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Christmas breaks 'are popular'

Christmas is becoming an increasingly popular time for a break, an expert has said.

Family holidays in Spain could be popular for those looking for a winter break, with an increasing number of people looking to get away over the Christmas period.

A spokesperson for Thomsonfly said that the winter holiday is a "popular" time for a break.

"A lot of people do see it as an opportunity to travel.

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Spanish holidays "top for festive breaks"

Spanish holidays have been named as the most popular type of break for people wanting to escape a cold British Christmas.

According to Co-Operative Travel and reported in the Daily Mail, the number of people planning a Spanish holiday during the festive season has increased by 19 per cent in 2007, ahead of the US and Cyprus.

It was discovered that some 3.3 million Brits will be escaping the UK this Christmas, which is 11 per cent up from last year.

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Holiday travel 'part of carbon footprint'

Those travelling by air to their holiday destination are contributing to their carbon footprint and many do not realise the environmental effect of getaways, it has been claimed.

A carbon footprint is a term to describe the amount of carbon emissions generated by any activity. The bigger the footprint, the more potential damage to the planet and effect on climate change there will be.

However, Simon Stokes of advisory company Carbon Footprint said although some people do not realise the impact of aviation and holiday travel, more and more people are choosing to offset their emissions and select options that minimise the amount of carbon dioxide their activities produce.

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Tips on renting a car abroad

Taking a Spanish family holiday can be great fun, especially if you rent a car and travel to the many delights the Mediterranean country has to offer.

But it is worth being aware of how to avoid potentially high costs when hiring a vehicle, according to the Daily Mail, which has suggested a number of ways to minimise the price.

Firstly, look for a broker that offers reasonable cover for damage excess, as most hire car companies have higher excesses than regular policies.

Next, look for insurance that includes a comprehensive cover policy for renting a vehicle abroad, as some deals skimp on this kind of detail.

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Cartagena to get Spain's largest ice rink

The festive feeling will come to Cartagena following the news that a town in the region is to get the largest ice skating rink in the country.

At a cost of €12 million (£8.45 million) the rink will initially be a temporary installation in La Vaguada, according to Typically Spanish, but will be bigger than the current provisions in Elche.

It will be introduced over the Christmas period and a study will be carried out to see whether it is worth turning the ice skating rink into a permanent attraction for the Cartagena area.

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Spanish holiday drivers 'should carry documentation'

Those planning to drive on their next Spanish holiday should make sure to carry all relevant documentation relating to their cover and license, an insurance firm has warned.

According to esure, motorists who get behind the wheel abroad need to take the right paperwork with them, although they must make sure not to leave anything of this type in the vehicle unattended.

Head of corporate communications at the company Adrian Webb said that a driving license is always needed to hire a car abroad, but many people mistakenly leave it in the glove box - opening them up to identity fraud should the vehicle be stolen.

"If you're going abroad, take everything you've got - take your policies, policy booklets, emergency numbers, license - but don't drive around with it in the car," Mr Webb added.

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Families 'love adventure holidays'

More and more families are looking for adventurous holiday opportunities, a travel advisor suggested today.

Matt Hodgson, manager of Travel Nation, said although adventure trips can be a bit more expensive than a traditional package getaway, they can be a great experience for families looking for something "a bit out of the ordinary".

Indeed, those who holiday in resorts such as La Manga Club in Spain can partake in all sorts of sports and recreational activities - meaning a break away can be fun and fitness-orientated.

Mr Hodgson added that those who do choose an adventurous getaway tend to do so based on the weather conditions of the destination.

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New hotels for Spanish holidays

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced that it has signed a new 20-hotel franchise agreement with UK investment group Zinnia Hotels Properties Holdings that will see new hotels built for Spanish holidays.

The company, owner of the Express by Holiday brand, plans to sign the properties over the next five years, with an estimated total investment of 180 million euros from Zinnia. Due to open in late 2009, the first of the hotels will feature a range of amenities, such as power showers and workstations.

Under the terms of the deal, the number of IHG Express by Holiday Inn branded hotels in Spain will double and the company is aiming to make its brands first choice for guests and hotel owners.

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Music and dancing at the Alicante Carnival

The colourful, vibrant carnival in the city of Alicante takes place at the end of January each year and could be a great way to spend a Spanish holiday.

Running from January 21st to February 10th 2008, the event lasts for three weeks, with costume parades, dancing and music filling La Rambla and El Barrio on Sabado Ramblero.

The Sabado Ramblero celebrations will be held next year on February 2nd, while the festival begins with traditional plays and ends with a unique ritual entitled Funeral Wake and Burial of the Sardine.

Masks and makeup from the carnival are buried each year at the end of the festivities to prepare for Lent and the period of fasting and praying that follow the celebrations.

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Spanish holiday? Get insurance, warns Amex

Those preparing to go on a Spanish holiday should make sure that they have adequate travel insurance according to American Express (Amex) Insurance Services.

Amex Insurance Services has indicated that holidaymakers planning trips to locations in Spain like La Manga Club should not depend on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as a worthy substitute for insurance.

While the EHIC entitles EU residents to free or reduced healthcare costs abroad, the financial services provider highlights that carrying the card will not cover holiday cancellation, curtailment or repatriation.

Amex Insurance Services also indicates that Brits on Spanish holidays are only likely to save up to 20 per cent of medical bills in Spanish hospitals if all they have is their EHIC.

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