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-- Do any of the following deals match your destination? - By Jack Adler --

Aloha Airlines has introduced a 7-day air pass around the Hawaiian Islands. The pass costs $199. Travelers can book any number of reservations on selected flights to all of the destinations served by Aloha and Island Air, except for blackout dates from Dec. 16, 1995 through Jan. 5, 1996. Reservations must be made no earlier than 7 days prior to the first day of travel. Note that the pass is on a consecutive day basis and is non-refundable. Frequent flyer credits and first-class upgrades can't be earned in conjunction with the pass. For details, contact travel agents or the airline at 800-367-5250. [TOP]

Going to Austria? Look into the new city passes for Vienna and Salzburg. The Vienna card is valid for 72 hours (three days) of unlimited travel on all public transportation within city limits. The cost is about $18 and includes discounts to Vienna's major museums and attractions with reduced prices for some local tours. The Salzburg card is available for 24 hours at about $l8; 48 hours is $26; and 72 hours is $35, for which you get free use of the public transportation system.

Both passes, which have to be purchased in either Vienna or Salzburg, are good deals if you expect to spend some time exploring the city. And if you're staying in Innsbruck for at least one night, you're entitled to automatic membership in Club Innsbruck which provides a variety of discounts and free services. For example: from mid-December through mid-April, members get free ski bus transportation to any of the surrounding six ski areas and discounts on daily and multi-day ski passes. During the summer, there are gratis guided day hikes to over 40 hiking trails including free rental of boots and backpacks.

For details, contact the Austrian National Tourist Office at either 212-575-7723 in New York or 310-477-3332 in Los Angeles. [TOP]

Down Under: If you're going to roam around Australia, consider doing it by rail. You can get an Austrailpass that's valid for rail travel around the vast country. There are several types of passes but the best one for tourists may be the Austrail Flexi-pass good for any period of eight, l5, 22 or 29 days within a six month period on either a first-class or economy basis. The eight day version costs $281 economy, and $484 first class; 15 days, $406 and $679 respectively. For details, contact travel agents or ATS Tours at 800-423-2880. [TOP]

Visiting Ohio? It's worth getting the gratis OhioPass state-wide guide which includes a coupon book covering a variety of attractions throughout the state. You can also get a map and other useful material by calling the Ohio Division of Travel & Tourism at 800-282-5393. [TOP]

Poland: Getting around the Polish capital of Warsaw can be eased through a tourist pass which is valid on all metro, bus and streetcar lines (but not good, it should be noted, for city-airport busses). A 24-hour pass costs only around $1, while a seven-day pass is about $5. The pass has to be bought in Warsaw. For details, contact the Polish National Tourist Office at 212-338-9412.[TOP]

Going to Iceland? Check out the City Card for the capital of Reykjavik which offers unlimited travel on city buses and free admission to some geo-thermal pools as well as sightseeing attractions. You need to buy the City Card in Reykjavik which costs about $7 for one day; $8, two days; and $9, three days. If you're traveling around the island country, look into a winter one-week pass by BSI, a motor-coach operator, which is priced at around $140. For details, call the Iceland Tourist Office at the central Scandinavia toll-free line of 800-346-4636.[TOP]

AT&T is still offering complimentary "Walks Through Europe" maps, a series of l2 city walking maps to key European cities. To request a copy or copies, call 800-331-1140, extension 368.[TOP]

If the Micronesia area in the South Pacific is on your horizon, examine the "Visit Micronesia" pass offered by Continental Micronesia. You need to fly to Guam on Continental Micronesia and then, with a choice of a pass offering roundtrips to and from Saipan, Palau and Yap to Guam for $400. The same deal, involving savings over point-to-point fares between the islands, is available for $500 with the addition of Chuuk; and for $600, adding Chuuk and Ponape. There's a maximum stay condition of 30 days. For details, check with TA or the Airline at 800-945-9955.[TOP]

