Where to go on holiday in May

From cheese rolling in the British countryside to unspoiled beaches in Costa Rica, we’ve got your May holiday

For city slickers…

Short haul: London, England
Forget Paris in the springtime, it’s all about London in May. Gone are the coat-soaking downpours and finger-biting frosts as locals embrace the sweet sunshine with Thames-side strolls and book reading in the royal gardens.

Head first to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where the looping slide installed around Sir Anish Kapoor’s distinctive Orbit sculpture is due to welcome its first brave sliders.

If you don’t lose your stomach completely, move onto one of London’s many supper clubs. The Disappearing Dining Club produces fabulous, fine-dining food in unique spaces like lighthouses, launderettes, churches and antiques shops.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit slide in London The ArcelorMittal Orbit slide in London
mikeinlondon / Thinkstock

Long haul: Puebla, Mexico

Contentiously hijacked by US college campuses and nicknamed ‘Cinco de Drinko’, the annual Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexico are actually colourful, food-filled festivities that commemorate the 5 May 1862 Mexican militia victory during the Franco-Mexican war.

For the best taste of the action, head to the vibrant colonial streets of Puebla,

5 things to see and do in Bridgend County, Wales

trJust two and a half hours from London, Bridgend County offers great surfing, award-winning beaches, dramatic landscapes and peak-to-beach cycling.

It’s as much a draw for savvy holidaymakers as it is for television and film crews, with shows like Doctor Who and Torchwood scouting out captivating locations.

The extensive coast and Victorian promenade of Porthcawl are easy to reach, yet Bridgend County still remains a bit of a secret.

Here are five of the best things to see and do in Bridgend County:

Surf some of the best breaks in Britain

It may not be as well known as New Quay or Gower, but Bridgend County has some of the hottest surf breaks in the country, so much so that South African pro surfer Ingemar Cressey recently opened Cressey’s Surf Academy here.

Porthcawl Surf School and Adventures Wales also offer surf lessons throughout the year, while events and festivals extend the surf vibe into the county’s bustling towns.
Open Media Gallery
5 things to see and do in Bridgend County, Wales
Surf some of the best breaks in Britain

Surf some of the best breaks in Britain

Bridgend County

Just two and a

Three Days in Athens

vA destination steeped in history, rich in culture and filled with some amazing sights and attractions, Athens is a hugely popular holiday destination. This is a bustling city soaked in glorious sunshine, with breathtaking sights, exciting adventures, and thousands of years of heritage.

The capital city of Greece, Athens has been called the cradle of Western civilisation, which provides an insight into the length of its history. People flock to Athens for a variety of reasons, which means that visitors there are made up of people from all walks of life. Whether you are a history buff, a culture vulture, a sun-worshipper, or someone just looking for a great time with vibrant nightlife, you will find everything you want in Athens.

How to make the most of your three-day Athens trip

Not everyone who travels to Athens is able to stay for a lengthy period. For those who are only planning to be in the city for a few days, you need to make the most of your short time in this stunning destination.

AdRank Expedia StatueExplore historic buildings

Day 1 – Explore the local area and enjoy taking in the nightlife

Once you arrive in Athens on

Upper Room peek Maratua Beach

Maratua Paradise Resort is one of the lodges in Derawan Islands, East Kalimantan. The resort had a Water Villa, the rooms are located above the sea. Several weeks ago, detikTravel entourage of Australian Travel Agent Fam Trip roving opportunity Derawan Islands for 3 days 2 nights. The islands are included in the district of Berau, East Kalimantan. One spot that is visited is Maratua Paradise Resort. A view of the resort the which is called by the Australian travel agent as its twin Maldives!

Maratua Paradise

Some Hotels in Cirebon Indonesia for Your Business Need

Any people are traveling to many different cities all over the world for doing their business trip. If you are also one of them, then you will surely need to book a hotel for this kind of need. That is because the hotel is one facility that you need to make sure that your business trip will not be a disaster. For those who are going to travel to Cirebon, Indonesia for their business trip, then some of the hotel in Cirebon below might be worth to try if you are going to Cirebon for your business trip. The first one is Cordela Hotel Cirebon. This hotel can be considered as one of the best that you can get for your business trip in Cirebon. That is because the starting room rate of this hotel is only about 35 dollars per night. That will be one budget saving hotel that you can pick for your business trip. Even though this hotel is only rated as the two star hotel, Cordela Hotel Cirebon offers you the best services like you can get on the four star hotels in many other cities in Indonesia. As an addition to that, you will

2 Reasons Your 2015 Vacation Could Be a Lot Cheaper

For millions of Americans, a family vacation is something you look forward to throughout the year. But travel can be a costly, and many travelers have to economize wherever they can. Fortunately, you’ll find that in 2015, a couple of important factors in determining the cost of your vacation travel are in your favor, and that could either put some money back in your pocket or give you more latitude to have the trip you’ve always dreamed about. No matter whether your idea of a vacation is a two-hour trip or an around-the-world extravaganza, you’ll have an opportunity to save.

Falling Fuel Costs Mean Good News for Drivers (and Maybe Fliers)

Americans have already seen the huge impact that falling prices at the pump have had in their daily lives. Earlier this month, average gasoline prices fell below $2.20. That’s more than $1.10 less than the $3.32-per-gallon average from this time a year ago, and prices have fallen more than 50 cents per gallon in just a single month. Several states have seen their gas prices fall below $2.

Cheaper gas prices equate to huge savings for Americans. Drivers saved about $14 billion on gasoline in 2014, according to AAA, and that figure

How to Fly for Free 10 Tips to Earn Air Travel Vouchers

When Scott Ford was laid off from his job in New York City back in 2008, he headed to JFK International Airport without thinking of anything other than getting on a plane to visit friends in sunny San Diego.

And when the Delta Airlines gate agent announced he needed a volunteer to be bumped from the flight because the plane was overbooked, Ford idly lifted his hand and accepted a voucher for a future flight.

“Suddenly, it clicked,” says Ford, a native of Dayton, Ohio, who now makes his home in Portland, Ore. “Since I was unemployed I had the free time and flexible schedule to travel as much as I wanted if I could find a way to afford it.”

As Ford accumulated travel vouchers and frequent flier miles by getting bumped from as many flights as possible, he developed a plan to spend every week of 2011 on vacation.

400 cities in 365 days

Ford started that year in San Diego, went on to San Francisco, and eventually flew 489,000 miles and — thanks in part to the ability to earn bonus miles on some flights — accumulated 1 million frequent flier miles.

He visited 400 cities in one year, including Tokyo, Honolulu, Mexico

MakeMyTrip India Largest Travel Website is Losing Altitude Fast

There was plenty of buzz behind MakeMyTrip (MMYT) when India’s largest travel website operator went public two years ago.

The stock soared 89% on its first day of trading, making it the hottest debut since 2007 at the time.

It didn’t seem to matter that MakeMyTrip was too small to command what wound up being a $1 billion market cap at its peak. It didn’t seem to matter that India’s economic challenges make it less savory a market for travel than investors find in other countries.

MakeMyTrip was hot. And now it’s not.

No Hooray for Bollywood

Shares of MakeMyTrip shed 17% of their value on Tuesday after posting another quarter of disappointing financial results. The stock has shed nearly two-thirds of its value over the past year.

Net revenue, after backing out service costs, slipped 6% to $20.2 million. MakeMyTrip experienced a healthy surge in hotel bookings, but air ticketing revenue — accounting for the lion’s share of revenue at 72% of the mix — tumbled 13%.

Sure, a major factor behind the uninspiring performance is that the Indian rupee is getting slammed. On a constant currency basis — which essentially means that we look at MakeMyTrip’s financials without converting the numbers into U.S. dollars —

Homewood Rail Fest Returns Saturday May 16 from 9 am to 4 pm

The Village of Homewood proudly announces the return of the popular Rail Fest on Saturday, May 16 in the H-F Park District Auditorium, 2010 Chestnut Rd., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Homewood Rail Fest features a wide assortment of train collectables, model train displays, kids crafts, train-themed story time and rides on Canadian National’s Lil Obie, a scale model of a CN locomotive and flatbed caboose. Homewood Rail Fest is free and open to the public. For more information on Homewood Rail Fest, visit www.HomeSweetHomewood.com or call (708)798-3000.
“Homewood has always embraced its rich rail history,” said Mayor Richard Hofeld. “From our viewing platform to The Rail Park, Homewood has always been a hot-spot for train enthusiasts of all ages. This unique festival reaches across generations and geographic location – drawing spectators from Chicago and around the midwest. We are pleased to offer this festival again in 2015.”
Visitors to Homewood Rail Fest can view and purchase one-of-a-kind collectables including antique trains, model trains, train memorabilia, and items associated with model railway. Families can explore the intricate train layouts for all ages to enjoy. Kids crafts include decoding Hobo symbols, and a train-themed storytime with Homewood’s favorite train conductor.

