BritRail is offering a special $99 London travel pak (Nov. 1-March 31). Gets you round-trip transfers between Heathrow and Gatwick airports, a three-day London Explorer pass (good for unlimited travel on the Red Buses and Underground) and a BritRail pass that's valid for four consecutive days (train travel in England, Scotland, Wales). A first-class card costs an extra $40. Cheaper for senior citizens. Details from BritRail Travel International, Suite 603, 800 S. Hope St., Los Angeles 90017. Telephone (213) 624-8787.
Ireland on a Budget
Delta will fly you round trip from LAX to Ireland, Nov. 1-March 31, for $699. The price includes departure tax, first night's lodging at Fitzpatrick's Shannon Shamrock Hotel, a full English breakfast, seven days' use of a rental car with unlimited mileage. This package is based on per-person double occupancy. (Price is subject to change without notice.) See your travel agent or contact Delta's Vacation Center toll-free at (800) 523-7777.
Germany is out to snag travelers again with its popular Wunder Card. Figures out to about $10 a day for a 16-day coach-class card (cheaper for young passengers under 26). A choice of 4, 9 or 16 days of rail travel. Besides train transportation, the Wunder Card is good for steamers on the Rhine, Maine and Moselle River routes (Dusseldorf to Frankfurt and Trier to Koblenz, mid-April to mid-October) and motor-coach transportation on Germany's Romantic Road April through November. In addition, passengers are given discounts on round-trip rail travel to West Berlin, with sightseeing.
The Wunder Card is a good deal. Plenty of spectacular scenery while riding the rails. One line operates in the Rhine Valley with views of castles, visits to Cologne, Bonn, Nuremberg, Munich. Others through the Black Forest to Baden-Baden, Offenburg, Freiburg. Light snacks, five-course meals served on board. Parlor and bar cars. See your travel agent. Cards must be purchased before leaving the United States.
Other bargain passes are available to travelers in Scandinavia. Choices of Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Goteborg, Malmo, Helsinki. These passes unlatch the doors to dozens of attractions. In Denmark, the Copenhagen card will get you unlimited bus/rail travel in the city plus admission to 39 museums, castles. The city card in Oslo, Norway, is good for subway, train, tram, bus rides. In Norway you get a choice of four cards. Note: The Sweden card (available only at offices of Scandinavian Airlines outside Scandinavia) gets travelers a full year of discounts on hotels, car rentals, shopping. Contact Scandinavian Airlines, Box City Cards, 8929 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif. 90211 or telephone toll-free (800) 221-2350.
Holiday Season/New York
New York's Inter-Continental Hotel is offering a rate of $99 (single or double occupancy) during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's holidays. (The regular rates are $129/$230.) There's one snag: Reservations must be made two weeks before arrival. The rate is good for a minimum stay of two nights. In effect Nov. 21-30, Dec. 19-Jan. 4. In addition, $275 suites can be booked for $165. Call toll-free (800) 327-0200.
If anyone's got a crush on the grape, here's a one-day outing to San Diego County. The Whittier Wine & Food Society plans to run a one-day "Grape Express" to three San Diego County wineries Nov. 9. Bus pickup in Norwalk at 8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast served en route. Lunch at the Pasqual Winery. Cost for the works--transportation, souvenir wine glass, meals, tastings --comes to $60. Reservations by calling Marylee von Ottemann at (213) 698-4527.
Mexico--Shelly Livaudais, Van Nuys: "Recommend 'Destinations Video Hotel & Travel Guides to Mexico,' 10700 Santa Monica Blvd., No. 9, Los Angeles 90025. Helped me select a great hotel in Zihuatanejo."
New Zealand--Susan Sieveke, Yorba Linda: "Rod and Kate Shaw took us in as if we were family and we had the thrill of helping with running their 1,200-acre sheep farm. Enjoyed diving, bush walks, fishing, penguin cave exploring, horseback riding and barbecues. Overlooks Akaroa Harbor, spectacular views. $65 a night for two including all meals." Write Rod & Kate Shaw, Wainui R.D., Duvauchelle Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand, phone Duvauchelle 553.
New Zealand--E. Nicholas Sargent, MD, Los Angeles: "Chez Eelco restaurant is outstanding. Prices one-half that of the United States. Owner takes personal interest in each table and food is exemplary. Atmosphere friendly and Bohemian. Cost of complete gourmet dinner including unlimited sparkling wine and dessert is less than $15 per person. Chez Eelco Coffee House, 296 Trafalgar St., Nelson, New Zealand."