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Rundown for the week of June 27, 1998

Scene Setter: Clinton's China Trip

You think you pack too much for a trip? Well, you've probably read about what the White House has gone through so President Clinton can go to China and around Asia for nine days. More than 1000 people in the entourage...Maybe the first family needs a new travel agent--someone who might be able to help Bill and Hill plan a more efficient trip. So all you travel agents out there, I'm talking to you. Call 1-888-SavTrav and give me an idea of what you'd do to make the president's trip more efficient. If we find someone really good, maybe we can try to get your advice out to the big guy himself.

Sissi Trail

She was considered one of the most beautiful women in Europe; she married into a royal family; she was terribly unhappy with her husband and destined to die an early, tragic death. It sounds like the story of Princess Diana, but in fact, I'm talking about another princess: Princess Elizabeth of Austria. Sissi, as she was known, was the wife of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef. This year's the centenary of her death, and the Savvy Traveler's Martin Stott has come up with a holiday to Vienna and Budapest... on the Sissi trail.

(Please see our "Special Info" section for Stott's tips for traveling the trail.)

Q & A I -- Dining Etiquette

We hear listeners' stories about their dining disasters abroad...and tips for how to behave in those strange food settings.

Letitia Baldridge, protocol expert, calls in with her suggestions for dining etiquette when traveling. She mentions 2 books: In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House and Letitia Baldrige's New Complete Guide to Executive Manners.

Samoan Rain Forest Interview

After his mother's death to cancer, Paul Allen Cox took his wife and two daughters and set off for the Samoan Rain Forest in search of anti-cancer remedies and healing plants. He spent a year there as a recipient of a National Science Foundation award and has written a memoir about the experience called Nafanua: Saving the Samoan Rainforest, which describes his intense involvement with the Samoan people and his effort to preserve their environment.

Cook's Tour of France

Earlier in our show we picked up some tips on how to behave at foreign dinner tables. So now that we've got the etiquette down, why not learn how to whip up a few exotic dishes? And who better to instruct us than that queen of cuisine, Julia Child? But since she's in pretty high demand, we decided to compromise and check out the cooking school that's located in her former country home on the French Riviera. We sent The Savvy Traveler's Tom Verde to Provence so that he could learn how to cook us up a nice meal, but he may have ended up doing a little more eating than cooking...

(Please see our "Special Info" section for more information about this cooking tour.)

Deal of the Week

It's always tough to find moderately priced hotel rooms in Paris, but the World Cup games are making things a real mess. So try this: Call a railroad. Yup, a railroad. A division of Rail Europe offers blocks of hotel rooms in hard-to-get places in France, including Paris, at pretty good prices. Just don't put off booking much longer.

Rail Europe specializes in moderate tourist class and superior rooms. If you need a room in Paris while the World Cup is on, you can still find a two-star, or moderate, hotel for about $98 a night per person. All rooms are downtown, close to Metro stops. And the price includes a private bath or shower, continental breakfast and -- this is important -- taxes and service charges.

Rail Europe can be handy after the World Cup, as well. And you'll pay even less when the busy season ends in mid-September. The price for that same $98 room in Paris will drop to $59 per person. Prices are less in other French cities. For details, call the railroad at 888-850 8918.

Hotel rooms that'll leave more francs in your pocket--that's my Deal of the Week!

Q & A II - General Travel Questions

Rudy takes listeners' calls and answers their questions about travel. He mentions:

United Airlines: www.ual.com
If you sign up with MCI cellular service you get 5,000 additional frequent flyer miles.

Chamber of Commerce for the town of Langley on Whidbey Island: 360-221-6765 http://www.whidbey.com/langley
For questions about businesses in the area call: 360-221-5676

Low pressure adventures for singles:

Skiing for Smarten in California: 800-SKI-1008

Mile High Adventures and Entertainment: 888-414-4FUN

Contiki Holidays: 714-740-0808 www.contiki.com

Green Tortoise: 800-TORTOIS www.greentortoise.com

Hong Kong Food

What's a traveler to do when you're visiting a place where you're afraid to try the local cuisine? Only slightly afraid of being stuck with McDonald's french fries throughout her trip, The Savvy Traveler's Jessica Smith set out to tackle foreign food phobia in Hong Kong.

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler

We'll celebrate the spirit of Independence Day by taking a trip to one of America's hidden gems...here's one summer resident's declaration:

"I've seen places in Europe, all over the United States. This is the place that we're most enthralled with. We want to be here."

After discovering the proud community of Jarbidge, Nevada, we'll be drenched by the powerful lessons of Niagra Falls, then reflect on our new-found knowledge as we meander our way through some of our country's most astonishing gardens...

"It belonged to a mafioso named Vito Ginovessi and so even though the garden doesn't look particularly mysterious, it has this very, very shady past."

We'll face surprises on every path we take, and don't forget we're taking your votes for the one place in the United States that truly epitomizes all that is America... in next week's edition of The Savvy Traveler.

For tapes of the show...
If you want your very own copy of The Savvy Traveler, order an audio cassette. It's easy. Just call 303-823-8000. The price is $15. As Rudy says, it's a steal.

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