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Laura Craik on holiday highway robbery, commitment to four-legged friends and the earbud bling you’re destined to lose

Like every other strung-out person sick of their four walls, I’ve begun the long, slow process of trying to accept that I probably won’t be having a foreign holiday this summer. Knowing — because people never cease to tell me — that everything in Devon, Cornwall and all other British coastal resorts got booked up months ago, I aimed low, searching for modest accommodation inland, in less desirable locations. If you want to rent a bogging house in a village near Crawley for £3,094 per week, you’re in luck.

I knew everything would become criminally expensive post-Covid, but the cost of going on holiday this summer is ridiculous. While domestic holiday providers have ramped up prices to recoup losses, the cost of holidays abroad looks astronomical, as fewer flights lead to higher fares. And that’s before you factor in the price of mandatory coronavirus tests and a possible 10-night, £1,750 stay at the Corona Inn.

Foreign travel must not become the sole preserve of the wealthy, yet it’s already happening. I know people who’ve gone to ‘sit it out’ for three months in the Maldives, people who’ve dodged fines and quarantine by chartering a private jet, and people who’ve used a legal loophole that permits visits to a second home in order to prepare it for letting. If I had a holiday home in Mallorca, I’d be off to get the plumbing checked before you could say ‘Love Island’. Wouldn’t we all?

“If I had a holiday home in Mallorca, I’d be off to get the plumbing checked before you could say ‘Love Island’”

Of course we all want to travel safely. But there’s ‘safety’ and there’s ‘profiteering’. For travellers entering the UK, the current two-swab, PCR Covid-19 testing package costs up to £200 a head, an extra expense that will price many families out of the market. By contrast, a lateral flow test costs £12, with results in half an hour.

If these are deemed reliable enough to be given to secondary school pupils to self-test every three days, then perhaps they should be used more for travellers. We can’t go back to the 1950s again. We all deserve our place in the sun.

The case for travel: we all deserve a holiday we can afford

Puppy love

Owning a dog is hard. For every frolic in a sun-drenched park, there’s a crappy walk in the cold. For every cuddle, there are dark moments of the soul. When my dog was a puppy, she literally ate the sofa, gnawing the legs and destroying the seat pads in the few hours its covers were in the wash after she peed on them.

The RSPCA has taken in more than 23,000 animals since lockdown started, including 1,887 dogs. In Scotland, animal shelters are at capacity with unwanted lockdown pets. London isn’t there yet: let’s keep it that way. Please, speak to a dog owner and get an honest picture of dog ownership before you bite off more than you can chew.

Earring loss

Knowing my kids’ propensity for losing things, I refused to buy Apple Airpods (£159) and bought Blankpods (£39.99) instead, a decision vindicated after they were lost in two weeks. It’s fair to say earbud jewellery isn’t a great idea for kids, and given the constant game of Hunt the Earbud in the average home.

I’m not convinced it’s a great idea for adults, either. Yet earbud jewellery is a Thing: the swankiest is by Fendi scion Delfina Delettrez (pearl sonic earrings, £726), but more affordable versions are popping up, from wraparound ‘pebble’ earrings at Misho (£88) to £10 holder chains at Asos. Useful, or one more thing to lose? You decide.


For gifting Kim Kardashian a ‘This Smells Like Kim’s Orgasm’ candle in a post-divorce care package. Do. Not. Put. These. Into. Production.


Criticised for a skin tutorial in which she applied SPF as a highlighter as opposed to liberally — the way that protects the skin.