Anyone got the urge to steal away, leaving behind all the mundane worries? Here's your opportunity. Mineral Shipping Lines is starting a trans-steamer freighter service. Destinations unknown only days before sailing time. And the schedule could change en route. Real adventure. Mineral will be concentrating on Europe, the Mediterranean, South America. Thirty-five to 70 days. In some cases longer. So it's necessary to be flexible. That's the word from the people running these trips. Rates (60 days or longer) $3,900 per person for twin-bedded rooms, $4,200 for a single. Refunds if the trip comes up short. Details from Freighter World Cruises, 180 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena 91101, or telephone (818) 449-3106.
You can save big bucks by renting a jalopy from Rent-a-Wreck. Dependable used cars at ridiculously low prices. (Rent-a-Wreck also stocks new cars, as well as vans, trucks, station wagons.) More than 300 locations throughout the United States (including Hawaii) and Australia. Others will be popping up soon in Japan, West Germany, Great Britain (London office opens this spring). For a directory listing all offices, drop a card to Rent-a-Wreck, 10889 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1270, Los Angeles 90024.
Students will be be joining the big push to Europe this summer. In preparation, the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) has produced its 1985 Student Travel Catalog. Sixty-four pages of details on worldwide discounts, benefits. Tells how to obtain substantial discounts on air fares. Other helpful tips on rail passes, low-cost tours, budget accommodations, trip insurance, passports, visas. One section gives the lowdown on work opportunities abroad (Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, New Zealand). Free copies from CIEE, Dept. STC '85, 205 East 42nd St., New York 100017.
Hertz has a new deal this year for Americans who'll be visiting Europe. It's called Afforable Europe and involves a car rental/hotel deal. Hotel vouchers are sold in the United States. Rates start as low as $15 per person a night. Participating in the plan are nearly 3,000 hotels, inns in 15 European nations. Cars rent for as little as $82 a week (Belgium and Luxembourg). In Britain, prices start at $118 per week for a sub-compact. Brochures available by calling toll-free (800) 654-3001.
Marlene Gordon does unusual outings. Mostly within California (occasionally out of state, overseas). Upcoming: a one-day round-trip rail excursion (March 31) to San Diego aboard a private parlor car dating from the '50s. Fortune tellers on board. The group will visit the Embarcadero and Seaport Village for lunch. Or you can brown-bag it. The train leaves L.A. Union Station at 10 a.m. (pickups in Fullerton and Santa Ana). Price: $46. Includes transportation, refreshments, entertainment. Contact Marlene Gordon c/o The Next Stage, P.O. Box 35269, Los Angeles 90035, or telephone (213) 939-2688.
Mary Spivey is an independent British travel agent--a real Girl Friday who's devoted to Americans. Arranges self-catering rentals (country cottages) Cornwall to Scotland. Others in France, Spain. Spivey also books apartments in London, Bath, York, etc., as well as B&Bs. Another specialty: helping Americans with home exchanges. Contact Mary Spivey, Dinneford Street, Thorverton, Exeter EX5 5NU, England.
Budget trips for high school graduates are in the works. Contact Jim Steele and John Duby c/o Hawaii Travel Ltd., P.O. Box 3773, Ventura, Calif. 93006. Steele and Duby, ex-high school teachers, are in the eighth year of budget trips to Waikiki for graduating seniors. . . . Copies of the 1985/86 Wilderness Travel Catalogue (40 pages) are free for the asking. Information on walking tours of Europe, hiking in the Alps, travel in Africa, Nepal, South America, Papua New Guinea, the Himalayas, the Orient, Hawaii, etc. Copies from Wilderness Travel, 1760-P Solano Ave., Berkeley, Calif. 94707.
Washington State--Ed Wigdahl, Escondido: "The best family restaurant in Washington state is Brady's, 86 E. Main St., Omak, Wash. 98840. Owner will direct you to the best fishing and lodging in the Northwest."
Laguna Beach--Norma Brown, Los Angeles: "A delightful weekend getaway a mere 65 miles from Los Angeles. This is a B&B operated by Karen and Dennis Chernekoff. Thirty feet above the surf . . . spectacular view . . . a private patio from which to whale watch. In addition to an outstanding beach we were within walking distance of charming shops, boutiques, eateries. Our tab came to just $75 per night. Call (714) 494-5451."