Sep 5, 2016

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Beyond Cancún: Great resorts in Mexico

Beyond Cancún: Great resorts in Mexico

Cancún – the colourful east coast resort which has put Mexico on the holiday map – is easy for Brits to reach and awash in tropical-themed party palaces. But go a little further afield and you’ll discover lesser-known resorts with fewer skyscrapers and more charm on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, or consider flying to the west coast to discover the more mature Pacific resorts which have been drawing fans for more than 50 years, writes Anthea Gerrie. Compare cheap holidays to Mexico Playa del Carmen The ideal resort, Playa del Carmen is walkable, buzzy and strangely European in feel, thanks to the mainly Italian ex-pats who have set up restaurants cooking the authentic cuisine of home. As with St. Tropez, the beach – just OK compared with the neighbouring sands of the Riviera Maya – is not the thing so much as posing and perusing the chic shops of the main drag, Quinta Avenida. Day trippers can cause overcrowding when the cruise ships are in, but the town just keeps growing to accommodate extra visitors, making Playa an upmarket rival to Cancún as an entertainment centre for singles and couples. Cozumel This island off the coast of Playa del Carmen is a long-established holiday playground and a renowned diving and snorkelling centre. But above the waves it can get busy when the tourist life around San Miguel, the main centre, buzzes a little too loudly. Luckily, there are many forms of escape from jungle trails to secluded lagoons, tropical botanical gardens to their underwater equivalent, reachable by submarine as well as snorkel. Only 6% of Cozumel has been developed, and there’s plenty for families to enjoy. Compare cheap flights to Mexico Isla Mujeres The original laid-back alternative to Cozumel, Isla Mujeres remains surprisingly rustic and unspoiled, with spectacular beaches turned pink by crushed coral making an idyllic picture postcard against the calm, almost unbelievably turquoise ocean. Avoid the pier area which attracts day-trippers, many clutching snorkels to take advantage of the crystal-clear waters, and stay over a night or three to enjoy the relaxed dining and nightlife scene at better prices than the mainland. This is principally a couples’ resort with its romantic vibe. Tulum Once a spectacular Mayan city, this coastal archaeological site has been beautifully integrated with its surroundings, the ruins connected to the beach and sea gardens...

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Aug 30, 2016

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How to make a successful travel insurance claim

How to make a successful travel insurance claim

In the wake of Lowcostholidays’ recent collapse, the importance of protecting your holiday has never been more relevant. Although holidays are supposed to be happy and memorable times, on occasion things can go wrong. That’s why we buy insurance; to cover us when events are taken out of our control. However, 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 policy or insufficient evidence for your claim, such as missing receipts. So, to help keep things simple and to take the pain out of travel insurance claims, make sure you follow the checklist outlined below. Step one: Buy the right policy The key to making a successful claim is to buy the right policy in the first place. It can be tempting to buy the cheapest policy you can find without any real reference to either the depth or breadth of cover on offer. But the problem with this approach is that, should the worst happen, you may find you don’t have the cover you expected and therefore can’t make a claim for items from cancellation to curtailment, personal baggage, travel delay, and even the cost of replacing lost passports. Individual needs vary and there are a range of products on the market. However, when comparing travel insurance products we recommend that you look for cover of at least: £2 million for medical expenses £1 million for personal liability £3,000 for cancellation – or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday £1,500 for baggage £250 for cash A policy excesses of less than £100 (as low as possible) Cover for scheduled airline failure and end supplier failure as desirable Delay cover (eg £20 per hour for the first 12 hours) A 24-hour helpline number. Top tip Policies covering the above won’t be the cheapest – but they will give you a good level of cover as a starting point and could pay dividends should you have to make a claim. Step two: Read the policy small print Now you have found a policy that works for you, it’s important to read the small print. This will detail the responsibilities you have a as a traveller...

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Aug 30, 2016

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9 European beach spots for late summer sun...

9 European beach spots for late summer sun

With the crowds retreating and the weather still warm in destinations around the Mediterranean and beyond, September is a great time to fly away for a relaxing beach break, writes Clare Walsh. We’ve picked out nine of the best beach resorts in Europe where temperatures remain high enough for you to laze about comfortably on the sand – while everyone back home starts wrapping up. Tenerife, Spain Average September Temperature: 23°C With temperatures still sizzling well into September, Tenerife makes an ideal getaway....

Aug 25, 2016

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Secret France: How to escape the tourist trail...

Secret France: How to escape the tourist trail

Start counting the reasons why France is the world’s most visited country and you very quickly lose track, writes Mary Novakovich. Its popularity is obvious – the beaches, the food, the landscapes, the culture, the mountains, the sheer joie de vivre of life in France. But learning these French secrets will steer you away from the tourist trail and help you reveal some of the country’s lesser-known experiences. Compare cheap holidays in France Walk along Paris’s Promenade Plantée New York...

Aug 23, 2016

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City break deals for under £99pp

City break deals for under £99pp

Which city are you most keen to tick off the list? Prague, Berlin and Madrid are just three of the top-notch destinations that are currently coming in at under £99 per person for two nights, including flights, proving that September is a cracking time to explore somewhere exciting. As well as those we’ve picked out below, there are loads of similar deals to be had in Europe’s other top destinations, so have a search yourself and you could be discovering a...

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...

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...

Aug 19, 2016

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Secret Italy: How to escape the tourist trail...

Secret Italy: How to escape the tourist trail

Italy’s mix of world-class cities, heavenly landscapes and superb cuisine is irresistible, writes Mary Novakovich. But you don’t have to follow the well-worn tourist trail to have an unforgettable holiday. These Italian secrets – from hidden beaches to home cooking – will make you fall under Italy’s spell and discover lesser-known sides to this marvellous country. Compare cheap holidays in Italy Head south to Calabria’s beaches While Puglia hogs the spotlight, rugged Calabria is the unsung beauty of...

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...