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As the weather cools down, deals heat up and the summer tourists disappear from Spain and Portugal. Weather that's almost always crisp and sunny, lower prices on package tours, and no crowds -- why are you still here?
At some point, adults co-opted Halloween. After all, any holiday based on free candy, playing tricks and wearing costumes is just too good to leave to the kids. But why play it safe at home? This year, spend Halloween in Transylvania, New Orleans or Salem, where eerie history and spooky legends take on an afterlife of their own.
If all that comes to mind when you think about Australia and New Zealand are kiwis, kangaroos, kookaburras and Crocodile Dundee, it may be time to plan your first trip Down Under. We've found some intriguing package trips, one based on "The Amazing Race," one focusing on Maori Legends, and the last centering on Sydney.
Although autumn and winter are less popular times to visit Scandinavia, they can be hauntingly beautiful. Snow settles on the landscape, a hush falls, short days give way to long, cozy evenings. And as the sun lowers, so do the prices. You couldn't ask for a warmer welcome.
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Reader's Voice
From Jo Ann Boone: "What can anyone tell me about this resort? We are planning a trip there in January 2005. Help"
From romola barnett: "We had to cancel our trip to London because of Hurricane Ivan, but we are thinking about rescheduling for mid-October. Has any one any advice for going then? I hear the weather is cold and wet."
From pc: "A friend is taking her mother, aunt, and MIL on a 10 day tour of Italy. They are more or less able-bodied, but we are concerned that extent of what the Europeans consider walking distance is much more than what they normally do. Wheelchairs have been requested at the airport, and I seem to remember that handicapped people were accommodated at the Vatican. Does anyone know about renting a wheelchair at venues such as the Vatican? Obviously with the cobblestone streets it might be uncomfortable, but I hate to see their "trip of a lifetime" be only from a bus. They will be in Rome, Florence, and a few other towns but not Venice. Their tour agent doesn't seem to be able to provide much info."
From Kelly Alvarez: "G'Day, I would like advice/opinions on any of the following details of my upcoming two week trip in November. We will be flying from the U.S. to Sydney for four nights. We are booked at the Shangri-La. We plan on doing a City Sights tour and a Blue Mountains tour through Sydney Activity Tours, and of course a Bridge Climb. Has anyone stayed at the Shangri-La? We are booked in a Grand Harbour View Room. Has anyone taken a tour through Sydney Activity Tours? We would welcome any advice possible, including comments on November weather. Thank you!"
From Jane B.: "My experience with [Go Today] was mixed -- at a minimum, the transfers were useless on the trip I booked and they allow hotels to put you up in sister properties. I saw a "too good to be true" package on their site, clearly a misprint. After reading and re-reading how NO changes can be made for any reason, I thought "what the heck, I'll see if they honor the stated price." I completed the online form and under comments, stated "do not book this trip if the above price is not honored." Of course they didn't honor the price, but I assume if I'd NOT included the comments, I would have been charged for a package whose price was unknown to me. Seeing all the happy comments on them, I assume that when things go well, you get a nice trip at a very competitive price. When things don't, though, good luck!"
 
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