Germany has put the finishing touches on its "WunderWinter" Package. This is a seven-night offer that focuses on Germany's Alpine country. One of the season's best buys at $165 to $215 per person, double occupancy. This is the cost for seven hotel nights, breakfast daily, service charges, taxes. They even toss in a free gift. The setting is the Christmas card-like region of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Germany introduced the WunderWinter Package in 1953. Although it's been a huge success, this season's prices are below the old figures. Obtain details from your travel agent or contact the German National Tourist Office, 444 S. Flower St., Los Angeles 90071. Telephone (213) 688-7332.
Amtrak has introduced a new 30-day excursion fare. Passengers may purchase any round-trip ticket for only $7 over the one-way cost ($50 or more). Permits three stopovers. Promotion is good between now and June 29 (holiday blackouts excepted). Check with your travel agent or telephone Amtrak toll-free at (800) USA-RAIL.
Coloma Country Inn is offering a one-night deal that includes a room and a hot-air balloon ride for $110 midweek, $125 weekends. A champagne brunch follows the balloon hop over the American River Valley. Passengers also receive certificates proving they've been aloft. A good buy, considering most balloon rides alone cost $100 or more. Coloma Inn is on the American River. Just down the road from Sutter's Mill. Apple orchards nearby (pick your own), wineries. Write to the Coloma Country Inn, P.O. Box 502, Coloma, Calif. 95613 or telephone (916) 622-6919.
If you plan to drive in Switzerland, be sure to apply for a windshield sticker. Costs $12 and is valid for one calendar year. This is necessary for motorists using Switzerland's autoroutes. Available from customs officers at Swiss border stations. One of our readers got slapped with a $30 fine after failing to apply for the sticker. So beware. Other details from the Swiss National Tourist Office, 250 Stockton St., San Francisco 94108. Telephone (415) 362-2260.
With pickpockets and purse snatchers out in force overseas, Ralph Slocum of San Diego is doing a big business in security wallets. Designed to carry passports, cash, credit cards, airline tickets. Models for both men and women. These safety wallets clip over waistbands. Priced from $12 to $25. For a brochure write to Slocum c/o Warren of California, 416 W. San Ysidro Blvd., Suite K23, San Diego 92073.
Vacation Home Rentals (deals in properties in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico and the United States) has moved its headquarters to 235 Kensington Ave., Norwood, N.J. 07648. VHR has 2,000 homes, villas, condos on the books. A wide range of prices. Example: Rentals in the Bahamas start at $350 a week, run all the way to $20,000. Your travel agent has details.
For the Record
A couple of weeks ago we told about Hamilton Island Resort in Australia (near the Great Barrier Reef) that specializes in Polynesian-style bures, apartments, snorkeling, windsurfing, etc. There was a mix-up in phone numbers. In California the toll-free number is (800) 833-3374. Outside California call (800) 445-5505.
St. Helena, Calif.--Madeline and Elliott Lipton, Sherman Oaks: "Highly recommend The Harvest Inn, One Main St., St. Helena (Napa Valley). Every room and suite in this English Tudor is unique, furnished in antiques, with fireplaces and wet bars. Set in a 21-acre vineyard. Rates $85/$300 with continental breakfast. Telephone (707) 963-WINE."
San Simeon--Mrs. Henry Erk, Stanton: "Heartily recommend the Cavalier Inn, 9415 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, Calif. 93452. A superb view of the surf. Each room has a cozy fireplace and a small fridge. We paid $90.10 per night for a king-size bed and a rollaway."
Solvang--N. Wright, Newport Beach: Enjoyed the Chimney Sweep Inn, 1554 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang, Calif. 93463. "Rooms, lofts and cottages starting at $50 per night, includes continental breakfast."
Carpinteria--Gene and Kay Baur, Los Angeles: Praise for Bev and Don Schroeder's self-catering B&B, 4980 Sandy Land Road, No. 245, Carpinteria. Telephone (805) 684-1579. Rate $50 for a double.
Mendocino--Jan Levitt, Los Angeles: Recommends Rachel's Inn on the Mendocino Coast just south of the village of Mendocino. Address: 8200 N. Highway 1 (P.O. Box 134), Mendocino, Calif. 95460. "Rooms are spacious, comfortable. Breakfasts were outstanding. Rates: $85/$95."
Vermont--Mrs. David Rosenthal, Laguna Niguel: "B&B in Woodstock, Vt. (3 Church St.). Tennis courts, swimming pools. Bordering the Quechee River. A full breakfast. We had a large, twin-bedded room with private bath, $52."