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Rundown for the week of April 10, 1999

Traveling with Kids in Paris
Most people told Melody Walker she was crazy when she and her husband announced they would take their kids - ages five and seven - on their tenth anniversary trip to Paris. But Melody, who had worked and lived in Paris for six years before she had kids, saw the French capital in a whole new light on this visit.

Rudy talks to listeners about their favorite travel authors and books.

Andrei Codrescu Interview
Rudy talks with Andrei Codrescu, public radio commentator and author of "Ay, Cuba: A Socio-Erotic Journey."

Bad Taste Tour: Kathy's Freak Farm
Here at The Savvy Traveler headquarters we hear about a lot of strange things...tourist attractions you'd be surprised people actually take the time to visit. Like Lincoln, Montana, for instance...better known as the home of Theodore Kaczynski. Local stores sell Unabomber t-shirts, hunting caps and hooded sweatshirts. For awhile, tourists enjoyed having their pictures taken at Kaczynski's mailbox... until it was stolen as a souvenir. Well, after hearing many similar stories we realized that just because something is in poor taste, doesn't mean folks want to avoid seeing it. So today we present to you the first in a series of Bad Taste Tours. Just remember...we didn't create 'em. First stop, San Diego, California. The Savvy Traveler's Cash Peters takes us to Kathy's Freak Farm.

Deal of the Week

Canada On Sale

Imagine that instead of going shopp'ing at your usual stores for clothes, furniture or even food, I told you about a place where you could save 40 to 50 per cent on all your purchases. It's a country, called Canada. You may have heard of it. And it also happens to be a great place to vacation. The U.S. dollar is so strong against the Canadian dollar that anything you buy - from a shirt to a hotel room - is much less than you'd pay in your own hometown.

And now, Air Canada is having a fare sale that makes getting there pretty inexpensive, too. Try these 14-day, advance-purchase deals on for size. Between Montreal and New York City: $172. That's round-trip, including taxes. Between Chicago and Montreal: $328. San Diego and Toronto: $321. Chicago and the gateway to the great, Canadian northwest, Calgary: $306.

Take it from me, those are l-o-o-o-o-w fares! And unlike some places, like London, once you get there, the bargains don't stop. Rooms in the swankiest hotels can hover around only $100 a night. Gourmet meals are inexpensive, too; you'll think you're at two-for-the-price-of-one night at an American restaurant. So take a vacation and go shopping in Canada. Those Air Canada fares must be locked in by April 19th, but you have 'til June 23rd to complete your travel. Call Air Canada for details or visit them online at http://www.aircanada.ca/.

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

Honeymooning in Montreal

  • The Montreal Jazz Festival will be held this year from July 1-11. If you're a jazz fan, it's the place to be. There are over 400 shows, and 300 of them are free.
  • The Just for Laughs Comedy Festival is the next week, July 14-25, and features comedians from all over the world. Call 514-845-2322 or surf to www.hahaha.com.
  • For information about the summer festivals, contact the Montreal Tourist Information Center at 800-363-7777 or on the web at www.tourism-montreal.org.
  • Don't forget to take advantage of the shopping. The Canadian dollar is worth about only 73 cents, so you can definitely get a lot for your money. There's an added incentive of a sales tax refund. Hang on to your receipts, and you can file for your refund at the airport.

Connecting to the Internet Abroad

  • In Germany, try contacting Netplace. It's on the web at www.netplace.de. Or try Marketplaz Bodensee Online at www.pfister-group.de. You can call +49 7531-9032-0.
  • In Spain, try Central House Internet at www.chi.es or +34-93-414-7056.

Carry-On Bags

  • 45 linear inches is the rule now for carry-on bags. The devil is in the details. For example, American's requirements are 23 x 13 x 9. Delta's are 22 x 14 x 9.
  • Weight requirements vary greatly and airlines are getting very strict about them, especially on international flights. Domestically, weight allowances range from 50 to 70 pounds, but internationally they start as low as 13 pounds on British Airways.
  • To figure out the requirements for specific flights, call your ticketing airline. If you're flying on several different airlines, the luggage requirements may change according to each airline's rules. If you ticket with one airline, and they put you on another carrier to connect you to your destination, the original airline's rules still apply.

Changing Flight Time at the Last Minute

  • Changing a non-refundable airline ticket will cost you. But it will probably cost you less if you fly with a budget carrier. With most major carriers, last-minute tickets are a fortune. If you end up paying a flight increase with a major airline, it's hard to say how high the fare can get.
  • For example, flying Southwest from Nashville to Baltimore is $136 round trip. If you have to change the ticket, the most you'll pay is the top fare, which is currently $214. On American, the flight costs the same, but you'll pay $75 plus whatever increase there is in fare for the new date of travel.

The Open Road: Desert Spring
There's something about spring that snaps us out of hibernation and makes us hungry to hit the road. Maybe we just want to be sure that other parts of the country have survived the winter as well as we have, or maybe all that new life simply makes us restless, but either way, it's a good time to tour. When we think of spring, most of us don't think of the desert but it's a favorite destination for Teresa Jordan of The Open Road.

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
We'll spend next week getting to know your flight attendants.

"I knew when I was in kindergarten when you have to write what you want to be and you have to draw what you want to be, I drew a little flight attendant and her bag and the airplane and here I am."

How your flight attendants got there and what they're thinking in next week's journey. We get to know the sounds of the Australian didjeradoo that's a musical instrument, by the way. And a lesson in becoming a gondolier.

"Learning to drive a gondola on the Grand Canal is like learning to ride a bike on the Long Island Expressway."

Come along for the ride as we make a splash in Venice during 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.

The Savvy Traveler Newsletter
The Savvy Traveler newsletter is now available. For more information, call toll-free, 888-SAV-TRAV (888-728-8728), extension 3, or e-mail mail@savvytraveler.org.

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