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The Mature Traveler

Plan Trip Keeping Physical Limits in Mind

December 20, 1987|BILL HUGHES | Hughes is a 25-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks

A new service aimed at helping mature or disabled travelers plan a vacation to Britain is now available through a British charity called Holiday Care Service.

By completing a questionnaire identifying their special requirements, travelers will receive free information and advice. The questionnaire asks about special dietary needs, accommodation and transport preferences, areas to be visited and travelers' mobility, including the use of a wheelchair.

Holiday Care Service says it will tell those who inquire how to plan their trip according to their individual needs and will advise how and where they can make bookings.

For a copy of the questionnaire, contact the British Tourist Authority, 350 S. Figueroa St., Suite 450, Los Angeles 90071 or phone (213) 628-3525. Completed questionnaires should be returned with an international reply coupon, which is available from U.S. post offices, to the Holiday Care Service in Great Britain.

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If you're dreading spending Christmas alone, don't. Join with others who have signed up for the four-day, Dec. 23-26, coastal motor tour scheduled by La Habra's Community Services Department. Included are stops in Solvang, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, San Simeon, Madonna Inn and Cambria.

Accommodations are at Sheraton Royal Scandinavian Inn, which gives a complimentary get-acquainted dinner the first night. Also scheduled is a Christmas party, a Christmas Eve dinner, a brunch and a Christmas Day dinner. Tours of Hearst Castle and Firestone Winery are included. Final stop is at Farmer's Market, Los Angeles, for snacking and shopping, arriving home about 5 p.m.

Cost for the Christmas Holiday is $299. For complete information, call (213) 905-9708.

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Col. James Bond Johnson, Long Beach, recently retired from the Army reserve after 42 years and service in three wars, is organizing two sentimental journeys exclusively for military retirees, their wives and widows. They will revisit battlefields and receive historical and current briefings from U.S. military units.

His first 17-day trip will depart Los Angeles on March 30, 1988, arriving on Okinawa on its 43rd anniversary of D-day--April 1, 1945. The group, limited to 20, also will tour Hawaii, Korea and Japan, receiving primarily military food and lodgings.

Johnson's second retiree trip next September to England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany will follow the path of the Allied liberation forces in 1944-45.

For details, write to Johnson, a clinical psychologist, at P.O. Box 7005, Long Beach 90807, or call (213) 426-3622.

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Probably in no area of travel is the single traveler so singularly disadvantaged as that of travel by cruise ship. It is a no-win situation: the traveler's options are (1) share a cabin with a total stranger (2) a single cabin for which the traveler will pay more for less, or (3) a standard room at the per-person rate, plus the infamous singles' supplement, averaging 50% to 75%.

To assist those seeking a compatible mate with whom to share a cruise holiday, Partners-in-Travel, the Los Angeles-based service for the single traveler, has introduced a new feature to its program, "Cruise Mates." The service invites all singles who plan cruise vacations to participate. There is no charge for the service, and membership is not required.

For details of the program and questionnaire to be completed, a self-addressed stamped envelope is requested. Mail to Partners-in-Travel, P.O. Box 491145, Los Angeles 90049.

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If the rates of some of the big metropolitan hotels have you aghast, consider accommodations at YMCAs and YWCAs worldwide.

Many have pools and offer inexpensive meals as well as mini-tours. Some sample prices include a double room with color TV and private bath for $29 in Hong Kong. For a brochure, send a self-addressed, stamped, No. 10 envelope to Y's Way International, 356 W. 34th St., New York 10001.

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A study tour of Spain, Portugal and Morocco for mature travelers has been introduced by Community College Tours as part of a statewide travel program that is operating in 1988 for the fifth consecutive year. Eighty percent of the participants are between 35 and 60.

Though the tours are designed to be teacher development courses, they are open to anyone interested in history, art history, geography, literature and education, and carry three units of transferable credit, the tuition included in the tour price.

The 21-day Iberia/Morocco tour will feature Timothy Bell, a geographer from Sonoma State University, and James Clapp, a professor of urban studies at San Diego State University. Both will deliver pre-departure lectures.

The tour, which leaves June 27, 1988, spends a week in the North African country beginning in Tangier, where there are visits to the Grand Socco (main market) and the Casbah. At Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert meet and the scenery and sights are the most exotic in Morocco.

The tour travels from Marrakech to Rabat via Casablanca. Morocco is reached by ferry from the Spanish Port of Algeciras after a stop in Seville. The northward route to Madrid is via Granada and Toledo.

Cost of the tour, $2,795 per person, includes round-trip air fare from Los Angeles or San Francisco, first-class hotel rooms with private bath, plus continental breakfasts and some dinners.

Transportation is via private, air-conditioned motorcoach and sightseeing is provided by local guides. Tour information is available from Community College Tours Inc., P.O. Box 620620, Woodside, Calif. 94062; phone (in California) (800) 527-3137 on weekdays between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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