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YOUTH BEAT

Discount Passes Allow Netherlands Flexibility

December 02, 1990|LUCY IZON

The Dutch airline KLM has announced discount "Youth Fares" for travelers 12 to 24. The special rates are valid from Dec. 25 to March 21, 1991.

While Youth Fares are not always the least expensive tickets available, they often offer more flexibility than other discount fares.

The Youth Fares rate to Amsterdam, for example, allows the traveler to return home at any time within one year. But the reservation can only be confirmed 72 hours prior to departure.

The regular advance-purchase economy fare from Los Angeles to Amsterdam ranges from $716 to $769, as compared to $700 for a Youth Fares ticket.

Travelers to the Netherlands up to and including age 25 are also eligible for special rates on ground transportation through Benelux Tourrail. The discounted rail passes offer savings of about 30% below regular rates and are available through some travel agents.

Tickets are valid for first- or second-class unlimited rail travel in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. For five days of first-class travel within a 17-day period, the cost is $80; five days of second-class rail travel within a 17-day period costs $54.

Although it does not offer special youth rates, the Holland Rail Pass offers access to a variety of locations, with three days of unlimited rail travel within a 15-day period for $47.50 first-class, $37.50 second-class.

Looking for low-cost housing? KLM has a list of accommodations in Amsterdam that range from $15 to $46 per night. The list includes Jeugdhotel Adam en Eva, at Sarphatistraat 105 (telephone 020-246206); Bob's Youth Hostel, N.Z. Voorburgwal 92 (020-230063); Jeugdhotel Eben Haezer, Bloemstraat 179 (020-244717); Hans Brinker Stutel, Kerkstraat 136 (020-220687); International Student Center, Keizersgracht 15 (020-251364); Jeugdhotel Kabul, Warmoesstraat 38-42 (020-237158), and Jeugdhotel The Shelter, Barndesteeg 21-25 (020-253230).

Remember, it's wise not to pay for a budget room until you have actually inspected it.

In Amsterdam, it is possible to exchange currency at Schiphol Airport and at Central Station. But commission rates can vary, so inquire before changing money.

To find out more about travel in the Netherlands, visit the Dutch Tourist Information Center, identified by the initials VVV, which is located across from Central Station at Stationsplein 10, Amsterdam.

For more information on KLM fares, call (800) 777-5553.

For more information on the Netherlands, contact the Netherlands Board of Tourism, 90 New Montgomery St., Suite 305, San Francisco 94105, (213) 678-8802 or (415) 543-6772.

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