Feb 9, 2016

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Tired of Thailand? Try these 9 alternative long-haul destinations instead...

Tired of Thailand? Try these 9 alternative long-haul destinations instead

Are you daydreaming of new horizons? Stick a pin in a map, grab your passport and don’t look back, writes Anita Isalska. If well-trodden favourites like Thailand, Orlando and Sydney don’t rev your travel engine, these nine lesser-known long-haul holidays are sure to inspire. From Canada to Kerala, these destinations have wondrous wildlife, intriguing cuisines and beaches blissfully free from crowds. Tired of Thailand? Venture to the pure shores of Vietnam Bangkok’s temples, Ko Samui’s warm seas, raucous...

Feb 9, 2016

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Winter warmers! Where’s hot right NOW?...

Winter warmers! Where’s hot right NOW?

The mercury has dropped, the thick socks are out and your commute time has almost doubled due to bad weather. All of which can only mean one thing: time for a cheeky winter sun escape. And, although the UK is currently battling with weather warnings, there are plenty of places all over the world enjoying endless sunny days and warm weather. Some sunny spots are a short flight away, while others require more of an investment in time. But, one thing...

Feb 9, 2016

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9 of the world’s most romantic hotel suites...

9 of the world’s most romantic hotel suites

Planning on treating your other half to a break for Valentine’s Day but not sure where to go? Worry no more, writes Tamara Hinson, because we’ve come to the rescue with our guide to the world’s most jaw-droppingly romantic hotels suites. Galaxy Sanctuary, Jade Mountain, St Lucia Price-tag: From £1,837 per night Highlights: Breathtaking views of St Lucia’s Pitons, enormous infinity pool and “wall-less” room design to make the most of the views Forget about rooms with a...

Feb 2, 2016

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Bid goodbye to Benidorm! 10 of the best alternative beach breaks...

Bid goodbye to Benidorm! 10 of the best alternative beach breaks

Drop the sunblock and back away from that beach towel, writes Anita Isalska. It’s time to seek horizons beyond Benidorm, Majorca and the rest of the beach-lover’s A-list, and we’re brimming with ideas for alternative holidays. Golden sands and periwinkle-blue skies are guaranteed, but you’ll find them on unsung Mediterranean isles, the Black Sea coast and even Albania. Bidding goodbye to Benidorm? Make Croatia’s Riviera your next stop With family-friendly beaches, theme parks and spas, as well as...

Feb 2, 2016

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The cheapest five-star city break is…...

The cheapest five-star city break is…

Us Brits love a bargain. Especially when it comes to getting away. In fact, according to recent research by TravelSupermarket, our holiday choices are often motivated by the cheap deals we can find. Of course, getting away for less doesn’t mean you necessarily want to skimp on the little luxuries that make you feel like you’ve escaped the nine-to-five. Quite the opposite. So, if you like the sound of a five-star city break for a three-star price tag, read...

Feb 2, 2016

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Revealed! How to do London with kids

Revealed! How to do London with kids

It’s the UK’s biggest city and boasts some of the country’s most famous landmarks, from Big Ben and Tower Bridge to the London Eye and Buckingham Palace. And although London is crammed with pricey designer shops, high-end eateries and glitzy nightclubs, it’s also home to hundreds of family-friendly restaurants and attractions, writes Fiona Whitty. The biggest problem is where to start. Allow us to help… Where to stay with kids The three designer-led Nadler Hotels are in great...

Feb 1, 2016

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Booking now vs booking late: The great holiday dilemma...

Booking now vs booking late: The great holiday dilemma

The Christmas holidays are a long, distant memory and your New Year’s resolution has already become a tedious ordeal. What could possibly pull you from the rigours of a post-festive slump? Why, booking your big summer 2016 holiday, of course. Whether you are planning a week in the sun, a city break for a long weekend or your main family getaway, you will be deluged with advertising shouting about holiday deals and offers. And, of course, getting organised...

Jan 26, 2016

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Should I travel to Tunisia?

Should I travel to Tunisia?

