Travel briefs

Published: Sunday, December 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 1, 2002 at 12:14 a.m.

Duty-free exemption is doubled to $800

Travelers re-entering the United States are now allowed an $800 duty-free exemption, up from $400, on merchandise they are bringing into the country. The increase took effect Nov. 4.

The exemption applies to U.S. residents returning from a stay of at least 48 hours outside the country, for personal items, which must be in their possession at the time they go through Customs. (The 48-hour rule is waived for Mexico.)

Items sent separately cannot be included in the exemption. Family members, including children, living in the same home and returning together may combine the standard exemption of $800 each. As before, only one liter of alcoholic beverages and 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars may be included in an exemption claimed by an adult. Information:

- The New York Times

Travel bargains

American Airlines Vacations is offering a medley of U.K. packages that cost less than $450, if you depart from Newark, N.J., or New York. The ''Britain-Just Go!'' deals include round-trip air to London (off-season fares usually start at $420); three or four nights of accommodations, double; and breakfast. The London deal starts at $299 and includes three nights at the Thistle Euston and a Thames cruise. For Jane Austen types, there's a four-nighter in Oxford (from $448), or one night in Salisbury and two in Bath (from $429). And for ''Braveheart'' fans: four nights in Edinburgh. Transport from the London airport and about $100 in taxes are extra. Book by March 22; travel by March 31. If you book online, a Saturday-night stay is required. By phone, you'll pay a bit more but you'll have extra flexibility. 800-321-2121,

- The Washington Post

Last minute golfers has expanded to the Jacksonville area. The service, which is free to golfers, offers easy access to next-day tee times at area daily-fee and semi-private courses via the Web site www.last Golfers simply select the number of players in their party and available tee times and rates are displayed. Daily specials offer discounted rates on limited tee times. In addition, golfers can track their handicaps, access local golf information and a variety of services including buying and selling clubs and golf travel packages. While last-minute tee times are the focus of the site, availability up to one week in advance is offered.

- The New York Times

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