Retail therapy! The world’s best shopping destinations
With the frenzy of Black Friday fast approaching, we've drawn up a list of destinations all shopaholics should have on their radar.
How to book a New Year break on a budget
Fancy celebrating the start of 2016 on foreign soil but not booked yet? We reveal how to plan a big knees up without spending a small fortune.
10 of the UK’s cosiest hotels
Forget about winter, snuggle up to someone special in one of these incredibley cosy UK hotels.
Retail therapy! The world’s best shopping destinations...1
How to book a New Year break on a budget...2
10 of the UK’s cosiest hotels...3
We scrimp and save all year for a big holiday, so that last thing we want is to get fleeced on avoidable costs when we get there. And, even though you’re set for a couple of night’s relaxation, don’t let your holiday good mood cloud your judgement. To help you stay ahead of the game, familiarise yourself with some common hotel rip-offs. Rip-off #1: Mini-bar madness We all love a bit of a splurge on holiday, but there are some areas where the purse strings should remain tightly drawn – mini bars are one of them. Notoriously overpriced, that tempting little fridge in your hotel room is a big bill waiting to happen. Earlier this year, it was reported that a box of chocolates from the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel in California would set you back a wince-inducing £57. OK, so not all mini bars will be this ridiculous, but you get the point. And the best way to avoid this expense-laden ploy? Simple – leave it shut and buy a bottle of water from the local shop. Rip-off #2: Over-the-top wi-fi fees Wi-fi is a strange one. It seems to divide the hotel world. Some offer it for free; some charge extortionate rates for it. It really just depends on where you are staying. Hilton, for example, offers it for free to loyalty club members when they book a stay directly with them, but if you aren’t a member you could be looking at a costly fee. So, if internet access is an essential for you, check the hotel’s policy before you book. Alternatively, you could go without the internet. You’ll survive, we promise. If this is out of the question, check if it’s free in the hotel’s public areas or a cafe or bar nearby. You can then get all of your browsing, Tweeting and email checking out of the way for the price of a drink. Rip-off #3: The hotel laundry service If you’re going away for so long that you need to wash your clothes, the hotel laundry service can be tempting. It can also be a complete rip-off. Our very own travel expert, Bob Atkinson, once paid £5 to wash his smalls in Argentina, and he rues the decision to this day. Hotels can charge anywhere from around 10 euros upwards for a load of laundry, whereas you’re always likely to find a cheaper...Read More
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 spirits in Liverpool ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life,’ sniffed diarist Samuel Johnson. Perhaps the old chap hadn’t spent much time north of the capital. Friendly Liverpool has culture without crowds, and dining and nightlife free from the heavy price tag. Start with a Magical Mystery Tour of sights linked to Liverpool’s most famous sons, The Beatles, and a ferry across the Mersey. Admire brooding Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, the world’s longest cathedral at 189m, before visiting the spiky Metropolitan – the city’s ‘spare cathedral’, according to locals. Centuries as a trading port have gifted Liverpool with an array of cuisines, including standout Greek and Nepalese (try Da Mount Gurkha, 71 Crosby Road North). Once you’re drinking by the docks (and getting change from a fiver for that pint), you won’t miss Thames-side nightlife one bit. Compare hotels in Liverpool Tired of Tenerife? Sail away to untouched Cape Verde Looking to break your Tenerife addiction on a less-explored volcanic isle? Cape Verde, off northwest Africa’s coast, is a dazzling archipelago with beaches untouched by mass tourism. Beyond its glittering shores, this former Portuguese territory is a dream for wildlife watchers. Santiago, the largest of Cape Verde’s 10 islands, has dozens of bird species, 12 endemic species of lizard and bats galore. Adrenaline junkies can dive among 16th-century shipwrecks in the presence of loggerhead turtles and moray eels. Finally, prepare to stretch your bikini elastic on Cape Verde’s fusion of European and African flavours, with braised meats, fish stews and cachupa, a slow-cooked medley of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green bananas and bacon. Compare flights to Cape Verde Don’t fancy Dubai? Mix art and adventure in Abu Dhabi Dubai’s decadent architecture and desert ski slopes leave you either awed or baffled. Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ capital, makes a fine alternative. Stroll...Read More