Aug 28, 2015

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In pictures: the world’s most colourful cities...

In pictures: the world’s most colourful cities

Urban areas aren’t just murky skies and vast expanses of grey concrete, writes Tamara Hinson. Spectacular graffiti, daring architecture and ancient traditions have all helped to create some seriously colourful cities, so don your sunglasses and check out our favourites. Bristol, UK In Bristol’s harbourside district of Hotwells, the multicoloured houses stand out, while in Stokes Croft, the graffiti-covered walls do the talking. Earlier this year, the Clifton Suspension Bridge was illuminated in brilliant green to mark the...

Aug 26, 2015

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How to book hotels for less

How to book hotels for less

If you’re looking to book hotels for short breaks, work or even just a night out with friends, it’s always worth considering how you can cut the cost of your stay. Follow my top tips and bag a bed for less. 1. Do your research Finding the right hotel takes up the majority of my time when I’m booking a trip. It’s important to get it right so I use a good guide book or website to locate the...

Aug 24, 2015

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Is there a north/south holiday divide?...

Is there a north/south holiday divide?

The north/south divide has created hundreds upon ‘undreds of stereotypes, jokes and rivalries – some real, some imagined, and some just made up in the name of good old banter. It’s grim up north, but everything’s a rip off down south; those southern fairies don’t know how to pour a proper pint, whereas them northern monkeys are obsessed with slathering gravy on every meal, from breakfast to tea (that’s your evening meal, by the way); and it’s always raining...

Aug 24, 2015

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Can’t travel light? Which airline has the best checked-in luggage allowance?...

Can’t travel light? Which airline has the best checked-in luggage allowance?

Low-cost airlines have brought with them the trend of travelling with one piece of hand luggage only, packed to the gunnels. The aim? To avoid paying for checked-in luggage. And travellers have employed increasingly ingenious ways of carrying more on board – although we don’t recommend the antics of boy band member James McElvar. He was the guy who wore 12 layers of clothing recently in an attempt to avoid paying £45 for baggage on an easyJet flight...

Aug 24, 2015

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

12 ideas for days out this August bank holiday

Wondering what to do over the coming bank holiday weekend? Whether you fancy learning how to waggle dance or you’re keen to discover how chocolate shaped one of England’s oldest cities, these fantastic days out are sure to keep boredom at bay, writes Tamara Hinson. 1. Best for shaking your tail feather: Africarnival, Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, London Price: free Get your groove on at this free urban festival, which takes place on August 30. Visitors can expect a...

Aug 18, 2015

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10 top holiday bugbears

10 top holiday bugbears

As we hit the beach in our millions this summer, we like to think it will all be smiles, relaxed times and fun for everyone. But holidays are just like life: they have their annoying bits, too. Oddly enough, studies have been conducted into those annoying bits, showing precisely what we find most irritating about travel. So, we’ve compiled the results of various surveys, thrown in a few anecdotes and distilled the rants of the best travelled types at...

Aug 17, 2015

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How to do the Greek islands on a budget...

How to do the Greek islands on a budget

Greece has thousands of islands. Some, like tiny Kastellorizo, are no more than dots on the map while Crete, the biggest, is more than 150 miles long. In between, there’s something to please everyone and fit most budgets. Summer and clear blue water are Greece’s big crowd-pleasers, along with relics of lost civilisations such as Knossos on Crete, medieval fortresses such as Rhodes’ Old Town, and dazzlingly pretty villages on isles like Santorini and Mykonos. And, of course,...

Aug 17, 2015

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Should I go to Greece this summer?

Should I go to Greece this summer?

Planning to travel to Greece this summer? You might still be questioning the destination as the choice of your holiday after months of news around Greek bailouts, demonstrations in Athens, talks of a “Grexit” (or Greece leaving the euro) and, more recently, news of migrants landing on islands such as Kos and Lesbos as they flee from countries including Syria. But is this all a media storm? What’s it really like at the moment in the ever-popular resorts spread across...

