Sometimes it's necessary to leave part of your travel arrangements until after you arrive in a foreign country. However, hundreds of travel agencies that specialize in student and youth travel can help you. Because many of these travel agencies are affiliated with the International Student Travel Conference they can offer a variety of services.
One service is the "Sleep Cheap" guide to Europe, a 93-page listing of hotels and pensions suited to students' budgets. A chief source of listings was the national student travel bureaus of countries covered. (A similar booklet of North America listings is scheduled for publication this spring.)
The rates listed for several hundred lodging services are available to any traveler. When an additional student discount is offered it's indicated separately. Many of the small hotels listed do not have an advance reservation system but the booklet does include request cards which you can send in advance, keeping in mind there's no guarantee that a room can be held.
53 Nations Listed
The "Sleep Cheap" guide to Europe sells for about $3 through travel agencies affiliated with the conference. Student bodies of 53 countries network through this organization. Here are some of their travel agencies in European gateway cities:
In Brussels the national student travel service, ACOTRA, has a welcome desk in the arrival hall at Brussels National Airport. In Paris, try OTU at 137 Boulevard St. Michel or CIEE/Council Travel Services at 51 rue Dauphine. In Amsterdam, try NBBS at Dam 17, Dam Square, a short walk from the main railway station.
An affiliated student travel service, STS, is in Athens at 1 Filellinon St., Syntagma Square. In Rome, try the Student Travel Center at Via Nazionale, 66.
The booklet also lists budget lodgings in Israel. ISSTA is the student travel service; in Tel Aviv the office is at 109 Ben Yehuda St.
In Dublin, look for USIT at 7 Anglesea St. In London, try London Student Travel at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, a few steps from Victoria Station.
Rail Ticket Discounts
If you are younger than 26 you are eligible for discounted rail point-to-point tickets. On the Continent ask about Transalpino fares at student and youth travel agencies, in the United Kingdom inquire about Eurotrain service. In London these tickets are sold at several travel agencies including London Student Travel.
Eurotrain offers reduced rates to travelers younger than 26 for trips from the United Kingdom to more than 2,000 destinations in 23 countries. You can travel quickly or take as long as two months to cover a specific route but you must keep to the timetable and trains outlined on your ticket. All the fares from London include sea crossing by ferry. You can use the faster Hoverspeed and Jetfoil service for an extra fee but this must be arranged at the time you buy your ticket.
Here are some examples of one-way fares on the cheapest routes from London to popular destinations: Innsbruck $79; Paris $30; Nice $77; Munich $75; Athens $128; Dublin $33; Rome $83; Tangier $104; Amsterdam $27; Lisbon $90; Madrid $81; Stockholm $92; St. Moritz $73, and Istanbul $142.
Rates may increase slightly by April 30. Return tickets are available for a little less than double the one-way prices. Less direct routes are sold at slightly higher rates.
In Britain you can buy tickets through student travel service or by calling the Eurotrain head office in London at 01-730-3402. Tickets sold by phone must be picked up from the office opposite London's Victoria Station.
ISTC offices are at Weinbergstrasse 31, CH-8006, Zurich, Switzerland.