Italian icon: Ostuni in Puglia
Where to go and what to see

Virgin territory

Virgin Atlantic has a seat sale that ends at midnight tomorrow. Good deals from Heathrow include Dubai for £360 return between now and 7 December; Tokyo for £579 up to 31 January, but not between 9 and 23 December; and a remarkable £485 to Los Angeles until 26 March (not 11-24 December) if you travel on Wednesdays or Sundays (

Algarve in autumn

Many schools break up for half-term on 24 October, and if you can travel immediately before then, plenty of deals are available. Thomas Cook is selling a trip to the Algarve from Manchester for £174 for a week, staying at the self-catering Algarve Gardens apartments in Albufeira. The price includes flights and accommodation, but not transfers or baggage (

Train flexibly

Rail passengers are constantly told to book ahead for the best price, but advance tickets are restricted to a specific train. The only alternative, usually, is a "walk-up" fare, which can prove very expensive. But East Coast Trains now sells "Super Off-Peak Single" tickets on its website that allow flexible travel between London, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh. London-York is £50.35, almost half the "walk-up" price (

Italian connections

Alitalia is offering some outstanding deals on flights from Heathrow via its hub at Rome Fiumicino. An example is London to Bari in Puglia for £133 return in the first week in October – cheaper than the non-stops on easyJet and Ryanair, and including 23kg of baggage and a snack on board (