Click, pack and go: our pick of the week’s travel deals

It’s fair to say that most of us enjoy the satisfaction of finding, then nabbing a good deal. Particularly if that deal means that you will be either sitting on a plane or train full of people who may have paid two or three times the amount as you to sit in the same cabin, or on a sunlounger enjoying the luxurious facilities of a top-notch hotel at a bargain price.



But what if you have the opportunity to pay what you deem to be appropriate for something? It’s a pretty liberal notion, but one that’s being touted by the luxurious Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan ( www.hotelprincipedisavoia.com). From now until 15 June, diners at the hotel’s fine dining Italian restaurant have the chance to book a table for up to four guests and pay only what they think their meal was worth. Only those with an appetite for a bargain need apply.

Another bargain is being offered by the Hotel Pelirocco ( www.hotelpelirocco.co.uk): Brighton’s first boutique hotel turns 10 years old this weekend and in celebration, the hotel is offering Independent readers a special offer: book two nights Sunday-Thursday and get the second night half price. Double rooms start at £95 including breakfast, singles at £50; valid for stays throughout June.

In Valencia – Barcelona’s coastal competition – considerable reductions are being offered at the luxurious Hospes Palau de la Mar by Late Rooms ( www.laterooms.com): dependent on the date and occupancy, double rooms are being reduced from as much as £399 per night to £80.63, room only; valid for selected dates this month and next.

If £81 per night doesn’t sound like enough of a bargain, then PV Holidays’ ( www.pv-holidays.com) offer of €5 per person per night at a selection of the company's self-catering apartments should hit the spot. The offer is valid for a selection of summer holidays booked before 21 June.

The England team flew off ot South Africa on Virgin Atlantic last week, enjoying all of the frills of the Upper Class cabin including a specially-tailored menu. That kind of treatment comes at a price, but you could follow in their footsteps for less than you might have imagined. Virgin Holidays ( www.virginholidays.co.uk) currently has two surprisingly good value deals to South Africa. Although they won’t get you out in time for the start of the World Cup next week, they do offer the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of the end of the group stages or the start of Stage Two. The first trip is to the Sun City Resort, 187km from Johannesburg in Pilanesburg. A five-night holiday with Virgin Atlantic flights departing 29 June costs £2,125 per person including B&B and car hire. To be right at the heart of the action, you could opt for five nights at the luxurious Table Bay hotel in Cape Town for £2,575 per person, including Virgin flights departing 21 June, breakfast and car hire. Prices are based on two sharing and must be booked by 11 June (Cape Town) and 19 June (Sun City).

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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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