Q: Is there any cheaper alternative to get to Miami from Fort Lauderdale airport? The options on the airport website are very expensive for a party of four.
A: You can take Tri-Rail from the Fort Lauderdale airport to Miami airport, if that’s where you need to go. If you want to go to Miami Beach, you’d have to then take a bus.
Q: I’m traveling to Turkey in two weeks from now. I have not consider canceling the trip but well, after so many attacks in such a short amount of time I’m starting to have second thoughts. I’m traveling with my mom and sister and my trip is a short one to Istanbul only. I already registered with the State Department … any thoughts?
A: I hear you. I postponed a recent trip to Turkey with my family because of the unrest. If you have travel insurance, you’ll need to carefully review it to see what it says about terrorism. The language is specific and it may or may not apply to your situation. You can ask for a ticket credit, but you’ll need to make that request before your flight leaves, and you’ll probably have to pay a change fee plus a fare differential.
Q: Do you know of any good solo travel or singles type getaways? I know of things like Contiki but I am looking for other suggestions. I’m 30 and in need of some R&R, and kinda anti-cruise.
A: If you’re a woman, look at the trips offered by the Women’s Travel Group, although my guess is the clientele is generally considerably older than 30. I’d also look at G Adventures and Friendly Planet.
Q: I’ve taken some great walking tours from nonprofit student, cultural and historic preservation groups in the U.S. and overseas. I’m looking for something similar in Montreal – not a forprofit commercial tour, or a free tour based on tips, but something that benefits the community. Any ideas?
A: What a great and altruistic approach to walking tours!
Here a few suggestions: Heritage Montreal, which focuses on cultural preservation; L’Autre Montreal, which highlights less obvious sites and urban issues; and Local Montreal Food Tours, which supports local food purveyors. You might also contact museums and cultural centers to see if they arrange community tours.
Q: I’m going on an international trip for four months. I’m doing one thing that requires insurance, so I thought I’d try to find something that covers the entire trip. I am so lost. I’ve never had trip insurance before, so how do I start? Do I need to get it before I get my flights? What do I look for? What companies are reputable? Any advice would be very much appreciated!
A: Go to a website that specializes in comparing travel insurance policies. These include QuoteWright, SquareMouth and InsureMyTrip.
Q: I recently renewed my passport and got my old passport back. Is there any reason for me to keep my old passport? I don’t care about keeping my country stamps.
A: I keep my old passport as a souvenir, so I remember where I went. But there’s no reason to hold on to it, at least from a travel certification perspective.
Q: We recently rented a car from a major national chain (that my husband has elite status at). Our final bill was more than four times its (already expensive) quoted price when we booked the car. No damage to the car, tank was totally full, etc. We didn’t contest it at the time (in part because I don’t think either of us could see straight at 4:30 a.m. and we had a crying toddler), but did immediately upon our return home. We still haven’t gotten any news on it. Any recommendations on how to follow up effectively? I’m pretty annoyed.
A: There’s no excuse for quadrupling your bill, unless you kept the car for an extra four weeks. You should consider a brief, polite appeal to the car rental company by email. If that doesn’t work, please contact me and I’ll do my best to help you personally.
Q: I saw the fireworks over London to ring in 2017 and said to myself “Self, let’s do this.” Is there any value to booking things now? I understand some hotels/flights may fill up, but I doubt they’ll run out of space entirely. I was thinking about waiting until September or so (not until December), unless sooner would be better.
A: If you’re intent on going and you’ll be very disappointed should flights not be available, book it sooner than later. But if you’re flexible, start checking fares/hotel prices now and strike when the price looks right. If you want nonstop flights from Washington to London, there is limited availability. But if you’re willing to connect, lots of options. As for hotels, you’ll likely find something, even late in the game.
Q: If you had a week to fill in May/June/July timeframe. Would you go to Cuba? Is it worth a week or maybe just a few days?
A: Cuba is hot, so you definitely want to go earlier in the season. Also, I would go for a week but spend most of your time outside Havana, in the countryside, visiting less-touristed towns.
Q: If you are planning one trip for your kids (ages 7 and 8), with money not an object, what would you do? Disney? Nickelodeon hotels (new one in Punta Cana)? Four Seasons with a kid’s club? We are planning the trip for early November. Since we are only going to do once, we want to maximize our enjoyment!
A: Only you, as a parent, can decide what kind of vacation is best for your kids. If they love Disney, then Disney it is. If they love Disney and water, consider a Disney cruise. If they love wildlife and swimming, then they might enjoy Hawaii or Australia.
Just keep in mind the toils of travel, so you might want to keep the flight time short (there goes Australia). Also, find a place with a mix of activities that also attracts families. I know that my niece and nephew are always happier when they have other kids to play with.