Save at Any Age on Canadian Rail

Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

Travelers who are International Youth Hostel Federation members can buy tickets on Canada's VIA Rail service at special student rates.

The Canrailpasses are sold in Canadian dollars, so depending on the exchange rate when purchases are made, the Canadian dollars may cost about 80 cents.

A 15-day adult Canrailpass costs $299; the student rate for the same ticket is $239. Up to 15 days can be added to the pass at $5 a day.

Eight-day versions for specific areas also are available. The student rate for an eight-day Canrailpass for the Maritime Provinces is $69, including VIA Rail service in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the VIA bus service that crosses by ferry to Prince Edward Island.

For travel in eastern Canada (Ontario and east), the student rate is $159. For western Canada (Winnipeg and west), it's $169. Up to seven days can be added to any of these tickets for $5 a day.

The Canrailpasses are available through VIA Rail offices and travel agents.

For travelers who shy away from the dormitory-type youth hostels, an alternative is a college or a university residence, often available to the public during school holidays.

Information on which colleges and universities offer lodging, and costs, is contained in the publication, "U.S. and Worldwide Travel Accommodations Guide."

The 1989 edition includes 650 sites in the United States, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, with lodgings at an average rate of $12 to $24 U.S. per person a night.

Some of these institutions welcome children. Most offer lodging in twin-bed rooms, some offer single rooms and a few provide apartments with kitchens.

One drawback may be a restroom down the hall. When making inquiries, check to see if linens are included in the room rate. You may have to furnish towels.

This year's listings include more than 35 universities and colleges in England and 350 in the United States. Each listing includes room rates, dates available, activities in the area and an address and telephone number.

Budget Travel

The booklet also includes budget travel information and advice, such as contact addresses for home exchanges, bed and breakfast networks and tourist information offices.

Copies of the "U.S. and Worldwide Travel Accommodations Guide" can be obtained for $11.95 from Campus Travel Service, P.O. Box 5007, Laguna Beach 92652. Add $1.05 for first-class postage.

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In 1979 the Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, France, drafted a treaty on au pair placements. An au pair placement, they decided, consisted of a temporary family stay during which young foreigners could perfect their knowledge of the language and culture of the host country.

They agreed that participants should be between 18 and 27 and that they should be expected to work up to five hours a day, excluding meal times.

If you are considering working for a foreign family, the guidelines can offer some knowledge of the type of arrangements you can expect.

The guidelines, and a variety of other helpful hints including contact addresses, are covered in a new reference guide, "The Au Pair and Nanny's Guide to Working Abroad," by Susan Griffith and Sharon Legg. It's distributed by Writer's Digest Books ($10.95).

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