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Climate campaigners condemn ‘joy flights’ for travellers who miss flying

Rise in scenic round-trips by air in Australia and Asia is ‘insanity,’ say environmentalists

Environmental campaigners have condemned the rise of scenic “joy flights” aimed at passengers “missing the excitement of travel”.

Tickets for a seven-hour round trip from Sydney with Qantas sold out within 10 minutes, making it one of the airline’s fastest selling flights ever. Seat prices on the 10 October flight range from A$787 (£607) economy to $3,787 for business class.

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Wikipedia edits have massive impact on tourism, say economists

Adding a few paragraphs and photos can boost revenue by £100,000 for small cities

Forget glossy travel brochures and whizzy online sites; one of the most cost-effective ways tourism chiefs can drive business to their towns or cities is by updating their Wikipedia page.

An experiment by economists at the Collegio Carlo Alberto in Turin, Italy, and ZEW in Mannheim, Germany, found that a few simple edits to a Wikipedia page could lead to an extra £100,000 a year in tourism revenue for a small city, underscoring the power of the free online encyclopaedia.

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Holiday firms quit Abta – leaving thousands fighting for refunds

On the Beach and Love Holidays’ split from travel agents’ association angers customers trying to get money back for cancelled holidays

Two of the UK’s largest online travel agents, On the Beach and Love Holidays, have left the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta), following disputes over customer refunds.

The move means thousands of customers who had complained to Abta no longer have access to support through its arbitration scheme.

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10 memorable UK wildlife discoveries: readers’ tips

Raptors, beavers, and a daisy chain of weasels … our readers share their most memorable wildlife encounters of this indelible summer

Our daily lockdown walk took us along Exeter’s urban flood defence channel, where a pair of great crested grebes have kept the whole family entertained. Starting with amazing mating dances in March, nest building throughout April and then two broods of chicks throughout the summer months. The narrow, manmade channel with clear waters allows views of the grebes diving under water, catching a range of fish, as well as hungry black and white striped chicks, riding on their parent’s backs.
Miles Smith

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Top 10 budget beach hotels and B&Bs on Mexico’s Pacific coast

Enjoy ocean views from rooftop bars or just step out and get the sand between your toes. From Mazatlán to Pochutla, here are 10 charming beachside escapes

Mexico’s Pacific coast, more than 1,000 miles of it, is renowned for its beaches, as well as the resorts which have attracted Hollywood royalty. However, it’s also an area that can experience tropical storms, usually between June and December. The most recent was Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded at sea, which swept across the region at the end of October, but caused less damage than anticipated. Hotels are now operating as normal.

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Top 10 budget beach hotels, guesthouses and hostels on the Yucatán peninsula, Mexico

Well-known and deservedly popular for its jungle, coast and ancient ruins, the Yucatán peninsula can be a pricey place to stay – unless you pick one of these brilliant budget hotels and hostels

On the surface, this mid-size hotel in Cancún’s hotel zone is pretty unremarkable. The tile-floored rooms are big and clean, with terraces or balconies – though they’re not notably stylish. The restaurant is good, not gourmet. The pool is a sensible size. But set this against its glitzy, high-rise neighbours and check the rates, which are often lower than similarly appointed hotels on the mainland, 30 minutes from the water – and Beachscape starts looking pretty good. Then walk out on to the palm-shaded beach, one of the prettiest stretches in the hotel zone, and the place becomes a minor miracle.
• Doubles from $109, +52 998 891 5427, beachscape.com.mx

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Top 10 budget beach B&Bs in the Seychelles

The Seychelles islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue may be known for their luxury resorts but there is also a great selection of family-run, more affordable guesthouses just as close to the archipelago’s famous, world-class beaches

For a room with a five-star view, Colibri is hard to beat. Nine rustic rooms – all wood and stone – ensconced amid tropical foliage that tumbles down a hillside to the turquoise waters of Baie Sainte Anne. There’s no beach but you can use the small infinity pool overlooking the bay at neighbouring B&B Chalets Cote Mer, also owned by Sylvie and Stephan, and costing about €10 more a night. You also share the waterfront creole restaurant. The owners can help with car hire but it’s a five-minute walk to a bus stop – which will take you to Praslin’s most famous beach Anse Lazio and the Unesco-protected Vallée de Mai nature reserve – and the jetty for ferries to Mahé and La Digue.
Doubles from £112 B&B, +248 429 4200, colibrisweethome.com

