Aug 19, 2016

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Recommended reading: Brilliant books to read around the world...

Recommended reading: Brilliant books to read around the world

Going on holiday? A good book deserves a spot in your suitcase as much as your camera or passport. You might be used to whiling away the hours with the latest best-seller, but for this year’s trip, we want you to pick a book that tells you a bit more about the place you’re visiting. With that in mind, we spoke to book lovers around the world to recommend two titles that have the power to enhance an explorer’s experience of their city. From gripping novels that capture the spirit of the cities in which they’re set to wonderfully told tales from the history vaults, these books will bring your holiday to life. What to read in New York City The best-seller Sweeping the nation by storm a few years ago, ‘The Goldfinch’ (2013) by Donna Tartt is still one of our favourites to recommend. After an accident in an art gallery leaves him orphaned, 13-year-old Theo is taken in by a family friend on Park Avenue. From the wealthy Upper East Side to the seedy art underground, Tartt creates a rich world of city life as the backdrop for a gripping mystery. The philosophical journey If you’ve spent any time in New York, you quickly realise how essential walking is. Whether you’re getting from A to B, or you just want to explore, walking around is the ideal way to experience the city. In ‘Open City’ (2011) by Teju Cole, the narrator wanders the streets while meditating on life in North America and New York, especially in contrast to some of his international travels. Recommended by Colleen Callery from The Strand Bookstore, an independent shop that promises “18 miles of books” at its location on 828 Broadway. What to read in Hong Kong The memoir Martin Booth died in February 2004, shortly after finishing ‘Gweilo’ (2004), the book that would be his epitaph. It’s a beautifully told memoir of a childhood in Hong Kong that glows with infectious curiosity and humour. At seven-years-old, the writer found himself with the whole of Hong Kong at his feet when his father was posted there in the early 1950s. Unrestricted by parental control and blessed with bright, blond hair that signified good luck to the Chinese, he explored hidden corners normally closed to a Gweilo –...

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Aug 19, 2016

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How to deal with a car hire catastrophe

How to deal with a car hire catastrophe

Millions of Brits hire a car abroad every year, and while most trips are relatively hassle-free, sometimes things do go wrong. In those unfortunate circumstances it can be a lot less stressful if you know the best course of action, so if you’re caught in the middle of a car hire catastrophe, don’t panic! Here’s what to do next. Check your policy in advance Sifting through the ins and outs of your car hire policy might not be the dream start to a holiday. But before you employ the classic “I’m sure it will be fine!” technique, consider the headaches you could avoid by giving it a few minutes’ scrutiny. When you arrive to pick up a car, look out for what your rental policy covers you for in the event of an accident. As part of your rental agreement, most reputable companies will include collision damage waiver (CDW), while third-party liability insurance is mandatory across Europe. These two will cover basic damage to your car or another driver’s, but check the small print – things such as windscreens, roofs, wheels etc. are very often not covered. It also pays to ask what the process is in the event of an accident – who you should call and what steps to take. What to do if you’ve had an accident Car accidents are stressful and unpleasant wherever you are in the world – the main thing to remember is to stay calm. Once you and your family are safe, you can start dealing with the vehicle. Much like you would at home with your own car, collect evidence of the incident by taking photos and getting a witness account of what happened. If a third party is involved, you must also make sure you get their details. The language barrier may be a problem, so at the very least get their name and phone number so they can be contacted at a later date. With most suppliers, you will be required to notify them of the accident within 24 hours. Remember though, if you have been in an accident, even if it’s only a minor one, you may still be a little shaken. Take a moment to collect your thoughts before calling the car hire company. Some companies will also require a police letter for damage over a certain amount – more information about what is required should be outlined in...

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Aug 17, 2016

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Last-minute bank holiday deals

Last-minute bank holiday deals

This bank holiday would you like to stay at home, sorting out your life admin and catching up on household chores, or would you prefer a trip away? We think we know the answer already – you plan to use that extra day to swan off somewhere exotic and leave everything else for a rainy day. So, for those of you who choose departure over DIY, we’ve searched TravelSupermarket for some of the hottest deals over this August bank holiday. Summer in...