Updated advice: The current state of emergency in Tunisia has now been extended until February 2016. Please see the FCO site for further information. Following the deadly Tunisian terror attack in the resort of Port El Kantaoui, near Sousse, on June 26, 2015 – as well as the earlier atrocity in Tunis on March 18, 2015 – many holidaymakers will have had their summer holidays cancelled and may be wondering whether they should still travel to this popular sunshine destination in...

Jan 22, 2016

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Should I travel to Egypt?

Should I travel to Egypt?

As a result of a plane crash on October 31, 2015 in Egypt’s Sinai region that claimed the lives of all 224 passengers, the British government has suspended flights to and from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport. The situation left a number of British nationals stranded in Egypt, and, due to the nature of the incident, it may also be causing concern for those scheduled to fly to the popular resort in the coming weeks and months. UK carriers...

Jan 19, 2016

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Where are Brits flocking to this summer?...

Where are Brits flocking to this summer?

The new year might still be in its infancy, but for many Brits it’s already time to start thinking about the long-awaited summer holiday. And with the January holiday sales in full swing, there are plenty of deals up for grabs for super savvy travellers willing to search – those bargains won’t come and find you, you know. So, to help inspire you when planning your summer getaway, we’ve crunched the numbers to find out where Brits are looking to...

Jan 18, 2016

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Bored of Barcelona? Try these alternative city breaks in 2016...

Bored of Barcelona? Try these alternative city breaks in 2016

Look beyond classic city breaks this year, writes Anita Isalska. When you swap a well-known city for somewhere a bit different, you’ll dodge crowds, tap into a new culture and your wallet will purr in contentment. So prise yourself away from Barcelona, Paris and New York – our alternative city breaks are so crammed with culture, gastronomy and nightlife that you won’t look back. Bored of Barcelona? Gorge yourself on Girona’s culture and cuisine For travellers, Barcelona is...

Jan 13, 2016

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Is it safe to go to Turkey?

Is it safe to go to Turkey?

If you’ve read reports about the recent bomb attacks in Turkey, you may be feeling apprehensive about the safety of the country, especially if you are preparing for a holiday there. But, despite the recent terrible explosion in Istanbul on January 12, two explosions in Ankara on October 10, 2015 and trouble in the wider geographical region, the majority of Turkey remains a safe place for holidaymakers. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not changed its stance on Turkey...

Jan 7, 2016

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Happy birthday, Elvis! 8 music-inspired trips to get you all shook up...

Happy birthday, Elvis! 8 music-inspired trips to get you all shook up

Some legends achieve a fame so great that they never really die: Elvis is one of them. And this year, on January 8, the King of Rock and Roll turned the tender age of 81. In true Elvis style, a big party is taking place at Graceland this weekend to celebrate, complete with birthday cake and tours of the Graceland mansion. While a trip to Graceland has to be one of the greatest musical pilgrimages in the world, he’s not the...

Dec 23, 2015

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Where you HAVE to go in 2016

Where you HAVE to go in 2016

I’m counting down the hours to 2016! My enthusiasm around welcoming in a new year is not due to the desire to end a bad 2015, though. Instead, I’m excited about my annual leave entitlement returning to its full quota so I can get planning my next adventure. If you’re itching to get your next break booked too, here we reveal the destinations you should be heading to in 2016 to ensure you have a great getaway (and...

Dec 22, 2015

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Nine of the world’s wildest New Year parties (and how to see 2016 in twice)...

Nine of the world’s wildest New Year parties (and how to see 2016 in twice)

As the last few days of 2015 make way, it’s almost time to cast a wary eye forward to the New Year – but not before one last big blow out. Whether you greet the New Year with “Hau’oli Makahiki Hou” in warm Waikiki, “Gleðilegt nýtt ár” in freezing Reykjavik or “Feliz Ano Novo” on a Rio beach, there’s a party to suit you somewhere around the world. Or possibly two: you could theoretically fly from one of...

Dec 15, 2015

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9 weird and wonderful Christmas dinners from around the world...

9 weird and wonderful Christmas dinners from around the world

For most of us, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a turkey and a mountain of golden roast potatoes. But elsewhere, it’s a slightly different story, writes Tamara Hinson. We’ve got the low-down on some of the more unusual Christmas Day dinners served up around the world. Fried worms anyone? What? KFC Where? Japan Head to Japan for Christmas and it’s highly likely your festive dinner will be prepared by the Colonel. It all started with KFC’s Kurisumasu ni...

