Something To Declare

Destination of the week; Bargain of the week; Warning of the week
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The Independent Travel

Destination of the week: Belgium's finest port

TransEuropa Ferries (01843 595522; www. trans europaferries. com) has graduated from freight-only service to taking passengers on the Ramsgate to Ostend run. This four-hour crossing operates four times a day, and provides a gentle approach to the fine port of Ostend (below). It offers easy access for Bruges, Ghent and Brussels. For a car with up to five passengers, a 24-hour return costs £53; a five-day return is £96. Longer stays start from £106.

Bargain of the week: how to find £26 rooms across Britain

"From" is the travel industry's favourite word. It allows airlines, ferries and hotels to tempt you with the prospect of very low prices. But when you come to book, the deal may be unavailable. The mid-range Travelodge chain offers rooms from £26, and to enable customers to track down rooms at the lowest price, it has installed a "£26 button" on its website, www.travelodge.co.uk. You select a date and location, or click on a map, and the hotels with £26 availability are revealed.

Warning of the week: West Nile Fever in the US

The unpleasant flu-like disease known as West Nile Fever made its first appearance in America in 1999, and has caused illness and deaths every summer since. The US Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) has just reported its first human case for summer 2005, in the state of Kansas. The illness is spread by mosquitoes, which become infected when they feed on infected birds.

Only one in five people who are infected go on to develop the illness. Those aged 50 or over are most at risk.

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