Suburban leaders concerned about rail safety following Galena derailment

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said Thursday’s rail tanker derailment near Galena is another episode in a series of accidents involving crude oil tankers that he fears will happen with increasing frequency unless something is done to change federal rules concerning the safety of rail cars.
A freight train with 103 cars filled with crude oil derailed near Galena Thursday, bursting into flames and causing everyone within one mile of the accident to be evacuated.
“This is what life will look like going forward unless something is done to enhance safety and improve the structural safety of rail tanker cars,” Weisner said Friday.
Weisner said for a while the focus has been on the older crude oil tankers. However, the more recent models, which are supposed to be safer, have punctured and resulted in fiery explosions during three different derailments, he said.
“There really is no more obvious need (than) for a quick and thorough response that gets to the heart of the matter,” Weisner said.
The mayor has and continues to advocate for the removal of the worst of the crude oil tankers from the rails permanently and creating a higher standard for rail car safety.
“This is not going

West Glenview residents fight proposal to add train lines

West Glenview residents want to block a proposed project to build a freight train holding yard in their neighborhood.
The tracks would be added to existing Union Pacific rail lines from about West Lake Avenue to past Willow Road near Shermer Road to hold waiting Canadian Pacific freight trains.
The idea for the yard was triggered by a tentative plan to add up to three Amtrak Hiawatha passenger trains traveling round trip daily between Chicago and Milwaukee, passing through downtown Glenview’s Metra station.
The holding yard would clear the tracks for Amtrak trains and avoid service delays, according to officials involved in the plan.
Currently, seven Amtrak trains travel round trip through Glenview Monday through Saturday and six on Sundays. Also, Amtrak’s Empire Builder between Chicago and Seattle runs once daily.
Homeowner Gary Dubofsky and about 25 neighbors from the Princeton Village, Glenlake Estates and Janet Drive have met to organize opposition.
He said two sets of existing tracks are 125 feet from his home. The third line would be installed along one of the existing tracks, Dubofsky said.
“We get up to six or seven long freight trains a day now that rumble and shake our house,” said Dubofsky,

Indiana lone holdout in long term deal for Amtrak lines

INDIANAPOLIS — The hum of incandescent lights fills downtown Indianapolis’ sleepy Amtrak waiting room when the intercom crackles on at 5:30 a.m., stirring bleary-eyed travelers with the news that they’ll soon be boarding the Hoosier State line, bound for Chicago.
But what lies ahead isn’t a swift 196-mile journey between the cities. It’s a more than 5-hour trek — some two hours longer than the trip would take by car. And that journey can drag on significantly longer when bottlenecks seize up the Chicago area’s ribbons of freight rail lines.
The Hoosier State is the least-traveled of Amtrak’s routes, with just under 34,000 passengers in fiscal year 2014. It’s also the only short-haul Amtrak route still in search of a long-term funding deal after Congress shifted most of the costs of those lines to the states.
Riders who enjoy rail travel or rely on the train because they don’t drive want the line preserved. But its future depends on whether Indiana can reach a funding deal and also set into motion improvements to make the line more attractive to travelers.
A 2008 law required states to pay 85 percent of the costs of Amtrak’s 28 routes of less than 750

Rolling pipeline raises concerns for Aurora, Naperville, Elgin leaders

As Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner watches mile-long trains of black tank cars full of crude oil from North Dakota roll through the heart of Illinois’ second-biggest city, he wonders what would happen if they would derail, start to burn and even explode.
One train on the same line that runs through Aurora and Naperville, did that in a rural area near Galena in March. And one did it in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July 2013. Another one did it in West Virginia last year, and one did in Virginia the year before that.
“Lac-Megantic was a little town of just 6,000 people. Yet there were 47 deaths and an estimated $2 billion in property damage,” Weisner said. “I can only imagine what the numbers would be if something like that happened in downtown Aurora. There has never been an oil-train wreck in a metropolitan area. Yet.”
It’s a concern shared by leaders throughout suburbs with rail lines, particularly those along the BNSF, which is part of what industry officials call a rolling pipeline delivering oil from fracking operations in the west.
“As rail traffic picks up, that makes these things more and more of a risk,” said Naperville Mayor-Elect Steve Chirico.

