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Holidays and sustainable travel: this week on Which? Conversation

Here’s what’s happening on Which? Conversation and around Which.co.uk for the week of 9 August 2021.

Anyone out there?  With starting to get into the peak summer holidays, and especially with the fanfare of the Olympics quieting down now, it certainly feels a lot quieter this week. That being said, still lots to look forward to on Which? Conversation and around the rest of Which?.  

Vehicle tax scams and mortgage questions

In case you missed it, please do check out our discussion with Stephen and Ian last week on cladding, mortgages, and other housing issues. Always good to have the chance to ask questions about what can be a very complicated subject.

Last Wednesday we posted a warning about a phishing email asking you to renew your vehicle tax. We often get asked what the value is in inviting discussion on these topics. There’s two key reasons for this:

  • The comments give a sense of how active a scam may be in the current moment (the scam reporting tool helps as well), and
  • We have a greater opportunity to direct people to help and advice they may need if they have been scammed.

Equally though, there’s a bit of filtering one needs to do when reading through these comments. We’re happy to hear the strength of feeling you have about these scams as well, but as always, please do keep it within the Community Guidelines.

When is a holiday essential?

With last week’s changing traffic lights and dropping of quarantine restrictions, it appears it may be easier to once again take a holiday abroad.

Is it easy enough that you’re willing to take the risk and book flights, or are you taking a more cautious approach to your holidays this year?

Are you planning to travel during the summer now that restrictions have eased?

No (53%, 813 Votes)

Yes - only within the UK though (33%, 514 Votes)

Yes - travelling abroad (14%, 220 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,547

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If you are thinking of booking a holiday anywhere (including within the UK), it’s worth having a look at our 42 tour operators to book with, or make use of our Holiday Checker tool to compare in more detail.

More on sustainable travel and your carbon footprint

If you’ve been enjoying the Which? Investigates podcast, check out their special end of season episode, giving you the chance to hear more of the big conversations from season one, including whether a trip abroad can truly be sustainable.

The podcast returns in the autumn, so plenty of time to catch up if you’re just joining us now.

Coming up this week

We’ll be taking a break from live events this week in the run up to Customer Service week next week, so plenty of time to get your question in for Hannah and the Consumer Rights Team.

Some stories we’ll be watching with interest:

Over to you – what’s happeneing where you are?

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Her’s = Here’s and happeneing = happening would be my opening pedantic contribution .

I was struck (not literally) by the Highland Spring Water problem. They call it a recall, but it isn’t – just told throw the bottle and contents away. That still seems to leave an explosive hazard for the waste collectors. And, they give the batch dates to check; these seem to be in small print on the bottom edge of the bottle so you will have to handle it and get up close to check, which seems a very hazardous thing to do. And how do you get refunded? Perhaps anyone with any bottle of this fizzy water should put it in a stout polythene bag and hit it with a sledge hammer? Any other tips?

This does remind me of a gripe about recalls. We have seen problems with electrical appliances that render them potentially dangerous to use – Whirlpool, for example. And yet there has been no attempt to institute a system that enables a (to all intents and purposes) “full recall” where it is necessary to directly contact every owner. Time this was addressed; proposals have been made here. At present, only those who register their appliance (recommended) or read and take notice of anything publicised will be helped.

This all pales into insignificance against the latest climate change report which, in effect, will tell us we are all doomed. It will take, I believe, hundreds of years to restore the planet if all countries take action now. The chances of that seem more remote than Pluto. So maybe we should just start one long party and enjoy ourselves until either the champagne runs out or armageddon joins in.

Have a nice week.