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Youth Beat

Finding Savin' o' Green

December 21, 1986|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

DUBLIN, Ireland — There's good news for young travelers who want to travel Ireland inexpensively and independently in 1987. The Irish student travel service (USIT) has arranged a variety of do-it-yourself travel packages for 1987 that incorporate lodging in guest houses, farmhouses and town and country homes. The tour package prices are set for two people sharing but arrangements can be made for singles at slightly higher rates.

For example, you can stay seven nights at a Dublin guest house (full breakfast included) for 120 (about $165 U.S.). When you buy this package you also get an information kit for the area, a city sightseeing tour, a day tour to a scenic countryside area with historical ruins called Glendalough plus admission to the Zoological Gardens, a theater performance and a traditional music session. The single supplement is 21 ($29).

According to USIT representatives, one of the most popular areas is Galway, on the west coast. Next summer (June to September) you can stay three nights in Dublin and three nights in Galway for 137 ($188).

This package includes accommodations in guest houses with full Irish breakfast. You also get return rail transportation from Dublin to Galway, a half-day sightseeing tour of Dublin, a ticket for the theater in Dublin, a full-day tour from Galway and a trip by boat to the Aran Islands. Singles pay an extra 18 ($25).

Wandering and Rambling

If you'd prefer the freedom to wander further and are willing to arrange your own transportation, another package offers seven vouchers that can be used for bed-and-breakfast accommodation at more than 270 farmhouses and 400 town and country homes. The cost is 75 ($103). Singles pay an additional 21 ($29).

A similar package for 145 ($199) also includes transportation. Called the Rambler Holiday, it offers a pass for eight days of unlimited travel around Ireland on mainline train and bus services, an information kit and vouchers valid for seven nights with breakfast in farmhouses and town and country homes. The single supplement is 21 ($29), and an extra week costs 95 ($136).

You also can purchase a transportation ticket known as a Rambler Pass on its own. An eight-day pass is 62 ($85), a 15-day ticket 90 ($124). Bicycle hire arranged through USIT is 22 ($30) per week.

Cyclists are offered two special options for next year. For example, you can arrange to spend seven nights at an Irish farmhouse (dinner and breakfast included) and have seven days of cycle hire plus return rail to Dublin, Cork or Rosslare for 175 ($290). Singles pay an extra 21 ($29).

If you want to cycle farther a second package offers a choice of several cycle routes, vouchers for seven nights' bed and breakfast in guest houses or farmhouses, seven days of cycle hire, return rail to Dublin, Cork or Rosslare and an information kit with maps. The price is 125 ($171) with a 21 ($29) single supplement. An extra week would be another 95 ($130).

Traditional Music

When traveling in Ireland, ask in villages about pubs where you are likely to hear traditional music. Often, local musicians have a favorite spot where they stop off and play during the evening.

Judging distances on maps is tricky because on narrow, winding roads it can take much longer than you think to cover distances. Pay attention to route suggestions because you want to avoid poor surfaces, blind curves, sheep, cows and roads with poorly marked directional signs.

If you're carrying an International Student Identity Card, you can also add a Travelsave Stamp to it at USIT offices for 5.50 ($7.50). The stamp will save up to 50% on domestic transportation services.

USIT has 11 offices in Ireland plus one each in New York, London and Paris. In Ireland you'll find USIT offices in Belfast, Coleraine, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Jordanstown, Limerick, Maynooth and Waterford.

For more information on these individual packages, contact USIT Tours Department, 7 Anglesea St., Dublin 2 (telephone 778117) or USIT, New York Student Center, William Sloane House YMCA, 356 West 34th St., New York, N.Y. 10001, telephone (212) 239-4247.

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