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The Mature Traveler

Safe Way to Make Plans for a Group Outing

November 15, 1987|HANK KOVELL | Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests

Mature travelers who belong to groups whose members would like to travel together but lack the time and contacts to organize can call on a highly recommended old-line Los Angeles firm to help them in planning and transportation.

Safeway Lines & Tour Co. has helped such diverse groups as senior citizen clubs, religious organizations, bridge clubs, fraternal and civic groups and other special-interest organizations. Safeway has been operating out of Los Angeles for more than 60 years.

Safeway provides clean, modern buses, all with reclining seats, picture windows, restrooms and stereo sound system. It will help plan trips from one day to more than two weeks, including assistance with hotel arrangements.

Itineraries are at the discretion of the group making the trip, but Safeway offers advice on routes and stopovers. The 8,000-member Golden Tours Senior Citizen club says that it has been doing business with Safeway for more than 20 years, and finds their buses well maintained, their drivers polite and knowledgeable.

Safeway has helped in planning trips to such popular destinations as Death Valley, Grand Canyon, the Indio-Palm Springs area, San Diego, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, the Monterey Peninsula (including Carmel), Vancouver in British Columbia and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.

It also provides half-day and one-day plans for visits to Southern California tourist attractions such as those in the San Diego area, or for attending theater presentations. Safeway will arrange for buying admission tickets.

Group planners can choose from a selection of pre-planned tours with fixed itineraries or can do their own routing with help from a Safeway representative, who will meet by appointment to formulate plans.

Safeway offers a booklet with sample itineraries and a color brochure describing the company and illustrating its equipment.

For free copies write to Safeway Lines Tour & Co., 1929 East 64th St., Los Angeles 90001, or call (213) 589-3367.

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A discount is being offered to mature travelers by the Omni Hotel group in any of its 23 participating hotels throughout the United States.

A discount of 50% off regular room rates is offered seven days a week on a space-available basis. Guests also receive a 15% discount in the hotel restaurants.

To obtain the discount, guests must be a member of the American Assn. of Retired Persons (AARP). Guests will be asked to present their membership cards when registering.

AARP members who are not guests in Omni hotels may receive the 15% discount in Omni restaurants, providing they dine before 7 p.m.

Omni properties are in major U.S. cities. For a free directory of Omni Hotels or to make reservations, call toll-free (800) 843-6664.

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Mature travelers who are skiers are invited to join the fifth annual overseas ski trip for persons over age 50, sponsored by the San Diego chapter of the Over the Hill Gang (OTH).

This trip, which is open to non-members of OTH, will be a first-time visit for the group to Zermatt, Switzerland, and Meribel, France, and will take place Feb. 18-March 6.

The OTH has organized ski trips for seniors to New Zealand, South America and the Austrian and Italian Alps. The Zermatt/Meribel trip includes round-trip air transportation via KLM Airlines from Southern California, breakfast and dinner daily, first-class hotels and rail transport to Zermatt, which is accessible only by train.

All taxes, porterage, service and escort are included in the $2,045 per-person price. For complete information, contact Orbitours at (619) 463-6638 or toll-free (800) 621-0852, Ext. 568. For information by mail, write to Orbitours, 7750 University Ave. No. F, La Mesa, Calif. 92041.

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Another good deal for mature travelers is offered by the Marriott Marco Island Resort on Florida's southwest coast. In its Seniors are Special program, members of AARP receive a 50% discount on rooms, space available.

The resort restaurants offer moderately priced, diet-type meals, including Healthy Start breakfasts approved by the American Heart Assn. Early-bird dinners are served each day from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet, including beverage and dessert, for $7.95, with a choice of five entrees.

A wide variety of outdoor activities during the day and indoor evening programs, as well as sightseeing tours, are available. Package plans are also available.

For a free packet of brochures call toll-free (800) 228-9290 or write to Marriott's Marco Island Resort, Marco Island, Fla. 33937-5303.

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