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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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Yorkshire youngsters plot La Manga Club golf victory

La Manga Club might be the setting for many a golf holiday in Spain, but for six youngsters in Yorkshire, relaxation will be far from their minds when they take to the famous fairways next month.

The junior members at Willow Valley Golf will be taking part in the Junior Team Home Nations Championship at La Manga Club between December 17th and 22nd and are preparing themselves for a battle, Today's Golfer reports.

"We might be underdogs due to our higher handicaps, but we have already defied the odds by beating some established clubs in the nationals," said Chris Nuttall, junior organiser at Willow Valley.

The tournament at La Manga Club is one of the most prestigious for the under-18 age group, with Sky Sports cameras set to be beaming the action into the homes of UK viewers.

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Luton named top airport for passenger growth

London Luton has been named as the UK's top airport for passenger growth over the last year.

The airport, which operates flights to Spain and other popular holiday destinations, saw a 6.5 per cent increase in passengers between January and September 2008, compared to the previous year.

According to airport officials, the growth has been spurred by the introduction of several new routes.

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Holiday bookings look "robust"

Despite the current economic climate, holiday bookings for the coming year are looking "robust", one travel expert has claimed.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, travel editor Frank Barrett described the British as "determined travellers" and said it was unlikely that people would willingly sacrifice their hard-earned holidays.

"Bookings for next summer remain reasonably robust under the circumstances - there is so far little evidence of people trading down in their holiday expectations," he explained.

However, Mr Barrett said that the majority of holidaymakers are looking for bargains and more "bang for their buck", with many people considering all-inclusive options rather than self-catering.

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Golfer readies herself for Q-School at La Manga Club

Having retired from the Dubai Masters, golfer Dani Masters must now view the qualifying school at La Manga Club as the last opportunity for her to get her European Tour card for next season.

A season plagued with injuries has placed her participation in next season's ladies' tour in jeopardy, but Masters is being philosophical about the prospect.

"I would be distraught if I failed, but you move on. I'm really passionate about golf but it's never been the be all and end all," she told Kent News.

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Newspaper apologises to La Manga-based tennis player

Those taking tennis holidays in La Manga Club may cross paths with British pro Robert Dee, who is based in the region.

And if it seems that he has an extra spring in his step, then it is because he has received another printed apology from an English newspaper.

The London Evening Standard has been forced to print an apology to Dee after it described him as "the world's worst tennis player", Press Gazette reports.

Statistics used by the newspaper did not include 22 victories racked up in professional matches in Spain by Dee, who the Times reports lives in a family home in La Manga.

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'Perennial favourites' re-emerge for Christmas holidays

Holidays in Spain are one of the most popular trips for British sun seekers, particularly when the cold UK weather begins to snap.

La Manga Club is well equipped to welcome such holidaymakers, thanks to its location in Murcia, where glorious weather is enjoyed for most of the year.

According to the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta), there is unlikely to be any bucking of trends when it comes to where people choose to take their winter holidays.

Frances Tuke, spokesperson for the association, said that it is "very much the same destinations" that will prove to be popular over the Christmas period.

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