Aug 11, 2015

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Why I’m now a holiday park convert

Why I’m now a holiday park convert

When you’re on holiday with a toddler, the simple things in life suddenly become more important:  sleep, stress-free meal times, and activities that put a smile on everyone’s face. And that’s why, for the first time in my adult life, I decided that a holiday park was the place for our family summer holiday. We’d never been on a campsite with our one-year-old before, so I was slightly nervous – but here’s why I’d recommend it. We enjoyed...

Aug 11, 2015

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How to do Cyprus on a budget

How to do Cyprus on a budget

The sunny European island of Cyprus has a well-earned reputation for hot summers and winter warmth. Temperatures can top 35C in July and August and rarely go below 15C, even in January and December – at sea level at least. But it’s a different story in the Troodos Mountains. Rising to almost 2,000 metres above sea level, their highest slopes are snowy from January to March. You’ll even find cheap skiing on the slopes of Mount Olympus, Cyprus’...

Aug 10, 2015

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How to make a successful travel insurance claim...

How to make a successful travel insurance claim

With the summer holiday season in full swing, no-one wants to dampen high spirits by thinking about something going wrong. That’s why we buy travel insurance: to protect us and give us a sense of security in our holiday plans. But, even if you try to cover all eventualities, a claim could still be rejected with common reasons including not actually being covered for the item you are claiming for, taking part in activities that aren’t included in the...

Aug 10, 2015

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From Blackpool to hidden Huisinis: Britain’s best beaches...

From Blackpool to hidden Huisinis: Britain’s best beaches

Not managed to get away yet this summer? The good news is you don’t have to board a plane to dig your toes into golden sand or paddle in the sea. From cheery hotels to holiday parks, Britain has a great range of coastal accommodation. Or you could visit our sandy gems on a day trip if you live within striking distance by rail or car. Our round-up of the best British beaches includes the cream of the...

Aug 4, 2015

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Romance on the road: Britain’s most beautiful road trips...

Romance on the road: Britain’s most beautiful road trips

All out of ideas for your next romantic break? Keep it simple and hit the road. You see, the UK is jam-packed with epic scenery that just oozes passion and romance, so why not explore it with the one you love? Jump in the car, stick on your song and discover a beautiful part of Britain you never knew existed. Here are a few ideas to get you going. Like a young Marlon Brando: Cheddar Gorge Length: 15...

Aug 4, 2015

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Revealed! How to travel in style in economy class...

Revealed! How to travel in style in economy class

Many of us hanker to get on a plane and turn left into business class, but until we win the National Lottery jackpot, economy class is where we end up. But don’t despair! While long-haul flights in economy class are no one’s idea of fun, with a few hacks you can turn them into more pleasurable experiences. No, you might not lie flat, but here we give you the inside track on how you can have a meal...

Aug 4, 2015

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The best destination in the UK for a football break is…...

The best destination in the UK for a football break is…

After what feels like an age without football, the beautiful game will soon be back in our lives – so listen closely for a collective sigh of relief from all over the UK. Yes, this week, the Premier League finally returns and our weekends will once again have a sense of purpose; sweet, over-paid, heart-breaking purpose. So, in preparation for the season ahead, and in celebration of Bournemouth’s promotion, we’ve taken four Premier League teams and entered them into...

Jul 30, 2015

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Edinburgh Festival survival guide: 10 ultimate insider tips...

Edinburgh Festival survival guide: 10 ultimate insider tips

There’s only one place in the world to be in August, and that’s Edinburgh. Home to the world’s largest arts festival, the city’s population doubles as people flock to experience comedy, theatre, dance and almost every other type of performance imaginable, writes Owen O’Leary. The Edinburgh Festival actually comprises six events taking place in the city this month. The daddy of these is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Aug 7-31), an anarchic, sprawling celebration of the arts that takes...

Jul 28, 2015

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9 of the world’s best places to visit before the masses...

9 of the world’s best places to visit before the masses

True Arabian Nights adventures, alpine valleys lost in time and the epicentre of Balkan boogie. Read our guide to the elite of off-the-beaten-track escapes – and then get there before word gets out. 1. Best for travelling back in time: Albania Why go now? The secret’s out and hotels are going up in some of the prettiest spots. It may be more than 30 years since the Albanians got rid of their dictator Enver Hoxha but they still haven’t...

