Avoid airport tax on a trip to Cologne? Buy a train ticket on Eurostar (0345 881881) for pounds 79. You must stay a minimum of three nights or a Saturday night, and must change trains en route at Brussels.

Make a phone call when you arrive? Obtain foreign currency from a Travelex bureau de change. If you choose one of 10 currencies, including US, Canadian and Australian dollars, Belgian and Swiss francs and German marks, part of your purchase will comprise a blister-pack of coins, designed to provide a handy supply of small change.

Sign up for Oktoberfest? Contact Moswin Tours (0116 271 4982) for details of its air holidays to the beer festival, which begins in Munich in September. Or ask Top Deck Travel (0171 370 4555) about its rather more raucous bus trips. A six-day coach camping tour, departing 20 September, costs pounds 179.

Find out about flights to Portugal? Call TAP Air Portugal reservations on 0171-828 0262 - rather than the number that was given on the Independent travel pages last Saturday.

Get a free bus trip in the United States? Head for Long Beach in California. There's a Runabout shuttle system here, and it offers free transport throughout the downtown area and out to the Queen Mary Seaport.