Traveling independently isn't for everyone. Sometimes traveling in a group with guaranteed accommodations and the services of a guide is ideal if you need to cover a lot of ground in a limited time or get around a geographically challenging area.
Contiki Travel, the world's largest tour operator for 18- to-35-year-old travelers offers a solution. Advantages with this company include traveling with others in your age group from English-speaking countries around the world and not having to worry about paying single supplements; if you're on your own, they will arrange a roommate.
Contiki offers affordable, escorted tours to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.S. and Canada. This year they have extended their Hawaii program and added tours to Turkey.
The eight-day Hawaiian Discovery tours that were introduced last year were so successful that they will now be available year-round.
The programs begin in Waikiki on the island of Oahu, then three days are spent on the lush island of Maui before the group moves on to the volcanoes and black sand beaches of the Big Island. The $765 tour price includes the services of a guide, all inter-island transportation, breakfasts, three dinners and hotel accommodation in twin-share rooms.
The new 13-day summer Turkish Delight program will operate until Sept. 9. It circles out from Istanbul and includes stops at the ancient city of Ephesus, the underground city of Kaymakli and at Ankara, the country's capital. The cost is from $815 for twin-share lodgings.
For more information contact a travel agent, or Contiki at (800) 466-0610.
An excellent new guide, written for Americans and offering extensive information on short-term work adventures, is the 1996 "Back Door Guidebook" by Michael Landes (Back Door Experience, $30). It's expensive, but could be well worth the cost in the many hours of research it would save.
It lists more than 1,000 organizations that offer opportunities ranging from internships and seasonal work to volunteer programs and adventure careers.
The majority of the opportunities are in the United States, and many involve outdoor and recreational programs, such as work with the National Parks Service, wildlife management, outdoor teaching and education, and opportunities at living history sites.
The book also includes a chapter on overseas opportunities, ranging from volunteer work camps and internships to arranging a work stay on a Norwegian farm.
Not only does the book offer extensive information and practical advice, it's also encouraging, inspirational and energizing. It will give you the incentive and insight to seek out a world of fascinating opportunities.
Copies of the 286-page, spiral-bound 1996 "Back Door Guidebook" can be ordered by calling the author at (800) 552-7284.
If you want to work abroad this summer or next, you can find out about jobs and what they pay through two directories published by Vacation Work, a British company.
The "Directory of Summer Jobs Abroad" (Overseas, $14.95) offers details on opportunities for paid and volunteer employment in more than 50 countries.
Jobs range from fruit pickers and English teachers to farm help and bar staff. The listings include details on jobs, periods of work, wages and contacts. The "Directory of Summer Jobs in Britain," ($15.95) provides contacts for more than 30,000 paid and volunteer vacancies in that country.
Keep in mind that these books are researched and written for British travelers. They are available through retail bookstores and through the distributor, Peterson's, telephone (800) 338-3282.