Latest Simon Calder video diary
Botswana's amazing wildlife features on eight pages about the country in 'The World', while Brazil is covered in just six pages

A guidebook to the world or an airline meal of travel information?

Lonely Planet brings out the first travel guide to the entire globe today. Simon Calder was thrilled at the prospect - until he read it. Plus, the publisher justifies what they left out

Sands of time: Blackpool may lose its airport

Simon Calder: Blackpool becomes the latest zombie airport

The man who pays his way

Beach beautiful: Goa is cheaper if you avoid Christmas

Winter sun destinations: Traveller's Guide, from Caribbean bargains and Egypt to cruise news and US

There are plenty of affordable places to explore if you want to jet away from the cold. From cruises and birdwatching to Caribbean beaches, Simon Calder looks at the options

Cruise control: 'Carnival Freedom'

Simon Calder: A priceless experience – but at what cost?

The man who pays his way
Koh Tao is smaller and more remote than its larger neighbours, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan

Thailand beach murders: The sinister streak lurking beneath seeming paradise

Killing of pair on Koh Tao takes to 13 the number of British visitors to Thailand murdered in the past five years

Second best: if the Northern Lights are a no-show first time around, you get another try free

Simon Calder: The light programme with a possible repeat

The man who pays his way
Two easyJet airplanes on the ground

Air traffic-controllers strike: Hundreds of flights grounded across Europe

An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 passengers flying between the UK and Italy will be affected

Open skies: a new view from Terminal 4

Simon Calder: Why squander slots on the shortest hops?

The man who pays his way
Look east: Shanghai is new to BA's 3 network

Simon Calder: Places that have fallen from the map of the sky

The man who pays his way
Red route: hitch-hiking is prohibited in Namibia

Simon Calder: Breaking the rule of thumb in Namibia

The man who pays his way
All change: Marseille is to get a new train link

Simon Calder: Trains to Europe on track at last

The man who pays his way
Monkeying around: Victoria Falls station

Simon Calder: Monkeying around with the railways

The man who pays his way

Simon Calder: Lakes & Mountains ... and passport confusion

The man who pays his way
Sign language: Shenfield station’s puzzling board

Simon Calder: A question of travel to Essex and beyond

The man who pays his way
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    Independent Travel
    Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
    Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
    Vietnam
    Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
    South Africa
    Spain
    Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'