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Un, Deux, Trois, Pump!

By K.C. Summers
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, May 24, 2009

Q. My wife and I will be spending a week in Paris this summer to soak up the cafe and restaurant scene. To balance any overindulgence, we are interested in finding a gym where we can get in a workout on a day-pass basis.

Frederick W.H. Carter, Washington

A. Are you sure you don't just want to go running in the Tuileries? Club Med, the resort chain, operates several gyms in Paris, but the day rates are pretty steep. The gyms around the Champs-Elysees, La Fayette and Palais Royal Metro stations in central Paris charge about $35 a day. Guests can take part in any activities available at the gym, and towel service is included. The chain's more upscale Waou gyms charge $45 a day and offer Pilates and other courses, spas and coaching, all for an additional fee. Info (in French): http://www.clubmedgym.com/page-8.html.

Katherine Johnstone of the French Government Tourist Office (514-288-1904, http://us.franceguide.com) recommends checking out the gyms at Marriott's Paris hotels. The Renaissance Paris Vendome's fitness center, for example, is open to the public and includes a pool, a sauna, a steam room, cardio machines and free weights, but you have to buy a massage or other spa treatment to get in. Info: 888-236-2427, http://www.marriott.com.

To find smaller and more affordable gyms, try AngloINFO, an online information company for English-speakers living abroad. Go to http://paris.angloinfo.com; click on Health, Fitness & Beauty, then Gyms, Fitness Classes & Personal Trainers.

I am traveling to Los Angeles to look at its universities. What is the most economically efficient way to travel around the city?

Marissa Gastelle, Middletown, Md.

The subway is the cheapest way to get around L.A., but it won't get you to all the schools in the area, said Robin McClain of LA Inc., the city's official tourism office. In some cases, however, a subway-bus combo will work -- to visit UCLA, for example. For custom itineraries, plug in your departure point and destination at http://www.metro.net; click Metro Trip Planner.

Depending on where you're staying, taxis might also work. Loyola Marymount University, for example, is just four miles north of LAX. But if you're visiting many schools over several days, a rental car is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to get around. Check Hotwire.com and Priceline.com for bargain rates, or visit LA Inc.'s Web site, http://www.discoverlosangeles.com, for links to rental companies and deals.

Your Turn

For the first-time visitor to Europe who asked about the pros and cons of staying in local hotels (Travel Q&A, May 17), Rosemarie Rauzino-Heller of Rockville recommends France's government-controlled B&Bs and gites (country houses) and Italy's Agriturismo program (farms). . . . Regarding the cruise that was rerouted because a passenger jumped overboard (May 10), Pat Rabito of Clarksville suggests asking the cruise line for reimbursement of any port charges or fees charged for the port that was skipped.

Send queries by e-mail (travelqa@washpost.com) or U.S. mail (Travel Q&A, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Please include your name and town.

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