Aug 16, 2016

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Great ideas for days out this August bank holiday...

Great ideas for days out this August bank holiday

Wondering how to keep yourself busy over the August bank holiday? Tamara Hinson has scoured the country to find the most interesting free and cheap events on offer, from taking a tour of Concorde to getting muddy at the World Bog Snorkelling Championships. Satisfy your need for speed in Cardiff When: August 28 and 29 How much: Free More info: p1superstock.co.uk This bank holiday, Cardiff Bay is set to be the backdrop as it hosts the P1 powerboat and jet-ski championships for the third time, with eleven powerboats...

Aug 15, 2016

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How to do the Costa Brava on a budget...

How to do the Costa Brava on a budget

Most holiday destinations have a standout attraction, whether it’s beautiful beaches, lush countryside or top-notch food. Not many can claim to offer all three, but on Spain’s Costa Brava that’s exactly what you’ll find, with miles of spectacular coastline, crystalline waters, fascinating Medieval villages and superb cuisine all on offer. What’s more, enjoying all this needn’t break the bank – prices here are significantly less than you’d pay elsewhere in Europe and there’s plenty to do on a budget, writes Eddi Fiegel....

Aug 12, 2016

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Should I travel to Egypt?

Should I travel to Egypt?

Travel to parts of Egypt from the UK has been difficult for many months now due to the suspension of direct flights from the UK to the popular Sharm el Sheikh area. The suspension was ordered by the UK government following the crash of a Russian Metro aircraft on October 31, 2015. The plane came down in Egypt’s Sinai region and the crash claimed the lives of all 224 passengers. Since then, UK carriers have suspended flights to and from...

Aug 12, 2016

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What happens to your luggage after check-in?...

What happens to your luggage after check-in?

What happens to luggage after check-in? Packing is often the last thing we do before running out the door for a flight. We take it for granted that our bags will accompany us the whole way and arrive in good shape—but there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes at airports to make sure this happens. At Heathrow alone, 1.5 million metric tonnes of cargo was shipped last year![1] To better understand the ins and...

Aug 11, 2016

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9 things you probably didn’t know about Ibiza...

9 things you probably didn’t know about Ibiza

Mention Ibiza and certain things instantly come to mind: all-night super-club parties and drunken Brits on stag dos, perhaps with a few nice beaches thrown in. But while the clubbing scene is famous for good reason, there’s a lot more to the White Isle than Space, Pacha, Amnesia and hungover breakfasts the morning after before doing it all over again. In fact, considering the size of Ibiza, the island has an extraordinary amount to offer visitors, from breath-taking scenery...

Aug 11, 2016

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How to do Dubai on a budget

How to do Dubai on a budget

Dubai means seven-star hotels, private butlers and caviar facials, right? Well, yes… and no. The Middle Eastern city may have been named the second-priciest destination in last year’s Post Office survey of sunny getaways, but expats based there reveal you can still enjoy the famously over-the-top emirate on a modest budget. Look hard enough and you’ll find a city bursting with amazing ethnic eats, generous happy hours and even a dash of culture, without a sprinkling of gold leaf in sight,...

Aug 10, 2016

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10 of Britain’s best regional foods – and where to try them...

10 of Britain’s best regional foods – and where to try them

Britain has no shortage of weird and wonderful local dishes. But where can you try them in style? From Cornish Yarg to Scottish haggis, Tina Lofthouse rounds up the best places to enjoy 10 of the tastiest regional foods in Britain. Laverbread, Wales Nicknamed Welshman’s caviar, laverbread is seaweed that’s been boiled for hours and minced into a paste. It’s often served for breakfast where the laverbread is mixed with oatmeal, turned into a patty and fried. The Pembrokeshire Beach Company, however,...