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Deal of the Week: Paris Shopping Spree (7/19/2002)

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Since our Travel-Expert-in-Residence, Rudy Maxa, is in France taping a public television episode on the Riviera, we thought it would be appropriate for him to find a deal with a decidedly French accent. And, actually, this week's deal has two elements: shopping bargains and reasonable accommodations.

First the shopping bargains:

Through August 6th, two of Paris' major department stores, Galeries Layfayette and Printemps, are having their annual summer sales with up to 40 percent off big-name labels -- we're talking the best of international fashion, accessories and home design. Plus, if you spend $175 or more in a day, as an American, you get a value-added tax rebate -- and that's another 12 percent off.

Now, what about reasonable accommodations? Shoppers do have to be well-rested if they want to snag the best bargains, you know. The 600 members of the French B&B Association offer lodging ranging from farmhouses to Paris apartments -- even the occasional chateaux. There are four categories, from category A, with nightly rates of only $10 to $24, to the posh category D, which costs $80 to $200. Any way you look at it, the prices are very attractive, and Americans receive an additional 5 percent off bookings made before the end of the year.

C'est magnifique!

Savvy Resources:

Department stores:

http://www.galerieslafayette.com (click on "English")

http://www.printemps.com (click on "access" at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen for English)

The French Bed & Breakfast Association: http://www.bedbreak.com (To get the 5 percent discount on room rates, quote code BBF-USA)

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