My fruitless attempts to watch Rugby World Cup final while on holiday in Japan

Rugby World Cup final tickets: my (so far) fruitless attempts to watch England vs South Africa while on holiday in Japan Trying to beat the official website’s algorithm has now become a holiday pastime I am one of the desperate England fans here in Japan trying to hunt down two golden tickets to watch the final. Some fans have booked last-minute flights after the weekend’s semi-final result, changing three times in Russia to get the cheapest air fare. Others planned their holiday in advance, k

How to book a cheap safari holiday in South Africa without paying sky-high prices

Safaris do not come cheap – but if you are looking to see animals in the wild on the lowest budget possible, your best bet is to visit a national park. Kruger National Park in South Africa allows tourists to drive their own vehicles into the parks so they can “self safari” for an entrance fee of 371 ZAR (£17) per person, per day. You can either do a day-trip, or stay in one of the public campsites for as little as 288 Zar (£15) per night for a six-man tent. If you would rather be driven by a

South Africa safari tips: how to guarantee seeing the ‘Big Five’ – including the elusive leopard

It’s six hours since I arrived at Kapama game reserve, and I’ve already seen a leopard. Of all the “Big Five”, the cats are notorious for being the most difficult animals to see in the wild. But here, just metres away, is a tired female leopard enjoying some shade as the sun sets. Our safari guide drives off-road into the bush so we can get a closer look at her. Along with leopards, lions, elephants, buffalo and rhinos make up the Big Five – the animals that pose the biggest danger to humans on

More Brits are choosing to go on holiday alone than ever before

More Brits are going on holiday by themselves than ever before, either because they don’t want to compromise their travel plans or just fancy some time alone to get away from it all. Nearly one in six people (15 per cent) went on holiday alone in the past year, a survey by travel trade organisation Abta found. This is up from 12 per cent in 2017, and six per cent seven years ago. Being able to do whatever they wanted on holiday was the top reason travellers chose to go away by themselves, fol

Hotel Baia in Sardinia offers four star quality for three star prices

After a €15m refurbishment upgrading the hotel from three to four stars, Hotel Baia reopened last year with 77 redecorated rooms, a new swimming pool, two new restaurants and a new bar. Set on Sardinia’s southern coast, Hotel Baia is one of four hotels that make up the Chia Laguna resort, a 50 minute drive from Cagliari airport. If resorts make you think of sterile white buildings, this is the opposite. Chia Laguna has been sensitively designed in neutral shades, built into the green hills of

Take 24 days of holiday in 2018 by only using 14 days of annual leave

If you like beating the system when it comes your holiday allowance, May 2018 is the time to plan your big trip of the year – that is, if your boss is happy with you taking 14 consecutive days of annual leave. If a three week holiday doesn’t irk your senior managers, it is possible to take a 24 day holiday over the two May bank holidays while only taking 14 days of annual leave. The two May bank holidays fall on Monday 7 and Monday 28 May. If you fly before the early May bank holiday on Sat 5

The 20 cheapest destinations for a long-haul holiday

Tokyo has been named the best value destination for travel-lovers looking for a far-flung destination that won’t break the bank once they’re there, The Japanese capital has the lowest prices for 10 tourist staples including the cost of a local lager and the price of a three course evening meal, according to findings from Post Office Travel Money. Once thought to be one of the most expensive destinations for long-haul travellers, strong competition has led to plummeting prices in restaurants, b

Careys Manor hotel: A relaxing spa break two hours from London

Tucked away in the leafy, and very British confines of Brockenhurst in the New Forest, lies a flicker of the East. Careys Manor is a 17th-century former hunting lodge that was owned by Charles II; it is also home to SenSpa, a Thai spa that has come to eclipse the hotel’s regal past. Popular with hens, wedding parties and weekenders seeking a relaxing break, the spa is now the hotel’s main attraction. In addition to the Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and gym, guests can also enjoy a menthol-infused

