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Rundown for the week of August 29, 1998

Travel Advisory
Smog Alert: Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Air and Radiation

Hurricane Bonnie has slammed the Carolinas, causing many coastal cities to batten down the hatches, or even evacuate. But this is usually the time of the year when the beaches are swarming with tourists, even in the smaller, out-of-the way places. Earlier this summer, Karen Brown visited her favorite island in North Carolina's Outer Banks. And she found that in addition to hurricanes, tourism is a powerful force for change.

Q & A I -- Most Memorable Family Vacation
Rudy reminisces with listeners about those trips with the family years ago. You can see pictures of Susan O'Day's two-month vacation with her daughters on her web site.

Robber Baron Homes Interview
Ever been curious about the homes of the rich and famous of days gone by? Wealthy industrialists like Getty or Rockefeller who had so much money they could afford to have several homes... places where people supped in black tie, road to the hounds at dawn, and spent long afternoons playing croquet and sipping mint juleps in the rose garden. The mansions these tycoons called home was the subject of a story Kim Clark and Faye Rice did for Fortune magazine. They've come to assure me that even if your family doesn't own oil wells or have its name emblazoned across railroad cars, for the right price, you too can live for a few days like -- as Kim and Faye call it -- a robber baron. We learn today about some of the most outrageous places they stayed.

Their story "Inns Fit for a Robber Baron" appeared in the May 25th issue of Fortune.

Deal of the Week
Quantas, the Australian airline, has increased the frequency of flights between Sydney and Los Angeles. They've put together a package trip with an unbeatable price in order to fill those new flights: between the middle and end of September, Quantas Vacations will fly you from LA to Sydney, get you to and from the airport, put you up in a four-star hotel for seven nights, feed you a continental breakfast every morning, and throw in a harbor cruise for $1,098. That's $150 less than the usual, advance-purchase LA-Sydney round-trip ticket on Quantas. Throw in that $150, and you can travel in October, November, and some dates in December. As usual, you can depart from other U.S. cities for a modest surcharge. The phone number for Quantas Vacations is 800-641-8772.

Q & A II -- General Questions
Rudy takes listeners' general questions about travel. He mentions:

Yellowstone National Park information:
Northern Rockies Natural History: 406-586-1155
Llamas of the Yellowstone: 406-587-2661
Yellowstone Mountain Guides: 406-388-0148
Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures: 406-848-7292

EBS Travel Service offers Jewish heritage tours: 800-784-4347 or 818-784-6641

Sierra RV Rentals in Nevada: 800-972-8760 or 702-324-0522

Burning Man Festival: www.burningman.com

Lost luggage: If you don't file a written report, the airline can -- by law -- deny you compensation. Airlines are only required to compensate you up to $1250 per incident.

You can complain to the Department of Transportation at 202-366-2220 or write:

The Aviation Consumer Protection Division
U.S. Department of Transportation
400 7th Street SW
Washington D.C. 20590

Biking Through Italy
Travel isn't just about the destination. Getting there can be equally rewarding. And your mode of travel can often define or redefine an experience. My recent barge cruise through Burgundy, France gave me a view of the country I never saw when I took the train. So in today's final destination, we're heading off to a popular vacation spot in a very different sort of way. This time we're going to hit the road -- literally, as Joan Reiss takes us on a biking trip through Tuscany.

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler

We visit an unlikely site in Nova Scotia that's been flooded with tourists, inspired by the biggest box office attraction of all time...

"There they are, 10 plain black granite headstones. Only two have names. The rest are identified with numbers. The stones all read: died April, 15, 1912."

Where to find the real history of the Titanic tragedy. And we learn how a Buddhist Lama uses humor to deal with the day to day stress of travel on his book tour.

-Do you know how to recognize a Buddhist vacuum cleaner?
-No I don't.
-Oh, well let me tell you it comes with no attachments.

Plus I'll take you on a champagne soaked, jet-set jaunt through the beaches of St. Tropez. All that plus my deal of the week and your tips on how to beat the Labor Day crowds, in next week's edition of The Savvy Traveler.

Ordering Tapes of The Savvy Traveler

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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