Europe is preparing for a record number of tourists this summer. Hotels have been booked months ahead. If you can't get a room you might want to try a home exchange. Sheila Roen of Home Exchange International says she still has swaps for July and August. "Some super situations in Paris and suburbs." Others in the South of France. A few in Italy. "They're just waiting for the right ones to come along." Home Exchange lists everything from modest homes and apartments to luxury accommodations. Says Roen: "Our goal is to satisfy individual needs and promote the personal considerations necessary to assure that the exchange will be a mutually satisfying and unique travel experience." Car exchanges can be part of the deal. For a brochure write to Home Exchange International, 22458 Ventura Blvd., Suite E, Woodland Hills, Calif. 91364-1581 or telephone (818) 992-8990.
Rentals in Britain
If the home exchange idea doesn't appeal to you, a Fountain Valley company will put you into a private home, farmhouse, castle in Britain. You can squeak by for as little as $335 per person for two weeks, including a rental car. A friend moved into a home north of London. Loved it. Went grocery shopping with the neighbors. Got to know the locals at the village pub. "The best vacation I've had in years," he said. Contact Cameo Tours & Travel, 9550 Warner Ave., Suite 250, Fountain Valley, Calif. 92708 or telephone toll-free (800) 325-9796 (California only).
Marge Birkson of Altadena wants the addresses of B&Bs in the Seattle area. Here are five:
--Galer Place (Victorian), 318 W. Galer Place, Seattle 98119 ($40/$49).
--The Williams House (Victorian with mountain view), 1505 4th Ave. N., Seattle 98109 ($39/$49).
--Chelsea Station, 4915 Linden Ave. N., Seattle 98103 ($30/$50).
--The College Inn (next door to the University of Washington), 4000 University Way N.E., Seattle 98105 ($30/$48).
--Chambered Nautilus (also near University of Washington), 5005 22nd N.E., Seattle 98105 ($38/$58).
Big Apple Directory
New York has published a handy new guide for vacationers planning a visit to the Big Apple. Describes 200 vacation ideas developed by 70 hotels, tour operators. Gives the lowdown on shopping, dining, helicopter tours, bus, boat, carriage rides, free parking, backstage tours, etc. Lists both budget and luxury accommodations. Free copies from the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2 Columbus Circle, Department P, New York 10019. Ask for the "1985 New York City Tour Package Directory."
Meanwhile, the Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau has established a toll-free number for tourist information: (800) 858-0200. Dial anywhere from the continental United States.
Gold Rush Country
Here's a chance to retrace the old Pony Express route used by Kit Carson. Sorenson's Resort in the Sierras is promoting walking tours of the Gold Rush Country. A leisurely pace, gorgeous scenery. And it's cheap. Only $98 for two nights' lodging, four meals. Drop a card to Sorenson's, Hope Valley, Calif. 91620 or telephone (916) 694-2203. The same people do rafting trips down the East Carson River. Two nights, four meals, $110.
If you're young and adventurous you might want to team up with CampAlaska Tours. You travel in a van. Maximum groups of 13. Tents are provided by CampAlaska. "All you need is a sleeping bag," says the director. Vacationers take turns preparing meals, washing dishes. Rates start at $299 for six days plus $35 for the food kitty. These trips are designed for ages 18-40. Contact CampAlaska Tours, P.O. Box 872247, Wasilla, Alaska 99687 or telephone (907) 376-9438.
Tips on foreign money are detailed in a booklet titled "Money Sense Overseas." Tells how to stretch your dollars. The same booklet contains a travel checklist and tipping guideline. Written especially for the first-time traveler. For a free copy write to Travel Booklet, 3602 W. Glen Branch, Peoria, Ill. 61614. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed No. 10 envelope.
Denver/Phoenix--Donald L. Foss, Santa Monica: "Made two excellent hotel finds on recent trips to Denver and Phoenix. Denver: The Burnsley Hotel, 1000 Grant St. (near the capitol). Remodeled suites. Some with a view of the Rockies. Done with excellent taste. Restaurant and bar. Food was great! In Phoenix: the Embassy Suites Hotel, 24th and Camelback. Open about two months. Each room has a living room, wet bar, microwave, etc. Restaurant and bar. Cocktails and breakfast are complimentary. Free airport pickup, no tipping."
Caribbean--Nancy Douglas, Altadena: Enjoyed the Pasanggrahan Royal Guest House, P.O. Box 151, Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. "Secluded and offbeat, yet only a few minutes to shops, casinos, water sports and other activities. A lovely beach. Staff is super. Rates in summer: $49/$88."