Something To Declare: Sydney airport; autumn gold in Canada; crime in Portugal
Saturday 19 September 2009
Tip of the week: Fill those lonely hours at Sydney airport
The travel-guide giant, Lonely Planet, has opened its first shop. The location is Australia's busiest airport. Besides the usual LP books and maps, you can assemble and download a bespoke travel guide. If the idea takes off, expect it to be rolled out across the globe.
Bargain of the week: Autumn gold in Canada
As the summer flying programme unwinds, Canadian Affair has a range of "Long Stay" deals this autumn on a range of transatlantic flights. In many cases, you need not stay very long at all. For example, you can fly from Gatwick to Toronto next Friday (25 September) and return on 7, 11, 16, 18, 19 or 24 October for a total of £258 return. An even wider range of dates applies from Gatwick to Calgary and Vancouver, for £298 return. Similar deals apply from Manchester. If your destination is Toronto, then a £258 return fare applies to a range of dates from Birmingham, Edinburgh, Exeter and Newcastle. You can see the full range of deals at canadianaffair.com , but to book you need to call 020-7616 9184 and quote "longstay".
Destination of the week: Tales from travellers
The London travel-lecture season from Stanfords, the map and travel guide store, begins on 7 October. On that date, William Dalrymple, above, will talk about his latest book, Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India at the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington. On 19 November, Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, will discuss his latest project at the Congress Centre in Great Russell Street.
And on 15 December, back at the RGS, the adventurer and expedition leader Sir Ranulph Fiennes will talk about his latest book Mad Dogs and Englishmen: An Expedition Round My Family.
The ticket price for each is £10, though Stanfords has a season ticket for all three at £25. You can buy tickets by phone at 020-7836 1321 or online at stanfords.co.uk .
Warning of the week: Portugal
The Foreign Office has stepped up its warnings about crime in Portugal. The official travel advice points out that "crime remains comparatively low," but says that pickpocketing, handbag snatching and theft from cars are increasingly common in tourist areas. "Do not leave your bag on the chair beside you while eating or having a drink in a café or restaurant. Do not hang it on the back of your chair or leave it unattended under the table. Thieves often work in groups and create distractions with the aim of stealing."
If you are driving, note that foreign-registered and hire cars are often targeted by thieves. In and around Lisbon: "Groups of thieves are reported to be damaging tyres, especially those of hire cars, and then stealing personal belongings from cars after the driver has stopped to change the tyre." The official advice if you are approached by anyone warning that you have a puncture: "Do not stop, lock the car doors and call the car hire company for assistance."
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