• Passengers take the strain as train firms slash services for engineering works
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    The Independent

    Passengers take the strain as train firms slash services for engineering works

    Over this weekend and the following two, the London hub of the West Coast Main Line, Euston station, is closed. The repercussions ripple all the way to Glasgow, with thousands of rail travellers facing complicated and protracted journeys involved. Never has the North Wembley junction, which is the subject of the triple-weekend makeover, caused such a kerfuffle.

  • 10 of the world’s most epic hikes
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    The Independent

    10 of the world’s most epic hikes

    The world’s most exciting hikes have been revealed in a new book from Lonely Planet. In Epic Hikes of the World, the publisher has listed 50 of the best walks as selected by travel experts, from urban trails to month-long treks. The guide includes practical information on the best time of year to attempt each hike, how to get there, where to stay and what to eat.

  • Flying into trouble over a glass of wine
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    The Independent

    Flying into trouble over a glass of wine

    Last time I flew between the UK and Dubai, they were normal sized. “Ellie was jailed in Dubai for drinking a glass of wine on a flight from London,” the Daily Mail said. Dr Holman told the Mail: “I enjoy a glass of wine with my meal and accepted it from the cabin crew.

  • Milan: unfashionably late from the capital of fashion
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    The Independent

    Milan: unfashionably late from the capital of fashion

    The check in area of Terminal 1 of Milan Malpensa airport offers a magnificent prospect. Barely had a tiny Flybe jet soared away to Southend than a giant Airbus A380 touched down from Dubai, bringing 500-plus passengers from the intense heat of the Gulf to the Alpine foothills of Italy. My final task last Saturday, before I left Heathrow for Milan, was to report on the chaotic start to one of the busiest weekends of the year.

  • What happens to your European Health Insurance Card after Brexit?
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    The Independent

    What happens to your European Health Insurance Card after Brexit?

    The Government has promised the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) won’t be a casualty of Brexit. The European Health Insurance Card replaced the old E111 certificate in 2005. This free card gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the other 27 EU countries, as well as Switzerland and the European Economic Area (EEA) nations of Norway, Iceland and plucky Liechtenstein.

  • London Euston closures:Train services face heavy disruption across August bank holiday
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    The Independent

    London Euston closures:Train services face heavy disruption across August bank holiday

    Britain’s rail travellers are wearily accustomed to engineering work taking place over the late August bank holiday. Beginning on Saturday 18 August, London Euston station will close for three weekends in a row: 18-19 and 25-27 August, and 1-2 September. Network Rail is replacing North Wembley junction, one of the key intersections on what is claimed to be Europe’s busiest “mixed use” railway.

  • Bangkok's weirdest dining experiences, from mermaid cafes to emoji menus
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    The Independent

    Bangkok's weirdest dining experiences, from mermaid cafes to emoji menus

    Three courses into my meal at Gaggan, I’m being asked to lick my plate. Gaggan’s founder, Indian-born Gaggan Anand, interned at Spain’s elBulli before deciding to shake up Bangkok’s Indian food scene. Take the flash emoji, which it turns out represents Gaggan’s legendary yoghurt bomb.

  • South Western trains strike: when is it and which services are cancelled
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    The Independent

    South Western trains strike: when is it and which services are cancelled

    The summer of travel strikes continues, with industrial action affecting South Western Railway (SWR) routes taking place on Saturday 18 August. A reduced service will run on most of the network and some routes will not have a train service or a replacement bus service. Action will apply across the network and impact journeys into London terminating at Waterloo and Richmond stations.

  • White Sand Luxury Villas and Spa hotel review: Watersports and eco-chic at this luxury Zanzibar resort
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    The Independent

    White Sand Luxury Villas and Spa hotel review: Watersports and eco-chic at this luxury Zanzibar resort

    In a nutshell: Beautifully designed and landscaped eco-hotel on a white sand Indian Ocean beach. Set in sprawling grounds, White Sand overlooks pristine Paje beach and the Indian Ocean and is a fascinating architectural blend of European concrete modernism and traditional African techniques – handrails and canopies are made of whole, irregular tree trunks and branches. The central complex is built around a cavernous dining room with a champagne bar on the roof and a terrace overlooking two oval swimming pools separated by a bridge that looks like it was inspired by a Japanese woodcut.

  • Fighting couple who caused Jet2 flight diversion charged with endangering aircraft
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    The Independent

    Fighting couple who caused Jet2 flight diversion charged with endangering aircraft

    A couple whose violent behaviour allegedly caused a Jet2 flight to Gran Canaria to divert in July 2017 has been charged with “recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft”. Ronald St Ville, 55, and Pauline Gordon, 65, have been accused of using foul language and hitting each other during the LS1507 flight from London Stansted on 6 July. The pair from London both deny the charges, which are currently being heard at Chelmsford Crown Court.

  • Revealed: How British tourists are losing hundreds of millions to rip-off currency conversion charges
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    The Independent

    Revealed: How British tourists are losing hundreds of millions to rip-off currency conversion charges

    Unsuspecting British holidaymakers are losing £1m per day through “dynamic currency conversion” (DCC) – a scheme that increases the cost of using credit cards abroad at the expense of the traveller. Hotels, restaurants and shops are incentivised to persuade UK visitors to settle credit card bills abroad in sterling. While travellers may be attracted by the certainty of knowing the cost in pounds, the option is usually offered at a derisory exchange rate.

  • Private jet provider reveals its most bizarre client requests
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    The Independent

    Private jet provider reveals its most bizarre client requests

    The weirdest and most wonderful private jet requests have been revealed by NetJets, a private aviation company serving ultra-high net worth customers. Many of the high-flying requests have involved animals, supporting the theory that a man’s best friend really is his dog. The pilot complied and after a short stop, man and dog continued their flight to their final destination.

  • A-Level results day: How to spend your gap year, from Botswana to the Middle East
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    The Independent

    A-Level results day: How to spend your gap year, from Botswana to the Middle East

    If your A-Levels weren't as you expected this morning – why not consider taking a gap year? More than 230,000 people take one every year, according to statistics from Year Out Group.

  • Emotional rescue: how an inflight animal can be a passenger’s best friend
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    The Independent

    Emotional rescue: how an inflight animal can be a passenger’s best friend

    Under the US Air Carrier Access Act, airline passengers on American carriers can travel with an “animal that assists qualified persons with disabilities by providing emotional support”. Who qualifies to travel with an emotional support animal? A passenger who has a mental or emotional disability listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and for whom a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker has prescribed an emotional support animal for emotional, psychiatric or cognitive support for individuals with disabilities.

  • A-level results day: How to take an emergency gap year if you failed
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    The Independent

    A-level results day: How to take an emergency gap year if you failed

    A gap year adventure is calling your name, and it doesn’t have to involve stinky hostels or teaching English as a foreign language. If you feel like your creative juices have been stifled at school, head to Thailand and join a programme to teach media and film literacy skills to communities in the north of the country. You can help teams record the wildlife by undertaking diving surveys, mapping the pristine coral reefs and studying the communities living in them.

  • New adults-only tour operator launches for "sexual adventurists"
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    The Independent

    New adults-only tour operator launches for "sexual adventurists"

    A new adults-only tour operator has launched in the UK, offering holidays and cruises for the more adventurous traveller. The tour operator follows another adults-only tour operator, Uniquely Adult, which launched in January with holidays to the Caribbean. Each Temptation Holidays tour is graded depending on how “adult” it is, under one of the categories “party”, “nude” and “play”.

