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In Off-Beat Switzerland

<i> Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes. </i>

Young travelers on budget visits to Switzerland can refer to “Discover Switzerland,” a 120-page booklet offering tips on low-cost lodgings and off-beat things to see and do.

The booklet has been produced by the Swiss Youth Hostel Assn. Each page has a map locating one of the country’s 90 youth hostels, giving hostel facilities, a history of the area and a listing of activities.

The $3 booklet, unavailable in the United States, can be ordered from the Swiss National Tourist Office, P.O. Box 215, Commerce Court West, Toronto, Canada M5L 1E8.

In Switzerland, copies are available at the Swiss Youth Hostel Federation. In Zurich there’s an office at Mutschellenstrasse 116, in Bern at Engestrasse 9, and in Basel at St. Alban-Rheinweg 170.

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At some excavations in Israel people 18 to 60 can volunteer to work on a dig. The main season is May to September, but some excavations continue all year.

Accommodations are from on-site camping to three-star hotels near the site.

For most digs the minimum stay is two weeks. Work varies from digging, shoveling and hauling baskets of earth to cleaning and sorting pottery.

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For more information, contact the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums, Ministry of Education and Culture, Jerusalem, Israel 91911.

If you want a taste of archeology but you’re not ready to commit yourself to at least two weeks, consider a “Dig for a Day” program.

The one-day programs start with seminars on the history and development of the site, are followed by three to four hours of excavation work and wind up with a tour of the area.

For information on “Dig for a Day,” contact Archeological Seminars, P.O. Box 14002, Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem, Israel 91140.

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A new accommodations facility for young travelers has opened in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The Toruma Youth Hostel is in a large house that dates from 1900 at Avenida Central 31-33.

The hostel is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Guest facilities include a restaurant and laundry.

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You don’t have to have an international youth hostel membership to use the hostel, but members get a 25% discount.

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Lonely Planet, one of the leading publishers of guidebooks for independent, budget-wise and adventurous travelers, has just produced a guidebook for hiking in Australia.

“Bushwalking in Australia” ($8.95) covers the best 23 walks of from two to 10 days.

Lonely Planet publishes more than 50 travel guides, revising them every two years.

New and revised editions recently available include “China--A Travel Survival Kit” (824 pages, $17.95); “Micronesia--A Travel Survival Kit” (224 pages, $8.95); “New Zealand--A Travel Survival Kit” (352 pages, $8.95), and “Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei--A Travel Survival Kit” (352 pages, $8.95).

Lonely Planet books are available in retail bookstores. For more information, call Lonely Planet Publications at (415) 983-8555.


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