from summer horrors, including bum bags, mesh tops and ankle socks with heels.

To find the fashion monstrosities that should be banned from your travels this year, Heathrow commissioned TV presenter and fashion journalist Louise Roe to create a definitive list of modern holiday fashion faux pas to face a public vote.

One in five Brits (20 per cent) voted beach thongs as the top item that’s less runway and more run-away this summer with celebrities such as Britney Spears and film character Borat putting them on the scare list. 

Ankle socks with heels, the modern twist on the socks and sandals combo, were second in the ditch list (19 per cent) and, despite designer Marc Jacobs turning the bum bag into this season’s fashion must-have, the 1980s functional throwback took third place (17 per cent).

Crocs, which have proved to be as controversial as they are comfortable, came fourth (ten per cent) just ahead of mesh tops, as modelled by Amy Winehouse, in fifth place (nine per cent).

The top ten 2010 British holiday fashion faux pas are:

1. Beach thongs (20%)
2. Ankle socks and heels (19%)
3. Bum bags (17%)
4. Crocs (10%)
5. Mesh tops (9%)
6. Oversize logo or slogan T-shirts (6%)
7. Neon (4%)
8. Micro mini shorts (3%)
9. Mismatched bikinis (2%)
10. Cut out dresses (1%)

* Other = 9%

According to the research, more than half of Brits (55 per cent) have spent over £100 on new clothes and beauty buys for their holiday, with one in 20 (5 per cent) forking out more than a whopping £350.  A quarter of Brits (27 per cent) have dressed smartly for their flight in the hope that they might be upgraded despite more than half (50 per cent) of those polled saying they always choose comfort over style for their holiday attire.

TV presenter and fashion writer Louise Roe comments: “As the top ten goes to show, there are plenty of trends that may dazzle on the catwalk, but sadly just don’t translate so well into real life. 

“The secret to looking and feeling great on your summer holiday is to keep it simple.  Make sure you pack clothes that work together not against each other and can be dressed up or down – think pared down glamour.  A non-crease dress on a bright colour is a must.  Boho chic is big on the catwalks this year so a long, printed maxi dress is ideal. Safari is also a huge trend and can easily be made to work for nights out by adding a belt to cinch in your waist or with a piece of statement jewellery such as a cocktail ring or chunky bangle. ”

Malcolm Robertson, Director of Communications, Heathrow said:  “Planning your holiday wardrobe can be a real headache and one that sends panic into even the most seasoned traveller.  We hope Louise’s top tips will not only address passengers’ packing dilemmas but leave them feeling inspired about their holiday purchases. It’s never too late to bag a holiday bargain, Heathrow offers a range of fashion brands at airport prices and if your suitcase is already brimming, passengers can use our Shop and Collect service which allows travellers to pick up airport purchases on the return journey.”

Gender Divide

One in five men (21 per cent) identified bum bags as the worst holiday fashion faux pas, beating beach thongs into second place with 16 per cent. Women ensured beach thongs took top spot overall with almost a quarter (23 per cent) identifying them as the worst offender.

More than a quarter of men (27 per cent) have never spent more than £50 on new clothes and beauty buys for a holiday, while women spend up to £150.28 on average.

More men (30 per cent) than women (25 per cent) always dress smartly for the plane on the off-chance that they get upgraded.

Regional Variation

Results for the worst holiday fashion faux pas was far from uniform across the country. Beach thongs were the least popular in Aberystwyth where half the respondents (50 per cent) voted them the worst, but in Wolverhampton they only came joint fourth (11 per cent).

The biggest spenders on their holiday fashion were from Gloucester where respondents say they’ve spent up to £242.13 on average.