Our theme today (International Travel '86) spotlights...

Times Travel Editor

Our theme today (International Travel '86) spotlights travel trends around the world and provides our readers with information varying from charters and airport taxes to duty-free shopping and the latest cruise news. Bill Hughes describes in detail trends for the mature traveler while Lucy Izon concentrates on the youth beat. Dr. Karl Neumann has prepared an update on staying healthy overseas while Burt Irwin takes us motoring through Japan and Marita Adair Hidalgo delivers the reader to an unusual destination in Mexico. International Travel '86 provides listings of foreign government tourist offices and health centers as well as other useful information for planning your next vacation.

Passports

Apply for passports at local county courts and post offices. The U.S. Passport Agency, 11000 Wilshire Blvd., West Los Angeles, is open Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fee for a new passport (valid for 10 years) is $42. Renewals cost $35 and children under 18 pay $27 for a five-year passport. Take evidence of citizenship (a birth certificate, naturalization certificate) as well as other identification (a driver's license will do) and two photographs (color or black and white) no larger than two inches square. For recorded information telephone (213) 209-7070. To speak with a representative of the agency, dial (213) 209-7075. Mrs. Sakae M. Hawley, director, urges travelers to apply early to avoid crowds.

Rail Passes

Here's what you'll be paying for Eurailpasses this year if Europe is on your itinerary: $260 for 15 days, $330 for 21 days, $410 for a month, $560 for two months, $680 for three months. These are all first-class passes. Or in the case of three persons traveling together, Saverpasses sell for $199 each. The Eurail Youth Pass (second-class travel) figures out to $290 a month, $370 for two months. Your travel agent has details. (At the same time ask about BritRail and other passes.) Other information from the French National Railroads, 9465 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 713, Beverly Hills 90212, or telephone (213) 272-7967.

Rent a Camera

Here's an opportunity to rent a camera, produce your own vacation movie. Contact Video Travel Concepts, 6949B La Tijera Blvd., Los Angeles 90045, or telephone (213) 216-1210. Company supplies lightweight (five-pound) compact cameras with automatic features. Capture vacation experiences with sound on video cassettes. Cameras reserved through travel agents or by contacting Video Travel Concepts.

Travel Aids

Wahlstrom Travel Aids has produced a new five-page booklet. Describes hair dryers, safety straps for your luggage, money belts, voltage converters and adapter plugs, immersion heaters (for that morning cup of coffee), collapsible cups, inflatable clothes hangers, garment bags, travel irons and other odds and ends. For a free copy, send a stamped self-addressed envelope to Wahlstrom Travel Aids, 21225 Nashville St., Northridge 91311. (Note: This is a mail-order house.)

Meanwhile, another catalogue listing travel aids is free by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the Traveling Tote Bag, 24310-M Moulton Parkway, Laguna Hills 92653. These people stock books, maps, travel safes, money converters, portable dead bolts, converters/adapters, battery-operated smoke alarms, inflatable pillows, water purifiers, folding canes, etc. Dozens of useful travel items. Details by calling (714) 855-1171.

French Chateaux

Visiting French chateaux is nothing new, staying in one is. A couple of hours south of Paris by car, on La Route Jacques Coeur, are several that take guests. These chateaux are lived in by their owners. Dine with them. Snooze in bedrooms furnished with priceless French antiques. Stay for a day, a week. Or the entire summer. (Of the dozen-plus chateaux that can be visited, those welcoming overnight guests include La Verrerie, Thaumiers, La Commanderie and Boussac.) Fishing, riding, biking, tennis. Prices and other details from the French Government Tourist Office, 9401 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills 90212, or Beraud de Vogue, 3425 West Monte-Vista Ave., Visalia, Calif. 93277.

Rail/Cruise Vacation

Passengers booking cruises in the Mediterranean this summer with Sea Goddess Cruises will be given a 30-day first-class Eurailpass. Good for unlimited travel by train throughout Europe as well as trips on lake steamers and ferries. See your travel agent or contact Sea Goddess Cruises Ltd., 5805 Blue Lagoon Drive, Miami, Fla. 33126.

Free Auto Itineraries

Reserve a rental car for your trip to Europe and Avis will map you out a free travel itinerary--specially tailored to your desires. Program covers Britain, Ireland, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy. More than 50,000 tourist attractions to choose from, routes covering 10,000 miles. Select a lodge in Britain, a farmhouse in Ireland. A bound copy of your personalized itinerary will be mailed to your home. Call Avis toll-free (800) 331-2112. Package is called "Personally Yours."

Reader Recommendations

England--Norah and Arthur Smith, Los Angeles: "A little bit of heaven in glorious Devon--the Sampford House, 57-59 King St., Brixham, South Devon, England. Delightful hosts (mother and son). Rates, 8 per night. Optional evening meal. Food is excellent."

England--Virginia Wofford, San Diego: "Spent an incredible week walking through Thomas Hardy's Dorset in Wessex, England. Treated to lots of English history as well as beautiful countryside. Five general walks are scheduled weekly May through September. The cost is about 460 which includes six nights of lodging, all meals and many other special items. Contact Mary McCarty, Wayfarers, 307 East 91st St., Apartment 4R, New York 10128, or Michael West, 22 Multravers St., Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9BU, England."

England--Jeanne Anderson, San Francisco: "Spent a week in West Sussex at Beedings Castle, Nutbourne Lane, Pulborough, West Sussex, England. For just 100 a night two couples can enjoy two large and beautifully furnished bedrooms, two modern baths. A lovely garden room. Beautiful view of rolling hills. Beedings Castle is an hour from London, less than an hour to Brighton and the coast. Small villages with thatched-roof cottages. Pubs over 200 years old. Hosts are a retired actress and a retired director. If you are planning a trip to England this summer you should make your contact early."

Ireland--Richard M. Douning, Westchester: "I would like to recommend the following country homes: The Grotto, Fossa, Killarney, County Kerry (8 per night); Lawndale, Beach Court, Lower Salthill, Galway, County Galway (8.50 per night); Ballinode House, Ballinode, Sligo, County Sligo (9 per night)."

Wales--Bob and Bea Roppe, San Diego: "In North Wales, enjoyed Anne Kynaston's Erw Gerrig (a B&B;) in a 16th-Century farmhouse a short drive from Chirk Castle near Llangollen. A treat for those interested in gourmet Welsh cooking in a quiet rural setting. Game pie, stuffed trout, an endless array of delicious desserts. Private trout fishing, riverside walks, waterfalls, pony trekking. Paid approximately 19 last year. Contact Anne Kynaston, Glyn Ceiriog, Clwyd, Wales LI20 7DX."

Scotland--Carol Bushman, Buena Park: Enjoyed The Brick House, Dunkeld Road, Perthshire PH2 6EB, Scotland. Operated by Pat Brassey. "I heartily recommend a night in her abode. She's knowledgeable about people, places, can relate some delightful anecdotes about the Royal Family. Rates: 18 per person per night (reduced to 15 if more than two persons). Dinner, 10 per head."

Hawaii--Cynthia Grosh, Riverside: "Found reasonable oceanfront condos on Maui with the greatest ocean view. Rates are a bargain starting at $60 per day for one bedroom plus kitchen, washer/dryer. A two-bedroom is $68 and the penthouse costs $120 per day for four people. Only 21 rentals. Call Irene Makalani at (213) 329-5938 or (213) 516-1253."

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