Taking the long route to Nepal




Jack's Flight Club ✈️ Travel News & Inspiration

Well howdy there, JFC-ers,

We’ve been spending a lot of time this week (some might say too much) looking at pictures of the glorious Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.

The northeastern Chinese city’s main draw comes in the chilly winter months, when Ice and Snow World opens up with hundreds of sculptures, including castles, towers, slides and more, for visitors to explore. As the biggest winter festival in the world, it’s definitely on our list, though we’ll probably skip the ice swimming competition.

Having often touched on the topic of more sustainable travel in recent months, we were shocked to see that the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, clearly isn’t a Detour reader, having hit the headlines yet again for taking incredibly short domestic flights.

If he did take a few minutes each week to join us, he’d know that all he needs to do to shake the criticism (and the carbon) is invest in Alice, the orca-shaped electric plane. Although she can only hold 9 passengers, she should be capable of flying up to 500 miles on one charge, offering an alternative to flying short haul by private jet. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for news of her first flight, due to take place this spring.

Another thing we’ve had on our minds, is our January sale! Yes, that’s right - we’re offering £10 off our annual Premium membership, meaning you get 12 months of the best flight deals around for only £29. This deal is only good until Monday, so you’ll want to upgrade now to avoid missing out!

Ooh, yes please!

Happy travels and safe landings,



The Long Road To Nepal


Flying Solo

This week, The Guardian shared the story of author Nooraini Mydin, who decided to set out on her own and make some special memories before turning 60. The Trans-Siberian Railway had always been on her bucket list (you’re not alone there, Nooraini!), so after her sister passed away and she found a new drive to chase her dreams, she hit the rails.

Except Vladivostok, the traditional end of the Trans-Siberian route, wasn’t quite far enough; nor was Beijing, the other usual end point. Instead, Nooraini wanted to travel onwards through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand to reach her former home and family in Kuala Lumpur.

She made lots of friends and learnt several lessons along the way, as well as experiencing all the fears and situations that put people off travelling solo in the first place, like loneliness or being conned. Turns out, crossing the world by yourself isn’t just magically perfect if you’re brave enough to do it - but that almost makes it more rewarding in the end.

While Nooraini’s adventure filled her with confidence and left her feeling like she never needed a travel companion again, you don’t have to jump straight on the longest train trip in the world to get the benefits of solo travel.

A few months ago, our colleague Marnae recommended New Zealand as a great place to take your first solo trip. In part that’s because the country really does offer something for everyone, but it also came down to its reassuring safety records.

Of course, New Zealand is pretty far-flung, and most of us can’t just pop over there to test how much we enjoy our own company. So we took to the JFC Facebook Community to hear their top tips for travelling solo, no matter where you go:

  1. Embrace the locals. You don’t need to give away personal information or push yourself if you feel unsafe, but take the opportunity to chat with people in cafés and get their advice on what to see and do.
  2. If you have any special interests or hobbies, look for local meet-ups happening while you’re in town. Parkruns and boardgame cafés are good examples of places you can find no-obligations company for a few hours.
  3. Make sure you have several copies of your passport and multiple cards stored in different places, just in case you lose something.
  4. Enjoy going with the flow and not always following plans. You’re on your own, you can choose where you go and when, and sometimes the best opportunities are unexpected.
  5. Get yourself a self-applicator to help with sun cream and avoid any intensely awkward situations!

Got a request for a Detour topic (a great destination, a type of travel, anything at all? Just let us know and we'll add it to our schedule!)

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Around The States In 50 Editions: Kansas

Each week in 2023, we’ll be going on a whirlwind tour of a different randomly selected US state. This week, we’re heading to Kansas.

The good people of Kansas like to make it easy for visitors to know where to head first, so they put together a list of the state’s top attractions, the somewhat ambitiously titled, "8 Wonders of Kansas."

Some of the spots that made the cut might not immediately jump out as must-sees (the modestly named Big Well Museum is actually home to the world’s largest hand-dug well!) but we reckon the Monument Rocks are well worth the drive out west. There’s nothing like checking out 100 million year-old fossils and marvelling at weird rock formations to make you feel like a kid again.

Much of what makes Kansas… well, Kansas, is its location at the very centre of the contiguous United States. In days gone by, settlers traversing the US would find themselves travelling the prairies by foot or rail, but now these trails offer some of the best opportunities to get out and about in Midwestern nature. If the mushroom-shaped rocks don’t do it for you, maybe the lakeside cliffs or golden hour views over the prairies will.

Of course, life in Kansas wasn’t always so Little House on the Prairie. You’ll find evidence of Wild West shoot-outs and cattle towns all across the state, including re-enactments and ranch stay experiences. You can even lean reeeeal hard into the cowboy theme under the guidance of National Geographic’s 240-mile road trip (3-4 days) from Wichita to Dodge City. Saddle up!

Our Pick Of The Clicks

All the important (or silly, or strange) travel news from across the web this week.

If you thought a trips to sunnier European climes were out the window during Dry January, think again. While the USA topped the list for best teetotal destinations in a recent survey, Turkey came in second, followed by Italy in third. Turns out grapes don’t have to be fermented before consumption, who knew?!

White Lotus fans will no doubt have been left dreaming of a cheeky Sicilian getaway this summer. The good news is that you can now live in luxury like Harper Spiller and Daphne Sullivan by renting out the actual villa featured in season 2. The bad news is, there’s a price tag of over £4,800 per night to match. Ouch.

After a series of testing on certain routes, Japan Airlines has decided to roll out their meal skip option across the board. During booking, customers can now opt to cancel their first main meal on a flight, which the airline claims is so that you can sleep uninterrupted. We reckon it’s more likely to help them avoid waste, but we’re certainly not complaining!

And finally, the debate around pets on planes continues. This week, a couple who found themselves seated behind a dog on an 8-hour flight snitched to cabin crew when the owners kept letting it out of its carry case.

After finding out the sad reason behind the owners’ trip, the couple felt bad and did what anyone in their situation would do - took to reddit to find out if they were the bad guys. Personally, we think they’re barking mad for daring to ask!