If you're planning a trip to the Monterey Bay Peninsula, here's an opportunity to rent an apartment, condominium or private home. A studio apartment in Carmel will cost you about $50 per night. Or there's a two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath condo on a hillside overlooking Monterey Bay ($125 a night) that features two fireplaces, three decks. In Pebble Beach/Carmel, four-bedroom, three-bath homes are listed for $125/$195 per night. You can move into a three-bedroom, two-bath condo in the Carmel Valley for $85. Dozens of other listings. Write to Jan Leasure c/o Monterey Bay Vacation Rentals, 1034 Austin Ave., Pacific Grove, Calif. 93950. Telephone (408) 649-8216.
Italy has published a 54-page booklet that's filled with all sorts of interesting tidbits. Details on customs regulations, currency, tipping, climate, flea markets, papal audiences, sightseeing, associations for the handicapped, accommodations (villa/apartment rental agencies), hostels. Other sections tell about museums, art galleries, language schools, yacht and houseboat rentals, summer/winter sports, transportation (air, steamer, hydrofoil, ferry, train). You'll also find a calendar of events in small towns and villages from Arezzo to Verona. For a free copy write to Agostino Petti, Italian Government Travel Office, 360 Post St., Suite 801, San Francisco 94108.
San Francisco Budget Hotel
San Francisco has another budget hotel, the Pacific Bay Inn, 520 Jones St. (three blocks west of Union Square). Rates from $29 single/$34 double. Includes a continental breakfast. This is an old hotel that's been spiffed up to the tune of $2 million. Popular with young travelers from other countries who can't afford the steep prices of San Francisco's major hotels. Described by manager Bob Jones as "an older, graceful hotel." Rooms feature private baths, touch telephones. This isn't San Francisco's choicest neighborhood, but the price is right. For reservations call (415) 673-0234.
South Pacific Hideaway
This is for the traveler who truly wants to escape the pressure cooker. In the South Seas, the Cook Islands people are heating up a campaign to draw the tourist. A couple of islands provide only one lodge each. On Atiu Island you have a choice of three chalet-style bungalows at the Atiu Motel (refrigerators, cooking facilities). Units are stocked with beverages, dairy products, canned food. In addition, fresh fruit, coffee and tea are supplied free. And all it will cost you is $23 a day for a single, $26.50 for a double. Atiu (pop. 1,300) lies 130 miles northeast of Rarotonga, capital of the Cook Islands (about a 40-minute flight by Air Rarotonga). Bungalows face pineapple fields, valleys.
Or there's Mauke Lodge on Mauke Island (another 40-minute flight). Only two rooms. Rates: $15 single, $18 double. No restaurants, so you must prepare your own meals. You can stock up on canned goods, vegetables, etc., at a local store. Or if you'd prefer less adventure, Ted Cook's Islands in the Sun has put together a $999 package (good through Sept. 30) that includes hotels and round-trip air fare on Air New Zealand to Tahiti for five nights and Rarotonga for another six nights. For details on this package as well as Atiu and Mauke islands, contact Islands in the Sun, P.O. Box 1398, Newport Beach, Calif. 92663. Telephone toll-free (800) 854-3413. Other details from your travel agent.
Beatrice Hauser of La Puente asks about B&Bs in London. We know of one company with 80 listings. Homes near Hyde Park, Kew Gardens. Rates 10/16.50 (about $16/$26.50 U.S. per night). You get a continental breakfast. Guests are given their own front door key. This same company will put you up in a self-catering home/apartment at rates ranging from 75 to 385 per week. Minimum booking: two weeks. These homes and apartments are popular, so write in advance to London Homes, P.O. Box 730, London SW6 2QN, England.
Parks Products has updated its brochure on foreign travel converter/adapter plugs. Provides a breakdown, country by country, on voltage uses. Parks says a converter is necessary to change 220/240-volt foreign electricity into the 110/120 necessary for U.S. appliances. Generally, an adapter is also needed so that you can plug into the electrical outlets. The brochure lists voltage figures for more than 120 nations and islands. For a free copy of "Traveling Overseas," send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Parks Products, 3611 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood 90068 or telephone (213) 876-5454.