It's the season's best buy--El Al Israel Airlines' Milk & Honey Package. You pay $40 per person for a five-night hotel plan that figures out to $8 a day, including a rental car, buffet breakfasts, discount coupons. The offer is in conjunction with El Al's round-trip flight ($962) from Los Angeles. In effect through March 22, excluding a Dec. 12-24 blackout period. Seniors (60 or older) get a 15% discount.
Contact Milk & Honey Vacations c/o El Al Israel Airlines, 850 3rd Ave., New York 10022 or call toll-free (800) 262-3525. To contact El Al locally, telephone (213) 852-1252 or (800) 223-6700. (Ask about the airline's three-day London package at $162 that's offered on the return flight from Israel.)
Here's another good buy for Israel-bound travelers. Hometel Israel will rent you a chalet on the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea for a thrifty $26 a day. In addition, Hometel has apartment rentals in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Herzlia for $37 a day, plus villas for $90/$120 a day.
Contact Hometel, 1133 Broadway, Room 732, New York 10010 or telephone toll-free (800) 367-4668.
Note: During 1988, Israel will be celebrating its 40th anniversary as an independent state.
Sweden on a Shoestring
Sweden is promoting a one-week package that includes the round-trip flight from Los Angeles, hotels, breakfasts and a sightseeing tour of Stockholm for $725. The offer (good through April 30) provides a variety of options: visits to a fur salon, crystal factories, ice skating, soaking in a sauna, free ski instructions. Details from the Swedish Tourist Board, 655 3rd Ave., New York 10017, phone (212) 949-2333. Ask about the "Stimulating Stockholm" package.
Europe on the Cheap
A group of 800 small, independent hotels in Europe is attracting guests with a "go as you please" plan that figures out to $79 per room per night. Here's how it works: Before leaving the United States you buy vouchers good for hotel rooms during your trip. Your first night is reserved. After that, each of the participating hotels is committed to securing your accommodations for the next night of your onward journey. Besides the Continent, the offer is good at dozens of hotels throughout Britain. To obtain vouchers, contact Salt & Pepper Tours, 7 West 36th St., Suite 1500, New York 10018 or telephone toll-free (800) 223-7733 (U.S., Canada).
A company in Idaho represents hundreds of accommodations at 25 ski resorts in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Nevada. A 32-page guide (the "Resort Report") assists skiers with their vacation plans. Free copies by writing to Central Resort Reservations, P.O. Box 979, Sun Valley, Ida. 83353. In addition to Sun Valley, the guide covers the following ski areas: Jackson Hole (Wyoming); Reno (Nevada); Lake Tahoe (California); Park City, Snow Bird (Utah); Summit County, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Steamboat Springs, Vail, Crested Butte, Telluride, Aspen/Snowmass, Winter Park (Colorado).
Besides condominiums and lodges, "Resort Report" lists B&Bs, intimate inns. This booklet is packed with details. Sections deal with ski schools, special packages for honeymooners, singles, families. To call Central Reservations, dial toll-free (800) 635-4156.
France on a Budget
If you're looking ahead to next summer, you can book rooms at bargain prices either with French families or dozens of universities. (Some are offering accommodations during this Christmas season.) To stay with a French family works out to as little as $5 a day for lodging and meals. The program is open to all travelers regardless of age. Provides guests with an opportunity to practice their French and for the French family to test their English.
A special three-week student program (ages 14-27) will deal exclusively with French families next July. These are families with children and young adults of similar ages. Package price ($980) includes round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, meals, lodging.
Contact International Friendship Service, 22994 El Toro Road, El Toro, Calif. 92630 or telephone (714) 458-8868.
A fleet of 290 houseboats is being rented at 25% below the summer price on Lake Powell in Arizona (discounts drop to 40% starting Nov. 1). These houseboats sleep anywhere from six to a dozen vacationers. Equipped with kitchen utensils, stoves, refrigerators, baths. You have 1,960 miles of shoreline to explore. Great beaches. Spectacular scenery. Contact Del E. Webb Recreational Properties, 2916 N. 35th Ave., Suite 8, Phoenix, Ariz. 85017-5261 or telephone toll-free (800) 528-6154.
For general information on Lake Powell, write to National Parks Service, Box 1507, Page, Ariz. 86040.
Alaska--Philip Johnson, Woodland Hills: "Spotless B&B 153 miles southwest of Anchorage. Beautiful view of Cook Inlet. Host is a retired Alaska game warden. Rates: $45/$55 with a wonderful breakfast. Write to Don Roberts, P.O. Box 364, Anchor Point, Alaska 99556."