Dec 15, 2015

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Got a spare £33,000? Christmas hotel stays with the wow-factor...

Got a spare £33,000? Christmas hotel stays with the wow-factor

For many people, Christmas consists of a family get together, plenty of turkey and an uncle who always has a bit too much Buck’s Fizz. And, if you think it’s indulgent to squeeze in one extra mince pie on Christmas Day, think again! From elephants and private butlers to waking up with an enviable view of the Eiffel Tower, here’s where some the wealthiest travellers will be celebrating Santa’s arrival this year. Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel New York, New...

Dec 15, 2015

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Britain’s best New Year’s Eve celebrations...

Britain’s best New Year’s Eve celebrations

Got no plans for New Year’s Eve yet? Don’t worry! There’s plenty going on across the UK – and you don’t have to pay a fortune to enjoy it. We’ve picked out some of this year’s best best New Year’s events, so look out for celebrations near you and get ready to link arms and start the countdown… London – see the fireworks for free For the last two years, London’s famous New Year’s Eve firework display has been ticketed due...

Dec 8, 2015

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Bah humbug! 8 places to escape Christmas this year...

Bah humbug! 8 places to escape Christmas this year

While some people love nothing more than traditional turkey dinners, Christmas morning Buck’s Fizz and the Queen’s Speech, others simply want to avoid it. If Yuletide mayhem is not your thing, we’ve got the perfect tonic for you: eight places to where you can escape the chaos of Christmas this year. 1. Christmas shopping with a difference: Marrakech A bustling city of souks, markets and unique craft boutiques, Marrakech offers a welcome respite to the tacky fairy lights and irritating Christmas songs you’ll find on...

Dec 8, 2015

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Desperate to escape? Surprisingly cheap last-minute getaways...

Desperate to escape? Surprisingly cheap last-minute getaways

With less than three weeks until Christmas, it’s not too late to book a last-minute getaway ahead of December 25 for some winter sunshine – and a cheeky festive tan. Alternatively, if you fancy escaping the festive frenzy and spending Christmas day itself abroad, there’s still availability. Or, if you love all things Santa-related but know you’ll need a boost in January, there are bargains around in early 2016 too. So, to add some sparkle to your festive...

Dec 7, 2015

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With bells on! Christmas with the wow factor...

With bells on! Christmas with the wow factor

Bored of cold mince pies and tired pieces of tinsel? Then inject some wow factor into your Christmas with a visit to one of these places, writes Tamara Hinson. We’ve got Christmas trees made from sand, beautiful beachside ice rinks and a Christmas-themed chocolate river (in Dubai, of course). Admire the world’s largest Christmas tree made from sand in Florida Meet Sandi, a Christmas tree made from sand in West Palm Beach, Florida. The ultimate sand castle is...

Nov 24, 2015

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Retail therapy! The world’s best shopping destinations...

Retail therapy! The world’s best shopping destinations

Shopping abroad has a glamour that can’t be matched by pounding the pavements of your local high street. In these heavenly shopping hubs, you’ll want to browse and barter your way from gleaming mega-malls and exclusive designers to late-night markets. Because ‘shop until you drop’ is for quitters, writes Anita Isalska. Best for all that glitters: Dubai Record-breaking skyscrapers, palm-shaped resorts and indoor ski slopes make Dubai a playground for the ultra-rich. But the city-state’s smorgasbord of malls and...

Nov 23, 2015

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10 of the UK’s cosiest hotels

10 of the UK’s cosiest hotels

The mercury’s plummeted and we’ve all gone into forced hibernation. So a weekend getaway to one of these unbelievably cosy hotels might be just what the doctor ordered, writes Tamara Hinson.  1. Dial House, Bourton on the Water, the Cotswolds Price: From £76.50 per room per night on a bed and breakfast basis This stunning hotel, which dates back to 1698, can be found in Bourton on the Water, which is widely regarded as one of England’s prettiest villages....

Nov 11, 2015

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Make more of your weekends this autumn...

