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Spain offers 'better quality of life'

An extended Spanish holiday could be just what the doctor ordered for British consumers fed up with public services, education and the weather, according to one commentator.

Spain has been included in a list of top scoring countries in a quality of life index compiled by NatWest.

The bank's IPB Quality of Life Index placed Spain at seventh in the list of ten countries rated by expats who surveyed it on factors such as quality of life experience including housing, public services, weather and the natural environment and other lifestyle indicators.

"The chance to work or retire abroad to a place in the sun has long been a desire for many Brits and it is interesting to note for those considering the move to wider shores that the grass can indeed be greener on the other side," observed Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking.

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Brits passport problems exposed

Britons looking to take flights to La Manga for Spanish holidays should endeavour to keep their passports safe after the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) revealed the top ten passport disasters as noted by their staff.

The advice comes as the IPS urges travellers to check their passports well in advance of booking their Spanish holidays as changes being introduced mean that first-time adult passport seekers may have to wait up to six weeks for their passport.

According to the IPS, more than 225,000 passport-holders reported their British passports lost or damaged in 2007.

"Without a valid passport, you run the risk of missing out on your trip abroad, or having to waste time and money organising a replacement," Home Office minister Meg Hillier advised.

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Madrid Olympics would 'boost Spain'

Madrid is a city that is growing in popularity among international tourists taking flights to Spain for Spanish holidays, it has been reported.

Meanwhile, Mercedes Coghen has claimed that if Madrid wins its 2016 Olympic bid, hosting the Games could help Spain to become the world's most popular holiday destination.

She added that Madrid would become a "must visit" city as tourism is at the heart of the Spanish economy.

"Hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games would provide a perfect platform on which to build Madrid's international profile as one of the world's top holiday destinations," the bid leader enthused at the International Tourism Trade Fair in the city.

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Flooded family flee to Spain

A couple from Covingham in the UK were forced to flee the wet weather of England and relocate on an extended Spanish holiday after their stationery business went under - under water during the July 2007 floods.

The Wiltshire couple took flights to Spain after their home - from which they ran their business - was flooded by four feet of water.

Andy and Linda Voaden took flights to Alicante before heading to their holiday home in La Zenia after they decided they could not run their business from a hotel room.

"We were lucky to be able to come here.

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Murcia is "up and coming city"

"Intelligent" investors would do well to book their flights to Murcia in order to take a look at what the city offers, according to one commentator.

According to BuyAssociation, the "intelligent" investors looking at Spain are likely to be focusing their attention on Murcia, which it describes as an "up and coming city".

Paul Collins, property editor at BuyAssociation added that the city is gaining importance thanks to its new international airport, which allows more Britons to take flights to Murcia.

He added that Spain is likely to always be a favourite among British holidaymakers.

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Traditional honeymooners opt for beach

The months of January and February may see spikes in bookings of flights to La Manga and flights to Murcia, after it was reported that beach holidays are still popular among those taking traditional honeymoons.

Hitched.co.uk reports that while the "world is your oyster" paradise destinations and beach locations are still enjoyed by conventional couples on their honeymoons.

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Honeymooners told to 'book early'

British couples looking to marry and then take their honeymoon overseas have been advised that it is better to book early in terms of bagging the best deals.

In order to guarantee availability for a honeymoon, Francesca Moore, spokesperson for hitched.co.uk, reported that it is best to book travel roughly 11 months in advance.

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Alicante to host glass work exhibition

The Costa Blanca is covered in golden sand, so it is perhaps fitting that the Alicante Archaeology Museum is currently presenting an exhibition of one of sand's more beautiful incarnations - glass.

Those taking Spanish holidays from now until March can view some unique and breathtaking glass pieces from ancient periods at the museum.

Donated temporarily by the Catalonian Museum of Archaeology, the show is is part of the Glassway, Interreg III-B Western Mediterranean Project, sponsored by the European Union.

Comprising of three unique sections; history of glass, fabrication techniques and uses of glass; this exhibit is of interest to both eager to learn children and adults with an eye for art.

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'Better quality of life on Costa Blanca'

Some Britons travelling out on Spanish holidays fall so in love with the region that it becomes hard to tear themselves away and return to a life in the UK.

This was particularly the case for the Chessher family, who relocated from the UK to Gandia, a town on the Costa Blanca not far from Alicante, Homes Worldwide reports.

According to the company, husband and father John Chessner decided the time was ripe to relocate after spending not enough time with his wife and children.

Eventually the couples decided on a move to Gandia and took flights to Alicante to discover the surroundings.

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Spain in bid to bring safety to roads

Brits taking Spanish holidays can look forward to travelling on safer roads, as the government has now passed through new driving regulations.

Typically Spanish reports that road users who have had any form of corrective surgery to their eyes during the past year must take a vision test and renew their driving licence.

It is estimated that this will affect roughly 75,000 drivers in Spain.

Holidaymakers taking flights to Alicante for a Spanish holiday may be interested to know that they do not need to change their British driving licence to a Spanish driving licence in order to rent a hire car and motor abroad.

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