Value-Added Tax Not Refunded on Lodgings

<i> Friedheim is editor/publisher of Travel Agent magazine. </i>

Question: As a tourist, can I obtain a refund on the value-added tax I paid on my hotel bill in Britain?

Answer: VAT is refunded only on goods you take out of the country, not on accommodations.

Q: I was charged extra for driving a rental car across a state line. Is this legal?

A: Car rental firms make their own rules, which differ from company to company.


Q: How can I beat the high surcharges by some foreign hotels when I call home?

A: You can use several U.S. telephone companies direct and pay only the official international rates. For free information and access numbers, call AT&T; toll-free at (800) 874-4000. Also write to Quick-Call USA, 108 S. Akard, Dallas, Tex. 75202, for additional direct phoning information.

Q: Do they still have flea markets in Paris, and a district specializing in antique shops?

A: Flea markets still thrive on weekends. The Louvre des Antiquaires area has several hundred antique shops.

Q: Does Canada still accept a driver’s license as proof of U.S. citizenship?

A: Canadian immigration says you should have either a passport, birth certificate, voter registration, naturalization papers, draft card, green card or, for infants, a baptismal certificate. Tour operators report border difficulties when only driver’s licenses are presented.

Q: Do the famous Rockettes still perform in New York City’s Radio City Music Hall?

A: This year they’ll be seen only at the Christmas show, which starts in November. Next year they may be featured in a spring performance.


Q: Is there a scheduled freighter cruise line operating from the East Coast?

A: A fleet of 12-passenger container ships sails from New York City on Saturdays to various European ports and connects with the line’s vessels to the Mediterranean Sea and Africa. Cabins cost between $100 and $120 a day. Contact your agent or Sea the Difference Line, 96 Morton St., New York 10014, toll-free (800) 666-9333.