Latest Simon Calder video diary

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is there any advantage with my San Francisco flights if I book with Lufthansa rather than United?

Q. I am in the process of booking a return flight from London to San Francisco. The direct flight I have selected is run by United but I can also book the same one through the Lufthansa site. Is there any advantage, under the EU rules, for this flight if I book the Lufthansa option?

Margaret Read, Stafford

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Can I leave luggage at Marco Polo airport - and how is best to reach central Venice?

Q. Can I leave my baggage at Venice's Marco Polo airport for the day - and how can I get from the airport to the city itself? What is the best option: water bus, train, or local bus?

John French

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Similar, but not the same - if you liked Nerja try Cadaques

Q.Last summer we went to Nerja in southern Spain and thoroughly enjoyed both the place and the surrounding area. This year it's just my wife and I. We are tempted to go back to Nerja, but are a little apprehensive about thinking "it's not as good as last year". Could you recommend a similar type of place?

Roy Crosby

Simon Calder: Sleep(er) your way around the world

The man who pays his way

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Does it happen often that a transatlantic superdeal vanishes in the night?

Q. I have a daughter living in Canada and a son moving to San Francisco. I did all the usual price checks using many airlines. Then I happened on Lufthansa (member of Star Alliance) and decided to give it a try. Put in the details out Heathrow-Edmonton, Edmonton-San Francisco, San Francisco-Heathrow.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is this a fair charge for changing my Corfu flights?

Q. I am going to Corfu in September. I changed both outgoing and incoming flights by a couple of days. The travel firm charged me £25 admin fees, and easyJet charged me €108. Is that a fair amount for easyJet to charge? I find it a bit excessive. Can you help?

Peter Jaram

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Do the immigration delays at O'Hare mean I risk missing my connecting flight?

Q. We are flying to San Diego via Chicago O'Hare with American Airlines, with a two-and-quarter-hour window between flights. Have you any idea about the current waiting time for immigration control at O'Hare airport?

Marion Blanchard

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Should we cancel our holiday in Hammamet because of Tunisian warnings?

Q. Me and my boyfriend are travelling to Hammamet for 11 nights later this month. I have seen reports warning against travelling to Tunisia. What is the unrest over there at the moment? Shall we cancel our holiday?

Polly Buller, Kettering

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: When is best to book for a Los Angeles Easter flight in 2014?

Q. Three adults, one child, non-stop to Los Angeles from London, flying 5-18 April 2014, which is over Easter. We must travel on these dates due to school holidays. When should we book?

Gareth Allen

Tough Dove: lovely but late

Simon Calder: No medals for the golden Dove on a flight to Olympus

The man who pays his way

Bay watch: the ancient walls look over the city

48 Hours In: Thessaloniki

Friendly, beautiful and with a wealth of cultural attractions, Greece's second city is better connected to the UK than ever before, says Simon Calder

Simon Calder: Minimal fury for new Heathrow third runway plan ticks box for politicians

Regulars at the bar of the Five Bells in the village of Harmondsworth, just north of Heathrow, could last night celebrate the departure of runway blight. But customers at the pub’s namesake in Stanwell, on the other side of the airport, may be drinking at the last-chance saloon.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Why is culture capital Marseille not easier to reach?

Q. In the year when Marseille is European Capital of Culture, can you understand why the Eurostar direct service was not extended there exceptionally and indeed why British Airways chose to abandon its service from Gatwick?

Danielle Marson

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: I booked for Mallorca and then found unhappy reviewers - what should I do?

Q. I booked a hotel in Mallorca through Clever Hotels. Looking on TripAdvisor there seem to be some unhappy Clever Hotels customers. I have tried to call and email Clever Hotels with no response to date.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is this deal for Florida just too good?

Q. I am planning a trip to Florida, and have found basically the same holiday to International Drive in Orlando for £600 less through Travel Republic than through Thomson. Should I have any worries - the price seems too good?

Liz Hall

Go in peace: W Retreat and Spa

With its renowned surf, serene temples and wild interior, the Indonesian island offers tranquillity and adventure

Fair trade: the idea of honesty boxes relies on people paying their way
Gardening leave: Signal Point Cottage sits in the Arid Garden
The Rosewood London offers suite guests a complimentary 'maxi bar'
There are still summer cruises available in Europe
Capital idea: Madrid 'feels like proper Spain'
£896 - Hayes & Jarvis

City break in New York

Summer time: how long is left on your passport?

The man who pays his way

Perfect match: modern art is mixed with traditional materials
Writing on the wall: Borussia Dortmund's colourful stadium

A new 800km trail shows you where world-beaters are made

Wing and a prayer: The purple emperor butterfly

Wildlife Weekend

Table for one: Japanese restaurants are designed to cater for solo diners
Old charmer: the Dolaucothi Arms is 200 years old
Top table: the now closed el Bulli in Spain

Singapore's Food Festival, Arctic Reindeer Migration, and a literary London hotel

Future of travel: An artist's impression of Birmingham New Street station
Famiglia territory: Il Salviatino in Florence invites guests to dine as an authentic Italian family would
Eyes wide open: Google Glass is now on sale in the UK
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    Day In a Page

    Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
    Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
    Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
    Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
    Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
    Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game