  • The coolest US neighbourhoods revealed - and Brooklyn doesn't make the cut
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    The Independent

    The coolest US neighbourhoods revealed - and Brooklyn doesn't make the cut

    A list of the coolest neighbourhoods in the United States has been compiled by TripAdvisor – but the notoriously trendy Williamsburg in Brooklyn didn’t pass muster. With colourful murals, craft breweries and art galleries, Wynwood has transformed from a warehouse district to the Florida city’s coolest area. TripAdvisor recommends the Wynwood Art Walk and a Wynwood Graffiti Golf Cart Tour.

  • UK rail fares to jump 3.2% in January as Chris Grayling calls for railway wage changes
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    The Independent

    UK rail fares to jump 3.2% in January as Chris Grayling calls for railway wage changes

    Commuters from the transport secretary’s constituency will pay an extra £65 to get to work in London next year – with season ticket prices set to rise nearly twice as fast as wages. The July Retail Price Index measure of inflation (RPI) of 3.2 per cent is used to set “regulated” rail fares, including season tickets in the London area. Chris Grayling is MP for Epsom and Ewell.

  • Southwest Airlines limits animals onboard to cats, dogs and miniature horses
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    The Independent

    Southwest Airlines limits animals onboard to cats, dogs and miniature horses

    Passengers flying on Southwest Airlines can’t take an emotional support snake, possum, rabbit or peacock onboard from next month – but they will be allowed a miniature horse as a service pet. New guidance for flying animals released by the Dallas-based airline states that passengers will only be allowed to bring one cat or dog as an emotional support animal. Miniature horses classed as service animals – those who are trained to support individuals with a disability – will also be allowed to fly.

  • North Korea freezes tourist visa applications until September
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    The Independent

    North Korea freezes tourist visa applications until September

    North Korea has frozen all visa applications until 9 September. Koryo Tours, a travel company that arranges a variety of tours to the Democratic People’s Republic Korea (DPRK), announced the news on 13 August. A post on its website said: “Koryo Tours were informed on 13 August by our partners in Pyongyang that they had been instructed from above that all tourist visa applications currently underway are to be frozen.

  • The world's top 500 food experiences revealed
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    The Independent

    The world's top 500 food experiences revealed

    For many of us, discovering new cuisines is one of the most important and exciting aspects of travelling.

  • How to holiday in the Seychelles on a shoestring budget
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    The Independent

    How to holiday in the Seychelles on a shoestring budget

    Whispering casuarina trees shaded me from the equatorial sun, while fresh coconut juice quenched my thirst as I took it all in. Mahé, the largest and most developed, is home to the international airport, as well as about 90 per cent of the Seychellois population. The second largest, Praslin, has a small airport, but it’s cheaper to get there on a 45-minute scenic catamaran ride.

  • Jaipur guide: Where to eat, drink, shop and stay in India's Pink City
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    The Independent

    Jaipur guide: Where to eat, drink, shop and stay in India's Pink City

    With grand palaces, historic city walls and buzzing streets, the Pink City (admittedly it’s more a shade of salmon) is the perfect stop as part of a larger North India tour. Experience a boom in contemporary cafes and bars, and upscale textile and clothing boutiques – and leave room in your luggage for bargain and lux finds. It’s 2,500 rupees (£28) to gain entry to the private Chandra Mahal, which includes a guide and access to the divine Sukh Niwas room.

  • Paris installs outdoor urinals in tourist hotspots sparking outrage from locals
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    The Independent

    Paris installs outdoor urinals in tourist hotspots sparking outrage from locals

    The newest sight in Paris isn’t one you’ll find in a guidebook: an open-air urinal. Pillarbox-red urinals topped with a flower bed on the streets of Paris have provoked disgust among locals, who’ve branded them “immodest”, “ugly” and “horrible”. The recently installed “uritrottoirs”, a blend of the French words for urine and pavement, line some of the busiest and most glamorous streets in Paris.

  • How to get cheap train tickets even if rail fares rise
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    The Independent

    How to get cheap train tickets even if rail fares rise

    The annual train fare rise, which takes effect at the beginning of each January, is based on the Retail Price Index of the previous July. Simon Calder knows how. Does Britain have the most expensive rail fares in Europe?