Something to declare: Oyster cards; Vancouver; Australia; pet travel to Europe

 

Bargain of the week: The Oyster is your world

Fares on London Underground, buses and trams rise on Monday by an average of 7 per cent. The cash fare from Heathrow airport into the centre of the capital rises to £5.40. Within zone 1, covering the central area, the cash fare is £4.30 – an astonishing £30 per mile for some journeys.

A pay-as-you-go Oyster card cuts these rates dramatically: zone 1 fares are a flat £2. The journey from Heathrow is £4.80 at peak times (the three hours from 6.30am and 4pm, Monday to Friday), £2.90 at other times. An excellent feature is that multiple journeys in a single day are capped at the one-day Travelcard level – meaning that, at weekends, you pay no more than £8.60 regardless of the number of journeys you make. See bit.ly/OysterInfo for more details.

* The London Eye closes for maintenance next Saturday (7 Jan) until 20 Jan.

Destination of the week: Vancouver

Tickets finally went on sale before Christmas for the new Virgin Atlantic service from Heathrow to the largest city in British Columbia. The link will operate four times a week from 24 May to 25 October. It is designed to cash in on the strong demand to the Canadian West: at present the route is served only by Air Canada and British Airways, which have near-identical fares. However, Virgin may pitch its fares lower, in order to establish itself on the route and because it has little connecting traffic.

The new link will also provide another option for Washington State, where BA has a monopoly with its Heathrow to Seattle flights; the Cascades train connects Vancouver with Seattle.

Warning of the week: Australia

From early this afternoon, television viewers can expect to see images of the fireworks over Sydney Harbour marking the start of 2012. But despite the sunshine, the joie de vivre and the rock-solid currency, life in Sydney and the rest of Australia is not entirely perfect.

"Robberies, burglaries, and auto theft are common in Australia's larger cities," warns the US State Department. "Weapons are increasingly used in such crimes." The Foreign Office urges caution at night in "the busy tourist areas of Sydney".

Outside the cities, the State Department says: "Australian fauna can be dangerous. From jellyfish off the Great Barrier Reef to crocodiles, sharks, poisonous insects, and snakes, the continent and its waters host wildlife that merit awe and respect in equal doses."

Tip of the week: Pet travel to Europe

Ferries may fill with ferrets, and dog and cat owners will be able to venture more easily beyond Barking and Catford from tomorrow, thanks to the relaxation of the rules on pet travel.

The present insistence that pets have a blood test before returning to the UK will be removed, and pets will no longer need to be treated for ticks.

Up to now, dogs have required tapeworm treatment by a vet to take place between 24 and 48 hours before entry, creating problems for weekend travellers. The treatment can now take place up to five days before arrival.

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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

    Recruitment Genius: Automotive Service Advisor - Franchised Main Dealer

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable