When it comes to budget traveling, there's one option you may not have thought about since you were a student taking that first fun filled ramble abroad. Youth hostels. The name alone gives these low cost lodgings a certain image. But these days, as Kitty Felde explains, hostels, like many of us aren't all that young anymore.
Internet Hostel Resources:
Los Angeles Council - Hostelling International e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hostelling International, American Youth Hostels: http://www.iyhf.org
"Hostels in..." (info about hostels around the world) http://www.ozemail.com.au/~noeljc/hostel.htm
The Internet Guide to Hostelling: http://www.hostels.com
Q&A I -- Travel That Changed Your Life
Rudy talks with callers about travel that changed their lives.
Along with stock markets, currencies in Asia have plummeted over the last couple of months. At the head of the list is the Thai baht -- one US dollar used to fetch 25 baht -- today you'll get 40. Joe Brancatelli has been watching the freefall of Asian currency. He's business travel columnist for the online service http://www.thetrip.com and former editor of Frequent Flyer Magazine. I asked him what countries along with Thailand have become overnight bargains for travelers using US dollars.
Getting a first look at a new destination is often a thrilling experience -- and among the most eye popping vistas to glimpse for the first time or anytime is the skyline of Manhattan -- the ultimate urban silhouette. Now, as Karen Michel tells us, New York has a museum dedicated entirely to a celebration of its most famous symbol.
To learn more about the Skyscraper Museum, call 212-968-1961.
Deal of the Week
If you like cruise ships, get ready for bargains. That's because 18 new mega-ships are entering service in the next year. Now, there are people who stand in line to be the first to sail the newest ships. But, Mr. & Mrs. America, there are plenty of other ships at sea.
Check out this deal. The ship is Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas. This winter, it's doing 21-day voyages from San Juan, Puerto Rico. It visits -- among other places -- the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic, and then transits the Panama Canal to Costa Rica and Acapulco. Then back again to San Juan.
The price in the cruise line's brochure is nearly sixty-five hundred dollars per person. But call a cruise line wholesaler named, conveniently enough -- The Cruise Line, and you'll pick this up for an astounding $1,500 per person including port charges and taxes. That's about $71 per person, per day -- a savings of $10,000 per cabin! The wholesaler, The Cruise Line, has its own 800 number.
Thank the cruise lines who can' t stop building big, new ships. Twenty-one days on the Legend of the Seas at $1,500 per person -- that's my deal of the week.
The festival in India that takes place every 12 years is:
Shrawanagobelah is a Jain religious gathering that takes place every 12 years in Mysore, India. The festival, which occurs in March or April, culminates in Jain monks climbing a scaffolding surrounding a 10th century statue of Digambara saint, Gomattesvara who is an impressive 60 feet tall. Doing the math, we've concluded that the next Shrawanagobelah will take place in the spring of the year 2003.
Rental Home in Taormina, Italy:
The Tourist Board of the Italy in New York 212-245-4822 recommends three home rental agencies:
Home Tours 800-367-4668
JR Marketing 800-700-5762
Parker Company 800-280 2811, publishes a guide with glossy pictures of more than 3,000 properties.
Home Exchange Organizations:
International Home Exchange Network: 407-862-7211
The Invented City: 800-321-6388 (www.invented-city.com)
Worldwide Home Exchange Club: 202-588-5057
An on the scene report from the season's first big blizzard and how it became an adventure, for Judie Fein.
Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
We take a rafting journey through the heart of the Grand Canyon.
"When you're down here on the river, it's more than just kinda sightseeing. The place has a real spirit about it. I've seen people who've come down here, their lives are changed by the river in some way."
A journey of both scenic beauty and self-discovery in the next edition of The Savvy Traveler. We'll hear about the discoveries you made spending holidays away from home and we'll have a conversation with Paul Theroux.
"When you get older you want to use every day. It's not endless summer retired person playing golf. It's also that you begin to see that there are places in the world that are unusually good, unusually vitalizing."
Paul Theroux and Places of the Heart in next week's journey with The Savvy Traveler.
If you want your very own copy of The Savvy Traveler, order an audio cassette. It's easy. Just call 303-823-8000. The price is $15. As Rudy says, it's a steal.