Hamburg, Germany's second largest city, has a "Hamburg Card" worth considering if you're going to explore the city. Card includes unlimited travel on all public transportation including buses and subways, free admission to 11 museums, and discounts on some city/port tours and cruises on Alster Lake. Price is about $9 for one day card for one adult who can take along three children under l2. A group/family card, covering four adults and three children, costs around $18 for one day. For details, call the German tourist office (310-575-9799 in Los Angeles or 212-661-7200 in New York).[TOP]

Australia offers a TransPerth Sight-seeing Ticket which permits unlimited use of bus, train or ferry. You also get a discount coupon booklet for sightseeing attractions including river cruises, golf courses, theme parks, museums, etc. The price is about $6 for a one-day ticket. Best-bet for comprehensive Australia information is to call 800-333-0262 and ask for the Destination Australia Book. It's quite comprehensive.[TOP]

If you're going to Hong Kong, and expect to visit some of its museums, look into the new "Monthly Pass" to the Urban Council museums. Pass costs about $10 and allows you unlimited admissions for a month to the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Space Museum, and Hong Kong Science Museum. You also receive a 10% discount on all purchases at the museum's shops. The pass is sold at these museums as well as the Urban Council Publications Centre and the Hong Kong Tourist Association Information and Gift Centre.[TOP]

Visiting Nevada? Get a copy of the "Discover Nevada Bonus Book" from the Nevada Commission on Tourism. Coupon booklet has discounts on rooms, meals, rental cars, shows, gaming, museums, and other sight-seeing attractions. Agency is also general source of information and offers a state map, events guide, and latest edition of the rather comprehensive "Nevada Visitors Guide." Call 800-NEVADA-8. [TOP]

Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, is still another city offering one of these city cards which can save you money if you plan to do sufficient sightseeing. This card, must be purchased in Lisbon, and is a little over $8 for 24 hours; about $13.60 for 48 hours; and around $l7.70 for 72 hours. What you get is free access to Lisbon's transportation system -- busses, streetcars, and subway -- as well as admission to various palaces, museums, historic sites (the city has quite a few), sightseeing tours, etc.[TOP]

If you're going to India, check into the air passes on Indian Airlines, a domestic carrier. The 21-day "Discover India" pass allows unlimited flights within the country for $500. There are also regional seven-day passes for the northern, southern, eastern and western parts of India, which is quite a large country. Each of these regional passes, all permitting unlimited flights, cost $200. Note that these are consecutive day passes starting from first use.
Similarly, Indian Rail has various consecutive day passes, starting from seven days, which all feature unlimited rail travel. There are three basic classes of service: air conditioned with sleeper; air conditioned with seat; and non air-conditioned/second class. On this basis, the seven-day pass costs $300, $150, and $80 respectively.
You can buy these air/rail passes in the U.S. or India, but if you purchase them in India you still have to pay in dollars. For more details, check with travel agents or the Government of India tourist offices in the U.S.: 213-350-8855 in Los Angeles or 212-586-4901.[TOP]

Want to explore Copenhagen on a really inexpensive basis? Free bicycles are available at around 120 bike racks around the Danish capital. You need to insert a 20 kroner coin (about $4) into a box on the rack; but you get a refund of this amount, also by coin, when you return the bike -- which doesn't have to be the same rack where you picked it up. That's a real advantage. For details, call the Danish tourism office through the central Scandinavian Toll-Free line at 800-346-4636.[TOP]

If you're planning to travel a good bit around Northern Ireland and/or the Republic of Ireland, check into the various rail/bus passes offered by CIE- Tours International.

The Irish Rover Pass offers unlimited travel on Irish Rail and Northern Ireland Rail for any five days out of a 15 consecutive day period. Cost is $124 for adults and $62 for children under 12. The rail bus Emerald Card allows any eight days of travel out of a 15-day period or 15 days out of a 30 day period in both areas. The cost for the shorter version is $174 for adults, $87, children; longer version, $300 and $150 respectively.

