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Rundown for the week of September 06, 1997


Burning Man

Over Labor Day weekend, more than 10,000 people converged on Black Rock Desert, about 100 miles of winding road north of Reno, Nevada. The event was Burning Man, an unusual mixture of creativity and destruction that's drawn both increased attendance and media attention over the last several years. The festival culminates in the torching of a 40-foot wood and neon sculpture-- the Savvy Traveler's Fritz Faerber was there for the burn.


Rudy mentions the following organizations.

Global Discount Travel is the agency that offers discounted TWA tickets. The phone number is 1-800-977-7110

Companies that rent apartments internationally:

Home Tours: 800-367-4668

Property Rentals International: 800-220-3332

The website address that lists the websites of the world's airlines (to find out who sends out a list of wednesday special deals) is: http://www.itn.net/airlines/

Places of the Heart

Today on the Savvy Traveler we start a new series of conversations about places of the heart--an exploration of the places we hold dear and why. I wanted Ben Stein to be my first guest because he is not only a friend but because his life has largely been lived in the two places I'm spending most of my time these days....Washington, DC (my hometown....where my son lives) and LA where I spend part of each week putting together this show. Stein has worked for two presidents.....Nixon and Ford......as a speech writer and lawyer. Today, he teaches law at Pepperdine University in Malibu and stars in his own whacked out Comedy Central game show called Win Ben Stein's Money. I asked him if he can tell which passengers on the plane are from which city when he's flying between LA and DC.

Airport Museum

Paris, Rome, Beijing, Rio, Sydney ... when I think of the romance of travel, these are some of the places I think of.

But first, you gotta get there. And that means spending time - often too much time - in one or more of the country's almost 600 commercial airports. In fact, travelers spend an average of an hour waiting for flights to come or go, every time they go to an airport

But, as Harriet Baskas has been discovering, you don't have to waste your hour at the airport plopped in an ugly plastic seat, you can hit an airport museum.

Air Couriers

Would you like to fly from Chicago to London for $249? New York to Singapore for $200? Miami to Rio for $100? L.A. to Tokyo for free? Impossible? Not for savvy travelers who fly as air couriers.

Air couriers are members of the general public who accompany time-sensitive cargo being shipped as passengers' baggage aboard regularly scheduled commercial airlines. In exchange for providing this minimal service, couriers are rewarded with ultra-low fares. Typical savings are 50% to 80% of the unrestricted coach fares. Those willing to travel at the last minute can sometimes fly for free.

Interview with Kelly Monaghan, author of "Air Courier Bargains," published by "The Intrepid Traveler." It's available in many travel bookstores.

By the way, Kelly mentioned travel consolidators. That's another way to save lots of money on air fares, and - guess what? We'll be talking about how to do that next week, on "The Savvy Traveler." be sure to tune in.

Deal Of the Week

My Deal Of the Week comes from a Richland, Washington, travel agency that promises some incredibly cheap hotel and air packages to Europe beginning in the fall. Grab a pen, and I'll give you the phone number in a moment.

Meanwhile, try these prices on for size: Six days in Madrid including lodging and airfare via USAirways for as little as $629 per person based on double occupancy and mid-week travel. That's for an East Coast departure, but it's only $110 more if you're flying from the West Coast. Continental breakfast is included, but not the airline ticket tax. These deals are good for November through mid-December, and then again from early January to late March.

Maybe you'd rather go to London or Paris or Rome? Airfare on British Airways and three nights in a hotel is a steal at between $600 and $750 per person in those three cities.

Now, tickets at this price are limited, but if you're interested, give a call to Tropical Travel. Strange name for an agency located in the state of Washington, but, hey, who cares what the place is called? Tropical Travel's toll free number is 888-269-1777. That's 888-269-1777. I'll post this number today on the Savvy Traveler web site you can access at www.savvytraveler.org.

Autumn in Europe cheap via Tropical Travel--that's my Deal Of the Week!


I'm Rudy Maxa, the Savvy Traveler. You know, there's a definite shift in the air after Labor Day. We pack away our bathing suits, return the lawn furniture to the garage, and drag the kids to back- to- school sales. Remember your first day back at school... when your teacher made you write the inevitable "how I spent my summer vacation" essay? Well, before you have to give up your summer completely, why don't you give me a call and tell me what you did with your vacation...just for old time's sake. The Savvy Traveler toll-free number is 1-888-SAVTRAV. That's 1-8-8-8-S-A-V-T-R-A-V. And there's no pressure... I promise to grade fairly. Let's go to the phones.

Rentable Frank Lloyd Wright

There are many Frank Lloyd Wright buildings to tour-- and for those who can afford them-- own. But only one can be rented and be entirely yours...at least for a few nights. It's a small cottage in the Wisconsin woods that's been described as classic Frank Lloyd Wright design boiled down to its essence. Bob Bach of WUWM in Milwaukee relates the story of the Seth Peterson Cottage, located in Mirror Lake State Park about 40 miles north of Madison.

The Seth Peterson Cottage sleeps up to 4 people and is available year round for $225 a night. Although it's already heavily booked over the next several years, there are cancellations and openings do become available to the persistent.

Next week on the Savvy Traveler

We'll take a walking tour through the history and culture of gay New York;

We'll take your calls about where you'll go when you finally get that dream vacation and we'll even give you some help on how to get there as we continue our series on how to travel on the cheap;

"Sometimes you can get as good a deal or even a better deal by going through a consolidator."

The ins and outs of using airline consolidators--another way you can save a bundle and still get where you want to go

And you'll hear about the place to be when jet lag hits you in Tokyo

"Over near the wharf is a very mysterious sight. There are rows and rows of these frozen carcasses and over and around them a cloud of vapor rises blending with the early morning fog. They look a little like frosted organic torpedoes."

A visit to Tokyo's Sukeeji Market in next week's edition of the Savvy Traveler.

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