What's the best way to...

Spend a day in America? Hop over to Amsterdam, and book a Dagvlugje ("day flight") across the Atlantic, to a mystery destination anywhere from Miami to Memphis. It should be booked direct with KLM in Amsterdam, on 00 31 20 474 7747, the day before travel. The fare is DFl 359 (pounds 117) for US and Canada destinations, which must be paid in cash when you pick up the mystery ticket. KLM also offers day trips within Europe for DFl 159 (pounds 52).

Journey in the shadow of Byzantium? Find out from writer William Dalrymple at the Stanfords Spring Lecture. He will describe his travels in the Middle East for his new book, From the Holy Mountain, at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 10 April. Book tickets, price pounds 6.50, on 0171-836 1321.

Have a helpful holiday? Call the company of that name on 01647 433593. Based in Devon, Helpful Holidays rents out cottages and larger properties in south-west England. These include Parnacott House at Holsworthy, costing pounds 1,227 for a week for eight people (about pounds 22 per person per night). "It's a magnificent house - we're amazed it's not booked already," says a Helpful spokesman.

Enjoy bed, breakfast and begonias? Send a self-addressed envelope measuring 22 x 11cm, with four loose first-class stamps, to Bed and Breakfast for Garden Lovers, Handywater Farm, Sibford Gower, Banbury OX15 5AE. You will receive a booklet featuring more than 80 properties "where guests and hosts may share a common love of gardens and gardening".

Discover the best of Spain and north London? Read the travel pages of The Independent this Saturday. These include the insider's guide to Hispanic highlights, and the extra's guide to the Fever Pitch trail.

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