Just within Republic of Ireland, the Irish Explorer Pass offers unlimited travel on Irish Rail and Dublin rapid transit/suburban rail services for any five out of 15 days for $100 for adults and $50 for children. The Irish Explorer Rail/Bus Pass, valid any eight out of 15 days, sells for $150 for adults and $75 for children.

For more details, check with travel agents or the company at 800-243-8687.[TOP]

A new and free, though somewhat limited, trolley service is now available for tours of key downtown Los Angeles shopping areas. The three mile loop is between garment district's California Mart and the International Jewelry Center. The trolley runs every Friday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For details, check the city's new toll-free number of 800-CATCH-LA.[TOP]

Amtrak is offering new "Explore America" fares which allow unlimited stopovers. Get off and on at will. The regional fares are $158 for travel within one of Amtrak's three regions which loosely separate the U.S. into three overlapping areas; $198 for two regions; and $278 for its entire system. The fares can be bought anytime through May 15, for travel through June 16. After June 16, there will be a $50 summer surcharge through Aug. 18. Children under 15, traveling with an adult, can sample rail life for half-fare. For more details, check with a travel agent or Amtrak at 800-USA-RAIL. [TOP]

The Best Western North American "1997 Road Atlas and Travelers' Guide" is available on a complimentary basis. The 300-page color guide includes road maps and nearby points of interest to all the properties listed. Call 800-528-1234 to have a handy copy mailed to you. [TOP]

Some Radisson Hotels International have an interesting discount that gives seniors a variable discount based on their age. If you're 65, you can get 65% off the regular rate; if you're 75, figure on 75% off; and so on. Not all hotels in the chain necessarily offer this discount, so check with company at 800-333-3333. If you have other discounts available to you through a discount group/booklet/club, for example, compare the rates with the senior discount then choose your best deal. [TOP]

The Carte Vermeil in France permits reductions on domestic rail travel of up to 50%, depending on day and time, for those over 60. You need to buy the card in France (railroad stations are good places) and show proof of your age through a passport or other identification. You can get the card for a year's use or a shorter term which allows four roundtrips at discounted rates. There are other discounts, such as a 50%-off companion rate on some French Rail passes, so decide which plan will work best for your particular needs. [TOP]

If you expect to do a lot of traveling through Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, look into getting the Benelux Tourpass which offers five days of unlimited rail travel during a one month period. The price is $217 for one person, first class; and $155, second class. If two adults travel together, the per-person cost dips to $163 and $116.50 for first/second class respectively. A junior pass for second class is priced at $104 for those under 26. You also get a discount on Eurostar tickets with purchase of the Benelux rail pass. While the rail network won't get you everywhere in Luxembourg, the bus service, run by the railroad, does and it also accepts the Benelux pass. For more details, check with a travel agent or Rail Europe at 800-438-7245. [TOP]

Days Inns is continuing its advance purchase program, though it may not apply to all of the approximately 1,700 properties in the chain. Called the "Simple Super Saver" program, rooms are available at discounts that vary from property to property. You are required to make a reservation at least 29 days in advance and pay for the first night's stay within seven days after the booking. Cancellations need to be made at least 14 days ahead of the arrival date to avoid losing the first's night payment. Best bet is to check what the regular rate would be at the property you're interested in and compare it with any other discount for which you qualify. Also compare these discounts to the standard advance purchase rate at the hotel. More details are available from Days Inns at 800-325-2525. [TOP]

Going to New York City but looking for unique sections of the city or lesser known festivals and events?