Rail cars blow off bridge during severe storms in Louisiana

High winds blew rail cars off the Huey P. Long Bridge and more than 200,000 homes and businesses lost power Monday morning as a line of severe thunderstorms moved across southeast Louisiana.
Five rail cars carrying six to eight freight containers fell from the bridge outside New Orleans, Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Jeff DeGraff said. The National Weather Service reported a 70 mph wind gust at the New Orleans airport.
“According to the crew, they were on the downslope of the bridge heading off the bridge and were working on pulling off onto a siding. Before they could get to that siding, … the five cars were blown off of the back end,” DeGraff said. “They were moving very slowly because they were looking to pull into a siding and being cautious at the weather.”
A video by WGNO-TV, taken through a windshield into a driving rain, shows a double-stacked freight container tilting, then apparently pulling over the cars just ahead of and behind it. The big, rectangular containers fall ponderously to the ground, followed by the flat, wheeled platforms that had carried them. There is a bright flash as one car lands, followed almost immediately by a shower of

Oil train derailment prompts evacuation in small North Dakota town

A train that derailed and caught fire early Wednesday in rural North Dakota was hauling crude from the state’s oil patch, raising questions about whether new state standards intended to reduce the volatility of such shipments are sufficient.
The six tank cars that exploded into flames were a model slated to be phased out or retrofitted by 2020 under a federal rule announced last week.
It’s the fifth fiery accident since February involving that type of tank car, and industry critics responded to the latest with calls for them to be taken off the tracks immediately to prevent further fires.
No injuries were reported in the derailment of the 109-car BNSF railway train at around 7:30 a.m. That prompted the evacuation of the 20-resident town of Heimdal, about 115 miles northeast of Bismarck.
The Health Department was monitoring air quality and advising people not to breathe in the smoke. The danger from the smoke was mainly the particles it contains such as ash, not toxic chemicals, State Environmental Health Chief Dave Glatt said. Rain might have helped wash some of the particles out of the smoke, though it might also keep the plume closer to the ground and more likely

Rail Fest returns to Homewood this weekend

From the die-hard railroad enthusiast to the youngest Thomas the Tank Engine fan, Rail Fest, which returns to Homewood this weekend, boasts something for everyone who’s interested in trains.
After taking a year off, the event that celebrates the Village of Homewood’s long ties to the railroad runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Inside the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District auditorium, 2010 Chestnut Road, visitors will find various train layouts and displays of railroad memorabilia. Shoppers can seek out additions to their own collections, from model railroad items to antiques and collectibles related to the railroad, including old rail lanterns.
“We tap into a little bit of history, we tap into a little bit of fun for kids,” said Allisa Opyd, Homewood’s events manager. “It’s a great day to unplug and step back in time.”
Illinois Central Railroad completed its track through what became the village of Homewood – then known as Thornton Station — in 1853.
“Since then, it has been an integral part of our community,” said Jim Wright, president of the Homewood Historical Society. Wright has written several books about the Homewood and the area and was involved in the early Rail Fests.
It may be hard

Metra years away from implementing high-tech safety system

The horrific Amtrak wreck in Philadelphia this week has renewed calls for the nation’s commuter rail lines and freight railroads to install a high-tech system that is intended to prevent such accidents by slowing speeding trains and overriding human errors.
Metra officials Thursday said they are at least three or four years away from implementing the safety system, known as Positive Train Control, or PTC. The cost is estimated at $300 million to $400 million.
“We can’t work any faster than we’re working” to develop PTC, Metra Chairman Martin Oberman said.
Although Metra has begun installing the radios, GPS devices and computer hardware in its locomotives, cab cars and operations centers, the software to run the system is still being developed, Oberman said.
Metra Executive Director Don Orseno said the agency already has other safeguards in place, such as an “over-speed” warning to engineers when trains exceed 83 mph.
Metra also conducted more than 2,100 operational tests last year to monitor trains for speeding.
“I want to assure everybody that we are doing everything we can to run the safest possible railroad,” Orseno told Metra board members.
Although Congress mandated that PTC be in place on the nation’s railroads by

