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3 reasons not to go to the US next year

If you've already booked your flights to the US for the new year - then don't read on - just start heading toward the airport. If however, you are looking for somewhere to splash your cash - don't bother with the dollar because all you're going to get are long, long queues and belligerent immigration men and women with buzz cuts and trigger fingers twitching at their holsters.

Since a young student was caught trying to blow up a plane recently, the Americans have brought in new security measures for anyone travelling to the states. Changes include: being manually patted down at the boarding gate and all hand luggage being manually searched - don't bother wrapping anything, it'll only be ripped open - (you could of course use this as an excuse for not having bought any presents - 'the terrorist threat posed by the DVD boxset of 24 was too high so it was confiscated by customs') but merry Christmas all the same. Some airlines are also restricting hand luggage to one bag per passenger.

The best thing to do if you are flying to the states is check with your airline first; check out www.virgin-atlantic.com, www.americanairlines.co.uk or www.britishairways.com well in advance of flying.

Or simply bugger the stateside hassle and choose the perfect destination from Excite's travel pages.....Goa anyone?

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