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jan 03 2008

Travel news roundup

L.A. is having its first official restaurant weeks on January 27-February 1, and February 3-8. That means lunches for $15 or $22 and dinners for $25 or $34. (What's taken the city so long?) Find a list of restaurants at dineLA.com.

Hot tip on booking French railway tickets. It turns out that if you can read in French, you can use a website that offers cheaper rail tickets than the English-language RailEurope.com website. If you or a friend know any French, try booking your tickets at the French National Railway website instead. Here's what the EuroCheapo blog discovered today: The cheapest fare they found for the Paris-Marseilles route next week was $153 2nd Class, $212 1st Class, on English-language RailEurope.com. Meanwhile, they found several tickets, both in 1st and 2nd class (non-refundable) for only $66—dramatically cheaper despite being paid for in euro with a typical 1 percent credit card currency conversion fee. You'll find other booking tips for trains in France at EuroCheapo.

Zoomarooma is mashup of Google Maps and hotel photos and rates. It's simple to use: Simply move Google's slider to select a destination, such as a city like Miami. Tear-drop markers will appear on a map, and when you click on the markers, you'll see a photo of a hotel and a pop-up booking engine, which you can use to find rates for the dates of your choice.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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