Jul 28, 2015

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How to do the Algarve on a budget

How to do the Algarve on a budget

With its idyllic beaches, dramatic coastline and endless leisure opportunities, it’s no surprise that the Algarve has become one of the most popular holiday hot spots in Europe. Since it first came to prominence in the 1960s, Portugal’s most southern region has gone from strength to strength by offering something different for all kinds of holidaymaker; and while it may be famous for stunning golf courses, there’s much more to this place than 18 holes in the sun....

Jul 28, 2015

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The top 10 free and cheap days out with the kids this summer...

The top 10 free and cheap days out with the kids this summer

It can be difficult to keep the kids entertained over the long summer holidays – not to mention expensive if you’re not careful. But there are plenty of very cheap and even free events happening all over the UK throughout July and August. Catherine Cooper rounds up some of the best. 1. Play in the park If the sun’s out, take a ball, kite or a frisbee and head for your nearest outdoor space. If you’re near South...

Jul 21, 2015

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How to do Marbella on a budget

How to do Marbella on a budget

As one of Europe’s best known holiday spots, Marbella needs no introduction. Since the European aristocracy discovered the resort back in the 1960s, its appeal as a luxury destination and celebrity hotspot has drawn millions of tourists every year. But Marbella isn’t just about the high life. Against the backdrop of luxury hotels, mega mansions and glamourous visitors, this is a destination with plenty to offer everyone. Take the climate – it’s pleasant almost always, with a guaranteed...

Jul 21, 2015

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Sunburn and teabags: Do you holiday like a Brit?...

Sunburn and teabags: Do you holiday like a Brit?

Getting away from it all – it’s a phrase we Brits can’t seem to fully apply when on holiday. “Try a cup of authentic Argentine, mate?” “No thanks, I’ve brought a supply of Yorkshire Tea from home.” “Breakfast like the locals for the ultimate dining experience?” “Actually, that cafe on the corner does an amazing full English.” “What about this weather; 30C and not a cloud in the sky!” “But have you heard, it’s raining back home?” According to...

Jul 21, 2015

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Nine ways to make the most of the August bank holiday...

Nine ways to make the most of the August bank holiday

Not got plans for the August bank holiday yet (August 31)? This year, you’re spoilt for choice, thanks to recently launched flight routes, some fantastic new restaurants and a rather unusual music festival. Which means the only problem will be working out how to cram everything in, writes Tamara Hinson. 1. World Bog Snorkelling Championship, Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales Marathons and triathlons are overrated! The World Bog Snorkelling Championship, which takes place on August 30, is ideal for fitness...

Jul 14, 2015

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We’re all going on a summer holiday! The top last-minute deals...

We’re all going on a summer holiday! The top last-minute deals

With summer in full swing and schools starting to break up, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all holidays are booked up already. But fear not! We’ve rounded up some late summer deals for families and couples who want to get away before the August bank holiday. Get your sunglasses and sun-cream at the ready! 1. Majorca from £376pp This firm favourite with holidaymakers is just over two hours from the UK. Choose between cute little sandy coves or...

Jul 14, 2015

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Should I travel to Tunisia?

Should I travel to Tunisia?

Following the deadly Tunisian terror attack in the resort of Port El Kantaoui, near Sousse, on June 26 – as well as the earlier atrocity in Tunis on March 18 – many holidaymakers will be nervously wondering whether they should still travel to this popular sunshine destination. Current Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice warns against all but essential travel to Tunisia, and travel operators are evacuating their guests out of the country (Thomas Cook, for example, has already safely...

Jul 8, 2015

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Save up to £1,250 on your summer holiday extras...

Save up to £1,250 on your summer holiday extras

With schools breaking up across the country, many families will be eagerly anticipating their summer holiday. But, without a spot of planning, the cost of a getaway can easily escalate when you’ve added on all of your essential extras – such as car hire, airport parking and travel money. However, if you get organised you can make huge savings on these extras – meaning you have more to spend while on the holiday itself. Here’s how to save....

