"Round the World for an Amazing pounds 715" (press release from Austravel).

Fares to Australasia always fall between mid-April and mid-June, and for 1996 Austravel (0171-734 7755) has got its bid in early to boost business during the traditional two-month slump. Two problems: the ticket does not go round the world, and it costs more than pounds 715.

Having enjoyed Bangkok, Hong Kong, Sydney or Melbourne, Auckland or Fiji, and Los Angeles, you face the problem of how to cover the intervening 2,500 miles to New York, from where your homebound flight departs.

On your ticket, this is described as a "surface sector". In reality, it is a gap: a result of the way these round-the-world tickets are put together. Austravel has a deal with Qantas for the London via Australia to Los Angeles sector, costing pounds 595, and another with Virgin Atlantic flying New York to London for pounds 120. It will cost at least pounds 50 to cover the ground between, spending four days on a Greyhound bus.

The price is the other problem. Taxes these days are a significant part of most air tickets, and add pounds 45 to this itinerary. Austravel also offers a slightly more expensive deal, offering a complete circumnavigation. "Round the World for an Impressive pounds 784", while not sounding as catchy, has the advantage of being accurate. But if you wait until early next year, you may be able to get an even better bargain.