Big Apple Greeter is an independent, non-profit organization that offers volunteers, who aren't professional tour guides, but who are able to answer questions. They will help orient you to the city and best of all spend some time showing you around. Best yet, it's a free service! Although most requests can be handled within three business days, setting things up as far in advance as possible is a good idea. Get details by calling 212-669-2896. [TOP]

If you're going to Bermuda, be aware of the transportation pass you can buy which provides unlimited travel on the island's buses and ferries. A one day pass costs $10; three days, $20; and a seven day version, $32.50. This can be a handy and inexpensive way to see a lot of the island. The pass has to be bought in Bermuda. For more details, check with the Bermuda tourist office at 800-223-6106. [TOP]

TriStar Airlines is offering a discount coupon booklet to mark inauguration of its Los Angeles-San Francisco service which is especially useful if you fly between these cities often or at the last minute when you can't take advantage of advance purchase fares. The booklet offers six one-way flight segments for $499, or about $83 for each segment, against the regular one way coach fare of $109. These coupons are refundable and good for a year from purchase. Las Vegas-based carrier, it should be noted, has a seven-day, non refundable advance purchase one way fare on same route for $59. Check with travel agents or the airline. This airline is no longer - for other discounted airlines tickets click here. [TOP]

If you're renting a Budget Rent-A-Car vehicle in Southern California, you'll get a "World of Values" coupon booklet with discount offers including Sea World San Diego Zoo, Continental Airlines, etc. Budget has similar coupon booklets in other markets as well. Check with the car rental company at 800-221-1203. [TOP]

If you want to take care of your sightseeing/transportation passes in London while still in the U.S., you can order some through Marketing Challenges International in N.Y. (212-529-9069). The London Visitor Travel Card is good for three, four and seven days and offers unlimited travel on the London Underground (subway) and bus system including the underground trip from Heathrow Airport into the city. The three day pass costs $25; four days, $32; and seven days, $49. If you plan to visit many museums, and London has many, consider the White Card which permits unlimited visits to 13 major museums. The three day version costs $12; seven days, $54. And if you're interested in historic places, check out the Great British Heritage Pass which offers visits to hundreds of spots throughout Britain. The seven day pass costs $39; 15 days, $58; and one month, $85. It's possible to get a better rate on these passes once in England, depending on the fluctuation of the dollar against the pound. [TOP]

Aston Hotels & Resorts is offering some perks to guests at its Hawaiian properties. At check in, you get a coupon booklet -- tailored for the specific island (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Big Island of Hawaii) -- which provides discounts for dining, car rentals, shopping, etc. There's also a one-day shopping pass to Price/Costco on the islands of Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. Check with travel agents or the hotel chain at 800-922-7866. [TOP]

If you're going to Kauai, get a gratis copy of the Kauai Vacation Planner which contains a substantial number of discount coupons as well as a Poipu Accommodations Guide. Call 800-262-1400. [TOP]

If you plan to fly a good deal around South Africa, look into South African Airways' "African Explorer" program covering South Africa and some points in nearby countries whereby you can buy a minimum of four one way coupons (maximum of eight) at rates lower than the regular unrestricted coach fares. The coupons are good for a 30 day period from first use, and have to be purchased in conjunction with an international air fare (not necessarily aboard South African Airways) outside of South Africa. If you don't use any of the coupons, they're totally refundable; otherwise, once you use one coupon, the others are converted to the value of the regular fares. For details, check with travel agents or the airline at 800-722-9675. [TOP]

Best Western Hotels launched a "Family Plan", as of April 1, which allows up to four family members to share a room at one price. Discounts on a second room for children may also be possible. You also get a "Family Fun Packet" at check-in with some coupons. However, the usefulness of some of the coupons is limited. There are around 2,100 Best Western properties in the areas involved -- the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean -- so check that the individual property is participating. Rooms under the plan can be on a space available basis. Check, also, what rates might be available under other discounts. For more details, contact a travel agent or the hotel chain at 800-528-1234. [TOP]

Want to explore Oahu without renting a car? Consider getting a newly-offered four-day "Oahu Discovery Passport" that provides unlimited bus travel throughout the island. The pass costs $10 for the four consecutive days useage on "TheBus" as the island-wide system, managed by the Oahu Transit Services, is called. Passes are sold at more than 30 ABC Stores in Waikiki. For more information on TheBus and the pass, call 808-848-4500. [TOP]

