From London to Cotswolds

July 13, 2008|By Richard P. Carpenter | Richard P. Carpenter,Boston Globe

As the song says, forget your troubles, come on get happy. Summer and sunshine are here and, despite the price of gasoline and those annoying new airline fees, the urge to travel remains strong for most of us. Here is a potpourri of summery offers:

*The Draycott Hotel in London and Cotswold House in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England, are part of a four-night, two-address Town & Country Package at fixed rate in U.S. dollars - 3,400 of them, to be exact. You get two nights at the Draycott, with dinner at nearby Aubergine; tea and homemade biscuits, a glass of champagne and hot chocolate, all in the Drawing Room; and a chauffeur-driven transfer to Cotswold House. Once there, you also get two nights' accommodations, a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe king room, a full English breakfast daily, dinner at Juliana's and a half-day, chauffeur-guided tour of the Cotswolds. Call the Draycott at 011-44-20-7730-6466 or the Cotswold House at 011-44-1386-840330 or e-mail reservations@draycotthotel.com or res ervations@cotswoldhouse.com. For more information on the properties, go to draycotthotel.com and cotswoldhouse.com.

*Take a hotel barge cruise with France Cruises during July and August and get your companion's cruise for free. Prices before the discount start at about $2,115 for a weeklong cruise on the 10-cabin Litote. The price includes all meals, wine with lunch and dinner, and daily excursions. Go to francecruises.com/specials.html or call 866-498-3920.

*A Family Fun in the Sun Lodging package is available at Village at Squaw Valley USA in North Lake Tahoe, Calif., starting at $332.35 and including a two-bedroom condo, passes for four for the Cable Car and High Camp Swimming Lagoon, a round of 18-hole mini golf for four, two passes for the Skyjump Bungee Trampoline, and a hiking guide to the surrounding area. Go to thevillageatsquaw.com or call 866-818-6963.

*Pingo, which uses VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology to make phone calls throughout the world, has reduced calling rates to 70 countries. For example, you can now phone a serviceman or servicewoman in Iraq for 7 cents a minute when calling from a land line. Pingo says its prepaid service works with fixed-line and mobile phones, and can be accessed in 35 countries. There is an account maintenance fee of 98 cents a month in addition to the cost of the call. Go to pingo.com.

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