Jul 6, 2015

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How to stay cool in the city this summer...

How to stay cool in the city this summer

Ibiza? Amsterdam? Where am I? Who says you need the seaside to enjoy a beach? When we call these cities in Europe and beyond “cool”, we’re being quite literal. Their pop-up beaches, lidos and pools rival a boring old coastal spot for a bit of relief from the sun. (Prices are per day unless otherwise stated.) Amsterdam: Blijburg manmade beach You could be forgiven for thinking you’re in Ibiza on this oh-so-cool beach on a man-made island 10...

Jul 6, 2015

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13 travel faux pas that Brits STILL keep getting wrong...

13 travel faux pas that Brits STILL keep getting wrong

How to get in trouble abroad? Make the A-OK sign while blowing your nose and yabbering about sport. Yep, seems virtually no aspect of our holiday behaviour isn’t open to funny or ruinous misinterpretation. Comprende? Er… comprendo? 1) Talk to the hands Hands: what would you do without ‘em, eh? You can even use them to signal just about anything if spoken language won’t do. Trick is those “signal failures” when your innocent hand gesture means something entirely...

Jul 6, 2015

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Nine suprisingly cheap destinations near you...

Nine suprisingly cheap destinations near you

With the summer holiday season gearing up, many of us will be scouring the internet in hope of snapping up a last-minute deal. But don’t think bargain has to mean boring. We’ve dug up some exotic, sunny and downright adventurous destinations with flight costs and everyday holiday expenses so low you might spend more if you stayed in the UK. And none of these exciting spots is more than a civilised flying distance from Britain. Marrakech – magic on...

Jun 29, 2015

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Lighthouses, a Roman gold mine and a groovy 70s pad: 11 amazing National Trust properties...

Lighthouses, a Roman gold mine and a groovy 70s pad: 11 amazing National Trust properties

The National Trust – you know, fusty old buildings and gift shops? Well, if you think that, you’re in for a surprise. Summer is a great time to get out and explore the fascinating variety of properties belonging to Britain’s biggest landowner – from a Roman gold mine, to literary genius Virginia Woolf’s former home, to the cutest little cottage… in Birmingham city centre. 1. Best for… lovers of the handmade Patterson’s Spade Mill, County Antrim, Northern Ireland What, you...

Jun 29, 2015

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Nine of Great Britain’s greatest B&Bs...

Nine of Great Britain’s greatest B&Bs

Fancy a cosy base for a relaxing weekend away? These bed and breakfasts tick all the comfort boxes but each one offers something special, too – be it a private terrace, a spectacular location or some seriously posh nosh. Penbontbren, Cardigan Bay, Wales If you thought B&Bs were all about cramped rooms and cold porridge, here’s a shining example of how this classic British accommodation style has upped its game. The former farm has five spacious suites –...

Jun 29, 2015

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7 ways to save on your holiday this summer...

7 ways to save on your holiday this summer

Hmmm, Wimbledon’s begun, Glastonbury’s just gone and it’s feeling decidedly toasty. It must (at last!) be summer. Now the big question is where to chase that lovely sun for your holiday without melting your credit card in the process. The seasonal holiday sales are tempting us with sizzling deals, but they’re not the only way to save money. As well as great suggestions for where to go and what to do on holiday this summer, here are some clever...

Jun 23, 2015

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How to do Majorca on a budget

How to do Majorca on a budget

Do you and your partner, or each member of your family, have your own ideas about what a summer holiday should involve? That’s not a problem in Majorca, where options include never-ending beaches and tiny coves, cycling in the mountains and walking around coastal paths, or golf by the sea and chic shopping in Palma. And a trip to this beautiful Balearic Island doesn’t need to cost a fortune, writes Annie Bennett. Where to stay on a budget...

Jun 23, 2015

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Anyone for tennis? Eight great sporting getaways...