For a totally different sort of self-service bus vacation, look into the Green Tortoise U.S. and Mexico tours. Designed for the more adventurous, the buses carry up to 38 passengers and make stops for travelers to cook, swim, hike, visit towns, etc. At night, passengers sleep on the bus on mattresses fitted with sheets; or, if the trip means staying at a place that night, passengers may camp out. Get details from the outfit at 800-867-8467. [TOP]

If you're 60 or over, you can get a good break on the Euro-star trains chugging through the Chunnel. New senior rate is $155 each way first class and $109 second class. Just double these rates for the roundtrip fare. All travelers going roundtrip, and staying over on a Saturday night, can get a "Leisure" rate of $298 first class and $198, second class. For details, check with a travel agent or Eurostar at 800-94-CHUNNEL. [TOP]

Learn more about hostels in the U.S. including their location by getting a free brochure, "Hosteling Map of the U.S.A." Color map shows hostels across the country along with addresses, phone numbers, etc. Write to HI-AYH , 733 15th St., N.W., Washington D.C. 20005 (202-783-6161). [TOP]

Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Colorado will again offer a beginners ski free program on the "K" and "L" lifts during the 1996-97 ski season. Specific time periods haven't been set, and there are likely to be blackout periods, but the free ski lifts, when available, will provide beginners with access to four runs consisting of 53 acros and nearly 1,000 vertical feet. Children's rates will now apply to youths through 14 instead of 12, which can also save families with their progeny some money. Check into the Copper Club Card which offers discounts on food, rentals, lessons and merchandise. For details, call the resort at 800-458-8386. [TOP]

Accor Asia Pacific offers a "Dreamtime Hotel Pass" with pre-paid hotel vouchers at different budget levels at more than 90 hotels in Australia, Cambodia, China, French Polynesia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Caledonia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Rates are valid thru March 31, l997 and include all taxes and service charges. Up to two children under 15 can stay free when sharing a room with at least one adult. However, at some hotels the Dreamtime rate may actually be higher than other rates at that property and not offer any savings. While you have to purchase the pass in the U.S. you can opt to make ongoing bookings once abroad which allows a check of a hotel's current rate against the pass while traveling. Refunds for unused vouchers are possible minus a $10 handling fee per order. For details, check with a travel agent or the company at 800-821-7373. [TOP]

If you're going to Switzerland and plan to do visit a fair number of museums, look into the new Swiss Museum Passport just begun in October 1996 which offers admissions to some 180 museums throughout the country. A one month pass costs $25 per adult and you can get a family pass for one adult plus up to five children for $30. If you want a one year pass, figure on $75 and $90 respectively. Reduced rates are available for students and seniors. The Swiss Museum Passport has to be bought in Switzerland, which can be at all participating museums as well as major tourist offices. For more information, contact the Swiss tourist offices at 212-757-5944 in New York; 312-630-5840 in Chicago; and 312-630-5840, Southern California. [TOP]

Here are some ski bargains of note:

  • Crested Butte Mt. Resort offers free skiing Nov. 27-Dec. 21 and April 7-20, Call 800-SKI FREE for details.
  • Cuchara Ski Valley offers free child care for mothers who ski/snowboard every Tuesday. Call 719-742-5163.
  • Howelson Ski Area, in a "Nooner" ticket, provides skiing from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., for $2. Call 970-879-8499.
  • Powderhorn Resort provides a Beginner's Ride for Free on the E-Z Rider beginner lift all season with no date restrictions. Call 970-268-5700.
  • Silver Creek Resort, in Happy Days program, provides rentals, lift tickets and lodgings at half-price Dec. 2-15 and March 31-April 15. Call 800-754-7458.
  • Telluride offers free skiing if you stay at a participating Telluride lodging Nov. 28-Dec. 20 or March 31-April 15. Call 800-523-3455.
  • Vail/Beaver Creek/Arrowhead ofers Vail Valley Club Card which costs $15 and provides various discounts and perks. Call 800-525-2257.
  • [TOP]

