In brief: September means deals in Europe
Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.
Amazing things that should happen more often
September looks like the best month to visit Europe this year -- as if we needed an excuse – as hotel room rates in the region are at a five-year low. If you've ever wondered how to travel Europe on a budget, check out the travel blog LandingStanding, which breaks down how a married blogger team spent far less money in Europe than in South America. [ABC News; LandingStanding]
Ready for takeoff
All set to go, but too soon to tell what’s ahead
Royal Caribbean has announced that it will begin offering the “Barbie Premium Experience” on its entire fleet, which means pink staterooms, fashion shows and tea parties. We hope for the parents’ sake, the bars on board are decorated in a different, non-pink theme. [CNNGo]
Protests at the US embassy in Cairo have understandably grabbed headlines, but it’s worth pointing out that the US government has not issued a travel warning for citizens visiting Egypt. Yet as always, before travelling anywhere abroad, make sure you check the international travel advice listed on the US State Department website and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.
Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride
A new survey reveals which countries light up the most cigarettes. While Indonesian men smoke more than anyone else in the world at a rate of 70%, Russia had the highest overall rate at 39% of the adult population. Seeing as Russia is one of the most populous countries in the world, that amounts to quite a lot of smoke. [Time]
Budget airline Ryanair’s CEO is not one to shy away from controversy. Michael O’Leary recently called passengers who do not print out their boarding passes ahead of time and are therefore charged a hefty 60 euro at the airport “stupid” for not doing so. Read the full story here. [Gadling]
A scene from a novel in which a couple lock a bicycle lock on a bridge and toss the key into the water as a symbol of their eternal love has been imitated for years by amorous couples on Rome’s Ponte Milvio bridge (and also on bridges in Paris and other cities). Rome’s city council doesn’t find it cute, though. Officials have been cutting off the locks, claiming the rust is harming the bridge. Those caught adding their lock to the bridge will be fined. [BBC]
It’s a no-go
Models for the fashion brand Hollister could not have acted more crass or culturally insensitive at the opening of the chain’s first outpost in Korea, as locals reported the models were flipping the middle finger, mocking their English pronunciation and being insulting in ways we don’t want to print. [HuffPost]
People try to get a lot through airport security, but a monkey hidden in pants? That has to be a new one. Airport security in New Delhi caught two men trying to smuggle rare monkeys onto an aeroplane, including one stuffed in one man's underwear. [Wall Street Journal]