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ave railcard, will travel cheaply. But how?

Graham Caldwell advises young globetrotters.

Students in particular and young people in general have traditionally been great travellers. so it comes as no great surprise that there are literally dozens ofcompanies queuing up to offer them cheap holidays. In fact. ploughing through the brochures and leaflets in search ofa cheap fortnight in Athens in August can be downright confusing. The recommended thing to do is to go to a centre which caters specifically for students and young people. explain where you want to go and when. and they will work their way through the mass of literature and find you tickets. routes and times. at the cheapest possible prices.

Although there are a variety of companies servicing this market. there is not one body representing them all. It is something Lesley McCallum. manageress of Edinburgh Travel centre. regrets: ‘We‘d have a lot more buying power ifwe were all together.‘ And it is true to say that a coherent stance might have won for the student travel services the battle to prevent the National bus services from introducing a paid-for student card. rather than a universal card.

Although these centres cater largely for students. they are also open to young people with the age limit generally speaking being under 26. although this is not always the case. many companies will exploit any possible legitimate loophole to extend eligibility. and some packages are available to anyone in certain age brackets.

0 Glasgow Student Travel: The Hub. Glasgow University. Glasgow 357 0608 and Strathclyde Students’ Association. John Street. Glasgow 552 2867. Glasgow University office open 9am—4.30pm Mon—Fri: Strathclyde branch 9.30am—4.30pm. Tues—Fri ( 10.30am opening Monday).

Both are members of the same parent company USIT (Union of Students in Ireland Travel). who run a comprehensive service for both students and young people in general. As memebers ofa large and expanding company. they are able to offer low cost fares virtually everywhere by air. road. rail and sea. Both the ISIC (£3.50 International Student Identity Card) and YIEE (£3) cards can be bought here both ofwhich can be essential for cheap travel. depending on your status.

This year. USIT have a number of

special offers such as returns to

Athens from £99 and the special French Connection. which this year otters flights directly to Parts from

Scotland at £89 return and £35 single. An added extra on the flight

50% offjourneys on French railways and a free couchette fora total of

. £95. [fyou can fly from Gatwick. the

price comes down to as low as £47


USIT are also operators ofthe new Eurotrain service which offers discount rail travel in Europe for under 26‘s. Goingto 2.000 destinations in 23 countries. prices

are currently slightly lower then

'I'ransalpino‘s and tickets bought before the end ofJune will not be subject to Summer increases

(8—10“? ) and can be used up until August. Eurotrain also operate reduced price Ferry services for those students/young people wishing

to take a car overseas.

Both travel shops will organise and

1 price tickets to any destination on

any date which can vary greatly

= depending on when you want to leave and even if you are willing to

travel overnight. Manageressofthe

~ Glasgow University branch. Janette

MacLeod. stresses that it is not just

students who can benefit from low

fares and says that anyone wanting to

go abroad should drop in. just to see

if there are any special offers which

apply to them there frequently are.

Best deals at the moment Paris by air from £47. 'I'railways and Greyhound. which allow unlimited bus journies in the States for'$10 a day.

0 Edinburgh Travel Centre: Student (‘entre House. 7 Bristo Square. Edinburgh. 668 2221. (Also offices at 92 South Clerk Street. 667 9488. 196 Rose Street. 226 2019 and for university staff. at the EUSA offices, Bristo Square. 668 2161). Open 9am—5.30pm. Mon—Fri. 10am—lpm. Sat.

A rapidly expanding service that has been going it almost alone since the falling out with the National Association of Student Travel Offices. The Edinburgh Travel Centre is independently owned by the Student Union and has resisted bids from the big student travel companies to be bought out. Now they have formed an association of

student travel offices of their own. Northern Services. which includes

Aberdeen. St Andrews. Dundee and Trinity College. Dublin. They are also hoping to bring in Newcastle and Durham Universities. Already

. they have had one notable success

with the reinstatement ofstudent reductions on Excursion Return

fares to Belfast and Dublin on Logan


As independents. the Edinburgh 'I‘ravel Centre can offer all the different student packages. and

I often find themselves working it out to the last 50p with cost conscious

students. They also have an ABTA

able to sell normal package deal holidays. although more often than not. these brochures act as a context for student price-busting.