Make more of your weekends this autumn

The leaves have turned orange, the nights are drawing in and the weather’s getting a bit chilly. Surely, that can only mean one thing: a sneaky autumn break anyone? November to early December is the perfect time to recharge your batteries ahead of Christmas. While other people are frantically shopping for presents, you can swoop in and pick up a great deal out of the peak season. Here are a few weekend options we think you’ll like. No passport required: The Lake...

Nov 10, 2015

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Nine spectacular winter wonderlands

Nine spectacular winter wonderlands

In search of a winter wonderland for some festive frolics? Tamara Hinson has donned her thermals to find the best places to head to when the mercury plummets 1. Yosemite National Park, California, USA Nearest airport: San Francisco International Airport Average flight time from UK: 11 hours Best time to visit: January The best time to check out this beautiful winter wonderland is January, when visitors are few and far between and the entire park is covered with...

Nov 4, 2015

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Why you need to visit Cuba NOW

Why you need to visit Cuba NOW

For years, adventurous American tourists have navigated their way around the US travel ban to get to Cuba’s pristine shores, sample its famous rum and absorb its legendary culture. But, since the back end of last year alone, when Barack Obama and Raul Castro began to extend the diplomatic olive branch, US visitor numbers have started to shoot up and many feel the intriguing island nation will soon change forever. Why go now? We’re not saying that our American cousins are...

Nov 4, 2015

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How to spend two days in Manchester

How to spend two days in Manchester

Manchester is a city that never stays still, and over the last decade the hotel, restaurant and arts scenes have been seriously upping their games. From Batman-themed boutique hotels and original arts festivals to eateries opened by big-name chefs, there’s plenty to grab visitors’ attention in this northern powerhouse. And the capital of the north is enjoying some well-deserved attention from Lonely Planet at the moment after being included in the publication’s round-up of the best places to...

Nov 4, 2015

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Escape the crowds: Alternative holidays to spark your wanderlust...

Escape the crowds: Alternative holidays to spark your wanderlust

Goa’s beaches, New York’s aspirational glitz and Dubai’s wow factor are as alluring as ever. The only problem is, every traveller worth his selfie stick wants to go there. If you don’t fancy queuing for the London Eye or fighting for towel space in Tenerife, broaden your horizons with these destinations: they are less explored but with a similar vibe to the travel A-list. Time to leave your comfort zone, writes Anita Isalska. Weary of London? Lift your...

Nov 2, 2015

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In pictures: 10 airports you’d actually want to get stuck in...

In pictures: 10 airports you’d actually want to get stuck in

Arriving at the airport to find your flight has been delayed can put a real dampener on your holiday. Hours of waiting in soulless airport purgatory stretch ahead as you sit hopefully watching the departures board. But believe it or not, there are airports around the world where you might actually wish you could stay longer. Airport hell? Try these 10 examples of airport heaven (well, OK, close to it) instead. 1. Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain For the superb...

Oct 28, 2015

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Lonely Planet reveals the “best in travel” for 2016...

Lonely Planet reveals the “best in travel” for 2016

Planning your 2016 holiday and have no idea where to start? Well, lucky for you, the good folks at Lonely Planet have already put together their travel picks for next year, with a few familiar faces going up against some more unusual travel destinations. If the list has inspired you to try somewhere new next year, we’ve put together some fast facts to help you make the most of your trip. Transylvania, Romania Far more than Dracula’s old stomping...

Oct 27, 2015

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How to holiday like an X Factor judge...

How to holiday like an X Factor judge

After a heart-stopping weekend of sob stories, lung-busting covers and “this is all I’ve ever wanted” moments, we finally know which acts Simon, Cheryl, Grimmy and Rita will be taking with them to the live X Factor shows. In all honesty though, we were much more interested in the incredible destinations the judges picked for their acts this year; yes, even more impressed than Simon securing the arguably worst member of One Direction to help him make his decision. So,...

Oct 27, 2015

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Revealed! The cheapest airport to fly from in the UK is…...