    If you're going to Curacao, check out the "Discover Curacao Now" promotion which includes a special card good for discounts at sightseeing attractions, stores, and restaurants. The credit-card sized card is free, and you can get it at participating hotels. For details, call 800-270-3350. [TOP]

    You don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. And if you're going to be in this update New York area, consider the "Cooperstown Discovery Pass" which offers a 20% discount off the regular admission prices to the baseball museum as well as the Farmers' Museum and the Village Crossroads; and the Fenimore House Museum. The pass sells for $22 for adults and $9.50 for children. Note that pass is only good for one admission to each museum. For details, call 607-547-1410. [TOP]

    Exploring downtown St. Petersburg in Florida is easier and less expensive with inauguration of free trolley service which connects various sightseeing attractions, hotels, and other points of interest. The trolley operates daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and completes its circuit in around 30 minutes. Among the attractions are the Museum of History and the Florida International Museum. For details, call 800-822-6461.[TOP]

    Prices for many of Rail Europe's offerings won't go up next year, but it's a good idea to check out the individual pass as there are more than 150 passes available. If there is a price increase, and you plan to go to Europe in the first part of the year, consider buying the pass in 1996 and at current rates as the pass is good for six months from date of purchase.
    One important change comes with the Europass, which will be simplified to become valid for unlimited rail travel in France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Switzerland regardless of whether it's bought for only five days of travel or for longer (up to 15 days) within a two month period. Previously, it was necesarily to buy 11 days to ride the rails in all five countries. The Eurail Flexipass, which permits unlimited rail travel in 17 countries for either 10 or 15 days within a two month period, will have a companion pass option called the Eurail Saver Flexipass which will bring savings for both parties if you're traveling with someone.
    For details, check with Rail Europe at 800-438-7245 or its Internet site at [TOP]

    If you're going to New Orleans, check into the VisiTour Pass which is valid for one day for $4 or three days for $8 while allowing passengers unlimited rides on all streetcars and bus lines. It's a good and inexpensive way to get around and see much of the scenic city. The passes are available at hotels and some shopping areas. [TOP]

    Visiting Vancouver? Look into the Vancouver City Passport which can save you money if you're going to many of the city's major attractions such as the Vancouver Aquarium, Grouse Mount- ain, Science World, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Lookout Harbour Centre, British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame, CN IMAX Theatre at Canada Place, etc. [TOP]

    The Amsterdam Culture & Leisure Pass has been expanded to cover 28 attractions. Valid through March 1997, the pass offers coupons to one of the city's main museums; a gratis canal cruise; two day public bus ticket for the price of one; guided tour at a diamond house; etc. For details, check with the Netherlands Board of Tourism at 800-598-8500. [TOP]

    Travelers sampling the attractions of St. Louis might be interested in buying a single ticket for access to six historical homes: Eugene Field House and Toy Museum, Chatillon-DeMenil Mans-ion, Campbell House Museum, Cupples House, Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, and Tower Grove House. The single ticket can be obtained at any of the six attractions. [TOP]

    Outrigger Hotels & Resorts has some programs at its Hawaiian properties worth considering. The Free Ride plan provides a gratis Budget car each day at 15 Waikiki hotels and all neighbor island hotels within the chain -- if you pay the regular rates. It's quite possible that you can do better through a discount, even with the car rental, but it's worth doing some arithmetic. Under the Fifty Plus program, guests 50 and over get a 20% discount -- but, again, after paying rack rates. For details, check with a travel agent or Outrigger at 800-OUTRIGGER.
    Relatedly, you can get a free copy of the 1997 consumer travel guide, "The Islands of Aloha," by calling the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau at 800-GO-HAWAII. [TOP]

    Seniors -- those over 55 -- can get a $150 discount off regular weekly rates at four Club Med beach resorts this winter and spring -- Columbus Isle and Paradise Island, Bahamas; Caravelle, Martinique; and Cancun, Mexico. Note that there will probably be a surcharge for holiday periods and some dates are blacked out.

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