In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
The travel agency of mum & dad
Recession-hit adult children are being forced to holiday with their parents, survey shows.
Happy tidings for parents enjoying a summer holiday with young children: the pleasures of family travel could last for several more years.
If a survey published today is to be believed, millions of young adults are forsaking Club 18-30 holidays for the chance to sip sherry on the veranda with their parents – and let them pick up the bill.
Almost two million parents are expected to take their adult children on holiday with them this year, according to a survey by LV Travel Insurance which found that the average age of a son or daughter joining their parents on holiday is 30.
The firm’s managing director, Selwyn Fernandes, said: “Young adults, and even some middle-aged ones, are trying to save money where they can and holidaying with the parents is becoming a growing trend.”
‘There’s nothing more relaxing’
Sarah English, 30, Liverpool. Travelled with her family to France and New York.
I love going on holiday with my family. I’m close to my parents and my younger brother. We’ve been to France and New York, above, and although we have quite an active schedule when we’re there, there’s nothing more relaxing. As a single homeowner, and having my own business, things can be quite pressured.
A trip with my family means that it’s more financially viable. Although I love going away with my friends, there’s a different pace to our holidays.
Edinburgh Fringe swings into high gear
The serious, anarchic and comedy-strewn Edinburgh Fringe has kicked into high gear this weekend with a record number of shows and performers crowding the Scottish capital and giving a welcome boost to the economy as the city’s population doubles over the month-long festival season.
The usual Fringe buzz was subdued on the Friday opening, but warm sunshine helped bring out the crowds on Saturday and festival organizers are looking for spin-off visits from the London Olympics to boost attendance here. Organizers of the Edinburgh festivals worked closely with London to take advantage of the Olympics, Paralympics and cultural Olympiad there.
The Fringe, the more sedate International Festival of the arts, the Book Festival and the highly popular Royal Military Tattoo combine to produce the world’s biggest annual arts extravaganza founded in 1947 as an antidote to post-war austerity.
The official Fringe programme lists a record 2,695 shows, plus more on the “Free Fringe”, with an influx of nearly 23,000 performers this year. Festivals in Scotland are worth some 250 million pounds to the Scottish economy annually, with the Fringe itself bringing in 140 million pounds to Edinburgh alone.
The Fringe, which runs to August 27, ranges from anarchic comedy and satire, through serious and experimental drama, song, dance, circus and busking on the ancient Royal Mile running from the castle towering over the city centre to the queen’s royal palace of Holyrood.
Among a random selection, Irish singer Sharon Sexton IS Liza Minnelli in a stunning performance of “Somewhere Under The Rainbow – The Liza Minnelli Story”, while Fringe veteran Guy Masterson directs “A Soldier’s Song”, a searing look-back in the true story of a Falklands War veteran.
A new comedy “Coalition” takes a quirky look at British politics with Liberal-Democrat leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg finding his political career taking an unexpected twist.
Wave goodbye to window seats on plane of the future
It’s one of the few upsides of flying cattle-class, but passengers may have to wave goodbye to window seats onboard the planes of the future.
Aviation giants NASA and Boeing have successfully tested a scale model of the new X-48C plane prototype in California.
It’s a radical, windowless, redesign of the traditional “fixed-wing” passenger planes and has a striking resemblance to the ill-fated Concorde.
The hybrid wing plane has been designed to be more fuel efficient as well as fit more passengers onboard, potentially bringing the cost of flying down and airfares along with it, with skyrocketing fuel costs currently the bane of airlines around the world.
Boeing Chief Engineer Normal Princen said fuel efficiency in the aviation industry has increased by around 50 per cent in the last 60 years but in order to keep improving “you have to make a radical shift in the shape of a plane”.
The plane is also designed to offer a quieter trip, with just two engines and the installation of noise-shielding vertical fins.
NASA hopes the design will be universally adopted within the next two decades for military uses and potentially consumer flights.
The X-48C is an evolution of the X-48B, which made 92 flights between 2007 and 2010. It was designed by Boeing and built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd in the UK.
London Fleet Street walking tour
A new theatrical walking tour brings London’s historic print district to life with medieval pioneers, seditious pamphleteers and the first newspaper moguls – and with the chance to throw rotten tomatoes at a pilloried hack, what’s not to like?
Recounting a visit to London‘s Fleet Street in the 1700s, the Scottish lawyer, diarist and author James Boswell wrote that the assault on his senses had left him “agreeably confused”. Standing directly above the subterranean river Fleet in the central reservation on Farringdon Street, I think I know how he felt …
I’m on the inaugural “immersive tour” of Fleet Street entitled Hawkers, Harlots and Hacks. The tour is the brainchild of the young, affable Dr Matt Green. Together with a small troupe of historians, musicians and actors he aims to reinvigorate the city tour as we know it.
We find Green in Stationers’ Hall Court, a small courtyard just off Ludgate Hill. He is holding a musical triangle and an iPad. A crowd of about 20 have gathered on the cobbles. “You are about to discover how printing was transformed from a medieval mystery into a mind-moulding instrument of mass-communication,” he proclaims theatrically.
He dings his triangle and a bald man in period dress emerges from the basement steps of Stationers’ Hall. Wynkyn der Worde is the first of many historical caricatures we encounter over the next couple of hours. The apprentice of William Caxton (the first Englishman to print books in London), Wynkyn inherited the business in 1495. “I am going to make a torrent of ink run through ze streets of London,” he declares holding a fresh, slippery octopus in one hand and his script in the other. “I will drown out all ignorance … I will be ze father of Fleet Street!”