Through November, if you can get a few days free to add onto your weekend at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany, you can take 20 percent off the room rate on Sundays through Thursdays (not valid Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 24-28).
Retirees can take an Alpine vacation Dec. 1-11 with a "Destination" package. The lodge is the home base for a series of tours that visit Garmisch; Innsbruck, Austria; Nuremberg, Augsburg and Munich, Germany, and their Christmas markets as well as the Swarovski crystal factory in Wattens, near Innsbruck. There also is free time for personal activities.
The price is $2,265 per person, double occupancy, and includes transportation to and from Munich International Airport, welcome reception, 10 nights accommodation, breakfasts, tours, and farewell dinner and gift.
For more information, go to www.edelweisslodgeandresort.com.
Largest shoe store
If you’re a shoe addict heading to Paris, indulge yourself at the Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann. In July, the famous department store opened the world’s largest shoe department, carrying 150 brands of shoes and up to 12,000 pairs. Prices begin at about 99 euros.
Shoes are on display in a plush lounge setting and you can try them on in private fitting rooms. Seasonal shoes such as boots and sandals are available all year in sizes 32 to 43 (American sizes 3 to 12). Other sections include a salon for pedicures and sections with products for your feet and shoes.
For more information, go to www.galerieslafayette.com (in French).
Float to Christmas markets this year on a EuroRiver Cruises trip. For example, a five-day Danube River cruise visits the cities and markets of Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; and Bratislava, Slovakia. The cost per person, double occupancy, is $813 for a lower deck, $872 for a middle deck, and $890 for an upper deck. Cruises leave Dec. 5, 13, 17 and 21.
Other seven- and nine-night itineraries include Vienna; Budapest; Prague, Czech Republic; and Nuremberg and Passau, Germany.
A new program offers seven-night Christmas market cruises to the Red Sea starting at $1,990 per person, double occupancy.
Find more details at www.eurorivercruises.com.
Hostel travelers can find their accommodation in advance at www.hostelworld.com. The site lists property details and reservation services for an international list of hostels. Travelers who have stayed there rate them and write their comments.
The site also offers destination features, tips and advice and festival information.