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Youth Beat

3 Guides to Cheap Accommodations

June 26, 1988|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

If you want to find an economical hotel room in Tokyo, cheap youth hostel accommodations in Houston, a single room in a university residence in Quebec City or an inexpensive pension in Rome, pick up the three sleep-cheap guides published by International Student Travel Conference.

The ISTC is a worldwide network of 62 nonprofit student travel bureaus. Its guides each contain listings of hundreds of budget lodgings, including hotels, motels, hostels, student residences, guest houses and B&Bs.

"Sleep Cheap Asia" was researched by the Hong Kong Student Travel Bureau. "Sleep Cheap North America" was researched by the New York-based Council on International Exchange and the Canadian Federation of Students (Toronto).

Information for "Sleep Cheap Europe" was gathered by several European student travel agencies. Keep in mind that researchers have not necessarily visited each one of the places listed.

All of the listings include rates, telephone numbers and distance from public transportation. The European and Asia booklets indicate which hotels will accept reservations from student travel agencies, enabling you to buy a voucher in one country to guarantee a bed when arriving in another.

The guidebooks also include addresses of affiliated foreign student travel agencies. Not only is that helpful for making reservations, but those offices are often good places to check for interesting budget-priced side trips after you arrive.

You can order the latest editions of the sleep-cheap booklets for $4 each from C.I.E.E. Publications Department, 205 East 42nd St., New York, 10017. Add $1 postage for book rate or $2.50 for first-class.

Young travelers trying to stretch their budgets in Britain can choose between discounted rates on unlimited rail passes or a special card valid for reduced rates on intercity bus travel.

The BritRail Youth Pass is available to all travelers 16 to 25. It's valid for unlimited second-class travel in England, Scotland and Wales. An eight-day pass costs $139, 15 days is $209, 22 days costs $269 and a one-month ticket is $309. You must buy the passes from a travel agent before you leave the United States.

While researching your trip you may find that your preferred route is more accessible or more economical by bus.

Here's an idea of the difference between rail and bus fares: For a train ride from London to Edinburgh, Scotland, the cheapest fare is 47 (about $92 U.S.). The maximum round-trip fare on the bus is 25 (about $49 U.S.).

You can save another 33% on bus fares by buying a Student Coach Card or a BritExpress Card. That discount is available even if you travel on the popular Rapide services. On the London to Edinburgh route, Rapide services offer double-decker buses with hostess service.

The Student Coach Card is valid for a year and can be bought in Britain for 4.

Both cards are sold at London's Victoria Station or at National Express offices throughout Britain (in London the office is at 13 Regent St.).

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