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Travel News Round-up: September 2013

It has been a busy month in the world of travel. Read our travel news round-up to discover where to go if you need a dose of happiness, which unlikely candidates actually make pretty good tour guides, and why you may no longer have to switch off your iPod on take-off and landing…

Denmark named happiest country in the world

Its less-than-scorching climate may make it an unlikely holiday destination, but recent studies reveal that Denmark is the place to go if you are feeling a bit down in the dumps. According to the World Happiness Report, Denmark is the happiest country in the world. Its Scandinavian neighbours Norway and Sweden don’t fare too badly either, both of which also make the top 10 in the happiness stakes. Us Brits are miserable in comparison, as we come in a disappointing 22nd.

So what makes the Danes so content? Well, according to the World Happiness Report, it is a variety of factors such as GDP,  life expectancy and social support. However, we at Holiday Hypermarket feel like it might be something to do with the amazing food and being home to the world-famous Tivoli Gardens – nobody can come out of that charming theme park feeling unhappy!

World’s highest airport opens in China

A new record has been set for airport altitude this month, as China opened its newest airport at Daocheng Yading, Tibet. The airport is nestled in the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world, and is based at a dizzying 4,411m (14,472ft) above sea level.

The authorities are hoping that the new airport will attract more tourists to the area, but warns visitors to be wary of altitude sickness symptoms, such as light-headedness, on arrival. No kidding!

Barcelona hosts homeless tour guide initiative

Tour guides are probably some of the most interesting people you meet while on your travels, and come from all walks of life. But would you consider going on a tour led by a homeless person?

Well, if you go to Barcelona this autumn you can do just that – as some of Barcelona’s 3,000 homeless people are being employed to guide travellers on Hidden City Tours. The tours will cover the usual popular sites and also give visitors a chance to see Barcelona in a way not often available to tourists.

Balearic Islands is our favourite holiday destination

Holiday group TUI has named the Balearic Islands as the Brits’ favourite holiday destination for summer 2013. The group of islands, which includes Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza, was the top short-haul destination, while Mexico took the prize as the most popular long-haul holiday spot.

Want to discover what all the fuss is about? Have a look at some of our Balearic Island holiday deals for summer 2014.

FAA to reconsider electronic ban on planes

It is one of the main – and probably most annoying – aspects of a safe flight. Whenever the plane is taking off or landing, you must switch your electronic devices off. It’s a simple fact of life. So whether you are reading on your Kindle, listening to your iPod or playing your Nintendo, all of these must be put away when departing or approaching the runway.

However, this may be a thing of the past. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are considering relaxing the rules on electronic equipment, meaning that you will be able to read, listen or play to your heart’s content during the entire duration of your flight!

Although don’t get too excited if you are a mobile phone user – texting, making calls and browsing the internet will all still be strictly forbidden.

Those are our top stories of the month – so what do you think? Does the idea of a 4,000m-high airport make you dizzy? Does the Balearics deserve its No 1 spot?