pounds 5

you can buy a special version of Monopoly complete with mini-playing board, mini-dice, mini-money and mini-playing pieces, ideal for travellers. You can play it on your tedious flight across the Atlantic. This Waddington's game is available in toy- shops.

pounds 62.25

per person (based on four sharing) you can stay in a two-bedroom mobile home at the Marton Mere Holiday Village at Blackpool, which is a bird and wildlife sanctuary. Other entertainments include swimming, kids' clubs, saunas, cabarets, discos. Call Goldenrail on 0161 2385206.

pounds 79

per person, you can escape from the provinces to London for a night during the week. The price includes rail travel, best seats for West End shows Buddy or Martin Guerre, and one night in a nearby hotel B&B. Call the London Travel Service on 01992 456177

pounds 129

per person you can spend a couple of nights in the rustic Eifel region of the Rhineland - closer to London than the Lake District. Price is based on two sharing at a three-star hotel, self-drive with Dover-Calais crossings. Call Thomas Cook on 0990 666222.

pounds 193

per person you can enjoy Brussels' annual jazz marathon on the weekend of 30 May-1 June. More than 60 concert halls, bars and restaurants will be hosting performances. Price Eurostar and accommodation, and entry to most performances. Call Belgian Travel Service on 01992 456156.

pounds 194

per person, you can console yourself for the loss of Hong Kong, by spending two nights in Gibraltar instead this summer. Price includes flights and transfers, and is the same for a bed in a single or twin room. Call Cadogan Holidays on 01703 332661.

pounds 389

per person, you can spend seven nights at the Holiday Inn Lido in Peking and check out the lively Chinese capital. Price includes flights and transfers; you must book in May for travel by the end of June. Call British Airways Holidays on 01293 723171.


per person, you can see the 1997 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, as well as qualifying sessions. Price includes a stay in a four-star hotel for three nights, all transfers to and from circuit, and grandstand tickets. Call BAC Sport 0171 4567100.

pounds 650

per week, you can rent an entire appartment in Verona (sleeping two or three people) during this summer's opera festival, in which outdoor performances take place in the city's ancient arena. Opera tickets and flights to Verona are not included, but can be arranged. Call Venetian Apartments 0181 878 1130

pounds 955

you can spend a week learning to cook in Italy, under guidance of the master chef Susanna Gelmetti, author of Italian Country Cooking. The one- week course includes return flights from London and seven nights accommodation, with all food and wine, in Umbria. Departures on 17, 24 May, and 14 June, otherwise pay pounds 100 extra for subsequent dates. Call 0181 208 0112.

pounds 979

(for an inside two-bed cabin) you can take a 12-night Page & Moy cruise from Dover, visiting cities in France, Portugal, Spain and Morocco. Trip departs on 2 August, and price includes all meals, entertainments, taxes, insurance as well as coach transfers to and from Dover. Call 0116 2507890.