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Unless you're a hardcore surfer or skier, Australia's charms are seasonless. Come fall, you can still buzz on Sydney's youthful energy, and zip an hour away to the oily blue eucalyptus wilds of the Blue Mountains. The fashion capital of Melbourne is no less sophisticated, and the rugged cliffs and surf of Ocean Road Drive are even more bracing. Ayres Rock is just as red, and you can still see penguins on Philip Island, nocturnal animals on Kangaroo Island, and Tasmanian Devils on "Tazzy," off the southern coast. What's more is you can have it all at discount prices in the coming months, as the land down under slips into autumn.
New restaurants are always popping up in Munich, or established ones are being given new menus and are being discovered by the city's serious foodies -- plus, we report on a new family hotel, where to get a great beer and more.
Summer is only a few months away, and according to media speculation and the U.S. Department of Transportation, a new airline is set to launch -- the first U.S.-based discount airline to fly exclusively to international destinations.
Why not celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the land that loved him most -- and, some would say, knows how to party best? You'll have to act fast to reserve a hotel during this peak travel holiday, but cheap deals on rooms and airfare are still to be had throughout the island.
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Reader's Voice
From triciad: "We are planning a trip in an RV for the first time, going down Florida's west coast, to about Tampa, and cutting across central Fla. and back west to Alabama. We would like to know some really terrific RV parks to spend the night. Nothing out in the boonies, but neat, nice, clean, and convenient places. We're travelling with our 3 dogs so the parks have to be pet friendly. We won't be doing a lot major sightseeing, just interesting stops along the way. This is a 'test' trip for us, to see if we like RV-ing!"
From missydee: "I decided in 2005 I would make a list of place/events I want to see and try to see at least one each year. Number one on my list is the Kentucky Derby. I'm trying to find out if I'm better off to go with a group tour or make arrangements on my own. So I'm open to all your recommendations for either a group tour or if I do it on my own, what hotels and restaurants are good, but affordable. Thanks!"
From Erin Mendoza : "I assume this is yet another scam, but while in New Orleans a couple weeks back, we noticed some vendors in the French Market charging people "tax" at random rates after they'd agreed on a price -- I was assessed a $1 tax on a $16 item, and we saw a couple people charged 45¿ for a $5 item at another vendor. Another vendor didn't charge us any tax. Anyone know what's up with that? I'm just curious."
From Joell Abbott: "I'm planning a long weekend in South and North Dakota, the western portions. Anyone know of any must sees there? Or skip that one totally waste of time? How about quaint B&Bs or hotels? Anyone travel thru the Dakotas? I'm only going cause they are two of the last three states I haven't been in, Alaska is the next one."
From loverhol: "We are planning a trip to Hawaii for our 40th anniversary this summer; we have the use of a house in Kauai for two weeks, July 24-August 7. I've tried both LAX-Lihue and LAX-HNL, but I can't seem to get it down much below $700, and even those fares are starting to disappear. I've used all the usual search engines, including Kayak and Mobissimo. We will be there the entire time, and our children and spouses will come and go. Does anyone have any other great ideas?"

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