How I fell in love with Paxos


By Mark Hodson I love islands, and I especially love islands without airports. It’s just that added bit of effort in getting there that seems to protect them from overdevelopment and the inevitable cynicism and blandness that comes with it.  I actually enjoy arriving by sea: you get more of a sense of ... Read more

Why mountain gorillas need tourism to survive

Mountain habitat

  By Will Bolsover, Managing Director, Natural World Safaris

Will Bolsover set up the first ever gorilla tracking safari in Gabon in combination with Emmanuel de Merode (now the Chief Warden of Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo). He also worked for a niche gorilla safari company based in... Read more

6 stylish places to stay that welcome kids

Polurrian Bay Hotel

   By Nadine Mellor, Editor of the Kids Collection, i-escape

The ultimate family holiday for many of us means being by the sea. Our Kids Collection has a great selection of wonderfully stylish places which warmly welcome children. These six hidden gems are sited close to the waves and cater for all age... Read more

Jamaica – the ultimate in luxury hotel service?

Round Hill

By Catherine Leech, Director, 101 Holidays In the mid-’90s, the new MD of one of the UK’s luxury tour operators gave a stark and well-publicised warning that service levels in the Caribbean simply didn’t match up to those of the Far East and Indian Ocean – both of which were making (an... Read more

Are these the most stupid ever TripAdvisor reviews?

Confusing 2

By Hilary Wardle

In Mitch Albom’s novel The Five People You Meet In Heaven, the protagonist finds himself in the afterlife and meets five people who have significantly impacted and guided him throughout his time on Earth. TripAdvisor isn’t heaven. Far from it. But you can divide the misguided reviewers wh... Read more

9/11 Memorial

I visited the 9/11 Memorial at the site of the Twin Towers three weeks ago. It’s a surprising restrained and moving memorial. The waterfalls are monumental in size and cascade downwards into an unseen abyss. As you walk around you’re encouraged to run your hands over the etched names of the victim... Read more

Would you try a home exchange?


By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer and Editor of 101 Holidays You’ve probably heard about home exchanges, but would you give it a try? Would you take the chance of staying in a stranger’s house and – more to the point – trust them with yours? I’m a fan of the sharing of t... Read more

No photography: Why camera bans might make us smarter tourists


By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays I’ve just returned from a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where I spent three hours utterly enthralled by the treasures of King Tutankhamen. I don’t think I’ve seen a more impressive collection of artefacts anywhere in the world, brilliantly broug... Read more

Would you travel with a 20-year-old guide book?


By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays I’m 30,000ft above the southern Mediterranean on a flight from London to Cairo and I’m reading a 20-year-old guide book. This might sound like a bad decision given that much of the text will be out of date, but in fact it’s turning out pretty well. My first e... Read more

The Cary Arms, Devon

The view from our Commodore Room, The Cary Arms

By Catherine Leech, Director, 101 Holidays No – this isn’t a photo of the Cote d’Azur or some other resort in the Med. It was the early morning view taken through the window of our bedroom (Commodore) at The Cary Arms on south Devon’s Babbacombe Bay earlier this month. So many small ho... Read more

Cape Verde – Out of Africa, Brazil and Portugal

Crystal clear water

By Catherine Leech, Director, 101 Holidays Cape Verde is one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations, according to a new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council. And it’s not hard to see why, as I found on a recent visit to one of the islands. Tell most people you are headin... Read more

Get under the skin of Provence

Alternative Provence.Marseille harbour

By Dave Hanson So you’ve been to Provence. You saw lavender fields, you took trips to the Pont du Gard and some of the major wine estates, you soaked sun aplenty at the main Côte d’Azur beaches and even made time to scoot round the three A’s: Arles, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. So what now? What [&hell... Read more

Jo Whiley’s tips on family holidays

Video thumbnail for youtube video Jo Whiley's tips on family holidays -

By Mark Hodson My son was 14 months old before we took him abroad for the first time. As new parents, my wife and I were not very brave. No backpacking with a papoose for us. We went to a Mark Warner resort in Corsica and had a fabulous time, which I wrote about for […]... Read more

Notes from the Elman Wall Travel Directors Summit

Delegates zorb-fighting!

