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Travel insurance 'should be a top priority'

Almost half of Brits are planning to cut back on financial products such as travel insurance and car finance schemes this year, a new survey has revealed.

Research by American Express found that one in four people are looking to axe their travel insurance policies before their next holiday.

Chris Rolland, head of American Express Insurance Services, said the findings were "worrying" and warned that cutting back on protection could be a costly mistake.

"This may well be a false economy as people could end up paying out much more than they bargained for if something should happen.

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New Tiravanija installation opens in Malaga

Renowned Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija has unveiled a new installation at Malaga's Contemporary Arts Centre.

His work is currently on display in one of the centre's large halls and those visiting the exhibit can help themselves to a free t-shirt, complete with the slogan 'You Can't Simulate Freedom', Euro Weekly reports.

The exhibition, entitled 'A Long March', is an "opportunity to reflect upon the idea of being free, understood as an excuse to face reality in a superficial way".

Human interaction forms part of the exhibition and visitors are invited to participate by taking part in a demonstration in the centre.

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Enjoy a holiday 'for the cost of a night out'

Those considering a holiday may be surprised to learn that a flight to Spain can cost the same as a night out.

Research carried out by leading budget carrier bmibaby found that 41 per cent of people spend between £21 and £40 on a typical night out with friends.

However, according to the airline, a flight to Spain can cost as little as £34.99 including taxes.

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Superstitious travellers 'avoid Friday 13th'

It seems that even the prospect of a beach and some sunshine isn't enough to tempt some superstitious Brits into travelling on Friday 13th.

A poll carried out by travel review website TripAdvisor has found that a quarter of people feel anxious about travelling on this supposedly unlucky day.

It seems that many people are superstitious about the number 13 in general, with one in ten saying they regularly avoid seats and rows carrying this number.

Furthermore, nine per cent of holidaymakers refuse to stay in a number 13 hotel room.

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All-inclusive holidays 'help travellers budget'

Opting to holiday on an all-inclusive basis or staying at a resort that offers plenty of leisure and entertainment options can help travellers to plan their budgets more effectively, it has been suggested.

Kayte Williams, holidays travel manager at Travelsupermarket, said an increasing number of Brits are snapping up all-inclusive deals.

"It helps people plan. They know essentially what the cost of the holiday is upfront, and they can then take a holiday and know what money they need," she commented.

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'Boost' your health with a holiday in Spain

Taking a relaxing holiday in Spain during the winter months can help to boost your health, experts claim.

Furthermore, figures from budget carrier easyJet show that winter flight bookings are up 17 per cent on last year.

Dr David Holmes, a psychologist at Manchester Metropolitan University, said that many people are feeling down after Christmas and are in need of a relaxing break in the sun.

"Taking a break during the winter months has huge benefits for your mind, body and soul," he said.

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Mid-haul holidays 'on the increase'

The number of people travelling to mid-haul destinations is on the increase, it has been claimed.

According to figures from Ascent MI's Leisure Travel Monitor, flights to Spain and other mid-haul destinations are up three per cent this winter, compared to the same period last year.

Online bookings and telephone reservations are up ten per cent, Travel Weekly reports, with holidaymakers preferring to browse on the internet rather than visit a travel agent.

All-inclusive holidays are also said to be on the increase, with people keen to peg the price of their holiday and avoid the stress of currency fluctuations.

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Holidaymakers must 'exercise caution' with overseas transactions

Holidaymakers have been urged to exercise the same amount of caution when using their credit and debit card abroad, as they would in the UK.

Duncan Barraclough, head of hotels at Travelsupermarket, said that holidaymakers should give thought to the amount of currency they are taking with them and where they use their cards.

Holidaymakers should not take a more relaxed approach to their finances simply because they are abroad.

"You have to be more vigilant, things like making sure the card is within your eyesight and when you do buy something on your card, you're happy that your transaction is being done through a reputable establishment," he added.

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Rationing flights 'won't work'

Recent proposals to introduce rationing of flights to Spain and other destinations have been criticised by aviation information specialist Ascend.

Peter Morris, the organisation's chief economist, described the suggestion made by Lord Turner, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, as "preposterous".

"One of the things is if you look at the proportion of carbon emissions from aviation, it is admittedly small by any criteria, if one cares to look at, by five per cent worldwide," he commented.

In other news, British Airways announced recently that they are planning to halve their CO2 emissions by 2050.

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Brits 'long for holidays'

Despite the economic downturn there is still an "appetite" for holidays in Spain and other sunny destinations, it has been claimed.

Kayte Williams of Travelsupermarket, said that although the current climate is tough, people are still prepared to go away on holiday and are willing to sacrifice other luxuries instead.

"As people work longer hours, especially in this country, they are most unwilling to give up their holiday," she explained.

There are so many deals and bargain breaks on the market at the moment, that there is no excuse for people to give up their hard-earned holidays, Ms Williams added.

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