Something To Declare: Sydney; The East Coast main line; Kuala Lumpur in Comfort

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid


Warning of the week: Sydney

The queues for a one-off "£10 to Australia" promotion began six days before the doors of eight STA Travel offices – including the flagship store at Victoria in London – opened at 8am on Wednesday. One hundred and fifty young British travellers with working-holiday visas qualified for the one-way flights, most of them aiming for Sydney. But the Foreign Office urges caution once they touch down. "Take particular care when walking at night in some of the busy tourist areas of Sydney, such as Kings Cross, downtown George Street, Hyde Park and Centennial Park," says the travel advice issued this week. In addition, "Thefts from safe deposit facilities at cheaper hotels and hostels are common." Outside the cities, "Luggage and other personal items left in unattended vehicles and identifiable hire cars and camper-vans may be targeted, including at theme park car-parks".

Simon Calder

Destination of the week: The East Coast main line

National Express is having a turbulent time, what with strikes on the East Anglian rail network, a departing chief executive and drastically over-bidding for its main franchise, the East Coast main line. Yet business continues as normal on this route while a buyer is sought.

York, Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness are among the desirable destinations available at rock-bottom prices for travel between 1 September and 22 October.

For the purposes of the deal, the line has been divided into four zones, with flat fares for travel within and between them. A one-zone ticket, price £6 each way, allows travel, for example, between Peterborough and Bradford, York and Durham, or between Newcastle and any Scottish station on the East Coast line. Two zones (£9 one-way) covers London to Leeds or Glasgow to Darlington. The best three-zone deal (£12) is London to Newcastle, while four zones (£15) connects the English and Scots capitals.

Book online at tiny.cc/roemi by next Tuesday, 11 August.

Simon Calder

Bargain of the week: Kuala Lumpur in Comfort

AirAsia X (0845 605 3333; airasia.com), which flies daily between Stansted and Kuala Lumpur, is selling Premium Class seats (offering "a comfort comparable to business class") for £700 return until the end of April next year. To qualify for the £700 deal, you must book the seats by tomorrow, and they aren't available every day – in our test bookings it was especially difficult to find return leg tickets for the promotional price. Note also that AirAsia X is a budget airline, with extra charges for items included as free by other airlines in business class. A token baggage fee of £0.85 applies for items up to 15kg, but a larger £9 fee for up to 20kg. Hot meals cost an extra £6 each, though drinks cost no more than a modest £2.

Ian Steadman

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Product Development

    £26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Contracts & Leases Manager

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...

    Day In a Page

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory