Travel: For as little as...

pounds 2.99

you can almost get by in Spanish, French and Italian, with the help of Pigeon Cards. These discreet reference cards allow travellers to ditch cumbersome dictionaries and phrase books and still manage basic communication in a foreign language. The postcard-sized cards spell out foreign words phonetically in English and aim to distil "some of the world's finest and most eloquent languages down to just three pages". Priced at , Pigeon Cards will be available in May at selected WH Smith shops, or from Thomas Lyster Ltd (tel: 01695 575112).

pounds 82

a little bit of Italy can be yours for a week. Fonte Castellana is a refurbished Tuscan cottage with an extensive loggia terrace and wonderful views over the Casentino valley to the distant Pratomagno mountains. This price, per person, is based on four sharing (total price pounds 410). Cottages to Castles (tel: 01622 726 883).

pounds 159

those with serious sight problems can visit Paris with the RNIB. This three-night break takes in a cruise on the Seine, a trip to the palace of Versailles and a visit to a parfumerie. The price, per person, includes three-star hotel accommodation with breakfast, return coach and Channel Tunnel travel, tours and guides. RNIB Holiday Service (tel: 0345 669999).

pounds 289

you can take a three-night spring break in Prague until 20 May. The price, per person, includes three-star accommodation with breakfast and return scheduled flights from Stansted. Travellers Czech (tel: 01959 540700).

pounds 308

fly return to Peking until the end of June. This return flight with Air France must be booked before the end of April. Or fly return to Hong Kong for pounds 369, under the same conditions. Bridge The World (tel: 0171- 911 0900).

pounds 398

you and three friends can spend a week boating on the Norfolk Broads, with the added excitement of visiting some of the area's 70-plus windmills. During National Mills Open Weekend (8 and 9 May), windmills that are normally closed will be open to the public. Or you can just admire them from the comfort of your four-berth boat. Three-night breaks are also available from pounds 259 per boat. Norfolk Broads Direct (tel: 0800 9173206).

pounds 440

students and those under 26 can take a PADI diving course in the Red Sea. This price, per person, is valid for May departures and includes return flights, transfers, and seven nights' accommodation in a three- star hotel. The PADI certificate costs $30 (pounds 19) extra. STA Travel (tel: 0171-361 6166).

pounds 599

departing 2 May, take a week's holiday in Costa Rica. This includes one night b&b and six nights' all-inclusive hotel accommodation on Costa Rica's Pacific coast, return flights from Gatwick with BA and departure tax. Hayes and Jarvis (0181 748 0088).

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