TRAVEL TIPS

Three variations on a Mozart theme. Operas, concerts, and musical festivals abound in three tours focusing on Mozart's life and sites relevant to his career. Given by Now Voyager Tours, a trip in June will feature the W"urzburg Mozart Festival; July's trip includes a couple of stops in Switzerland; Prague, where parts of ``Amadeus'' were filmed, will be the special attraction for the September group. Besides expert escorts, the accommodations are first class and land travel is by deluxe motorcoach. For specific details, write Now Voyager Tours, Deer Lane, Pawlet, VT 05761, or call (802) 325-3656. One hundred years of backpacking. Special events and discount rates (during midweek and off-season) are offered as the Appalachian Mountain Club celebrates its hut system's centennial year in 1988. The chain of eight rustic mountain lodges, unique in the United States, are within a 50-mile radius in the White Mountains. Rates range from $20.50 per day for lodging and breakfast midweek to $39.50 for lodging, supper, and breakfast. Members of AMC receive a $5-a-day discount. For more details and reservations, write to AMC Pinkham Notch Camp, PO Box 298-A, Gorham, NH 03581, or phone (603) 466-2727.

Adult camping in Alaska. So you've cruised to Alaska and want to return. You might consider joining one of CampAlaska's 10 itineraries to the 49th state. Groups are limited to 12, plus a guide, traveling by vans departing from Seattle and from Anchorage and Juneau, Alaska. Trips include hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and camping at state, provincial, and national parks in Alaska and western Canada on 7- to 21-day tours. All camping gear is provided. Costs range from $475 (plus $45 for food) for seven days, to $1,395 (plus $90 for food) for 13 days, including a ``fly in'' raft trip. Write to Tim Adams, CampAlaska Tours, PO Box 872247, Wasilla, AK 99687.

B&Bs in Britain. With the fluctuating rate of foreign exchange, visitors to Britain will be looking for the best values in lodging and meals. Through Bed and Breakfast (GB), a reservation service, visitors can book and pay for accommodations before leaving home, ensuring that the cost won't go up. This service lists hundreds of selected bed-and-breakfasts throughout the country, some costing as little as $17.50 per person in a country house or $30 in London. To obtain a brochure, contact the British Tourist Authority in major US cities, or write to Bed and Breakfast (GB), PO Box 66, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, RG9 1XS, England.

Cruises on North American rivers. For a new wrinkle in travel, one might take a cruise closer to home. Great American River Cruises has begun eight smooth-water river cruises to tempt the adventurous. Trips include ``The Queen's Gold,'' combining a three-day river cruise from San Francisco through gold-mining country on the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, a three-day motorcoach trip along the California coast, and a two-day stay aboard the now stationary Queen Mary. Other trips combine the Mississippi and a motorcoach trip to the Great Smoky Mountains; a combination trip to Alaska and the Yukon; a trip combining the Hudson River and New York City; a cruise on the Columbia River plus Mt. St. Helens; an Opryland plus Delta Queen trip; and a New England coast/St. Lawrence River foliage cruise. For a brochure, contact Great American River Cruises, PO Box 276, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, or call 800-523-3716 or (813) 262-6599.

Beatrix Potter weekends. British weekend adventures are offered by the Hatton Court Hotel (a restored country manor) in Gloucestershire. The author of ``The Tale of Peter Rabbit'' spent much of her time in the area, and a new book, ``Beatrix Potter's Gloucester,'' by Keith Clark, which shares her experiences there, has inspired the offer. A two-day stay June 10-12, Sept. 9-11, or Nov. 18-20 includes accommodations and three meals daily, a coach tour of the Cotswolds and Severn Vale, and a trail pack with maps. Prices are $295 per person, double occupancy, for a lavish room with individual service. For more specifics, contact the British Connection, Suite 240, 2490 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, CT 06430; or call (203) 254-7221.

A living rainbow. Rochester, N.Y., has become the center of springtime splendor for many travelers worldwide as the yearly Lilac Festival gets under way. More than 500 varieties of lilacs - ranging from deep purple to purest white - cover 22 acres of Highland Park, celebrating its centennial year. Tulips, pansies, and other flora are planted in striking arrangements, also. The week-long festival begins today, with the Lilac Parade tomorrow, and the Lilac 10K Race on Sunday. For details about lodging and related events, contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau, 120 Main St., East Rochester, NY 14604, or call (716) 546-3070.

Horticulture tours to Orient. A series of 18-day tours planned for this summer and fall will visit Shanghai, Peking, and Hangzhou, China, plus Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore. Stops in each city will feature significant gardens and parks, lectures by local experts, and workshops on such topics as ikebana flower arranging. Tours includes air fare, hotel accommodations, meals, transportation, sightseeing, and lecture fees starting at $3,095. For more details and dates, contact InterPacific Tours International, Inter Pacific Plaza, 111 East 15th St., New York, NY 10003; 800-221-3594 or (212) 953-6010 (inside New York State)

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