Today The Times previews Travel '85 in this annual International Travel issue featuring information on airline fares, charter flights, travel insurance, passport data, cruising, buying/renting cars overseas, foreign government tourist offices/health offices plus a host of other subjects. We suggest that you save this section as a helpful guide when planning your next trip.
The cost for a passport is $42 and it's good for 10 years. Unless you're under 18. In this case you'll pay $27 for five years. Mrs. Sakae M. Hawley, regional director of the Los Angeles Passport Agency (11000 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90024), suggests that applicants arrive before 10 a.m. Regular hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Crowds are biggest during the lunch hour, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You can also apply at your local post office or county court. Take along a birth certificate (a naturalization certificate in the case of foreign-born citizens) or a previously issued U.S. passport. You'll also need some sort of identification (a driver's license will do) plus two photos (two inches square). For a recorded message providing up-to-the-minute details, call (213) 209-7070. For live information dial 209-7075. No matter what time you arrive at the passport office, be prepared for lengthy lines this time of year.
Small Hotel Guide
Beverly Beyer, co-author of the "Footloose" column in the Times Travel Section, has updated her popular little paperback guide, "Passport to Europe's Small Hotels & Inns." This compact (253-page) publication names 850 accommodations in 23 countries (Austria to Yugoslavia). Addresses, rates in dollars and a description of each property. Beyer's first guide was published 25 years ago. She updates it annually. On sale at most bookstores or by direct mail ($5.95 plus $1.75 for postage) from Passport Publications, Box 24684, Los Angeles 90024.
If you lose cash it's gone. And not all hotels/restaurants honor credit cards. So your best bet is probably travelers checks. On sale at your bank. Be sure to jot down the serial number of each check right off and put away in a safe place (not with your travelers checks because you could wind up losing everything --the checks and the serial numbers). I carry the travelers checks in a money clip in my pocket, stick the serial numbers in my wallet. Unless the pickpocket is a genius, I stand a pretty good chance of losing only the travelers checks or the serial numbers. And with the serial numbers I can apply for new checks without a long wait.
Old Mill Hotel
A number of old mills in France have been converted to inns. Great atmosphere, plenty of peace and privacy. South of Paris, 150 miles, is an 18th-Century water mill that's run by Jacques Candore, who used to manage Jack's restaurant in San Francisco. A rural setting and, I'm told, excellent cuisine. A room with bath runs about $25. Dinners start at $10. Candore's wife, Annie, helps out. Both Annie and Jacques were born in France. Got homesick in America, returned home. Their season is May till fall. I'm heading there one of these days soon. The address: Auberge du Moulin de Chameron, 18210 Bannegon, France. Altogether, there are 18 inns in these romantic old water mills in France. Ask Jacques to mail you all the addresses.
Britain on $99 a Week
You can do Britain on $99 a week this summer. That's the outlay for lodging/breakfasts in homes, farmhouses across Britain. A variety of choices in cities as well as the countryside. For details, call toll-free, (800) 527-5750, or write to Patrick Henry International, Park Forest Plaza, Suite 300, 3530 Forest Lane, Dallas, Tex. 75234. (In Texas, telephone 800-442-1457.)
Wahlstrom Travel Aids has published its 1985 brochure. Lists money belts and a "cash-stash" (worn on the leg), Swiss Army knives, adapter plugs, garment bags, a touch-up electric clothes steamer, mini travel irons, inflatable hangers, collapsible cup, lightweight raincoats, etc. Wahlstrom is a mail-order house. For a free catalogue send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Wahlstrom Travel Aids, 21225 Nashville St., Chatsworth, Calif. 91311.
Switzerland--Cemile Hubeli, Santa Monica: "Recommend Hotel Helvetia in Interlaken. You can walk to the hotel from the railroad station. Orchids in the dining room. Food was good. Service was excellent. No wonder they say the Swiss are the innkeepers of the world. Hotel Helvetia, Bahnhof Str. 6, 3800 Unterseen-Interlaken, Switzerland."
France--Mollie MacDonald, Hollywood: "A wonderful little hotel I discovered on my last trip to Paris--Residence les Gobelins, 9 Rue des Gobelins. Thirty-ve rooms. Telephone 707-26-90. Newly renovated. Very clean. All rooms have telephones, color television. Prices start at about $20 per day (one person) to $35 for a room accommodating three people. Breakfast is extra. Proprietors Philippe and Jennifier Poirier are most helpful."