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SPECIAL DIRECTORY ISSUE / SOURCEBOOK

National Travel Newsletters

April 18, 1999|CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS | TIMES TRAVEL WRITER

If you're a traveler with urgent information needs--whether it's updates on frequent-flier programs or road conditions in Baja California--a travel newsletter might hold the answers.

Here's a sampling of newsletters that have been around at least five years. Circulation figures were supplied by the editors. (A list of travel newsletters that focus on destinations will appear in the April 25 Travel Insider column.)

Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, P.O. Box 300, Whitefish, MT 59937; telephone (406) 862-3480, Internet http://www.hideawayreport.com. Turning 20 years old in May, this publication covers domestic and far-flung retreats with hefty price tags, and doesn't hesitate to slam those that don't meet its standards. Monthly. Typical issue: eight pages. Circulation: 25,000. One-year subscription: $135.

Best Fares.com, P.O. Box 171212, Arlington, TX 76003; tel. (800) 880-1234 or (817) 860-5761, Internet http://www.bestfares.com. Editor Tom Parsons analyzes special offers and money-saving options in air travel and elsewhere. About 17 years old, the publication also recommends Internet sites (as well as updating its own site daily). Monthly. Typical issue: 96 pages. Circulation: about 110,000. One-year subscription: $49.95.

Consumer Reports Travel Letter, P.O. Box 53629, Boulder, CO 80322-3629; tel. (800) 234-1970. Rigorously researched and value-conscious, this newsletter freely criticizes major industry players on behalf of consumers. The traveler who spends $75 per night on hotels gets much more attention than the one who drops $200. Monthly. Typical issue: 24 pages. Circulation: 170,000. One-year subscription: $39; two years, $59.

The Educated Traveler, P.O. Box 220822, Chantilly, VA 20153; tel. (800) 648-5168 or (703) 471-1063, Internet http://www.educated-traveler.com. Editor Ann Waigand focuses on trips with academic or cultural themes and publishes six issues yearly. Circulation is about 2,000. One-year subscription: $48.

Entree, P.O. Box 5148, Santa Barbara, CA 93150; tel. (805) 969-5848, fax (805) 966-7095, Internet http://www.entreenews.com. Since 1981, editor William Tomicki has run his ultra-opinionated appraisals of high-end hotels and restaurants worldwide. Monthly. Typical issue: eight pages. Circulation: about 7,500. One-year subscription: $59.

InsideFlyer, 4715-C Town Center Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80916-4709; tel. (800) 767-8896 or (719) 597-8889, Internet http:// www.webflyer.com. For fanatically frequent fliers. Publisher Randy Petersen explains frequent-traveler offerings of airlines, hotels and rental car companies. No coverage of destinations. Monthly. Typical issue: 50 pages. Circulation: 79,000. One-year subscription: $36; 2 years, $59.

The Mature Traveler, P.O. Box 50400, Reno, NV 89513; tel. (800) 460-6676. Publishers Gene and Adele Malott have been putting out this publication since 1987, aiming for "49ers-plus," in the language of the newsletter. Monthly. Typical issue: 12 to 16 pages. Circulation: about 2,000. One-year subscription: $29.95.

Out & About, P.O. Box 1792, New York, NY 10114-0831; tel. (800) 929-2268, Internet http:// www.outandabout.com. For gay and lesbian travelers. Since 1992, publisher David Alport and editor Billy Kolber have been putting out a publication rich in detail and tinged with advocacy. Ten issues yearly, plus four quarterly calendars with tour, cruise and event information. Typical issue: 16 pages. Circulation: 10,000. One-year subscription: $49; two years, $89.

Passport, 401 N. Franklin St., 3rd floor, Chicago, IL 60610; tel. (800) 542-6670. Founded in 1965, this newsletter concentrates on upscale destinations, domestic and foreign, with appraisals of hotels, restaurants and shopping. Takes no ads or freebies. Monthly. Typical issue: 20 to 24 pages. Circulation: not revealed. One-year subscription: $89.

Personal Travel Report, P.O. Box 1922, Saginaw, MI 48605; tel. (800) 333-4130 or (517) 793-0123. Publisher David W. Oppermann alerts readers to air-fare and tour values, reports security issues abroad and lists favorite hotels and restaurants in a regular "city briefing" feature. Monthly. Typical issue: six pages. Circulation: "low four figures." One-year subscription: $39.

The Shoestring Traveler, P.O. Box 1349, Lake Worth, FL 33460-1349; tel. (561) 582-8320; Internet http://www.courier.org. In its 10th year, this newsletter aims for frugal travelers, with special focus on courier travel. (The same publisher has a separate newsletter, Air Courier Bulletin, that gives names, prices and phone numbers for courier travel.) The Shoestring Traveler (32 pages) and Air Courier Bulletin (64 smaller pages) are each published six times a year. Shoestring Traveler circulation: about 9,500. One-year subscription: $29. Or for $45 you can become a member of the International Assn. of Air Travel Couriers and get both publications along with access to late-breaking courier-bargain bulletins on the Internet and via fax.

Travel Companions, Box 833, Amityville, NY 11701-0833; tel. (800) 392-1256 or (516) 454-0880. Publisher Jens Jurgen has produced this letter for single travelers since 1982. There's lots of advice on value and safety, and in back, solo travelers shop for like-minded companions. Most singles list their first names, age, height, weight and interests. Six issues a year. Typically an issue is 22 to 24 pages of editorial content, about 40 more of travelers' ads. Circulation: about 5,000. One-year subscription: $48 (which includes three back issues); a membership with up to six personal ads costs $159.

Travel Smart, 40 Beechdale Road, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522; tel. (800) 327-3633 or (914) 693-8300. Founded in 1976 by editor Herb Teison, Travel Smart aims for travelers who are beyond backpacking, balancing bargain-hunting tips with destination info. Monthly. Typical issue: 12 pages. Circulation: about 25,000. One-year subscription: $39, or $37 for new subscribers.

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