BargainsAmericans who buy the Europe Flight Pass can now...

In Brief

July 04, 1999

Bargains

Americans who buy the Europe Flight Pass can now add Paris, Prague, Venice, Vienna and 25 other European cities for $90 a flight. That is the result of three more airlines joining: Cityjet, based in Dublin; Alpi Eagles, a regional carrier based in Venice, and Croatia Airlines of Zagreb. Other airlines in the network include Icelandair, Virgin Express and Spanair, a Spanish carrier that for almost a year has been operating nonstop flights between Washington's Dulles International Airport and Madrid. Flight coupons, sold in packets of three or more, are valid for 120 days. They are available from travel agents or by calling 888-387-2479.

Budget

Looking for dependable places to stay with rock-bottom prices? You'll find colleges and universities that rent rooms to travelers, YMCAs, hostel associations, home-exchange services, bed & breakfast services, as well as more traditional budget hotels and motels worldwide listed in the new edition of the $16.95 "Campus Lodging Guide." It also has information on overseas study programs for all ages, as well as other resources for travelers. To order, call 800-525-6633.

Cruising

Responding to the trend toward shorter getaways, Carnival Cruise Lines says it will be operating more than half its "Fun Ship" fleet on itineraries of five days or less by midyear. The line has added short-cruise embarkation ports as well. In addition to fitting in with today's lifestyle, short cruises also "serve to prime first-time cruisers for longer-length voyages by allowing them to 'test the waters' within a modest budget and time frame," the Carnival president, Bob Dickinson, said.

Carnival also has launched a 24-hour toll-free hot line for guests who experience a travel emergency while in transit to or from their cruise vacation -- particularly helpful for those headed to a ship during severe weather, an airline strike or other circumstances that could potentially cause travel problems, Dickinson said.

Offbeat

You've heard of heli-skiing. Why not heli- hiking? Outdoor enthusiasts will be able to drop into southeast Alaska this summer on Alpine Excursions Heli-hiking Tours, offered by Cape Fox Tours of Ketchikan, Alaska. Cape Fox's tours focus on history, native heritage and wilderness ecosystems. The heli-hiking expeditions, which will run through Sept. 30, will allow visitors to experience and learn about the diverse Alaskan ecosystem that thrives above the timberline, at 3,200 feet.

Participants are flown 20 minutes by helicopter from George Inlet, 13 miles from Ketchikan, then led on a 90-minute hike through the alpine environment where wolves, black bears and three species of ptarmigans reside. Back at George Inlet, visitors tour an old cannery and take a short walk through the rain forest there.

Tours are geared to cruise passengers, groups and the general public; about $230 a person. Information: 907-225-4846, Ext. 317 or 310. In summer, you can book in person at the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau, 907-247-6605.

Online

Budget Rent A Car Corp. has launched online auctions of its car rentals. Although some online sites (including Budget's) already let you book cars, Budget claims it was the first car rental company to offer its own online bidding.

Here's how: Sign onto Budget's Web site, www.drivebudget.com, select the BidBudget icon and name your price for a car rental by date, location and class of car. You will be asked for first and second choices. The company says it will e-mail you within 24 hours to let you know if your bid was accepted.

Be forewarned: As is typical in online auctions, Budget automatically puts the rental cost on your charge card before notifying you that your bid was accepted, spokeswoman Susan Welty said. You can cancel up to 48 hours before your pickup date without penalty; after that, you're charged a day's rental if you cancel.

Seniors

The 192-page "1999 New Mexico Vacation Guide" this year has added sections for seniors and for travelers with disabilities. You won't find restaurant or lodging guides, but you will find a pullout map and information on local attractions, 13 ski areas, hundreds of annual events and dozens of American Indian museums and sites, among other listings. To order, call 800-545-2040.

Pub Date: 07/04/99

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.