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Specialty Travel

By Elise Hartman Ford
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, October 1, 2000; Page E17

For some, a week at the beach just doesn't cut it. Whether it's tracking snow leopards in India or studying James Joyce for two weeks in Dublin, chances are there's a specialty travel company to help you. If you don't find your interest listed here--or if you want to know, generally, what specialty travel possibilities are available--check out the Web sites www.shawguides. com and www.frommers.com, both excellent guides to many kinds of special-interest travel.

ADVENTURE TRAVEL

Organization: America Outdoors (P.O. Box 10847, Knoxville, Tenn. 37939, 865-558- 3595, www.americaoutdoors.org), comprises more than 500 adventure outfitters and operators in 40 states and 60 countries. Its annual free catalogue lists its members and their trips, as does its regularly updated Web site.

Publication: Outside Magazine (800-678- 1131, www.outsidemag.com) has articles on all forms of adventure travel, covering gear, tour operators and destinations.

Web:

* Great Outdoor Recreation Pages (www. gorp.com) offers a list of adventure tour operators and other resources.

* Away.com (www.away.com) has a Trip Finder function that lets you search by activity type, budget and region.

* It's a trip seller, but www.iexplore.com also offers an intriguing guide to outdoor pursuits.

* Fodor's Web site (www.fodorstravel.com) features a sports and adventure travel link.

* Descriptions of 230 outfitters and their trips, plus customer feedback, can be found at www.adventureseek.com, where you can also book your adventure and buy gear.

COOKING VACATIONS

Publications:

* "The Guide to Cooking Schools 2001," published by ShawGuides (P.O. Box 231295, Ansonia Station, New York, N.Y. 10023, 212-799-6464; $22.95, plus $3 shipping), describes more than 630 cooking vacations, 80 culinary tours, 100 wine appreciation courses and other such classes worldwide. The same information is available free on the ShawGuides Web site (see below).

* Gourmet, Bon Appetit and other cooking magazines list cooking schools.

Web: The online version of ShawGuides (www.shawguides.com) lists more than 4,200 travel programs (see Educational Travel, below) available around the world, including regularly updated information about cooking vacations. In-depth information is available about each course. You can search by cuisine, destination or time frame. You can also subscribe to ShawGuides' free online monthly newsletter, Recreational Cooking School Bulletin, featuring upcoming cooking workshops and vacations.

DISABLED TRAVELERS

Organizations:

* The Society for the Advancement of Travel for the Handicapped (347 Fifth Ave., Suite 610, New York, N.Y. 10016, 212-447-7284) provides information on travel destinations, with referrals to tour operators specializing in planning trips for disabled travelers. Annual membership is $45, and includes a subscription to the quarterly magazine, Open World for Disability and Mature Travel.

* Mobility International USA (P.O. Box 10767, Eugene, Ore. 97440, 541-343-1284, www.miusa.org) coordinates international travel exchanges for people with disabilities; annual membership is $35 and includes a semi-annual newsletter.

* Emerging Horizons (P.O. Box 278, Ripon, Calif. 95366, 209-599-9409, www.emerginghorizons.com) is full of helpful accessibility information about specific destinations and lodging worldwide. The data is updated quarterly and you have the choice of an online, e-mail or snail-mail subscription; annual subscriptions cost $11.95. Also, see Web site listings within categories, above.

Publications:

* You can subscribe to SATH's Open World ($13 per year) without joining the organization.


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