Positive train control on track for South Shore

The pricey smart train control system experts say could have prevented Tuesday’s deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia is one of the reasons South Shore commuters are facing fare increases this summer.
Congress has mandated passenger and freight railroads install positive train control systems by the end of the year.
Next month, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District board will open bids for the second time on the system. The first round of bids were nearly three times NICTD’s hopeful estimate.
“We went out for proposals last year and they came in at $120 million,” said NICTD general manager Mike Noland. Officials had been told to expect bids at about $43 million.
Noland said he hopes the South Shore positive train control system is up and running by 2019, the same year the Metra commuter railroad in Chicago expects to have its system ready. Noland, a former Metra official, said Metra anticipated costs of about $120 million and now expects to pay about $400 million. NICTD’s positive train control system must be compatible with Metra’s, Noland said.
When Congress mandated the system in 2008, the technology didn’t exist anywhere in the U.S.
Most Americans probably didn’t even know about positive train

Deadly Amtrak wreck shows safety still dependent on engineer

The deadly amtrak wreck has made it clear that despite the train industry’s widespread use of electronic signals, sensors and warning systems, safety still sometimes comes down to the knowledge and experience of the engineer at the controls.
Those skills would have been critical on the curve where the New York-bound train derailed, killing eight and injuring more than 200 in the deadliest U.S. train accident in nearly six years.
Instead of high-tech signals or automatic controls, engineers on that stretch of track have to rely on their familiarity with the route and a printed timetable they carry with them, not unlike engineers a century ago.
“We’re depending heavily on the human engineer to correctly obey and interpret the signals that he sees and also speed limits and other operating requirements,” said David B. Clarke, a railroad expert at the University of Tennessee.
The engineer of the train has told investigators that he does not recall the moments leading up to Tuesday night’s crash.
Brandon Bostian told the National Transportation Safety Board in an interview Friday that he felt comfortable with the train and was not fatigued.
NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt also said the agency is now looking into

Waukegan bridge project to create new entrance to the lakefront

Waukegan will squeeze in one more beach season before temporarily shutting down the lakefront’s main access route after the City Council voted Monday night to approve a $7.3 million contract to rebuild the Grand Avenue bridge east of Sheridan Road.
The nearly half-century-old bridge, which spans the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and leads to Waukegan Harbor via Pershing Road, has been targeted for an overhaul since at least 2012, when it was rated in poor condition by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In August 2014, the city signed off on a $6.2 million plan to rebuild the bridge in a project that would have started last fall and neared completion this spring, but Public Works Director Tom Hagerty said the plan ended up being re-bid by the Illinois Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the project.
The new contract with F.H. Paschen & S.N. Nielson and Associates includes a $1.8 million contribution from the city, which will be drawn out of Motor Fuel Tax funds over the next two fiscal years. The scuttled 2014 contract had the city paying $1.43 million, with the remainder of the overall funding coming from the federal Surface Transportation and Bridge Replacement program.
Now that

Treat yourself this Christmas with a winter holiday

It’s that time of the year when the atmosphere’s getting a little frosty – and that’s just the feeling around the kitchen table. So the greatest gift you can give this Christmas to your loved ones is a positive frame of mind. What’s the best way of achieving that Zen-like state? Treat yourself to a chilled out summer holiday in winter and come back before the big festive day relaxed and ready to take on anything – even your miserable mother-in-law.

You don’t have to break the bank to go away in winter, either. In fact, there are so many cheap holidays on offer at the moment, you can spend a week on the exotic island of Cyprus and still have money left over. Added bonus: the souvenirs from your beach holiday make for awesome Christmas presents.

Holidays to Cyprus can be the gift you give to yourself. This time of year the sea temperature is an average of 18 degrees – not too hot and not too cold. Ultimate swimming temperature.

With an average winter temperature of 19 degrees, it’s still warm enough for you to spend time in the villages in only a vest top, and it’s the perfect weather for