In case you're searching for inexpensive accommodations in Paris, Pascal Lefebvre figures he has the answer. A Parisian, Lefebvre operates a B&B service with singles available for as little as $27.50 U.S. a night, doubles for around $31. Those are Lefebvre's rock bottom rates (room only). A two-room apartment will cost you about $82. Paris gets overcrowded during the automobile show, air show and other events. Lefebvre says that during one show recently, "There was not a single room left anywhere within 50 kilometers of Paris." Still, he was able to secure accommodations in what appeared to be a hopeless squeeze. For reservations write to Lefebvre, c/o Bed & Breakfast 1, 73 Rue Notre-Dame des Champs, 75006 Paris, France.
City dwellers will be heading for Bakersville next weekend (May 28-30) for the annual Farm Festival hosted at the Al Bussell Ranch (the largest "pick-your-own farm" in California). Free tram rides out to the fields, orchards. Prizes for the biggest peach or apricot picked by visitors. Entertainment daily, snacks served at a country food bar. A rare opportunity for city kids to enjoy a little farm life. From Los Angeles take Interstate 5 North to the Stockdale Highway East off-ramp. "You can't miss us," said a ranch hand. "Nothing but our sign and jack rabbits." For a schedule of future events, write to Al Bussell Ranch, 26500 Stockdale Highway, Bakersville 93312, or call (805) 589-2677.
British Columbia has produced a 102-page accommodations directory (a beauty of a publication), plus a travel guide, pinpointing destinations and attractions in B.C. The guide takes in 10 areas (lakes to mountains).
In addition to listing hotels, motels and B&Bs, the guide provides customs information, national park listings, hunting/fishing regulations, details on currency exchange. For free copies write to the British Columbia Ministry of Tourism, 3400 Wilshire Blvd., Ambassador Hotel Arcade No. 34, Los Angeles 90010, or phone (213) 380-9171.
Summer's Best Bet
Here's a chance to beat the high cost of vacationing in Europe this summer. French families are inviting Americans to stay free in their homes. You pay nothing for meals, accommodations. Hundreds of French families have volunteered to play host in regions throughout France. "The only compensation they receive for having you in their homes is the pleasure of your company," says Heather Thompson of International Friendship Service (IFS), which is recruiting Americans for the trips. Invitations are for visits as short as 48 hours or for as long as three weeks. Guests are matched with French families according to age, interests. For details contact Thompson c/o International Friendship Service, 22994 El Toro Road, El Toro, Calif. 92630.
Vermont By Bike
Tom Yennerell, a Vermont innkeeper, operates bike tours. Uses "fat tire bikes" designed for all terrain. Riders follow foot paths through maple groves, over cross-country ski routes, quiet back roads. Trips are six to 15 miles. Groups bed down at Yennerell's Pittsfield in Pittsfield, Vt. None of that business of packing and unpacking daily. Just stay put and ride out each morning. After a day on the road, Yennerell's guests cool off in a swimming hole near the inn, explore the little village of Pittsfield with its town green, country store and bandstand. Write to Yennerell c/o Vermont Mountain Bike Tours, P.O. Box 541-B, Pittsfield, Vt. 05762, or call (802) 746-8580. A five-day package will cost you $475 (lodging, meals, guide).
Pub crawling is a new habit among travelers in New Zealand. Only instead of hitting the road when the barkeep shouts "last call," you head upstairs to bed. These "pub hotels" are priced as low as $20 U.S. a night. The New Zealand Tourist Office has published a 42-page booklet telling all about them. Title is "Country Pubs of New Zealand." Contains dozens of listings in small towns (populations 2,500 or fewer) where travelers can get acquainted with the locals. For a free copy, write to the New Zealand Tourist & Publicity Office, 10960 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1530, Los Angeles 90024, or call (213) 477-8241.
Several weeks ago we mentioned that the big hotels in Seoul, South Korea, are sold out for the Summer Olympics. Now the Korea National Tourism Corp. reminds us that "rooms are plentiful" in yogwans , the country's little hotels/inns. Rooms feature Western-style beds, color TV, private bath, air conditioning. Rates: $15/$26 U.S. a night, plus a 15% service charge. Or there's a home-stay program for $25 single, $30 double (room and breakfast). For details contact the Korea National Tourism Corp., 510 West 6th St., Suite 323, Los Angeles 90014, or phone (213) 623-1226.