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Fewer Travelers but Many More Deals

November 11, 2001|LUCY IZON

The downturn in the travel industry after the Sept. 11 attacks has led to more deals, shorter lines at tourist facilities and lots of cheap seats on flights. But by next summer, with financially strapped airlines reducing flights, fewer economy seats may be available, which could lead to higher prices.

"There will be lots of good deals around until Christmas," said Nick Thomas, president of STA Travel, a specialist in student travel. But next summer "I think there will be a capacity squeeze," he said.

So now is the time for students and youths to take advantage of the low prices.

Two good sites to find deals are STA Travel,, and Council Travel, Council Travel offers an e-mail newsletter to inform people who sign up about future deals.

At some California hostels, a Hostelling International coupon will knock 25% off rates in shared rooms through Nov. 30. The coupon is limited to four nights and depends on availability. There's an extra $3 charge for people who are not members of Hostelling International.

Participating is the new 45-bed Monterey Hostel in the renovated, historic Carpenters Hall. It is four blocks from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the shops and restaurants of Cannery Row, and within walking distance of Fisherman's Wharf. To conserve water, the hostel has token-operated showers, ultra-low-flow toilets and metered faucets. It also has kitchen facilities, a storage area, lockers, laundry, parking and Internet services.

Beds in shared rooms are $17 to $19 per night (without the 25% discount) for Hostelling International members; nonmembers pay $3 more. Reservations can be made using a credit card.

From mid-October to mid-February, monarch butterflies are drawn to the peninsula. "They're wonderful," says Pua Porres, manager of Monterey Hostel. "They coat the trees."

A favorite gathering spot for the butterflies is George Washington Park in Pacific Grove, about a 40-minute walk or seven-minute drive from the hostel. The monarch is the only North American butterfly to migrate more than 2,000 miles each year, arriving in Mexico and destinations along the California coast. Pacific Grove is a popular location for viewing them. There's a $1,000 fine for molesting a butterfly in any way.

For more information contact Monterey Hostel, 778 Hawthorne St., Monterey, CA 93940; (831) 649-0375, As in other California hostels, guests are locked out from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there is an 11:30 p.m. curfew.

Other Hostelling International hostels in California offering the discount are:

* City Center-San Francisco, 685 Ellis St., 94109, (415) 474-5721, fax (415) 776-0755,

* San Francisco-Downtown, 312 Mason St., 94102, (415) 788-5604, fax (415) 788-3023,

* L.A.-South Bay, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro 90731-6969, (310) 831-8109, fax (310) 831-4635.

* L.A.-Santa Monica, 1436 2nd St., 90401, (310) 393-9913, fax (310) 393-1769,

* L.A.-Fullerton, 1700 N. Harbor Blvd., 92835, (714) 738-3721, fax (714) 738-0925.

* San Diego-Downtown, 521 Market St., 92101, (619) 525-1531, fax (619) 338-0129.

* Point Montara Lighthouse, 16th St. at California Highway 1 (mailing address: P.O. Box 737), Montara 94037, (650) 728-7177, fax (650) 728-7177.

* Pigeon Point Lighthouse, 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero 94060, (650) 879-0633,

* Point Reyes, off Limantour Road, P.O. Box 247, Point Reyes Station 94956, (415) 663-8811,

* Santa Cruz, 321 Main St. (mailing address: P.O. Box 1241), 95061, (831) 423-8304, fax (831) 429-8541,

* Redwood Hostel, 14480 California Highway 101 at Wilson Creek Road (mailing address: 14480 U.S. Highway 101), Klamath 95548, (707) 482-8265,

* Marin Headlands, Ft. Barry, Building 941, Sausalito 94965, (415) 331-2777, fax (415) 331-6943,

The coupon is available at the American Youth Hostel Internet site, For phone reservations, call (800) 909-4776 or the individual hostel.


Lucy Izon is author of "Izon's Backpacker Journal." Her Web site is

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