For your next adventure, choose beautifully unspoilt Costa Rica

As a country that is still opening up to tourism, Costa Rica is beautifully unspoilt. With hot, dry weather in winter, and wildlife wherever you turn, it is a stunning destination for sun-seekers, animal lovers and adventurers. And in 2017, it has never been easier for British tourists to visit. The Costa Rican national motto “pura vida”, literally “pure life”, has attracted backpackers for decades. Used by locals as a greeting to mean “take it easy” or “enjoy life”, the phrase sums up the coun

For guaranteed winter sun, try Ras Al Khaimah in UAE

There are few destinations seven hours away that offer unrivalled sun all year round. Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of them. Relatively unknown compared with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and neighbouring Oman, the emirate is the perfect place to enjoy easy winter sun in a safe environment. With crystal-blue skies and temperatures reaching at least 25°C throughout the year, it is easy to see why RAK is a paradise for sun worshippers. Visitors can lap up 30°C heat in April, M

Hotel Miro: The perfect setting to explore Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum

Located on the doorstep of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, you’d be forgiven for thinking Hotel Miro was named after Spanish painter Joan Miro. Although the artist’s surrealist paintings hang two minutes’ away in Frank Gehry’s magnificent art gallery, the hotel is instead named after Spanish fashion designer Antonio Miro, who designed its 50 rooms. Opened in 2002, five years after the Guggenheim Museum took its place on the banks of Bilbao’s run-down port, Hotel Miro is one of a collection of buil

How to visit stunning Santorini for half the price

For today’s seasoned travellers, staying in rented accommodation booked online is the best way to avoid pricey hotels. But that isn’t the case on the Greek island of Santorini, where savvy home-owners have wised up to the tourism opportunities, and an Airbnb apartment for two will set you back £350 a night. It comes as no surprise that holiday rentals can cost as much as a luxury hotel on this island, given it is regularly voted one of the top 10 in the world on TripAdvisor, and is widely acce

Hotel Totem Madrid is stylish, snazzy - and surprisingly good value

Situated in Salamanca, Madrid’s most stylish neighbourhood, where designer labels and boutique shops line the streets, you might expect the recently opened Totem Madrid to be out of your budget. Fear not: this contemporary hotel may boast black marble en-suite bathrooms and plush, velvet sofas in the bar, but for €145 (£120) for a double room, you should still be able to afford to spend a little in the city’s finest shops nearby. If you would rather see the sights, the famous Reina Sofia and M

Como The Treasury, Perth, Australia - hotel review

Perth is typically thought of as an isolated mining city, but it is beginning to shed its image. In the past five years it has become more cosmopolitan, thanks in part to the development of central arts district Northbridge, which has introduced a number of hip bars and restaurants to the city that could rival those in Melbourne. Given Perth's local wealth and growing sophistication, it is surprising it has taken such a long time for a luxurious hotel to spring up on the Swan River. Enter Como

Nashville country music venue the Grand Ole Opry is still worth visit

I never thought I would be disappointed not to have won a pair of cowboy boots. But as I glance over at the man a few rows away clutching his prize, I catch myself feeling envious. This is what Nashville does to you. It's a place where the sound of twanging guitars is never far away, where country music starlets with bleached hair extensions meet their agents over lunch at the next table, and where cowboy boots are worn without a glimmer of irony. As I stroll along Broadway, the main street dow

We stayed in a Wetherspoon's hotel so you didn't have to

JD Wetherspoon is known for migraine-inducing patterned carpets, calorific cooked breakfasts and old men propping up the bar morning till night  - so the idea of staying in a room above one of its pubs was not exactly enticing. While the thought of rolling out of bed to enjoy a dish from Spoon’s signature “Mexican Monday” menu did sound appealing, it was hard to believe it would be possible to get a good night’s sleep in a double room for only £39 a night. Would I go to bed to the sound of the
Load More Articles