Something to declare: European Health Insurance Card; Rotterdam; city breaks

Warning of the week: EHIC

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valuable for every Europe-bound traveller; it entitles you to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the country you are visiting. And procuring one provides a diversion for the dark days of late autumn. You can apply for this free card in a variety of ways: for example, collecting an application form at a post office and sending it in. A second option: call the EHIC application line on 0845 606 2030. The quickest way to secure one, however, is online. But note: if you type "EHIC" into Google, the top entry is not the official NHS site, but a privately run website charging £9.95 for submitting an application on your behalf. The company promises "the reassurance that all of your details have been checked by us for common mistakes", but the misplaced apostrophe when citing "problems with your application which could delay it's processing" does not inspire confidence. To apply free, visit www.nhs.uk/healthcareabroad. Don't fear a tax-return-style encounter; you need little more than name, address and NHS number.

Destination of the week: Rotterdam

Holland's dazzling second city is now even better connected, thanks to the opening of the long-overdue high-speed rail line. The fastest trains from Amsterdam airport via the Hague to Rotterdam now take just 41 minutes. Eventually, there will be a train every 10 minutes.

In addition, the line will soon been connected with Brussels, greatly improving times by train from London via the Belgian capital.

The exciting new place to stay in Rotterdam is H2Otel – a new floating hotel in the Wijnhaven (00 31 10 444 5690; h2otel.nl). Unlike some "hotel boats" in other cities, this has been designed with flair, with 49 artistically unique rooms.

Doubles start at €100 (£82) excluding breakfast, though expect some low-season specials on the website.

Download of the week: city breaks

The Independent offers the widest range of high-quality, free-to-view video films of any UK national newspaper. At independent.co.uk/ travel/sound-and-vision, film versions of our award-winning 48 Hours series are available for San Diego, Fez in Morocco, Léon (above) and Zaragoza in Spain and Singapore. In addition, you can see our series Twin Tracks: A Tale of Two Travellers, in which Ben Ross and Simon Calder make the same journey by different means. In the first, they travel across the dramatic and historic landscapes of northern Spain; in the second, they seek out the best that the cities and coast of Flanders have to offer.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Day In a Page

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world