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The Mature Traveler

Grandparents Can Tour With Grandchildren

July 17, 1988|BILL HUGHES | Hughes is a 30-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks.

El Al Israel Airlines and Milk and Honey Vacations has a series of Generation to Generation tours to Israel this summer just for grandparents and their grandchildren.

The 19-day tours, offered in honor of that nation's 40th anniversary, are designed to emphasize the traditional, historic, natural and educational aspects of Israel.

Tours includes 12 nights in Jerusalem (with a week of leisure time), two nights in Galilee, three nights in Tel Aviv and side visits to Massada and the Dead Sea.

Prices for grandparents begin at $759 per person, double, and $500 for children 12 and under sharing the room with adults. Air fare is not included, but El Al has senior fares (age 60 and older) of $1,036 round trip from Los Angeles now through Aug. 21, dropping to $968 from Aug. 22 through Nov. 13.

Wednesday departures for the Generation to Generation tours are scheduled through Aug. 17, though an El Al spokesperson said the tours most likely will be continued if demand is high. For more information, see a travel agent for the free Milk and Honey Vacations brochure.

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Joan Rattner Heilman's new travel guide for mature travelers is among the best in the limited field, even though it has an overly pretentious and overly long title. It's called "Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50."

If you've been an avid reader of this column for the past few years you've had access to more than 75% of the information in the guide. But if not, the 230-page paperback is a fact-packed, easy-access directory complete with addresses and phone numbers of hotel chains, airlines, tour companies and others in the travel field offering discounts and deals for the mature traveler.

Though not as well written as Rosalind Massow's "Travel Easy, the Practical Guide for People Over 50," Heilman's guide has wider scope and, as far as publishing deadlines permit, it is up to date.

Outdoor and sports enthusiasts, especially mature travelers looking for golfing, tennis, skiing and other participant activity information, will find the guide very helpful. This is also true for those interested in the information on educational trips, which goes well beyond Elderhostel and Interhostel.

Even a chapter on "Taxes, Insurance and Other Matters," while not being travel related and lacking baggage and cancellation insurance tips, is good utilitarian advice.

At $6.95 it's a good deal for mature travelers, especially if you can find it. The publisher, Contemporary Books Inc., says: "Available at bookstores everywhere," but if it isn't (it was published in June), it is available by mail from Best Publications, Department UGB, 180 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60601. The cost is $6.95, plus $1.50 for postage and handling, with California residents adding another 7% sales tax.

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Loraine Reylek of San Marcos Travel in San Marcos has formed a Senior Travel Club to help single seniors in that area find travel companions and learn more about senior travel opportunities.

"Many of our members traveled in the past with a spouse who is no longer with them," Reylek said. "They want to travel but have no one to share it with. I help them meet others in the same circumstances."

Reylek holds monthly get-togethers for members. Sometimes it's a meeting in the travel office, sometimes a luncheon, perhaps a one-day motor-coach trip. Membership in the club is free, with modest charges for the excursions or luncheon meetings. There is also a free newsletter announcing events.

For more information, contact Loraine Reylek, Senior Travel Expert, San Marcos Travel, 940-D San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos, Calif. 92069, or phone (619) 744-8940.

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Mature travelers age 50 and over will receive one week free in South Africa when they book specific departure dates for 16-day and 20-day vacations sponsored by African Travel, a major tour operator based in Glendale, to that continent. The free week is provided with tours scheduled for any November date this year and those from next January through March.

The Blue Horizon is a 20-day tour with visits to Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, a trip on the Blue Train, visits to Sabi Sabi Game Reserve, Durban and Sun City. the price is $4,126 per person double, including round-trip air from New York.

The SunSaver Explorer is 16 days, combining Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and a game-watching and photo safari in Kruger National Park. This costs $2,804 per person double, with air from New York and meals on the safari.

After completing either tour, mature travelers get to stay an extra week at any Southern Sea or Sun International Hotel in South Africa. There are, African Travel says, a wide choice of locations.

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