Our columnist Grumpy Group Organiser has his say on airlines banning Christmas crackers, sustainable holidays and funding to spruce up seaside towns. 

Christmas Crackers

Some airlines have put a complete ban on bringing Christmas crackers on flights. 

Cracking down or cracking up?

You know when you check-in for a flight and you get asked if you have anything in your luggage from that poster full of items that scream danger and criminality? Have you ever seen Christmas crackers alongside the images of guns, needles and bleach? No, neither have I. Nor have I ever really considered going anywhere at Christmas and packing crackers. I don’t need any help telling a bad joke and looking a prat.

However, I appreciate that the beloved Christmas cracker is as much an essential festive tradition as tinsel, mulled wine, stockings and presents. So don’t get caught out as some airlines are ‘cracking down’ and banning them altogether. Thanks to Airport Parking and Hotels, there’s a handy guide (isn’t there always?) comparing the airline and airport rules for flying with Christmas crackers this year. You can now navigate which airline has no limit (Air New Zealand), which has a two box limit (BA and easyJet), and which has banned them (including Ryanair… it had to be). Get the low-down at aph.com/christmascrackers should this all be a major concern!

Levelling up to boost seaside towns

A pot of money will see more than 50 “overlooked” towns given £20 million each to help spruce up their town centres, what they offer tourists and deal with anti-social behaviour. A number of factors were taken into consideration by the Government, as part of its ‘Levelling Up’ agenda. As I studied the list of places I couldn’t help notice some iconic seaside resorts, such as Scarborough, Torquay, Great Yarmouth and Skegness.

Scarborough, Yorkshire

Scarborough is one of the seaside towns to receive funding to help improve its offer for tourists.

As a child I had such happy memories at many British resorts; playing in the sand, enjoying an ice-cream, wandering around the shops in awe as I spied exciting things I wanted so badly but did not need (as my father kept telling me). More investment is needed to bring some of our seaside gems back to their best and to create a really compelling proposition for groups. My lot love being by the coast; the sea air can be invigorating and the fish and chips always taste better, as long as the sea gulls don’t snatch them. It got easier and cheaper to fly to Spain and other more ‘exotic’ destinations that promised better weather. Some of our seaside towns have suffered over the past few decades. I hope they get the support they need.

We’re green and we never knew it

A survey of over 2,000 holidaymakers has explored the types of sustainable holidays we’re now more inclined to consider. Making reference to ‘future holiday trends’, I am pleased to say my group is already ahead of the game. Top of the list were walking and hiking holidays, with more than a third (35%) of respondents saying they would be more open to these now.

Walking group

Fancy taking your group on a walking holiday?

This was particularly the case among those who tended to take their holidays in the UK (40%) and among the most eco-minded respondents (47%) - those who consider sustainability a cornerstone of their holiday planning. My group has enjoyed walking holidays for years… we never considered we were eco-friendly. The survey, by InsureandGo, claims that three in four Brits are now more likely to consider a sustainable holiday compared to a decade ago, with the ‘trend’ apparently led by younger holidaymakers. Well, we’re not trendy and we’re not young, but if we can have fun while looking after planet Earth then all the better.