By Catherine Leech, Co-Founder and Director, 101 Holidays Now in its second year, yesterday’s annual Elman Wall Travel Directors Summit brought together an august gathering of tour operators and other travel industry types for a day of speakers, networking and the chance to kiss the hallowed turf of th... Read more

Wimdu is the latest ‘social travel’ website. Our reporter tests it out on a trip to Vienna

W_Marcella's home

 By Lizzie Rivera A weekend break is just the right amount of time to discover a new city – if you’ve researched where to go and what to do. If not, it can be 48 hours of expensive disappointment in what seems like one big tourist trap. Where do you do turn when a decent […]... Read more

My Isle of Wight holiday beat Australia hands down

James Lorenzo at The Island

By James Lorenzo, age 15 My trip to Camp Beaumont’s The Island last summer was one of my favourite holidays to date. Had you asked me before the trip to the Isle of Wight whether I thought it would compare with previous visits to Italy, Spain, even Australia, I would have laughed. Had you asked […]... Read more

15 best travel blogs to follow in 2012


By Holly Cave Last year we gathered together our 25 favourite travel blogs. Now at the beginning of a new year we’ve found 15 new and inspiring travel blogs that we believe you should be following in 2012. We looked for websites that are run by individuals who are out there seeing the world, not [&helli... Read more

Best books to read in 10 different holiday destinations


Guest post by Suzi Butcher, editor of Packabook Travel Novels If there is one thing that goes hand-in-hand with a well-deserved holiday, it’s a good book to read during those leisurely hours between breakfast and cocktails. But while the latest vampire novel or sci-fi adventure might give you a welcome brea... Read more

The rise of social travel

An apartment in Darlinghurst, Sydney

By Catherine Leech, Director, 101 Holidays With 30 years’ experience in the travel industry, I’ve witnessed the rise of the all-inclusive, the growth of regional airport departures, the rise (and fall of some) low cost airlines, the advent of pet passports and all manner of buzz words for green to... Read more

From the Inner Hebrides to Ethiopia: our pick of the week’s best travel blogs


By Holly Cave Over the past few days, it’s been adventurous exploits that have captured our attention. From a cruise around the deserted Inner Hebrides to a trek through the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, our imaginations have been stretched to bursting. Oh, and we haven’t forgotten about Christmas... Read more

First class posts: our pick of the week’s best travel blogs


By Holly Cave This week, our interest has been piqued by bloggers who’ve been on the trail of some fascinating fauna and others who’ve taken a look at Earth from a very different perspective. Read on for tales of the unexpected and some personal travel tips. We think there’s always a place f... Read more

St Helena’s airport is confirmed – is it a blessing?

The Governor's Residence

By Catherine Leech, Director, 101 Holidays As St Helena is finally assured by the British Government that the much-talked-of airport is to become a reality, I can’t help but reflect on and consider the impact on this exquisite but remote gem of an island. When I was fortunate enough to visit St Helena... Read more

Free holidays for poor people?


By Catherine Leech, Director, 101 Holidays I can’t recall a single occasion when I was impressed by an MP and the very thought of an All Party Parliamentary Group report leaves me cold. That said, “social tourism is not about free holidays for poor people”, Paul Maynard MP’s forceful... Read more

Our 25 favourite travel blogs

Here at 101 Holidays we love to read about travel, but sometimes even we are overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information and opinion on the web. There are literally hundreds of thousands of travel blogs, many of them self-indulgent and badly written. So we decided to sort the wheat from the chaff and sel... Read more

Is now the time to return to Japan?


