Editor's newsletter: Travel is best when it takes you off the beaten track

Introducing our new travel section, delving into Labour's campaign strategy and dissecting the best TV...

Are you dreaming of your next getaway? (Image: Adobe Stock)Are you dreaming of your next getaway? (Image: Adobe Stock)
Are you dreaming of your next getaway? (Image: Adobe Stock)

With the temperatures starting to rise gently this weekend, thoughts are starting to turn to summer getaways and that sense of escapism we all get at this time of year - whether it’s a day trip to the seaside or something more far-flung.

So I’d like to hand over to Katrina Conaglen, who has taken on a new role as NationalWorld’s first dedicated Travel Editor. I asked her to sum up her thoughts and plans for how we’ll be doing travel journalism a little differently…

What to expect from our new travel section

“Travelling has always, for me, been one of life’s purest pleasures. The opportunity to divest yourself of the familiar, discover the world to be bigger and more startling than you realised, experience another country’s culture and mores and in doing so becoming new to yourself. I adore it.

“Travel can also be overwhelming, tiring, sometimes scary - there’s often a healthy dollop of rough to go with the smooth when you’re adventuring. Rather than excise those experiences from our coverage, we want to shine a light on them: from the frivolous, like communication breakdowns when ordering, to the unfortunate, such as negotiating sexual harassment when travelling on your own. Personally, the times trips have gone figuratively off-piste are even more memorable than those occasions when it’s all smooth sailing. We’ll be writing up first person accounts of both - the glories and the ignominies of sojourning.

“Of course, wanderlust and a desire to feed one’s curiosity comes at a cost - both a literal one, and to the environment. To the first part: we’re aiming to ensure our coverage is inclusive of reasonably priced hotels and restaurants, rather than city guides that assume you can afford to live in the lap of luxury. From affordable city break recommendations to the right neighbourhoods to find an Airbnb in, how to have a great time without remortgaging your home is our aim.

“As to the issue of the impact travel has on the environment; it would be disingenuous to pretend we’re not going to feature locations that require air travel. But we will be featuring alternative modes of travel, too, to try and encourage conscientious, sustainable travel. There will be pieces on ‘slow travel’, great rail routes, UK-based holidays, and more. We want to encourage you to journey - but wherever possible, thoughtfully."

You can read her introduction in full here. Where do you dream of travelling to next, and what would you like to see us cover? You can get in touch with Katie directly: [email protected].

Meanwhile in Labour land…

Politics has been typically quiet over the Easter recess, with the notable exception of Labour’s attack ads, which claimed that Rishi Sunak doesn’t think child sex offenders should go to prison. It was was backed up by the message: “Under the Tories, 4,500 adults convicted of sexually assaulting children under 16 served no prison time.”

We set our data team the task of fact-checking this claim. Surprise, surprise, they found it to be misleading.

However, as Dominic Cummings proved during the Brexit campaign, the dividing line between facts and outright lies rarely matters in the cut and thrust of political campaigning. But what about the shift to a more aggressive strategy from Labour? I spoke to two experts on political rhetoric and the Labour Party, and the consensus was that we shouldn’t really be too surprised to see the gloves come off.

📺 I prattled on about Succession in my last newsletter, but a quick word for Alex Moreland’s excellent review of this week’s much talked-about episode - and you can hear a lot more TV-based discussion on this week’s episode of our Screen Babble podcast, which also covers Obsession on Netflix, the new Super Mario movie and a throwback to Designated Survivor.

📧 You can write to me with feedback on this or any of our stories at [email protected] or find me on Twitter @nickmitchell.

Have a great weekend - and in case you missed it, here’s our new weekly quiz.

This is an abridged version of our NationalWorld Today newsletter - you can sign up for free to read the full version.