A restaurant in Rome has attracted the ire of the internet after Japanese tourists dining in Rome were shocked to receive a bill for more than $470 after ordering two plates of spaghetti and fish and two glasses of water.
Outdoor breaks often have a vibrant base camp offering a wide range of activities, plus advice and pit stops on hand, and a chance to socialise. Tell us about your favourite. Tell us about excellent activity centres in the UK that has been the base for a memorable outdoor trip. It could be a coastal town, in the mountains or a national park, and the springboard for hiking, kayaking, cycling, wildlife-spotting, skiing, open-water swimming or any combination thereof. Perhaps the centre has great indoor facilities too, like a climbing wall or a swimming pool. You could also share details of accommodation and places to eat and drink, even nightlife. Include details of activities, plus any relevant websites and price information. Send tips by filling in the form below, with as much detail as you can in around 100 words. We’re sorry, but for legal reasons you must be a UK resident to enter this competition. Photographs are welcome if they are high-quality and you are happy to share, but it is the text that our judges will consider. If you do send photographs please ensure you are the copyright holder. The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website and may also appear in print in Guardian Travel. The winner, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from UK.hotels.com. Competition closes Tuesday 1 October 2019, 10am BST If you are having trouble reading the form click here. Read terms of service here Read the terms and conditions
The public baths of the Gellert Hotel in Budapest. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/APRestorative and relaxing spas, baths, hammams and saunas spring up throughout Europe, from Bath to Budapest, Stockholm to Sarajevo, and can be great places to soak up the atmosphere of a town or city. Some offer massages and other treatments, perhaps imported from the far east or more locally derived. They might be in wonderful old buildings reminiscent of Roman or traditional Turkish baths.Whether you’ve sweltered in the steam of a traditional public sauna or relaxed in an indoor pool fed by geothermal waters we’d like to hear about it, as long as it is available to everyone – we’re not looking for swanky hotel spas that are open only to guests.Please include details of prices where applicable, and exact locations with any relevant websites.Send tips by filling in the form below, with as much detail as you can in around 100 words. We’re sorry, but for legal reasons you must be a UK resident to enter this competition.Photographs are welcome if they are high-quality and you are happy to share, but it is the text that our judges will consider. If you do send photographs please ensure you are the copyright holder.The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website and may also appear in print in Guardian Travel. The winner, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from UK.hotels.com.Competition closes Tuesday 24 September 2019, 10am BSTIf you are having trouble reading the form click here. Read terms of service here.Read the terms and conditions
Next time you're heading on a long-haul flight, you might want to remember these flight attendant secrets.
Tell us about your best experiences, from visiting ancient temples to manga comic stores in Tokyo or Osaka … anywhere you’ve enjoyed Japanese culture old or new. You may have walked a pilgrimage trail, attended sumo wrestling or bathed in a hot spring. But of course, Japan’s unique modern culture is also a highlight of any visit, so tell us about modern art trails and galleries, places to buy manga or anime publications, and cool Japanese fashion shops. Please include details of prices where applicable and places to stay if relevant. Send tips by filling in the form below, with as much detail as you can in around 100 words. We’re sorry, but for legal reasons you must be a UK resident to enter this competition. Photographs are welcome if they are high-quality and you are happy to share, but it is the text that our judges will consider. If you do send photographs please ensure you are the copyright holder. The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website and may also appear in print in Guardian Travel. The winner, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from UK.hotels.com. Competition closes Tuesday 10 September 2019, 10am BST Read the terms and conditions If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.
Prince Harry speaking at the launch of the Travalyst partnership, in Amsterdam. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA What is it?Prince Harry’s new charitable foundation, Sussex Royal, has helped launch an initiative to raise awareness of, and promote, sustainable travel. Travalyst is a collaboration between five companies – Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa – aimed at improving conservation efforts, protecting the environment and helping develop the economies of communities involved in the tourist industry.Speaking at the launch in Amsterdam, Harry said the project was partly inspired by a seven-year-old boy he met on a working trip to the Caribbean, who told him: “Because of your country, my country’s coral reef is dying.”The initiative has been in the planning for around two years but with the prince making headlines in recent weeks over his use of private jets the timing of the launch has been criticised, with some accusations of hypocrisy. The companies involved were unable to share concrete plans, saying only that further announcements could be expected within the next 18 months. Why?Prince Harry and representatives from the Travalyst initiative at the launch event in Amsterdam. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesThe partnership acknowledges that there is a growing demand to travel more sustainably, while benefiting communities, the environment and wildlife, but accepts that the industry needs to be the catalyst for change.TripAdvisor’s recent animal welfare initiative was well-received by its community of 390 million users. Booking.com is working with communities around the world to meet the demand for accommodation such as homestays, and has been supporting sustainable travel startups through its Booking Booster programme. This €2m-a-year fund has aided schemes including a social enterprise training trekking guides in Nepal and, in Africa, an app that helps connect tourists with entrepreneurs.Skyscanner has been using an “eco rating” on its listings to promote greener choices but as a key player in the flight sales market, it will be scrutinised over whether it includes other forms of transport on the platform (it trialled rail travel earlier this year and abandoned the idea). Skyscanner is owned by Ctrip, the biggest tour operator in China – one of the fastest-growing markets in outbound tourism. And Visa, which has 3.3bn customers worldwide, says it has the ability to conduct extensive research into the success of sustainable travel. The companies have also said they are in discussions with NGOs, travel organisations and corporate partners about joining the initiative. Possible successes, and problems?The fact that very large travel organisations are involved means there could be potential for a new industry-wide certification or badge of sustainability – one with clear, demonstrable guidelines and achievements. However, the elephant in the room remains the issue of flying, and how travel can be sustainable unless we fly less. There was little discussion of this at the launch. The initiative appears to focus on boosting the benefits of travel for local communities and destinations where tourism is essential to their economy.“We cannot dismiss the idea of doing something just because we cannot do everything,” Prince Harry said. “We can all do better, and while no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact. The question is what we do to balance it out.”Despite what many see as a lack of clarity over carbon-offsetting schemes, he went on to say that he felt carbon offsetting was the way forward.When questioned about how he had arrived in the Dutch capital, he said it was by “commercial flight” but that, unfortunately, he cannot rule out private air travel for safety reasons on some occasions.