By Mark Hodson, Editor, 101 Holidays Is it right to visit Japan on holiday so soon after the earthquake and tsunami devastated much of the country earlier this year? Is it insensitive? Will your travel plans be wrecked? This is a dilemma I have personally seen many times over. Most memorably, I was the first ... Read more

Marrakech: 5 tips for first-timers


By Polly Crossman Marrakech has long been on my list of must-see destinations. The ‘red city’ had me sold with the promise of mosaic-rich riads, red stone baking in the heat, winding souks and snake charmers. Travelling with British Airways, testing out their new London to Marrakech service, the city live... Read more

5 little gems in Tenerife

Tenerife - Playa de El MÇdano

Sally Molloy is Sovereign’s resident Tenerife concierge. Fourteen years ago, Sally took a three-month sabbatical with her husband Andy and came to Tenerife to learn to scuba dive. She fell in love with the island and never left. Today Sally is one of two resident concierges on the island, on call 24 hou... Read more

Would you book a holiday on your iPhone?


By Mark Hodson, Editor, 101 Holidays How long will it be before we start booking holidays on our smartphones? Not long, according to the adventure specialist, Exodus, which claims its new iPhone app – to be launched next week – will be the first created by any UK tour operator.* Exodus says it has... Read more

BA’s new London City flight is the business


By Mark Hodson, editor, 101 Holidays Flying across the Atlantic was once a glamorous affair. In Diamonds are Forever – one of my favourite Ian Fleming books – James Bond, accompanied by the glamorous Tiffany Case, boarded a BOAC Boeing Stratocruiser for the overnight trip from London to New York. ... Read more

6 things to do in New York City


By Mark Hodson, editor, 101 Holidays I’m just back from New York on a trip organised by British Airways to promote their new business-only flights from London City. It’s a cracking service, which I’ll review in a future blog post. In the meantime, here are six great discoveries I made in New York Ci... Read more

Why travel websites need to invest in photography


By Mark Hodson, editor, 101 Holidays Before the internet, people used to book holidays on the high street (imagine!). We’d pop into our friendly local travel agent, pick up a bundle of brochures then return a few days later to pay a deposit. Actually, large numbers of people still do this. Then along ca... Read more

Would you visit Madeira after the floods?


Is now a good time to visit Madeira – so soon after the devastating flash floods and mudslides that killed at least 42 people? Media reports suggest that the Portuguese island is still struggling to return to normality. This BBC video shows the extent of the damage just 20 minutes outside the capital, F... Read more

Escape to Galesnjak, the heart-shaped island


By 101 Holidays newsdesk Is this the ultimate Valentine’s Day holiday break? Since being discovered by Google Earth, the heart-shaped island of Galesnjak in Croatia has been ‘the place’ for romantic escapes – and now it can be all yours for the weekend. Show your loved one he or she... Read more

Travel writers’ recommended hotels


By Mark Hodson, editor of 101 Holidays Where do travel writers stay when they are paying their own hotel bills? Here at 101 Holidays we asked some of the top travel journalists and editors on Twitter to recommend their favourite hotels, B&Bs and guests – the places they would choose if they were pic... Read more

Twitter strategy for tour operators


By Mark Hodson, editor of 101 Holidays Should tour operators use Twitter as part of their marketing strategy? I think so – but only if they do it right. Yesterday I spoke on a panel about Twitter at a meeting of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (Aito). I was there in my capacity as […]... Read more

Dubai during Ramadan


As the Fast of Ramadan approaches – the 2009 dates are August 21 to September 19 – we’ve received a number of queries from travellers wanting to know how their holiday in Dubai, and other Muslim destinations, might be affected . Ramadan – the most important month in the Islamic calenda... Read more

Sri Lanka’s hidden treasure


By Catherine Leech, Director, 101 Holidays For anyone who wants idyllic beaches, culture and wildlife, Sri Lanka’s east coast is hard to beat, particularly Nilaveli, just to the north of Trincomalee. After its devastation in the 2004 tsunami and the subsequent Civil War, Sri Lanka’s eastern distri... Read more

How swine flu hit my family holiday


By Mark Hodson, Editor, 101 Holidays I have just spent a weekend in Disneyland Paris recovering from swine flu. I wouldn’t recommend it: Mickey and his mates can be tiring at the best of times, but when your energy levels are depleted, all those queues and parades can be positively exhausting. I wouldn’t ... Read more

