AUSTRAVEL (071-734 7755) is claiming to offer the cheapest round-the-world fare, travelling via Australia or New Zealand. Its pounds 699 ticket allows stopovers in Los Angeles or San Francisco, Hawaii, Sydney or Melbourne in Australia or Auckland in New Zealand, and Singapore.

Jetset (061 953 0920) is claiming 'The Ultimate Package' - a 31-day round-the-world package for pounds 2,850 with flights, accommodation, transfers and tours. The itinerary includes India, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Perth, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock, Sydney, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Tahiti and Los Angeles.

Make it Madrid

UNTIL the end of October, Flight Bookers (071-867 1411) is offering return fares to Madrid or Barcelona for pounds 99. The offer is available on scheduled flights from Gatwick on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Minimum stay requirement is three nights.

The company is also offering return flights from Gatwick to Los Angeles for pounds 330 until the end of September. Travel must be completed by the end of October.

Vive le golf

CRESTA Holidays (061 929 1311) has cut the price of its golfing holidays to northern France during September and October. A two-night package at Le Manoir hotel and golf course in Le Touquet costs from pounds 177 per person (based on two sharing) including B & B, return ferry crossing with car and unlimited free golf.

Club Australia

CLUB MED (071-581 1161) opens its first Australian village on Lindeman Island on 6 November. Located on the Whitsunday Islands off the Queensland coast, the club accommodates up to 550 people in three-storey lodges. Sports include tennis, golf, windsurfing, sailing, cricket and badminton - other free facilities include children's clubs as well as picnic and boat trips. A one-week stay costs pounds 694- pounds 927 per adult; children aged four to 11 for pounds 347- pounds 464.

Thai pollution

THAI authorities are seeking to close down Samet Island, one of Thailand's most popular resorts. Pollution has become so bad that it is claimed only a tourist ban and years of cleaning up will allow the island to recover. The Forestry Department is to introduce a ban on tourists staying overnight and eventually wants a total ban on visits to the island.

Top 10 travel books

1. Lonely Planet: India (Lonely Planet, pounds 13.95)

2. Let's Go Europe (Pan, pounds 14.99)

3. Alternative Moscow: A Guide (Institute for Social Inventions, pounds 4.95)

4. Eastern Europe on a Shoestring (Lonely Planet, pounds 13.95)

5. Eastern Europe Phrasebook (Lonely Planet, pounds 3.95)

6. Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Travelling Alone by Mary Morris (Paladin, pounds 4.99)

7. The Rough Guide: USA (Penguin, pounds 12.99)

8. Traveller's Survival Kit: Cuba (Vacation Work, pounds 7.99)

9. The Stormrider Guide: Europe (Low Pressure Publishing, pounds 14.95)

10. Bed & Breakfast in New England by Bernice Chesler (Globe Pequot Press, pounds 9.95)

Information from the Travellers' Bookshop, 25 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ (071-836 9132).