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The Mature Traveler

Discount Tours Available to Many Countries

May 01, 1988|HANK KOVELL | Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests

The "50 Plus Club," which packages tours for mature travelers over 50, is the specialty of AJS Travel Consultants Inc., a tour operator that is offering a series of discounted tours to Great Britain, Israel, Switzerland and Italy.

All of the tours are leisurely paced, with longer stays in the cities along the way. The land rates of all AJS Leisure Vacations for this summer are guaranteed against possible foreign currency fluctuations if reservations are made and paid for by May 31.

"Britain at Leisure" is a 15-day summer package in England, with five days in London and 10 days at the seaside resort of Bournemouth. In London, tours include historic sights, from the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, plus a one-day trip to Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Castle. Bournemouth, known as "the city set in a garden," is a resort on England's south coast.

There are optional excursions to nearby cities and villages, spas and historic sites, with ample free time for walking, shopping, the beaches, swimming and local sightseeing. The package includes daily breakfast in London and daily breakfast and dinner in Bournemouth. First-class hotels are used in both cities. The 15-day land packages begin at $1,295 per person, based on double occupancy. Air fare is additional.

Swiss Trip

The 15-day Swiss Leisure vacation combines a relaxing week in the Alpine resort of St. Moritz with a week in the popular lakeside resort city of Lucerne. The package includes accommodations in luxurious Carlton hotels, daily breakfasts, escorted sightseeing, nature walks and other outdoor activities. Tours are available weekly via Swissair from June 13 through Sept. 26. The land price is $1,499 per person; air fare is additional.

An Italian-Swiss vacation features a week in the Italian spa-resort of Abano-Terme near Venice and a week in St. Moritz. The package includes a superior first-class hotel in Abano-Terme with daily breakfast and a deluxe hotel in St. Moritz with daily dinner. Also included are escorted sightseeing tours of Venice, the Lake Como region and the university city of Padua. Optional tours are available to Florence and to the open-air opera festival in Verona. The package is priced at $1,395 per person, plus air fare.

The Israel Leisure Vacation, a 22-day trip through the Holy Land, provides eight nights in Jerusalem, eight nights in Tel Aviv and four nights in the Galilee region. There are 13 leisurely paced, escorted sightseeing excursions, including Beersheba, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Caesarea, Nazareth, Masada and the Dead Sea area, Upper and Lower Galilee and the Gesher Haziv kibbutz.

Mature travelers have a choice of first-class or deluxe hotel accommodations on this tour, which includes daily breakfast and dinner, evening entertainment and transfers. Per-person land rates range from $1,580 to $2,265.

Discount for Seniors

Air fare via El Al for travelers who have reached their 60th birthday at the time of departure will be reduced by $114 to $136, depending on the dates selected. The basic minimum El Al senior citizen air fare begins at $968 round trip from Los Angeles to Israel.

Itineraries and brochures for all of the packages are available from travel agents or AJS Travel Consultants, 177 Beach 116th St., Rockaway Park, N.Y. 11694. The toll-free phone is (800) 221-5002.

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Golden Tours, the nonprofit group travel service for people over 50, is once again offering a reduced-price membership for the second half of 1988. For $3, you will receive six issues of the monthly eight-page bulletin, which is packed with travel opportunities ranging from half-day trips to Southern California attractions to extended journeys to Asia, Europe, Canada and Mexico.

Day trips include San Diego, Santa Barbara and Solvang, dinner theaters and sporting events. Popular two- and three-day tours include the gaming city of Laughlin, Nev., Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Reno, San Francisco and other destinations in the West. All trips are by modern, comfortable motor coaches that make frequent stops. (Smoking is not permitted on coaches.)

Also popular are the free weekly travel presentations, by film or color slides. Motor-coach tours originate in Alhambra or Pasadena, where there is ample free parking for participating members. For your six-month membership and six issues of the brochure, send a check for $3 to Golden Tours, Box 1070, Alhambra 91802. (Please do not request sample issues.)

African Odyssey

Another respected name in senior travel is Hillsens Tours & Travel, whose trips cover the world. This fall, Jane Hillsen, a sprightly 70, will escort an adventure in Africa--an 18-day odyssey that includes such exotic stops as Nairobi, Samburu, Maralal, Lake Baringo and Lake Nukuru. The tour leaves Los Angeles on Aug. 31 via KLM, and stops in Amsterdam en route to Nairobi, where the excursion begins.

Transportation in Kenya is via six-passenger minibus equipped with photographic roof hatches, with window seats guaranteed for each person so that dramatic views and African wildlife along the way can be enjoyed by everyone.

Most meals are included in the package, as are transportation, accommodations and numerous extras. Complete price for the trip, beginning in Los Angeles, is $3,789 per person, double occupancy; $560 is charged for single supplement.

For more information, including a full-color brochure and details of an optional add-on trip to Egypt involving a Nile River cruise, write to Hillsens Tours & Travel, 211 E. State St., Redlands 92373, or call toll-free (800) 523-6812.

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