Long haul travel ‘has never been cheaper’

mike gooley

Guest blog post by Mike Gooley, Chairman of Trailfinders I cannot imagine that the cost of longhaul travel and holidays can ever be lower in real terms than it is at this moment of time. At least this is the one bright spot resulting from the downturn of the economy. It has forced all travel […]... Read more

My Corsica, by Claire Hall of directCorsica


By Claire Hall, Director of directCorsica Here’s a personal selection of some of my favourite places in Corsica. VALINCO GULF Having travelled to Corsica for many years, this is the area I have chosen to call home.  What I love are the beaches in this area; a whole series of little creeks and coves, so... Read more

How to start a travel website

Travolution Summit

By Mark Hodson, editor of 101 Holidays Ever thought of launching your own travel website? Lots of people are doing it, and it could be a nifty way to haul yourself out of the recession. If you fancy yourself as a budding web entrepreneur, here are some tips gleaned from the experts at this year’s […]... Read more

Travelex airport currency rates: a rip-off?


By Mark Hodson, editor of 101 Holidays If you’re one of the many travellers that exchange currency at the airport before you fly, there’s a good chance you’re being ripped off. Last week I flew from Heathrow to Geneva. To get the best exchange rate, I ordered some Swiss Francs online with Travelex. The ... Read more

10 rants about travel

airport chaos

By David Wickers and Mark Hodson, editors of 101 Holidays What are your pet hates about travel and holidays? Here are 10 things we find annoying or overrated. 1. Car hire scams. Perhaps the most overtly cynical scam is the one where you have to pay up front for a full tank of petrol. “Return […]... Read more

Jason Goodwin’s guide to Istanbul

jason goodwin

Jason Goodwin is an author with an intimate knowledge and love of Istanbul. His internationally-acclaimed thriller series that began with The Janissary Tree is set in 19th-Century Istanbul. Jason is also the author of Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire. Here, he reveals his personal guide ... Read more

Seychelles fly-drive


By Mark Hodson, editor of 101 Holidays The Seychelles is a mega-expensive holiday destination where honeymooners cocoon themselves in five-star hotels, right? Well, yes. But it is possible to bag a cheap holiday in the Seychelles – and get a ripping experience into the bargain. Expert Africa has launche... Read more

The new Leela Hotel in Delhi. Now, that is ugly

Leela Gurgaon Delhi

By Mark Hodson, editor of 101 Holidays This is the new Leela Kempinski Gurgaon in Delhi, and I think it has to be one of the world’s ugliest new hotel buildings. I’m rather surprised by this. I’m a huge fan of the Leela in Goa, which is a real class act. And India is a […]... Read more

The best pub food in Britain?

Lord Poulett Arms food

By Catherine Leech, director of 101 Holidays The Lord Poulett Arms in Hinton St George, Somerset, has been hailed as one of Britain’s best pubs for food. It’s the Good Pub Guide’s 2009 National Dining Pub of the Year, and was the Good Hotel Guide’s 2008 Gastro Pub of the Year. It is me... Read more

Vdara: the world’s largest boutique hotel?

Vdara Las Vegas

By Mark Hodson, 101 Holidays editor If I book a room at a “boutique hotel” I expect somewhere small and cosy, perhaps even owner-run with individually-styled rooms. What I don’t expect is a colossal skyscraper with 1,500 rooms. But that’s what’s on offer in Las Vegas, where the n... Read more

Best hotel cocktail bars in London

Blue Bar Berkeley

By Catherine Leech, Director of 101 Holidays Despite the recession, London’s hotel cocktail bar scene is booming. On a recent Saturday afternoon I sampled some of the capital’s most prestigious boozers to find out which is best. The advantage of visiting hotel bars on a Saturday is they are not full of co... Read more

Madagascar travel ban ‘is unfair’

Madagascar beach

The British government has issued advice against all non-urgent travel to Madagascar, threatening to undermine the fragile tourism economy of one of Africa’s poorest countries. The decision by the Foreign Office follows a series of political clashes in the capital, Antananarivo. But tour operators argue tha... Read more

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