Nice trips to spring on

A Tuscany, Italy, tour June 14-21 pairs motorcycling rides with gourmet cuisine. Daily jaunts through the hills of Chianti are sandwiched between wine tastings and hands-on culinary sessions. Motorcycling Around Tuscany, Italy, is $5,300 per person, including lodging near San Gimignano, most meals, activities, airport transfers and use of one motorcycle for each twosome, with an extra $1,250 covering a second bike if desired. Round-trip air travel is additional. This tour is offered by Blue Strada Tours and Vagabond Gourmet. 704-292-8801 or

Here's an appealing girlfriends' get-together at the Tides Inn, on the Chesapeake Bay in Irvington, Va. Girlfriends Weekend covers two nights' accommodations, daily breakfast and a $100 spa credit each day for each person, with rates starting at $996 for two. The Tides Inn is a 106-room resort with fine dining, its own yacht, a sailing school and marina. The girlfriends' package is valid until Dec. 30, with tax and resort fee additional. 800-843-3746 or, click on "Specials & Packages."


The posh hotels of Florida's Palm Beach County get a lot less pricey once temperatures rise.

The Stay and Play Package at the PGA National Resort & Spa, for example, offers one night's accommodations and a round of golf for $234 per couple plus tax and resort fee, valid May 26-Sept. 30. 800-633-9150 or pga, click on "Stay and Play."


Another choice is the "Yacht Club Weekend Rendezvous" at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, mixing two nights' lodging with buffet breakfast and spa access, for $399 plus tax for two, valid for Thursday-Saturday arrivals Thursday-Oct. 13. 888-491-2622 or

More deals are available by calling 800-554-7256 or going to

It's been 75 years since the Peabody ducks first graced the fountain in the lobby of thePeabody Memphis, an anniversary the Tennessee hotel is recognizing with the Diamond Anniversary Ducky Day Family Package. Included are a night's accommodations, duck cookies, turndown service and valet parking, plus, for the kids, the privilege of acting as "Honorary Duckmasters" during the march of the mallards to or from the fountain. Valid through Dec. 29, the package is $395 for a family of three and $460 for a family of four. Tax is extra. 800-732-2639 or

Travelers who find themselves at the airport with passport or visa troubles are in a world of hurt. But at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal 4, It's Easy has someone on hand to help 24 hours a day. Often a passport can be obtained, renewed or have pages added the next day - or even the same day. The tab starts at $300, plus the passport agency fee. 866-487-3279 or

Margaret Backenheimer wrote this article for the Chicago Tribune.