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GUIDEBOOKS TELL YOU WHAT’S FREE.

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* TRAVEL BOOKS FROM MUSTANG PUBLISHING tell you what you can do for free. Revised and updated for 1994, none of the books cost over $10. The "For Free" guidebooks include "Europe for Free," "London for Free," "Paris for Free (Or Extremely Cheap)," "Hawaii for Free," "DC For Free," and "The Southwest for Free" (covers Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona). Books are available at local bookstores or directly from the publisher (add $2 to the price for postage): Mustang Publishing, P.O. Box 3004, Memphis, TN 38173.

* SAVE $240 ON GRAND CANYON RAFT TRIPS. Western River Expeditions is reducing rates for 6-day trips through the Grand Canyon for selected launch dates in late August and early September. The reduced price is $1,295 per person plus tax. The trip regularly costs $1,535 per person. The discounted rates are available on the following launch dates: Aug. 17, 23, 24, 30, 31 and Sept. 6 and 13. The 188-mile trip begins at Lee's Ferry, 15 miles below Glen Canyon Dam. After six days on the river you're flown out of the canyon by helicopter. For a free brochure call 942-6669.

* THE MAGIC OF MONACO. This tiny principality near the French Riviera recently published "The Enchanted Holiday Planner," available free by calling the Monaco Government Tourist Office at 1-800-753-9696. The guide outlines suggested day tours that specialize in history, nature, design or architecture. It also lists other half- and full-day excursions to Riviera landmarks such as La Turbie, San Remo, Ventimiglia, Eze, Menton, Cap Ferrat, Biot, Grasse, Nice and Cannes. It lists seasonal events and recommends restaurants and hotels. Local phone numbers are listed for all entries.

IDAHO'S OLD PENITENTIARY IN BOISE is open to visitors through Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $3 adults, $2 children and seniors. Admission to the Women's Ward is always free. The complex is now the property of the Idaho State Historical Society. With the exception of one guided tour every day at 1 p.m., tours are self-guided. Among the highlights: "The Marked Men: Prison Tattoos as Art and Expression" examines the history of prison tattooing, its role in prison culture, as well as tattooing techniques, designs and aesthetics. It displays tattooing equipment and prison tattoo stamps with which you can experiment; partially restored cells in House #4 show how inmates decorated their cells in the 1960s and '70s; the solitary confinement building, called "Siberia," has displays about conditions and the inmates' experiences in confinement including graffiti found inside the small concrete cells. The complex is at 2445 Old Penitentiary Rd.

* SELF-GUIDED TOUR TAKES YOU TO historic sites in Wichita. A 20-page color brochure to a self-guided Western Heritage Tour is available from the Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau, 100 S. Main St. The 10 western heritage sites listed in the brochure are: Old Cowtown Museum, the Indian Center Museum, the Keeper of the Plains Statue, the Wichita Art Museum's Chares M. Russell "Heritage of the West" exhibit, Botanica's "A Prairie Garden," Sedgwick County Zoo's North American Prairie exhibit, the Historical Museum's Chisholm Trail exhibit, the gravesite of William Mathewson - also known as the other Buffalo Bill, Friend's University's Fellow-Reeve Pioneer History Museum, and Sheplers (the world's largest Western stores). The guide is available at sites on the tour. The only costs are regular price admissions charged by some of the locations. A free limited edition belt buckle from Sheplers is available if you visit at least four sites. The offer terminates when the supply of buckles runs out.

"THE ALASKA WILDERNESS GUIDE" is to adventure seekers what "The Milepost" is to people who drive their cars to the 49th state. Published by the same folks to put out "The Milepost," the book describes isolated getaways such as national parks and wilderness areas, and opportunities for hiking, kayaking, fishing and river rafting. It tells you which villages have running water, sewer systems, laundry facilities, stores and overnight accommodations. (Not all towns in Alaska are equipped to handle visitors.) The book provides phone numbers for facilities that are available. You can purchase the book at bookstores or from the publisher, Vernon Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 96043, Bellevue, WA 98009-9643, 1-800-726-4707.

* NINE TO FIVE: THE INSIDER'S Guide to Getting Around, Getting Things Done and Taking a Break in Manhattan" is available free to guests staying at one of nine Manhattan East suite hotels or by sending a self-addressed, stamped (75 cents postage) envelope to Nine to Five, Manhattan East Suite Hotels, 500 West 37th St., New York, NY 10018-1103. The booklet, geared for people who are in New York for business, lists more than 150 public services and sights and 100 useful telephone numbers. It addresses such questions as how to pinpoint avenue addresses, where are the best places to hail a cab, find a clean public restroom or a 24-hour car rental. Topics range from where to find translators, foreign exchanges and 24-hour newsstands to the location of small public parks and 20 "hidden oases." Participating hotels include Beekman Tower Hotel (49th St. and First Ave.); Eastgate Tower (222 E. 39th St.); Lyden Gardens (215 E. 64th St.); Lyden House (320 E. 53rd St.) Dumont Plaza (150 E. 34th St.); Plaza Fifty (155 E. 50th St.); Shelburne Murray Hill (303 Lexington Ave.); Southgate Tower (371 Seventh Ave.) and the Surrey Hotel (20 S. 76th St.). For reservations contact your travel agent or call 1-800-ME-SUITE.