If you've gone through the nightmare of losing an airline ticket, you'll appreciate the latest offer by NEAR, the company that insures travelers. Under a new policy that covers lost and/or stolen tickets, NEAR arranges immediate replacements. Eliminates the aggravation of buying another ticket from the airline and waiting for reimbursement for the lost/stolen ticket. Besides, if the misssing ticket is used by the finder or thief, you're plain out of luck. No refund from the airline. Besides ticket insurance, NEAR has other deals: accident, baggage, death, medical evacuation. Contact NEAR, 1900 N. MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, Okla. 73127 or call toll-free (800) 654-6700.
Christmas comes early for guests at 22 hotels/resorts flying the Hotel Corp. of the Pacific banner in Hawaii. Between now and Dec. 19 you get a free rental car for each day of your vacation. Pickups at the airport on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Unlimited free mileage. HCP hotel rates start as low as $36 a night. Three categories--reasonable to expensive. See your travel agent or call HCP toll-free at (800) 367-5124.
You can write for a handy new shopping guide for Paris that lists addresses, shopping hours, names boutiques, department stores, antique stalls. Everything from budget to expensive items. For a free copy of "The Parisian's Guide to Paris Shopping" write to the French Government Tourist Office, 9401 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 840, Beverly Hills 90212. (This 19-page pocket-size guide also names cafes, tearooms in the shopping areas as well as a dozen tour operators specializing in shopping programs throughout the city.)
Tahoe for Hikers
State park rangers will lead you on weekend hikes now through next April 12 (December excepted). This is a no-charge deal. Beginning in January, though, you'll have to take along a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis. A couple of rules: Children under 16 must be accompanied by adults; no dogs allowed. For details send a stamped, self-addressed No. 10 envelope to Sierra State Parks, P.O. Drawer D, Tahoma, Calif. 95733 or call park headquarters at (916) 525-7232, weekdays 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.. For information on other Sierra district parks offering hiking, skiing, snowshoeing activities call (916) 836-2380 or (619) 647-6331.
Now that the fall/winter season has arrived, there's new interest in Baja. Motorists and RV owners will be interested in a new road map with details on routes, tourist attractions along the entire Baja Peninsula. Indicates mileage in kilometers from Tijuana all the way to Cabo as well as service stations, hotels, camping sites, airports. Costs $1.25. For details call toll-free (800) 522-1516.
A new company called Guidelines U.K. will help plan your trip to Britain. A wide range of accommodations. Everything from B&Bs to country-house hotels. Guidelines promises to "take care of everything." Includes rental cars, maps, suggested restaurants on your tour. Here's their pitch: "Let Guidelines know your budget and back comes an outline itinerary." No charge up to this stage. Once you give Guidelines the go-ahead, they tack on a 12% service charge. Address: Guidelines U.K., Moors Lane, Oreton, Nr Cleobury Mortimer, Worcestershire DY14 8RH, England.
Canada--Eva Lewis, El Cajon: "Two bed and breakfasts that are extraordinary in British Columbia: Laird House, 134 St. Andrews St., Victoria, B.C. V8V 2M7 ($28) and the Willow Point Guest House, 2460 S. Island Highway, Campbell River, B.C. V9W 1C6 ($28).
Portugal--Bill MacDonald, Palos Verdes Estates: "Have vacationed all over the world sampling new restaurants and our favorite so far is Michel restaurant, Largo Santa Cruz do Castelo No. 5, Lisbon, Portugal. Five-course lunch about $12 each."
New Zealand--T. D. Morris, Long Beach: Trafalgar Lodge at 46 Trafalgar St., Nelson, New Zealand. Rates from $8 to $17 for bed and breakfast.
Germany--Miriam Bennett, Pasadena: "Hotel Consul, Oxford- strasse 12-16, 5300 Bonn, West Germany. A room for two, $42, which includes a buffet-style breakfast. Only steps from shops and restaurants. House where Beethoven was born just around the corner. Close to subway, streetcar connections."
England--Jay E. Schwartzbine, Panorama City: "A great place for lunch, the Eddystone Inn, Heybrook Bay, Plymouth, England. Bill for four of us with a drink each was about $9.50."
England--Carl Sage, Solvang: A couple of Italian restaurants in London: Cagneys, 84D Lillie Road, Fulham SW6, and Da Gianbruno, 6 Hammersmith Broadway, W6.
England--Dorothy Lawrence, Hermosa Beach: Enjoyed Kingsfarm House, Townsend, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 ODX, England. "Home of Paul and Aileen Buff, more than 350 years old. Filled with antiques and treasures. Accommodations outstanding. Centrally heated rooms, down comforters, color TV in each bedroom. Price 15 per person. Close to Oxford, the Cotswolds."