Young travelers going to Switzerland this summer might consider contacting Jugi Tours, tour operator for the Swiss Youth Hostel Assn., about hiking, cycling and mountaineering programs.
They offer Rambling Weeks for persons ages 16 to 30. You stay for a week in one location and go out on half-day and full-day walks. Some hiking experience would be useful. You can expect to be with an international group of travelers.
Rambling Weeks rates include seven nights' lodging in a youth hostel, breakfasts and dinners, a tour guide and some local transportation. Programs at Zermatt begin July 12 and Oct. 4 and cost $156; at Grindelwald, Aug. 16 for $159; at Arosa, July 12 and 19, Aug. 8 and Sept. 4, for $148. At Maloja the cost is $154 and weeks begin July 19 and 26 and Sept. 27.
Jugi Tours offers mountaineering courses for beginners. Rates include all equipment. In Goeschneralp a six-day course with full board and lodging in a guest house and mountain huts costs $283; dates are July 13 and 20. In Adelboden the course costs $261 and starts July 20 and 27 and Aug. 3. In Meringen a similar program using youth hostel lodging with half-board costs $291 and begins July 13 and 27 and Sept. 5.
Cycling programs are designed for persons ages 16 to 30 who prefer to take it easy. Distances are about 30 to 50 miles a day. You provide the bike; in some cases rentals can be arranged. Trip rates include youth hostel lodging, breakfasts, dinners and services of a guide.
A 13-day cycling tour of central Switzerland starting at Schaffausen costs $241 and begins July 20. A similar one-week tour from Basel to Lausanne costs $126; July 13 and 27.
To participate in any of these trips you must become a member of the International Youth Hostel Federation. The official language is German but Jugi Tours says most leaders and participants are fluent in English and French. Similar programs are available for experienced mountaineers and mountain hikers.
To check for available space and reservations, contact Jugi Tours, P.O. Box 2232, CH-3001 Berne, Switzerland. Telephone 031 23 26 21.
Paris has an excellent youth accommodation service. At the offices of Accuells des Jeunes en France (AJF) they will make a reservation for you in inexpensive youth lodgings while you wait. There is no fee for this service but you must pay for your lodging when the booking is made, without having seen it.
AJF offices are at 119 rue St-Martin (in front of the Pompidou Center); 16 rue du Pont Luis-Philippe (near the Hotel de Ville metro stop) and at Gare du Nord (the north railroad station). Ask for free copies of maps and the guide "Paris Welcomes Young People."
If you want to stretch your travel budget through the European ski season by working in a resort area, here's a source of helpful information: "Working in Ski Resorts--Europe," by Victoria Pybus and Charles James, written for young Britons but containing much information helpful to young Americans.
The first section deals with British tour operators who hire assistants for European tour programs. The second and more helpful section covers countries individually, with information on work permits (the official and unofficial situations), advice on who has been hiring foreign travelers, language requirements, tips on how to seek a job, types of jobs likely to be available and low-cost lodging.
"Working in Ski Resorts--Europe" is published by Vacation Work, Oxford, England. If you can't locate a copy through your bookstore you can order it from Henry Fletcher Services Ltd., 304 Taylor Road, West Hill, Ontario, Canada M1C 2R6. Include $11 (money order) for book and postage.