what's the best way to ...

Get a free night in Madrid or Barcelona?

Book a ticket to Murcia with Iberia (0171-830 0011). The airline's schedules mean that you have to stop over at either of Spain's largest cities. The fare of pounds 215 does not include the hotel, but does allow an added extra to a trip to Spain's south-east.

Exceed the limit in France?

Have two glasses of wine with your lunch. This will probably tip you over the new limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, bringing France into line with Belgium, Holland and Portugal. Britain's limit of 80mg/100ml is the same as Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Eat, drink and be stingy in France?

Forsake the car for French trains, and apply for a free Carte Couple. If you can supply proof of marriage or cohabitation, you get a free card entitling you to 25 per cent off most trains. Use the saving for an on- board picnic.

Travel beyond John O'Groats?

Take the Orkney bus from Inverness any day until 8 September. It leaves at 2.20pm and takes five hours, including the boat from John O'Groats to Burwick. The fare of pounds 35 return is obtainable from John O'Groats Ferries on 01955 611353.

Catch a train to the next total solar eclipse?

Travel next 25 February from Waterloo via Brussels and Moscow, board the trans-Siberian railway and travel to Mongolia with Explorers' Tours (01753 681999). A three-week trip including a trip to Beijing costs pounds 1,775.

Become an armchair scuba diver?

Read the Independent travel pages next Saturday.

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