Simon Calder

Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.

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Cuba’s battered vintage cars are a symbol of its capacity for endurance

How Cuba learnt to forget America and survive the blockade

It's 25 years since Simon Calder produced the first independent guide to the Communist state. He recently went back - to find a country that has made a virtue of its isolation

Up to four million Britons are heading overseas over the holidays, slightly more than last year

The great escape: Busiest ever Christmas getaway season begins extra early

Best last minute package deals available from airports in the north of England

Havana good time: will Cuba change?

Cuba libre: what the US moves mean for you

The man who drinks rum all day

Those of the 300 million Americans who want a tropical island holiday are likely to head for Cuba

Cuba-US relations: Good news for Cuban tourism – and the moment the rest of the Caribbean has been dreading

Relxation of travel restrictions will transform the tourist geography of the Caribbean, says Simon Calder

Travellers in front of the departure board at London Waterloo on December 23rd last year

Christmas getaway 2014: Bigger, earlier and longer than ever before

Exclusive: Research shows biggest crowds could be seen as early as Thursday

Passengers at Terminal 5 Heathrow are forced to queue after a computer failure closed London Airspace for several hours

Air-traffic chaos: Transport Secretary hints at compensation for 'unacceptable' failure

Patrick McLoughlin spoke to Transport Select Committee

Air traffic control problems led to cancelled and delayed flights

After the meltdown, the inquiry: 'Software glitch' which caused air travel chaos to be examined

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says it has agreed with Nats, the air-traffic service, to establish an independent inquiry

London airspace closure was 'simply unacceptable': Nats faces political onslaught as delays and cancellations continue

Chair of Transport Select Committee vows to 'get to the bottom' of what happened on Friday afternoon

Disruption has continued for British Airways’ short-haul operation at Heathrow

Heathrow still hit by flight cancellations after air-traffic system glitch

Gatwick and Stansted are running mainly smoothly, with some minor delays and some cancellation of inbound easyJet flights to Gatwick

Overland travel: 'No slackers' – not your normal rules of the road

The man who pays his way
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In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
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Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas