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The Mature Traveler

New Outlook Means Hotel Deals

March 06, 1994|HANK KOVELL

Mature Outlook, which began in 1988 as a magazine for active people over the age of 50, has expanded into a membership organization offering discounts on hotels, motels, condominiums, car rentals, department stores and restaurants.

Members also receive the magazine, published six times yearly and covering such subjects as travel, fitness and health, food and nutrition and gardening.

A closer look at the deals available to Mature Outlook members:

* Hotel discounts of 50% in any of 2,700 participating hotels in the United States and foreign countries. Among the major chains participating are Ramada, Sheraton, Hyatt, Marriott, Holiday Inn, Howard Johnson, Days Inn and Best Western.

* Discount condominium rentals in the United States and also in Europe, Canada, Central and South America, Africa, the South Pacific, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

* Car rental discounts through Hertz, Avis, Budget, National and Sears rental car companies.

* Discount dining at more than 850 restaurants in Canada, Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and Mexico. (In most cases, participating restaurants offer one free dinner with one paid dinner of equal or greater value. Others are percentage discounts ranging up to 50%.)

In addition, members receive merchandise discount coupons for Sears department stores.

Yearly membership costs $9.95. Applicants must first complete a membership application that describes all of the benefits. To receive an application, call (800) 336-6330.

Meanwhile, Senior Ventures, another company that provides programs for those over 50, has released its 1994 catalogue of educational excursions. Now in its 11th year, Senior Ventures California, Colorado, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Programs vary in length from one to four weeks and include such study options as art, cuisine, computers, river-rafting, fly-fishing, bird-watching, tennis, golf, bridge, Native American culture, Victorian architecture, geology, the environment and international travel. While attending their institution of choice, participants have access to local exploration, sightseeing, side trips, lectures, music performances and other activities, all of which are included in the program fee.

Package prices are moderate and include meals, housing, field trips, classes and activities. Tuition fees vary and are based on the length of the program selected. Transportation to the college is not included in the price. A free videotape that describes Senior Ventures is available at no cost by calling (800) 257-0577.

For the brochure listing all of the available courses, write: Senior Ventures, Dept. MT, Southern Oregon State College, Ashland, Ore. 97520-5050.

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Homestays abroad is a concept that has grown increasingly popular with those who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of mingling and observing the lifestyles of their English-speaking hosts. These selected hosts provide family-style meals and living quarters with private bathroom and kitchen facilities. Hosts will usually be off work during these stays in order to spend time and introduce visiting guests to the daily life and culture of the area.

American-International Homestays usually books two-week trips--visitors may spend one week with two different families in two cities, or five days with three families in three cities.

Homestay destinations have been expanded for 1994 to include Central Europe (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany and Poland) and the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania), as well as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ukraine, Mongolia, Siberia and, more recently, China. Prices to European destinations begin at $1,690 per person, and to China, $2,890 per person.

Packages are available for those who wish to purchase land-only arrangements. Trips also include all internal transportation, plus meals and lodging. A free catalogue lists specific components, prices and dates of all American International-Homestay trips. To obtain a copy, call (800) 876-2048 or send a card to A-I Homestays, P.O. Box 7178, Boulder, Colo. 80306.

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