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Youth Beat

Discounts in Canada

September 04, 1988|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

Young people carrying valid student identification are eligible for a special discount on Pacific Western Transportation coach service in Canada.

Pacific Western Transportation owns and operates the Red Arrow Express, which runs daily scheduled service between Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton and Ft. McMurray. It's a first-class service that includes executive seating and a galley stocked with complimentary snacks and refreshments.

The company's regular rate for travel between Calgary and Edmonton is $21 Canadian (about $17.50 U.S.). The student rate is $17 Canadian.

Meanwhile, Greyhound Canada is offering a 25% discount on its regular fares to travelers carrying youth hostel membership cards. Greyhound's services stretch from Montreal to Vancouver and as far north as the Yukon. On a trip between Calgary and Edmonton, the discount would reduce the regular fare of $19 to $14.29 Canadian (from $16 to $12 U.S.). The discount offer expires Dec. 31.

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The British Tourist Authority has a publication designed to assist independent travelers in making decisions on transportation services for domestic travel, and for trips to Europe and Ireland.

"Getting About Britain" also includes brief information on special discounts and passes for students and youth. For most of the domestic services, it's a percentage reduction if you buy a special pass. For travel to the continent you can usually get the discount just by meeting the age requirements.

For example, there are about 15 services you can use to travel from London to Amsterdam. By checking the listings you'll learn that a regular fare for bus and ferry travel via Ostend is 21 ($38 U.S.), but travelers under 26 can buy special tickets for 19. If you study the listings a little further you find that if you made the trip by train and ferry, and traveled via the Hook of Holland, the trip would be two hours shorter and a special under-26 fare of 17 is available.

To obtain a free copy of "Getting About Britain," contact the British Tourist Authority, World Trade Center, 350 Figueroa St., Suite 450, Los Angeles 90071, (213) 628-3525.

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You can get help finding inexpensive accommodations in New Zealand through a free publication available from the New Zealand Government Tourist Office.

"New Zealand Budget Backpackers Accommodation" lists 39 establishments that offer double and twin beds in small dormitory rooms to international travelers for $8 to $13 New Zealand (about $6 to $10 U.S.) a night.

Each listing includes a description of the facilities, a contact address and telephone numbers. The rates quoted are for the least expensive lodgings and include the mandatory 10% sales tax.

These facilities don't impose as many restrictions as official youth hostels. They are open all day, and if you want to stay out late you can usually get a front-door key with a $10 deposit.

Another advantage to this type of lodging is that staff and other guests are often an excellent source for information on low-cost sightseeing and excursions.

The good news for 1989 is that visitors should experience very few price increases. That's due to economic reforms that have lowered the inflation rate from 19.2% to 6.9% in the last year.

For free copies of "Budget Backpackers Accommodation" contact the New Zealand Government Tourist & Publicity Office, 10960 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1530, Los Angeles 90024, (213) 477-8241.

Two new youth facilities recently opened in Tunisia.

A 70-bed international youth hostel opened in Nabeul, a seaside tourist area about 40 miles from Tunis.

A second international youth hostel opened near the "Berber City" grottoes in southern Tunisia, about 330 miles from Tunis and 20 miles from Gabes. The Centre de Sejour et des Stags can accommodate about 50 visitors.

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