Sail off for a bargain break
NUT members can use a Countdown Card, operated by travel agents Hogg Robinson, to make savings of up to 10 per cent on particular holidays. The Travel Club, run by Teachers' Assurance, also offers NUT members at least 5 per cent off holidays.
Residents of Elba have made the most of their association with the little emperor: cafes, a bottled spring water, and even a sardine-canning factory are all called Napoleon. But the three-star Hotel La Primula is happy to remain aloof from the Napoleonic crowd. It is offering seven nights' half-board accommodation and unlimited use of the hotel pool for Pounds 699. The price includes return charter flights from Manchester to Pisa, and transfers on arrival to Elba, which lies seven miles off the Italian coast. The flights depart from Manchester on Saturday, August 2, 9 and 16. Further information from Crystal Holidays on 0181 390 5554.
Braver souls, or those on a tighter holiday budget, may prefer to take up Sunworld's offer of a seven-night "lucky dip" bed-and-breakfast Majorcan holiday. You leave England not knowing your exact destination, as rooms are allocated on arrival. Many may, however, feel that the low price (Pounds 229) compensates for the uncertainty. But hurryIthe plane flies from Manchester on Monday. Further information from 0990 181818.
Renting a cottage that looks as quaint as Anne Hathaway's may seem like a good idea if you prefer to holiday in Britain. But as brochure-browsers have discovered, you often need a second mortage. At this late stage, however, some holiday-cottage companies will negotiate over the weekly rental. "With late bookings we assess each rental individually," says one letting agent. One company that still has some interesting properties available this summer is Hideaways. The Dorset-based firm is taking bookings for a converted Methodist chapel in the Forest of Dean, and a Hampshire coach house. Hideaways: tel. 0174 -828170.