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The Mature Traveler

Vacation Places to Go for Some of the Best Times of Your Life

October 04, 1987|BILL HUGHES | Hughes is a 30-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks

Time is the reward that comes with retirement for most mature travelers--time to relax, travel and enjoy life as a bonus for working those long years.

Time is what Grand Circle Travel, the nation's leading direct marketer of travel for people older than 50, caters to in its Extended Vacations.

"These are our most popular tours," says chairman and chief executive officer Alan E. Lewis, "because of their flexibility, length of stay and itinerary. Because our clients have requested them, we have added more destinations to our Extended Vacation program and even brought back one of our old favorites--our vacation in Sorrento and Rome."

Extended Vacations allow travelers to live abroad in an apartment or residential hotel for two to 25 weeks. And because of the company's group buying power and longstanding relationship with hoteliers and airlines, living abroad can be less expensive than living at home. For instance, a one-month Extended Vacation on Spain's Costa del Sol can cost as little as $31 a day, including air fare.

Places and Prices

The new Extended Vacations are available for the following prices:

Cascais, Portugal, starts at $795 for three weeks, with additional weeks available for $150 each, up to 18 weeks.

Marbella, Canary Islands, starts at $995 for two weeks, with additional weeks available for $195 each, up to 25 weeks.

Italy starts at $1,195 for two weeks in Sorrento and one day in Rome; additional weeks in Sorrento are available for $265 each, additional weeks in Rome are $345 each, to a total of 12 weeks.

A new optional stay in Singapore is available as part of an Extended Vacation in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. This package starts at $1,445 for two weeks. Additional weeks in Hong Kong start at $280 each, up to 35 weeks.

Other Extended Vacation destinations include London, England; Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Lucerne, Gstaad, Switzerland; Locarno, Italy; Seefeld, Baden, Austria; Dubrovnik, Opatija, Bled and Makarska, Yugoslavia.

The prices of all Extended Vacations include round-trip flights (from Los Angeles add $100 to $238 to air fare depending on destination), accommodations at an apartment or residential hotel, maid service, transfers, baggage handling at airport and hotel, all service charges and taxes, welcoming cocktail party and the services of a Grand Circle Travel representative.

Most Extended Vacations include the availability of a hospitality desk and a clubroom or activity area at the hotel and a social program. Some packages include sightseeing tours, breakfasts and optional meal plans at the hotels.

In addition to Extended Vacations, Grand Circle offers traditional escorted tours, Countryside Tours, and cruises, taking travelers to more than 30 countries worldwide.

In the 29 years since its founding, the company has arranged more than 400,000 trips--more than half of them taken by repeat customers.

For more information, contact Grand Circle Travel, 347 Congress St., Boston, Mass. 02210, phone (800) 248-3737.

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American Airlines has eliminated the annual fee for membership in its Senior SAAvers Club and replaced it with a one-time fee for lifetime membership in the popular discount program.

The new lifetime fee is $25 for an individual membership or $100 for an individual membership with a companion option, the same amounts that had been charged on an annual basis. And, good news for those already signed up, all existing Senior SAAvers memberships will be converted to lifetime memberships with no additional fee to members.

The club, which was introduced in January, 1986, is designed for travelers age 60 and older. Members receive discounts on hotel accommodations, car rentals, tour packages, cruises and other travel-related activities. At 65, members also qualify for a 10% discount on American and American Eagle fares, including the airline's deepest discount fares.

The companion option entitles members 65 and older to save 10% on the air fare of a companion of their choice, regardless of age, as long as tickets are bought at the same time for travel on the same flight.

Information: (800) 433-7300.

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Aerotours International's new program brings the exotic worlds of Bali and Indonesia to the mature traveler. A two-week tour, including air transportation from Los Angeles, accommodations, all sightseeing and airport transfers, is priced at $1,499 per person, superior, and $1,799 per person, deluxe.

The tour features a sampling of three regions: modern Jakarta, charming Jogjakarta and Bali. Tour members will stay at the Nusa Dua Beach Resort or beachfront Santrian Cottages in Bali. A full-day tour to villages known for their superb crafts is included, as is Bali's striking landmark, Kitamani volcano.

Two tours are included in Jakarta featuring the National Museum, Old Batavia, Presidential Palace, Istiquial Mosque, antique market and the Taman Mini.

In Jogjakarta the tour will stay in the heart of town at the colonial Garuda Hotel and sightseing will feature the royal Kraton compound, the fortified Water Castle, silversmiths, a batik factory, and visits to Prambanan, known as the Valley of the Kings, and the Borbudor Temple.

Information and reservations: (800) 223-4555.

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