Ben Ross

Ben Ross is Head of Travel at The Independent. He has worked for the paper for over a decade, and began reporting on travel in 2001. Before joining the travel desk full time, he ran The Independent's special projects department. He started his journalistic career at the BBC working for its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide.

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Sam Riley: 'My job is always bursts of activity in between periods of inactivity. There’s no real reason why I should want to do absolutely nothing, I’ve just always been very good at it.'

My life in travel: Sam Riley

I can be easily entertained from breakfast to the pool, to lying in the sun, to waiting until it’s socially acceptable to start drinking

Game on: summer scenery in Saalbach

Playtime in Austria's Valley of Games

From biking routes to imaginative hiking trails, via flumes and a high-ropes course, Ben Ross and his family were won over by this mountain wonderland
High point: Montreux Jazz Festival

5 ways to enjoy summer in the Alps

The fun doesn’t stop in Europe's greatest mountain range when the snow melts, says Ben Ross

Despite next year’s cut in the levy on flying to the Caribbean, the effect on the final bill will be minimal

Like it or not, Air Passenger Duty is here to stay

Something To Declare

Travel special 2014: Breakfast on bed on a rail journey from Hanoi to Hué

Springtime, just before the new century began. As Laos is now the new Cambodia, Vietnam was then the new Thailand, and my girlfriend and I had arrived – with our backpacks – to see what all the fuss was about. The capital Hanoi had dazzled, and we were due to take the train 420 miles down the coast to Hué. We were late, though. We were always late.

In your element: a snow-clad Heavenly, with Lake Tahoe as a backdrop

Slope off to California

The snow is thin on the ground in the Sierra Nevada at the moment, but when it comes, Lake Tahoe is the place to ski. Ben Ross has an early-season preview

Tignes for ski teenies? Just follow the pink bibs

With young children in tow, a family ski trip can leave you feeling snowed under. But help is at hand, as Ben Ross discovers in the French Alps
Tignes spirit: a winter's night in the resort

Tignes for ski teenies? Just follow the pink bibs

With young children in tow, a family ski trip can leave you feeling snowed under. But help is at hand, as Ben Ross discovers in the French Alps

Virtual reality: Thomas and Zoë ski towards the future of travel in the Google House

Traveller's Guide: Tenerife

In the first of a three-part series on the Canaries, Ben Ross examines the largest of the islands, where it's still possible to get away from it all

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Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?