We consulted expert travelers to get their advice on everything there is to know about how to pack smartly for summer travel.
A husband and wife traveling on a recent United Airlines flight claim they were forced to sit in a vomit-covered seat and, upon asking it be cleaned, were told they were "going to be the reason this flight is delayed."
A security worker at an upstate New York airport has been fired for giving a passenger a note that read, "You ugly!!!" as he passed through a security checkpoint.
The self-proclaimed “food & feelings advocate” is out to shake up the wellness industry.
Hikers admire the 165-metre-high Engstligen falls in the Bernese Highlands, Switzerland. Photograph: Sloot/Getty ImagesThere are few natural landscape features as thrilling as torrents of water hurtling down cliffs, whether they are in Iceland, the Highlands, Yorkshire, Croatia, Brazil, Hawaii or Australia – the homes of some of the most celebrated. Many can only be reached at the end of long treks that make for adventure stories in themselves. Others have their own car parks, cafes and even hotels. Some can only be reached by taking a boat up a fjord or sea loch.Tell us about brilliant cascades anywhere, but bear in mind that we’ll only be publishing one entry for each waterfall, so if you tip the most famous (such as Victoria Falls or Niagara), you’re less likely to make the shortlist. And size isn’t all that matters; brilliant walks, views and landscapes are just as important. The experience is the thing.Please include details of how you reached the waterfall – whether it was a walk, a boat trip or a drive – and any information that would improve the experiences of other visitors. Any useful websites and, where relevant, places to stay should also be included.We would love to hear about your discoveries. Send tips from all parts of the world by filling in the form below, with as much detail as you can in around 100 words. We are sorry, but for legal reasons you must be a UK resident to enter this competition.Photographs are welcome if they are high-quality and you are happy to share, but it is the text that our judges will consider. If you do send photographs please ensure you are the copyright holder.The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website and may also appear in print in Guardian Travel. The winner, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from UK.hotels.com.Competition closes Tuesday 30 July 2019, 10am BST If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.Read the terms and conditions
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The simplest mistake can cost you anywhere up to £160 to correct depending on how soon you notice it. Amid all the hassle involved in getting the family out of the door for the summer holidays, it may not be forgetting a bag, vital medication or leaving the kitchen window open that causes the greatest headache – but instead the simple mistakes made when booking tickets. Having to change your name on a ticket can cost from nothing to £160, depending on the airline – and may even mean getting a new ticket. If your travel plans change, it can cost £150 to change the dates, giving an unnecessary added bill on top of what can be one of the most expensive times of year for families. Having to call a Ryanair call centre and change a name can cost £160 – or £115 if you do it online, the most expensive charge in a survey by the comparison site Travelsupermarket.com. The budget carrier does allow “minor errors”, such as the incorrect spelling of a name, to be corrected for free within 48 hours of the booking. EasyJet comes in at £30 if you want to change a name more than 60 days before travel and £55 after that if you contact them via a call centre. At Jet2 it costs £35 while Wizz Air charges £40 for each leg. Flybe comes in at £50 each way and Aer Lingus £80. The charges are so high for budget airlines that the site says it can be cheaper to simply book a new flight rather than shell out the extra money. The costs have attracted the attention of the Civil Aviation Authority. It’s chief executive, Richard Moriarty, has said in May that airlines need to make the rules more transparent. Travelsupermarket says many airlines will forgive genuine typos and amend bookings free of charge, as they would in cases where there has been a name change because of marriage or divorce. Passing a flight on to someone else will result in significant cost, however, and British Airways refuses to transfer tickets at all. In the past, airlines and travel agents have been notoriously unforgiving of typos. In 2015 a student changed his name by deed poll because it cost less than half the £220 Ryanair demanded to amend the surname his girlfriend’s stepfather had mistakenly used in a booking. In 2016 an Observer reader complained that they had been told they would have to pay £230 to cancel and buy a new ticket after an extra letter was added to a name on a Hainan Airlines flight booked through BudgetAir to Shanghai. BudgetAir eventually changed the name without charge to the consumer. Having to change a flight time or cancel can also run up a tidy bill. Ryanair charges between £35 and £65 each way if altered online and between £65 and £95 if done through a call centre or at the airport. EasyJet loads on £25 or £30 and the fare difference if the change is made more than 60 days before travel, while it costs £55 to change by ringing a call centre if there are less than 60 days to go, and you have to pay the difference in price. Most airlines charge similar fees according to the Travelsupermarket research. Some airlines charge to cancel so, again, it may be easier to skip the flight and start again, depending on the prices involved. “Excessive charges from airlines for items such as name changes, check-in and for air passenger duty (APD) refunds understandably cause a lot of anger,” said Emma Coulthurst of Travelsupermarket. “Some of these fees are utterly eye-watering and take advantage of people’s misfortune if they can no longer travel and want to pass the ticket – which they have paid for – on to someone else.” “Also, passengers are legally entitled to air passenger duty refunds if they do not travel, and I think it is outrageous that the admin fee which some airlines charge is more than the amount being claimed. This needs to be stopped. If people can’t fly they should be able to get back the APD –which they paid in full – and not face charges which exceed the amount being claimed to do so.”