Revealed! The cheapest airport to fly from in the UK is…

We receive many comments on our blog from northerners complaining that southerners have far more choice when it comes to airports so it’s always cheaper to depart from London. Yet southerners tend to respond that demand is so high in their area that flights are often nearly sold out resulting in higher prices in the end. So, to put an end to the debate, we’ve done some research to find out who actually gets the cheapest airfares in...

Oct 27, 2015

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Lads, ladies and lovers: The best destinations for group holidays...

Lads, ladies and lovers: The best destinations for group holidays

Whether you’re off on holiday with the lads for a long overdue catch up, are heading away on a hen do with the girls or are getting a few couples together for a fun-filled break, there are plenty of places to choose from just a short flight from the UK. Here are our top picks for group breaks, whatever you’re after. The boys Best for alternative nightlife: Berlin Berlin’s nightlife needs no introduction. From sweaty electro-pumping warehouses to authentically quirky...

Oct 26, 2015

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How to spend two days in Barcelona

How to spend two days in Barcelona

No matter what your idea of a perfect holiday holds: sightseeing, sunbathing, shopping or simply sitting on café terraces with a glass of cava and a plate of prawns, Barcelona has everything you could possibly wish for, and quite a bit more. Two days won’t seem like enough, but – for all its attractions – it’s a small city, and you can walk almost anywhere, taking in its unique blend of historical and modern architecture as you go,...

Oct 19, 2015

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How to spend two days in Amsterdam

How to spend two days in Amsterdam

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Amsterdam’? Tulips and canals? Dope and the red-light district? Anne Frank? Or is it Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer? Amsterdam bundles the lot together, writes Rodney Bolt, in centuries-old gabled buildings along a spider’s web of waterways. It is at once historical, laid-back and perkily modern. Behind those historical façades, you’ll find hip bars, cosy cafés, and chic restaurants. Crisscrossing between the grand canals are...

Oct 19, 2015

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The best places for budget winter sun...

The best places for budget winter sun

That’s it. It’s over. Sorry if you missed it but another “great British summer” has been and gone. It’s time for the falling temperatures of autumn and the chilly winds of winter. Don’t panic if you didn’t get a fair share of fair weather this year; all is not lost. The nights might be drawing in at home, but there are still plenty of places, near and far, where the sun continues to shine during the British winter. With...

Oct 12, 2015

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Ski holidays: The guide for absolutely everybody...

Ski holidays: The guide for absolutely everybody

Beginners, budget skiers, families and even those who prefer après-ski to ski… we’ve found a resort for you. By Alf Alderson. For a great break on a budget: Bansko, Bulgaria Bansko features high on many a list of budget ski options and, while the overall skiing experience isn’t generally as slick as resorts in the Alps or Rocky Mountains, it’s improving all the time – in recent years, new lifts have been installed and the resort has plenty of skiing...

Oct 5, 2015

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How to spend two days in London

How to spend two days in London

London is electric; a city of non-stop action and endless activity. A frenetic current runs through its streets 24 hours a day, with an eclectic restaurant scene, fascinating history and exciting cultures new and old constantly charging the generator. With so much going on, you can pack a tremendous amount into a two-day trip, but you’ll need to use the frantic pace of the capital as your ally. No one stands still too long in London, so you’ll want to...

Oct 5, 2015

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Luxe for less: 10 budget UK hotels with the wow factor...

Luxe for less: 10 budget UK hotels with the wow factor

Fancy a night in a posh hotel but don’t want to splash the cash? Love your luxury toiletries, locally-sourced breakfasts and claw-footed bath tubs but don’t want to break the bank? Tamara Hinson has done some digging to find 10 of the UK’s most luxurious hotels with a price tag of £100 or less. Carden Park, Chester, Cheshire Price: From £99 per room per night on a bed and breakfast basis This beautiful 196-room hotel recently underwent a £4...

Sep 28, 2015

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How to spend two days in Paris

How to spend two days in Paris

Paris always leaves you wanting more, writes Mary Novakovich. You could spend a week there and feel as if you’ve only just scratched the surface. So how can you make the most of two days? Some visitors are happy to run around manically ticking off the major sights; others prefer to drink in Paris’s atmosphere and architecture, and linger over lunch. This itinerary offers a bit of both. Day one Morning – Start with a coffee and a...