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Trips for Campers Willing to Cook : Young adults share chores to keep costs down on American van trips.

August 23, 1992|LUCY IZON

TrekAmerica is a 22-year-old tour company that caters to travelers between the ages of 18 and 38. This fall and winter, the company will operate 13 North American camping trips, including an 11-day "Florida Sun Tour," a three-week coast-to-coast tour and four programs in Mexico.

With this type of tour, solo travelers don't have to worry about paying single-supplement charges; the company will fix them up with a roommate. On camping nights, two people share a four-person tent. In major cities, participants stay at tourist-class hotels for an extra $25 per night.

Tour members contribute $30 per week to a food kitty, and help with the cooking and cleaning. The trip fee includes all camping equipment except sleeping bags. The group travels in a 13-passenger van, and because the trips are marketed abroad, there could be participants from as many as eight countries traveling together.

A sampling of tours:

* A 14-day "Yucatan Adventure" allows travelers to investigate the Mayan culture and enjoy time on Caribbean beaches. The program costs $595 and departs Merida, Mexico, Nov. 22, Jan. 3 and 20 and Feb. 7 and 28.

* The 21-day "El Norte" tour covers the route between Los Angeles and Mexico City. Stops include Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan. The price is $850. There are departures from Mexico City Dec. 13, Jan. 7 and March 25, and from Los Angeles Nov. 22 and Feb. 7 and 21.

For more information, contact a travel agent or TrekAmerica at (800) 221-0596.

Last month, the city of Stuttgart, Germany, opened temporary accommodations for travelers 16-27. The International Stuttgart Camp is a large wooden structure that can accommodate up to 200 travelers. Beds are floor mats, which cost about $5 per night, for up to three nights. The camp, operated by a five-member staff, has showers, kitchen facilities and a cafeteria. It's open from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. until Sept. 6. You can reach it by taking subway U-6 or street car No. 16 to the Feuerbach area of the city.

Also last month, a new youth hostel opened in Lagos on the southern coast of Portugal. The Portuguese National Tourist Office (590 Fifth Ave., 4th Floor, New York 10036, 212-354- 4403) advises that the new Lagos Youth Hostel can accommodate up to 62 travelers in four- to five-bed rooms. It also has a kitchen, bar and breakfast service. Reservations can be made by contacting Associacao Portuguesa de Pousadas de Juventude, Rua Andrade Corvo, 46, 1000 Lisbon, Portugal, telephone 011-351-157-1014.cq

Instead of just reading about the rain forests of Costa Rica, the pyramids of Egypt or inhabitants of Pitcairn Island, 65 North American high school students will be able to walk right out of a classroom and into those exotic environments. But it won't come cheap.

West Island College, which has campuses in Montreal and Calgary, is offering five-month and full-year programs to high school (grades 11 or 12) or junior college students on Canada's newest tall ship--the three-masted, 185-foot S/Y Concordia.

The compulsory curriculum includes anthropology, marine biology, physical education, career and life management, international politics and global issues. Each student participates in the navigation and maintenance of the ship.

The five-month program costs $12,500; the full-year, $18,500. Financial aid is available. For more details, contact Class Afloat, 450-1 Holiday St., Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada H9R 5N3, telephone (514) 697-3900, fax (514) 695-0951.

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