Travel Punta del Este

Q. I'm keen to visit Punta del Este and/or Montevideo in Uruguay, ideally as a package holiday. But I can't find any operators that do it. And even if I could, would booking individual flights and accommodation be a better strategy? It seems amazing that BA still don't fly direct! Russ Williams, London

Observations: Vegas is right at home in Spain

Johnny Vegas is lying on a sun lounger by a dazzling blue pool. We are at the Solana Hotel, the location for Benidorm, ITV1's raucously entertaining sitcom about a group of dysfunctional Brits who run riot on the same all-inclusive package holiday every summer.

£300,000 for husband who became ill on honeymoon

A man whose honeymoon was ruined when he contracted a potentially fatal illness said he was delighted today after being awarded nearly £300,000 compensation from a holiday company.

My Father's Tears & Other Stories, By John Updike

A new collection of John Updike tales alternately tugs at the heartstrings – and sadly frustrates

Travel firms 'won't pay levy'

Thomas Cook and Tui, the UK's two biggest tour operators, are set to play hardball with the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority over the likely rise in the cost of the consumer protection levy on package holidays to £3.

Could a package holiday with the emphasis on water-based activities keep the entire family amused?

Depending on your point of view, young children either add an extra dimension to travel or make it impossibly difficult. Wise to the possibilities, many families with young children opt for a week locked-down in Britain.

The retailers vanish. Will your money follow?

As shops and travel firms go bust, Chiara Cavaglieri looks at the rights of consumers who are left high and dry after paying upfront

Forgotten authors no 24: Maryann Forrest

This column requires two kinds of detective work; I track down the authors, but if you’re interested then you have to locate the books. Throughout the process, one author has continued to block further investigation. I knew that the Australian-born Maryann Forrest was someone to check out when I read a description of her in Time Out as “a stunning writer, so superb and alive a talent”.

Drugs arrest Briton wanted by British police

A British man arrested in Venezuela after allegedly being found with three suitcases of cocaine is wanted by Merseyside Police, the force said today.

Deflation fears as living costs hit 49-year low

A smaller-than-expected drop in inflation today failed to ease fears that the UK could soon be in the grip of deflation.

Florence and the Machine, Academy, Birmingham

Too many toffs on this magic roundabout

Air travel sees first fall since 1991

Air travel is on course to fall for the first time in two decades after the airports operator BAA revealed that the annual number of passengers collapsed at the end of last year.

Leading article: This summer, think local

At this time of year, when the tinsel is being taken down and the return to work looms, many of us start dreaming about summer holidays.

Tips and deals: 21/12/2008

The train

Gatwick Express has launched a new service to Brighton. Six trains will depart Brighton for Gatwick in the morning, Monday to Friday, and there will be six journeys made from Gatwick to Brighton in the evenings. Go to gatwickexpress.co.uk.

Investment Column: Michael Page story takes a turn for the worse

Our view: Sell

Share price: 182p (-11p)

Michael Page International, the recruitment group, brought forward its January trading update yesterday to warn the market that its profits would come in at the lower end of forecasts, at around £136m.

Thomas Cook snaps gloom as profits beat forecasts

Mergers have left operator well placed for downturn
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried