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Youth Beat

A New Hostel in Seattle

October 11, 1987|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

Young travelers passing through the gateway city of Seattle will find a new youth accommodation facility in the downtown area.

American Youth Hostels has 250 in 41 of the 50 states. The hostels provide dormitory accommodations in separate men's and women's quarters. The cost for members of the International Youth Hostel Federation is usually less than $10 a night. American youth hostels do not impose age restrictions.

The organization's new Seattle hostel, which opened Sept. 1, will be the fourth-largest in the system, after Washington, San Francisco and Boston.

The 125-bed hostel is at 84 Union St. in a four-story building built for the U.S. Immigration Service as the Ellis Island of the Pacific Northwest, receiving immigrants. Two floors have been renovated as a hostel, with bike storage, laundry facilities, a fully equipped self-service kitchen, meeting rooms and a view of Puget Sound.

The hostel is within walking distance of the Seattle Aquarium, Waterfront Park, historic Pioneer Square, the Pacific Science Center and terminals where you can take ferries to Alaska and nearby islands.

Information: 84 Union St., Seattle 98101 or phone (206) 622-5443.

Timing travel plans to take in local events and festivals can enhance your visit to a foreign country. During a special event, visitors often find a more comfortable atmosphere to mingle and get to know residents.

That's the positive side.

Special events can also mean that accommodations are difficult to get and transportation services are packed. In some cases you may want to bypass certain festivities or make reservations for transportation and accommodations.

The best way to find out about special events is to contact the tourist information offices of countries you intend to visit before you leave home. Most will mail calendars of free events to you. You can find addresses of the tourist offices in your telephone directory or from your travel agent.

The German National Tourist Office--444 S. Flower St., Suite 2230, Los Angeles 90071; (213) 688-7332)--can provide you with a free copy of "Germany Live," a booklet designed to give young visitors an overview of that country and the types of services available to them. A detailed map indicates the locations of youth hostels.

Keep in mind that travelers under 26 years are eligible for a special junior version of the German Rail Tourist Card. This ticket is valid for unlimited second-class rail travel within the country. You can buy it from a travel agent before you leave home or at a major rail station after you arrive. The price here is $75 for a nine-day ticket or $95 for 16 days.

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