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Youth Beat

New Egypt ID Good for Discounts

November 29, 1987|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

Students traveling in Egypt are eligible for a variety of discounts, including a 50% reduction on domestic rail fares (except first-class) and a 50% discount on entry fees to all museums and historic sites.

To get these and thousands of other discounts in foreign countries you must have an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). A new edition, just becoming available, is valid until Dec. 30, 1988.

The ISIC program was organized by an international network of nonprofit student travel agencies. It is accepted for a variety of discounts in 68 countries.

For example, it's honored for walking tours in Brussels, ferry travel from Denmark to Norway, accommodations at the Hotel Sheraton in the Dominican Republic and ferry travel between the Faroe Islands and Iceland, Norway, the Shetland Islands and Denmark.

It's also useful for domestic air and bus travel in Australia, lodging at the YMCA International Guest House in Hong Kong, museums in Paris and Greek tourist sites such as the Athens Acropolis, National Archeological Museum, Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Theater of Dionysus.

Directory of Discounts

When you buy the card you get a directory that lists reductions in participating countries. It also lists tours that you can book at student travel agencies, plus other services available to students and non-students.

One advantage of the program is that some tours offer an opportunity to travel into areas that you might not find easy to visit on your own.

For example, for a peek behind the Iron Curtain, contact the student travel service in Helsinki, Finland. It books four-day bus tours to Leningrad during the summer. The $216 U.S. fare includes accommodations in two- or three-bed rooms, tours with an English-speaking guide, meals, visa fees and a ticket for the ballet or folk dancing.

Thailand's student travel service arranges three-day jungle tours. The trips begin in Chiang Mai and cost about $30.

Austria's student travel service offers two-day tours from Vienna to Prague or Budapest. Trips are offered all year. Accommodations are in two-bed rooms.

The Prague tour costs $120, which includes half-board. Departures are every Saturday. The Budapest package is $118, including meals. There are several departures a week.

Roughing It

The Tunisian student travel service offers one-week tours into the Sahara Desert for those who don't mind roughing it. The last night is spent in a Bedouin tent. Departures are every Sunday from April to October, 1988.

Through the Australian student travel service you can arrange to spend two days hot-air ballooning over Ayers Rock. The rate of $149 does not include transportation to Alice Springs.

If you want to cycle and camp in the Netherlands but don't want to carry equipment abroad, the Netherlands student travel service can provide a do-it-yourself tour that includes the equipment. The seven-day holiday costs $94.

Not all the discounts or tours in the directory are limited to students. It also lists the Nordic Youth Card, a one-month pass good on all Scandinavian railways, for $158.

Special rail passes (from seven to 90 days) are available for travel in India. These tickets are only offered to foreign visitors and must be paid for in U.S. dollars.

Travelers heading for Japan should know that its special rail passes can only be bought from Japan Air Lines offices or travel agencies outside Japan.

Also, there is a special English-language telephone assistance service that you can use throughout Japan.

The 1988 ISIC card costs $10. You must supply proof of student status and a photograph. Applications are available from Council Travel Services, 1093 Broxton Ave., Los Angeles 90024, phone (213) 208-3551.

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