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Stay safe on holiday? Try Ascension Island, where the government office tells us "there is no crime". To get there, however, you have to find yourself a place on the weekly RAF flight to the Falklands which stops off at Ascension on the way. Details from the Falkland Islands Government Office (0171-222 2542).

See killer whales in the wild without leaving the UK? Head north to the Shetland Islands, where the species is making an increased number of appearances - there have been 20 sightings in the last month alone. You observe the whales from various headlands and viewpoints along the coast. For more details call Shetland Islands Tourism on 01595 693434.

Leave pets at home while you trot off on holiday? Book a petsitter (016974 78515) from Home & Pet Care for pounds 17 per day for the house plus pounds 2 per dog or 75p per cat.

Cycle around without getting punctures? Invest in some Urathon puncture- proof tyres (01249 760581) which cost between pounds 3 and pounds 15 and come in a variety of colours.

Get beyond the beach in St Lucia? Go on a St Lucia National Trust trail around the interior of the island. Tours and trails run all year round and the cheapest starts at pounds 10. For information before you go, contact the St Lucia Tourist Board on 0171-431 3675.

Get to the Edinburgh Festival from London? For pounds 94 return from Euston station, you can buy a first-class ticket on a Caledonian sleeper. The price includes 24-hour room service, continental breakfast and free toiletries. For bookings phone ScotRail on 0345 550033. However, between 19 August and 8 September Air UK (0345 666777) has a return flight from London City Airport for pounds 49.

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