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Top 10 budget beach guesthouses and B&Bs in South Africa’s Western Cape

From Cape Town and its peninsula to the Garden Route and the West Coast, the Western Cape is a dazzling part of South Africa, and its beachside accommodation doesn’t have to break the bank

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It’s cheaper and the weather’s great – a summer of staycationing | Patrick Collinson

A (very) unscientific poll finds a lot to be recommended in having your holiday in Blighty

I rang a colleague this week, not realising she was on holiday. I caught her on a campsite in Suffolk, in the pouring rain, camping gear strewn in the wind and children crying. Never again, she said. Yet my admittedly anecdotal poll of staycationers in Bournemouth to Broadstairs (my six brothers and sisters plus their families make up nearly a Gallup poll in themselves) tells me that the great unintended staycation summer went surprisingly well – until last week’s downpours, at least. This is what we learned.

The weather is really not that bad Bournemouth’s packed beaches were perhaps the iconic seaside shot of the coronavirus summer, for good reasons and bad. On five consecutive weeks from mid-July, temperatures in the resort hit 24C, peaking at 33C in early August.

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Homes by the sea for sale in the UK – in pictures

Properties with a holiday feel, from a mini estate in Cornwall to a flat on Brighton seafront

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How to fend off your conspiracy obsessed relatives during the holiday season

When Uncle Ted has a few drinks and starts screaming that the world is flat, have a few tactics ready to counter his bizarre rants

It’s the holidays: time for eggnog, ironic Christmas sweaters, and interactions with relatives you’d avoid like the plague if you didn’t share DNA.

Perhaps in past years, you’ve argued politics over the dinner table. But thanks to our internet echo chambers, things may now get even weirder. You could find yourself not just arguing over Donald Trump’s impeachment, but also over whether the president and Robert Mueller were secretly teaming up to expose Tom Hanks as a cannibal; or whether the Federal Reserve exists because JP Morgan sank the Titanic; or whether Meghan Markle is a robot.

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Forget Bali, I found bliss in the blandness of a chain hotel | Emma Brockes

Four days spent alone in Florida pushed me to the limits of boredom. But it was just what I needed

I was in a chain hotel 20 miles north of Orlando for meetings that would last, on and off, for four days. This was not a holiday resort. Outside, the rain was bathwater warm, the pool windswept and empty. Inside, guests wandered the conference facilities, lanyards swinging. The breakfast buffet was like the idea I’d had as a child of how millionaires live: all the pineapple you could eat. It is a truism of escape plans that the problem with going anywhere is that you take yourself with you. But there is an exception to this, and I have found it. Burnt out? Always yelling? So tired you would gladly hand over your humanity to Elon Musk for a chance to become fully digitised? There’s another way. Open Google Maps, find a place that is not a place but, rather, on the way to other places, and select the blandest hotel you can find. Then go and sit in it for four days. I swear to God, it’s better than six months in Bali.

I thought about sending an email and didn’t. I took a three-hour nap, went downstairs and ordered more wings.

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Spain road trip: Granada to Almería

The Alhambra marks the start of a drive taking in historic cities, a river valley and mountains – and ends in Almería’s spaghetti western desert

Granada is dominated by its mighty Moorish fortress, the Alhambra. Book ahead and visit early, at its least-crowded, and then spend the afternoon meandering the narrow streets and plazas of the old town – the Albaicín. Stay in this area at the 16th-century Santa Isabel La Real, with its Alhambra views, (doubles from €95 B&B, parking available).

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French leave: fun places to stay on four routes to the south of France

With the annual summer dash under starter’s orders, we suggest how to turn a schlep into a road trip, staying in treehouses, chateaux and cool hotels en route

From the north-west ferry ports (St Malo, Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre) down the west of France, via Nantes and Bordeaux, to the south-west

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Coast through summer: 10 itineraries for the UK seaside

Get beach ready with our week-long planners to 10 glorious seaside spots, covering everything from secluded coves to surf lessons, boat rides and places to stay

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