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YOUTH HOSTEL LAUNCHES GLOBAL DISCOUNTS DATABASE

Budget travelers may like to keep their costs down, but collectively they have a lot of economic muscle.

In the same way that big organizations such as AAA and AARP obtain lodging and other discounts for their members, the International Youth Hostel Federation has been gradually lining up deals with merchants and travel companies for its card holders.

Now the federation, which includes the American Youth Hostels, has launched a global discounts database on its Web site at www.iyhf.org .Discounts available to those who flash a hosteling card include 20 percent on Irish Ferries for adult foot passengers, 50 percent off Air New Zealand fares when flying standby in New Zealand, and 50 percent off regular ticket prices for the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.

Discounts also are offered by businesses located near hostels.

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