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by Marvin N. McDaniel

Packing for a cruise. Airlines have started to limit the number of bags passengers can take at no additional charge and limit the bags passengers can carry on board.

For the most part, passengers can check one or two suitcases at no additional charge, and carry on no more than two bags. (Check with the specific airline for its baggage rules.)

Carry-ons on all planes must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat.

For passengers on seven-night cruises or longer, baggage restrictions may mean you'll need to pack lighter than usual.

Ask your travel agent about recommended attire for your cruise. Most cruises now include one or two formal nights, with other nights being casual, and some ships have self-service or valet laundry-service available.

When packing, be sure to put your essentials, like medication, toothbrush, glasses, etc., in your carry-on bag, along with one change of clothes. In the unlikely event your luggage should get misrouted, you'll have what you need until your luggage catches up with you at the next port.

If you're going on a cruise, be sure to allow extra room for your duty-free shopping purchases.

Holiday travel. While we're still in the beginning of summer, savvy travelers know it's the perfect time to start planning for the holidays.

From Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, more people travel than any other time during the year.

Few plane seats go empty during the holidays, and many flights are oversold, leaving those who fail to plan standing at the gate.

By booking early, you can be sure to get your first pick of flights, guarantee that a rental car will be available, and get first choice of cabins on a cruise or hotel rooms at the resorts.

Additionally, many hotels and cruise lines are taking reservations for New Year's Eve 1999. Hotels all over the globe are planning galas for the end of the millennium.

At sea, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Lines, Premier and Radisson Seven Seas are among the companies who have announced special itineraries for New Year's Eve 1999.

The Crystal Harmony in particular stands out since it will cross the International Date Line, allowing passengers to celebrate the new year twice.

Surfing the Internet. Travelers with computers and Internet access will want to visit Carlson Wagonlit Travel's new web site at

Enquest features information on hundreds of destinations, including hotels, cruises and travel advisories. You can also review the "Destination Spotlight," make reservations and play the "Travel Buff" trivia game.

Enquest also lets you search the archives of its monthly magazine, Postcards.

Canada's national parks. Western Canada offers three spectacular national parks that are featured on more than a dozen independent and escorted tours. With the U.S. dollar at an all-time high in Canada, visiting our neighbor's national parks has never been cheaper.

Banff, Jasper and Kootenay national parks create what's known as the "Golden Triangle," an area of thousands of square miles of pristine wilderness. Canada's national parks are home to mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers, and hundreds of animals including bears, moose, elk, mountain goats and bald eagles.

Visitors can enjoy guided hikes, rafting and canoeing, horseback riding and narrated drives in special motorcoaches that travel across the ice fields.

Accommodations range from country inns to classic hotels like the Banff Springs Hotel and Spa, and Chateau Lake Louise.

Many tours of Canadian National Parks can be confirmed with a cruise of Alaska. Ask your travel agent for details.

(Marvin McDaniel, CTC, is president of Carlson Wagonlit Travel/Carlson Travel Network.)


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