TRAVEL: FOR AS LITTLE AS ...

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The Independent Travel
pounds 25

you can buy membership of Earthwatch, the charity that organises volunteers for environmental research expeditions that study everything from whales in the Bahamas to cheetahs in Namibia. Membership includes a copy of the Expedition Catalogue, featuring 130 projects you can join, details of accommodation and so on. Contact Earthwatch on 01865 311600.

pounds 39

and ranging up to about pounds 75 - depending on where you start from - you can book a National Express bargain break to London from other parts of the UK. Price includes return coach travel and one night's B&B accommodation. Call 0541 595959.

pounds 135

will buy you one hour flying in a hot air balloon. If you fancy playing at being Richard Branson, trips are available at a variety of centres around the country. Call Acorn Activities, 01432 830083.

pounds 145

and upwards you can win over the light of your life at reduced cost with a special three-nights-for-the-price-of-two deal over Valentine's weekend from Thomas Cook Cities. Choose from Amsterdam, Brussels, Istanbul, Munich, Vienna and many many more. Call 0990 666222.

pounds 286

return, plus tax, you can fly to Mexico and see sun. Offer valid until 10 March, travel must be completed by 13 March and there is a minimum stay of three nights. Contact Trailfinders 0171 937 5400. STA has a similar deal for pounds 288: 0171 361 6262.

pounds 339

per person you can visit the Venice Carnival, on until 12 February. Enjoy Renaissance madrigals, Commedia dell'Arte performances, puppets and dancing. Price includes two nights B&B, flights and transfers. Call Crystal Italy on 0181 390 5554.

pounds 549

you can exercise body and mind with a week of walks and bridge playing in Calpe on Spain's Costa Blanca. Departure 15 March. Contact HF Holidays on 0181 905 9558.

pounds 599

join a Sahara adventure tour (in air-conditioned landcruisers). As well as desert, you'll see lush mountains and oases, salt lakes and Jerba island. Contact Wigmore Holidays, 0171 486 4425.

pounds 1,055

gets you a week in foodie heaven, cooking and eating Italian food in either the Umbrian countryside or by the coast in Puglia. There's time to laze by pool or beach as well. Contact Susanna Gelmetti Italian Cookery Weeks, 0181 208 0112.

pounds 2,137

gets you Evita-aware with a 14-day Viva Argentina tour. Covers Buenos Aires, the vineyards of Mendoza, Peninsula Valdes or Salta and the Iguassu Falls. Contact Hayes and Jarvis, 0181 222 7844.

pounds 2,150

see Pavarotti's first performance in Barbados. Price includes seven nights at Glitter Bay (room only), flights, transfers and a ticket to the concert. Call Caribbean Connection on 01244 341131.

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