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Holidaymakers 'adapt travel habits'

Despite the economic downturn, British holidaymakers are not sacrificing their holidays to Spain and other popular destinations, it has been revealed.

According to lastminute.com, holidaymakers are dealing with the downturn by changing their travel habits and looking at other ways to save money.

Bookings of all-inclusive holidays rose by 21 per cent in 2008 and that trend is set to continue over the coming year.

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Irish stars celebrate New Year's Eve in Spain

Irish television presenter Brian Ormond and his model girlfriend Pippa O'Connor have welcomed 2009 on holiday in Spain.

The glamorous pair are reportedly enjoying a relaxing two-week break in the popular resort of Marbella.

Speaking last week to the Herald, RTE host Brian said there was always plenty to do in Spain and that there would be no shortage of parties.

"I never really go away and I've never been a big New Year's Eve person but this year, I just wanted to do something different so we decided to head off and get a bit of sun," he commented.

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Spain is 'number one' for Scottish holidaymakers

Spain is the number one destination for Scottish holidaymakers, it has been revealed.

According to figures from BAA Scotland, more than 1.2 million people flew to sunny destinations such as Malaga, Alicante and Murcia last year, the BBC reports.

Commenting on the results, BAA Scotland spokesman Donald Morrison said that holidays in Spain were still popular, with the Netherlands and Ireland ranked in second and third place respectively.

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Drop those festive pounds at La Manga Club

With the festive season over it's time to get back in shape and prepare for the year ahead.

Those looking to burn off the excess calories they consumed over Christmas may wish to consider a trip to La Manga Club in Spain.

Situated in the sunny Murcia region, La Manga is the ideal place to get in shape and with 28 multi-surface tennis courts, three championship golf courses and a state-of-the-art health and fitness centre, guests will be spoilt for choice.

La Manga is bordered on two sides by a national park and guests can also keep fit by exploring the surrounding countryside.

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Detox at La Manga Club

Let's face it, it's only natural to over-indulge a little during the festive season and enjoy one glass of vino too many.

However, guests staying at La Manga Club can detox their bodies by indulging in one of the sumptuous spa treatments available at the resort.

Spa La Manga Club offers a wide range of relaxing treatments designed to revitalise the body, including body scrubs, wraps and deep tissue massages.

Those looking for something extra comforting may wish to consider a Chocotherapy treatment, which involves a full-body chocolate massage with cocoa butter and sweet almond oil.

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Monarch makes flights to Spain 'easier' for families

Travelling with children is never easy, however, low-fare airline Monarch has announced plans to introduce a new complementary 10kg hold baggage allowance for infants.

Speaking recently, the airline said that as well as offering parents this extra allowance, prams, pushchairs and car seats will continue to be carried for free.

Liz Savage, the managing director of Monarch's scheduled service division, said the airline was committed to providing good customer service to all of its customers.

"As an airline flying to popular holiday destinations in Spain, Portugal and Cyprus we carry many young families on their annual holidays and feel it is important to make their travel experience as seamless as possible," she added.

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Travellers urged to buy insurance in 2009

The Association of British Travel Agents has warned those taking holidays in Spain and other destinations during 2009 to take out a travel insurance policy.

Speaking today (December 31st), the organisation expressed concern that new government regulations could mean that fewer tour operators offer travel insurance policies to their customers.

Travel insurance typically provides cover for lost or damaged belongings and medical expenses when travelling overseas.

Mike Monk, the organisation's head of financial services, said that holidaymakers who are not offered a policy by their tour operator should arrange it independently.

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Travel insurance is 'a must' for holidays in Spain

Britons taking holidays to Spain and other popular destinations should ensure they take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy before travelling.

A recent study by Holiday Extras revealed that 65 per cent of British holidaymakers would not know what to do if they ran into trouble when abroad.

Commenting on the findings, travel claims lawyer Mike Imperato said that holidaymakers should ensure they collect evidence if they suffer any illnesses or are involved in any accidents when abroad.

"Keep detailed notes, take photographs and if other people are affected too, make sure that you get their contact details too," he added.

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Gobble some grapes 'for good fortune'

Britons taking holidays to Spain over the festive period can enjoy good fortune in the New Year by following the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight on December 31st.

Supermarkets across the country are already selling small packets of grapes and, according to Typically Spanish, the tradition has a 100-year history.

Revellers usually eat the grapes in time with the chimes of the Puerto del Sol in Madrid, which is broadcast on television and it is thought that up to two million kilos of the fruit is eaten on New Years Eve.

Other Spanish New Year traditions include eating lentils to boost wealth and wearing red or yellow underwear.

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Avoiding car sickness: Car hire in La Manga tips

Hiring a car in La Manga offers a great way of seeing more of the Murcia region at a pace that suits oneself.

However, it could also provide the opportunity for one of the less celebrated by-products of travel - carsickness - to take hold, unless sensible steps are taken when heading out on to the road.

Car insurance provider esure has therefore issued a number of tips that could help reduce the risk of feeling queasy while behind the wheel, including avoiding heavy meals and ensuring air conditioning is set to a comfortable level.

The firm recently commissioned research which found that ways of keeping children entertained, such as providing them with portable consoles or DVD players, can actually increase the chances of feeling ill when on the move.

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