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Pollution and Holidays
When it comes to monitoring beaches for pollution, some countries are better than others.
Shark tales make bigger headlines, but water pollution is far more common—and a greater threat to humans than the creature depicted in Jaws ever was. In the United States, fouled swimming water is responsible for tens of thousands of beach closings and health advisories every year. Although there is still no uniform federal protocol for testing water quality at beaches, information on water cleanliness at most of the nation’s public swimming beaches can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s site. Outside the United States, however, travellers are largely left to fend for themselves.
Most pollution at swimming beaches is caused by bacteria associated with fecal contamination. Some of these bacteria are harmless, but they are often accompanied by more pernicious pathogens, including E. coli, salmonella, giardia, and enteroviruses that cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and other extremely unpleasant symptoms for the millions of swimmers who are exposed to them every year. Though rare, cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid fever are among the more serious water-borne maladies found at beaches around the world.
50 ways to save on your holidays
SCHOOLS are clamping down on parents who take their children on holiday during term time. At best, to get permission for even one extra day off at either end of a holiday requires a degree of form filling and letter writing that wouldn’t be out of place in a Soviet police station. Even then, the final decision rests on the whim of the chairman of governors. While the difference a day makes to a child’s education is unquantifiable, it can add thousands of pounds to the price of a family holiday. But with this option of saving money virtually outlawed, how do you stick within the rules without breaking the bank?
Here are some examples from the article on how to save money on your holiday. Visit “Holiday Money” to read the holiday article in full.
1. Book early It may seem obvious but the holiday industry is like any other business affected by the basic economics of supply and demand. The best time to book, according to travel agent Trailfinders, is 11 months before you’re due to travel. The flights have just been released and there’s plenty of cheaper seats available.
2. Book late The rules of supply and demand also apply in last few days before the departure date. If there are unsold seats and hotel rooms, you can bag a bargain with a few clicks of the mouse, or a phone call or two.
3. Buy a package The internet has been a godsend for people who wish to bypass the travel agent and arrange their own trips. But here’s a little-known tip: if you are booking a flight and a car, or flight and accommodation, by packaging the two deals together, an agent can often offer a much better deal than if you were to book separately, even online. Call it creative accounting if you will, but it can save hundreds of pounds on a long-haul trip.
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27. Find a low-cost insurance policy online Your travel agent – online or High Street – will try to flog you insurance. Just say no. Go online or talk to a broker and you’ll find single-trip European policies for less than £10 per person. If you’re going away more than once in the year, consider an annual policy. Just make sure you understand what you need and read the small print. Tip: single-trip policies cover you for cancellation as soon as you take out the policy even if your travel dates are months ahead. This is not the case for annual policies, which start from the day you take
28. Shop around for your European breakdown cover We’ve all heard of the AA and RAC but it’s only insurance and any number of companies offer the same type of policies for significantly less money.
29. The packed lunch trick If you’re flying no-frills, you can pay several pounds for an in-flight sandwich and drink or you can take your own. With some of these low-cost deals, the cost of your food can be more expensive than the cost of your flights. There’s a principle at stake here more than just a free lunch.
30. Take the coach According to a This is Money survey, petrol will have to reach £10 a litre before we start leaving our cars at home in any great numbers. Until then public transport is always going to find it hard to compete. But coaches are pretty luxurious these days and at the time of writing, megabus.com is offering intercity fares throughout the UK from 50p, with £1 fares available during the Christmas holidays.
37. Two for one London If you are travelling to London and the South East by train there are some genuine offers for reduced entry to attractions such as Madame Tussauds and the aquarium on the 2for1 website.
38. Do you really need a hire car? British public transport maybe unreliable, dirty, out-dated and expensive but it’s not the case everywhere. In Tenerife, the buses are cheap, punctual, air-conditioned and clean – there’s no need to hire a car or queue for a taxi.
39. Check your passport at least a month before you go If you leave this to the last minute and you have lost your passport, you won’t be going away at all. If it has expired you will need to pay way over the odds for a rush application. Don’t get caught out.
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