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Some Helpful Guides for Inexpensive U.S. Travel : Publications offer tips on lodging and group tour rates for biking and cycling.

March 22, 1992|LUCY IZON

Looking for ways to stretch your budget while traveling in the United States this summer? To help you start planning, advice and information on how to find thousands of rooms for less than $30 per night is available in publications researched by the Council on International Education.

And for those who would like to join a small group for an adventure, opportunities for economical cycling and hiking tours for next summer are being organized by American Youth Hostels.

"Frommer's Budget Travel Guide--Where to Stay U.S.A." covers details on low-cost transportation and includes a state-by-state accommodation listing of more than 1,700 guest houses, hostels, YMCAs, student residences, bed and breakfasts, campsites and hotels and motels, all of which can provide accommodation for less than $30 per night.

The book is published by Prentice Hall Press. It's available through retail bookstores for $13.95, or it can be ordered by mail from CIEE, Publications Dept., 205 East 42nd St., New York 10017. Add $1.50 for book-rate postage, or $3 for first-class service.

Hikers and bikers who would like to travel with a small group and guide, but want to keep their costs low, are offered a variety of programs each summer by American Youth Hostels.

Hiking and biking tours are available for all skill levels. There are separate departure dates for different age groups: "youth" tours for those 15 to 18; "young adult" for ages 17-25; "open age" for anyone over 15, and "adult" trips for anyone over 18. Some trips are scheduled for travelers 50 and older.

Accommodations are provided in dormitory-style lodgings with separate quarters for men and women. Blankets are provided but you must bring your own linens or a sheet sleeping sack. On the tours that have several nights' camping scheduled, tents and cooking equipment are provided. On cycling trips, participants must supply their own touring bicycle, repair kit, helmet and saddlebags. Group-prepared meals are included in tour fees.

Cycling tours in the United States and Canada range from a 12-day adventure in the California Sierra for $325 to a 28-day trip from Washington, D.C., to Boston for $1,050.

For example, a 23-day Bay of Fundy tour, beginning and ending in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and using hostels and campsites, costs $800. There will be a youth departure on June 27, and an adult trip starting July 25.

A 12-day Cape Cod tour begins and ends in Boston and costs $700. Youth departures are scheduled for June 26, July 10 and 31, and Aug. 7. Open age departure is scheduled July 17, and an adult trip is set for July 25.

Cycling tours are also available in the following regions: the Finger Lakes, Seattle and the San Juan Islands; Seattle to San Francisco; San Francisco to San Diego; San Diego to Lake Tahoe and return, and French Canada.

The AYH hiking tours all use a base camp with a series of different day hikes. That means participants don't have to worry about carrying all their heavy gear. When base locations are changed, a van is used. For example, a 15-day hostel tour from Edmonton to explore the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Jasper and Yoho national parks and ending in Calgary, costs $900. There is an adult departure July 19, and a 50-plus departure Aug. 9.

A 15-day hostel/camping tour of the American Rockies, including Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, costs $950. There is an adult departure Aug. 1, and 50-plus departure July 11.

Other hiking trips include: 9 days in New Mexico for $600; 16 days in Southwest parks, from Las Vegas, for $875; 21 days in Alaska, from Anchorage, for $1,350; Arizona Indian Trails, from Phoenix, for 14 days for $725, and 15 days in Oregon for $850.

For a free copy of the 24-page 1992 Discovery Tours catalogue, which lists AYH's 30 hiking and cycling programs in North America and Europe, contact American Youth Hostels, 1434 Second St., Santa Monica 90401, (310) 393-3413.

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