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Getting Carded

August 27, 2000

In response to a recent article on using telephone calling cards ("Phone Home, but Without Emptying Your Pockets," On a Budget, July 2): Do not use U.S. telephone company calling cards to make intra-country (say, Rome to Venice) or inter-country (say, Italy to Spain) calls in Europe. The rates are $5 to $8 a minute; you are actually making a call back to the U.S., then to the destination. It is best to buy a local company phone card in Europe or dial from hotels for these types of calls.

Another travel caution: Beware of the tax man in Toronto. We found a 28% tax levied on car rentals there--and it's not refundable under the nonresident tax-refund program. This adds a hefty $80 to $150 to the average weekly rental. Next time I'll take the train or rent in the U.S. and drive across the border.

DONALD JACOBS

Alta Loma

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