The only disadvantages are that the

Student Centre House. in particular. is very busy and by the nature of the bookings. putting packages together to get the best deals individual bookings can take time. Other ETC offices may be quieter.

Best deals at the moment Paris (either from London or Scotland). Athens (from £65 single). New York (from £1 15 one way).

0 Transalpino: 150 West George Street. Glasgow 333 9177 and 14 North Bridge. Edinburgh. 557 3140 (A new branch opens at 180 Byres Road. Glasgow in early July. 334 0800).

Transalpino was formed in 1952 in Brussels and has become the

: best-known way for young people to

visit the continent cheaply. While their main business is still concerned with European rail travel. they also provide accommodation and budget flights.

Manageress of the Glasgow branch, Ann Kristen. says that

: Transalpino differ from other travel

agents in that they do the bulk of their business during the summer months. when others are quiet.Last year they were so busy during the peak period that there was a

minimum of an hours wait. This delay may be shortened when both

Glasgow shops are open. but she recommends that ifyou don't want to queue for tickets etc. you come as early as possible in the morning (Opening hours are 9am—5.30pm,

Mon—Fri. but the Byres Road branch

is planned to open 10am—1pm on Saturdays also. In Edinburgh. the shop is open from 9am—5.30pm Mon—Sat). Transalpino tickets can also be purchased from other travel agents. such as A.T. Mays. but if you’re looking for a whole package of information. it makes more sense to go to Transalpino office.

Apart from-the most popular continental rail tickets, Transalpino can provide services such as a one-way flight and train ticket back. cheap car ferry travel and bus tickets to London. Being a continental company they also have offices in major European cities which can be a help if something goes drastically wrong while you are away. Transalpino do not sell the ISIC card but do sell the IYEE.

Best deals at the moment Amsterdam £17 one-way from London. Capital Connection


from £50. 10. For those travelling across Holland. a special detour to Amsterdam can be arranged for only 90p—£1 .50!


Inter-Rail cards can be the ultimate way to see Europe on the cheap, costing £1 19 they allow unlimited

j month as well as up to 50% off rail

j tickets within the UK and reductions on popular shipping services. You must be under 26 to buy the card (even if your birthday occurs during the month) and it can be purchased at all the travel centres mentioned on this page as well as larger railway stations.

It should be noted that Inter-Rail amy not be the cheapest way to see Europe if you are ot planning to visit as many places as possible or have less than a month to spend. Both Transalpino and Eurotrain will offer advice on cheap rail tickets to Europe which allow stopping off in many different cities. This can save up to £30 on an Inter-Rail ticket.

' _ i CARDS

For travellers overseas. one or two cards can be either vital or merely handy. The ISIC (International Student Identity Card) is the recognised student card world-wide. Possession of it is a pre-requisite for some journeys and on the continent it can be used for everything from cheap meals and beds to free admission to museums etc. It can be bought from student travel centres for £3.50. all that‘s required is a passport sized photograph and proof ofstudent status. Also handy/necessary is the YIEE (Youth International Educational Exchange). also called the FIYTO (Federation of Youth Travel Organistaions) which is available at travel centres for £3 alomng with photograph and proofof age.


For anyone going abroad insurance is a must. Medical bills can be ruinous and lost bags. passports, money etc. can be heartbreaking. All student travel centres will be able to provide insurance. Transalpino’s starts at £8.40 for 5 days. Eurotrain will cover you for up to 2 months for £11 and Campus (USIT) insurance starts at £5.50 for 10 days.

Both Transalpino and Eurotrain offer a 2 month limit on train tickets, but if you have longer to spend and enough money. 4 months travel can be had by the simple expedient of buying 2 single tickets; buy a ticket I‘fld go. then 2 months before you plan to return buy another single back.

Most student fares are from London and add-on fares from Glasgow and Edinburgh can be pricey. See last issue of The List for

to Paris is a Carte Jeune which allows license. which means they are also travel through 21 countries for] details ofcheap fares to London.

38 The List 27 June ~ 10 July