Anyone for tennis? Eight great sporting getaways

Is the prospect of watching the best players in the world tearing up the beautifully groomed Wimbledon courts motivating you to pick up a racquet yourself? Or is the warmer weather inspiring you to head to the golf course or get out on your bike? Weekends and evenings are all very well, but the best time to commit to really upping your game is on holiday. So why not swap the sun-lounger for a tennis court or a...

Jun 23, 2015

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If luxe could kill! Seven of the world’s most expensive hotel suites...

If luxe could kill! Seven of the world’s most expensive hotel suites

So you think it’s indulgent to crack open the mini-bar? Think again. For the world’s wealthiest jetsetters, true opulence means commanding butlers, snoozing on rotating beds and enjoying exclusive access to jaw-dislocating views – ideally with a frescoed dome or Volkswagen-sized chandelier along the way. Welcome to some of the world’s most expensive hotel suites, writes Anita Isalska. Two-storey Sky Villa at Palms Resort, Las Vegas, USA Price tag per night: $35,000 at weekends (around £22,000); $20,000 midweek...

Jun 18, 2015

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How to be a savvy solo traveller

How to be a savvy solo traveller

Mulling a little adventure for one? Ironically enough, you wouldn’t be alone. The growth of singles-oriented tours, books on the subject and the general decline in pairing for life all point to a rise in solo travel – for women and men. And there are ways to make single travel an unforgettable experience of personal enrichment and wonder… and then there’s the solo trip you stumble home from feeling a little lonely and bruised. Let’s plump for that...

Jun 17, 2015

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The 11 worldwide music festivals you need to be at in 2015...

The 11 worldwide music festivals you need to be at in 2015

With Glastonbury set to open its gates next week, music festivals are front of mind. And if you weren’t one of the lucky 135,000 people who snapped up a ticket in the 25 minutes it took to sell out this year, don’t fear, we’ve rounded up this year’s hottest events around the world. Whether you’re after big bands and a great tan or a wonderland site full of topiary and wild-roaming peacocks, get your wellies at the ready,...

Jun 16, 2015

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How to do Tenerife on a budget

How to do Tenerife on a budget

The UK weather is unpredictable, so boarding a flight and arriving just over four hours later in sub-tropical sunshine and endless blue skies is hard to beat. Easy to get to, familiar and safe, Tenerife is a guaranteed blast of summer and its palm-lined beaches are within reach of even the smallest wallet, writes Andrea Montgomery. Where to stay on a budget In the upmarket resort of Costa Adeje, prices rise as high as the temperature but opt...

Jun 9, 2015

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Revealed! This summer’s top family destinations...

Revealed! This summer’s top family destinations

Are you planning your summer family holiday? Want some help? We’ve crunched the numbers to reveal the nine family-favourites our customers are searching for, with some suggestions of places to stay and things to do while you’re there, writes Catherine Cooper. 1. Tenerife Approximate flight time: Four and a half hours With almost year-round sunshine and sandy beaches, Tenerife is a long-standing hit with families. Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje are the main resorts for plenty...

Jun 9, 2015

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11 things you probably didn’t know about holiday parks...

11 things you probably didn’t know about holiday parks

Think holiday villages are all about cramped caravans, cabaret shows and freezing cold shower blocks? Think again! Thanks to a £32 million makeover, Butlins Minehead resort has more in common with a luxury hotel, and here are some others which are a world away from the holiday villages of yesteryear, writes Tamara Hinson. 1. They don’t all look the same Butlins Minehead, Somerset, UK Our favourite part of the Butlins Minehead £32 million makeover? The rainbow-hued chalets, which...

Jun 9, 2015

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Avoid driving licence confusion when hiring a car...

Avoid driving licence confusion when hiring a car

New rules came into force on June 8 as the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) abolished the paper counterparts to our driving licences. And this change may affect how you rent a car so, to help you avoid any confusion when travelling this summer, here’s what you need to know. What’s changed? On June 8 the DVLA scrapped paper licences. It will no longer issue or update the paper licence counterpart for everything from motoring offences to what types of vehicle...