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Booking early can beat post-holiday blues

Been on holiday and feeling depressed about going back to work? Start booking your next Spanish holiday now if you want to beat the post-vacation blues, celebrity psychologist Donna Dawson suggests.

More than two in three British holidaymakers feel sad or miserable when they get back from a trip abroad, according to research conducted by Birmingham International Airport.

Around one in eight admitted to making an excuse to gain a few extra hours in bed, while a further one in sixteen said they called in sick and skipped work altogether, all within a fortnight of returning home from their holidays.

But booking early can beat the blues, says Donna Dawson, a psychologist who has appeared as guest consultant on TV shows such as 'This Morning', 'The Richard and Judy Show' and 'Sky News'

"Booking your holiday early.

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Paper airline tickets will become thing of the past

Holidaymakers heading for Spain will no longer suffer from headaches over where they left their tickets, with paper airline tickets set to become a thing of the past from June next year.

From June 1st 2008, every airline ticket issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) will come in electronic form, making journeys cheaper and tickets less easy to lose.

IATA, which represents more than 240 airlines providing 94 per cent of international scheduled air traffic, has announced that it has placed its last order for traditional paper tickets, which it currently supplies to some 60,000 travel agents in 162 countries around the world.

"This is a 'last call' for paper tickets," Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and CEO told CNN.

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Customers should book flights early: ABTA

Holidaymakers heading for the luxury La Manga resort should book their flights to Alicante early if they are to achieve the best deal.

Those heading out on holiday can get better deals on their flights, but in order to do so they should book them "as early as possible", the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has advised.

Sean Tipton, speaking on behalf of the ABTA, suggests that taking the time to compare prices and considering airlines from outside the UK can often offer passengers the best deals.

"It is always advisable for people to shop around," Mr Tipton advised.

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Cartagena becoming must-see place for tourists

The number of tourists visiting the historic Spanish town of Cartagena has shot up this year, according to local authorities.

Day trips organised by Cartagena's Puerto de Culturas programme saw ten per cent more visitors to the town in July than were there in the same month a year ago, website ThinkSpain reports.

Puerto de Culturas is an independent association which enables tourists and holidaymakers to acquire a more in-depth knowledge of the town's history and culture, which is often unjustly overlooked by guidebooks and day-trippers.

The town that once played host to Hannibal and legions of Carthaginian soldiers on their way to Rome now sees 40 per cent of its visitors from overseas.

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Brits want a place in the Spanish sun

A Spanish beach is the most popular location for Britons are searching for their place in the sun, according to a new report.

Over 40 per cent of all homeowners in the UK would like to buy a place overseas one day - and a quarter of these would prefer a place by the Spanish sea, the Overseas Desirability Report conducted by thinkproperty.com has shown.

An idyllic location was the most important factor for the 2,700 homeowners surveyed by the independent property website.

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Shark excites tourists near La Manga

A shark seen by several excited holidaymakers was captured by a team of biologists and veterinarians at San Javier's Villamorena beach in La Manga on Thursday.

Spanish guards had been concerned for the shark's welfare and noted that the creature's appearance so close to the shore was far from typical.

"It's very rare to see a shark so close to the beach, now we're trying to find out if he's ill," Luis Gestoso, the head of civil protection in Murcia said, shortly before the shark was apprehended.

If the shark, now safely captured, is found to be in good health, it will be released further away from the coastline into deeper waters.

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Number of travellers without insurance "extremely alarming": Post Office

For many heading out on Spanish holidays, travel insurance is "forgotten" or considered "non-essential" - something the Post Office finds "extremely alarming".

Nearly half of all holidaymakers do not take out any travel insurance when they go abroad, according to a Post Office Travel Services survey.

"The amount of people who have admitted to going on holiday without any cover at all is extremely alarming," said John Howells, head of travel at Post Office.

Of those holidaymakers who took out no travel insurance, 46 per cent said they considered it a waste of money and didn't think they'd need it.

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Budget airlines provide better service than BA: IAPA

Passengers paying for the "full service" offered by established airlines such as BA often receive a "worse service" than those flying with budget airlines such as easyJet or Ryanair, according to a spokesman for the International Airline Passengers Association (IAPA).

Holidaymakers booking flights to Spain might pay more in the expectation of a better service from larger airlines such as BA.

But when it comes to handling baggage, smaller budget airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet come out on top, said Jonathan French, spokesperson for the IAPA.

"The irony of course is that the main culprit in losing baggage…happens to be British Airways," Mr French said.

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Holiday money costs us £244 million in fees

Tourists enjoying holidays in Spain and other popular destinations will withdraw up to £6.4 billion of holiday money from foreign ATMs this year - but doing so will cost them more than £244 million in fees, according to research.

On average, holidaymakers take out £96 every time they visit a cash point abroad. But these withdrawals cost the tourist an average of £3.

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Tomato-throwing festival makes a messy Spanish holiday

Spanish holidays can often turn a careless sunbather bright pink - but if you're staying near the little town of Bunol this week, you could end up a little redder than anticipated.

La Tomatina, the world-famous tomato-flinging tussle, gets underway in Bunol, near Valencia today (August 29th).

The annual festival, held on the last Wednesday of every August, paints the town a very particular shade of red, as 35,000 participants in the week-long food fight fling more than 100 tons of tomatoes at anyone and anything that moves.

Festivities begin with a contest to reach a ham at the top of a greasy poll, before tomato-bearing trucks arrive and a harmless war begins.

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