Universities and colleges in many countries offer economical accommodations when students are on summer breaks.
You may have to share washrooms and a communal TV lounge, but you get relatively low rates and often have access to excellent sports facilities.
You can get details and make reservations by contacting a university's director of residences. A helpful source of addresses is the "U.S. and World Wide Travel Accommodation Guide" ($9.95 each from Campus Travel Services, P.O. Box 5007, Laguna Beach, Calif. 92652.) The 1987 edition lists more than 450 universities and colleges in more than 25 countries. About 75 are in Britain and 175 in North America. Average rates are from $6 to $16 (United States) per person per night.
Listings cover three categories. The largest section is residences open to the general public.
The second category covers schools that will accept visitors with an educational interest. These institutions will welcome travelers who might, for instance, want to get to know a school that a family member is thinking of attending.
The third category is those that will accept only groups. That can mean club or student groups but often no minimum number is set, so you may be able to make up your own small group.
The guide also includes travel tips and tells how to make reservations at the universities.
Student residences offer more privacy than youth hostels. Most rooms are for one or two people, and sometimes cooking facilities are available. Check to see if linen and towels are provided; sometimes they are rented for $5 or $6. You may want to pack your own. It's also possible that cooking facilities are available, but not utensils.
70,000 Beds Available
During holiday breaks up to 70,000 beds are available at school residences in Britain. The British Universities Accommodation Consortium has published a list of more than 50 residences offering accommodations to travelers. The brochure lists residences offering bed and breakfast from $18 per night, and self-catering accommodations from $70 per week in London. Free copies are available from the British Tourist Authority, 350 S. Figueroa St., Suite 450, Los Angeles 90071.
If you plan to travel to Britain on a budget, you can also ask the British Tourist Authority for a free copy of "Great Escapes in Britain." It outlines programs offered by Britain's youth hostel association.
Holidays include hiking, cycling or off-beat experiences such as a parachuting weekend in Yorkshire for $140 (United States).