Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Q: What To Do About Our Church Group Visit To China? PDF Print E-mail

We have paid a deposit on our planned trip to Beijing for early April. Now we have questions because of the virus problem, and some want to cancel. What should we do? Mrs. JKL, San Diego CA

A: At this confusing moment, your best option may be: when in doubt, get out! Recent news tells that popular tourist attractions, including Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, are closed to visitors. Check immediately with your tour company for a refund of your deposit, or apply it to a later schedule when the emergency has ended.

Q: I'm Worried! My Dad Invited Family To Tokyo Olympics PDF Print E-mail

Very wealthy, he’s also very generous, with summer trips over the years we took to England, Norway, Italy and France. We were all excited about Japan this year until the coronavirus epidemic is causing us to reconsider. What do you suggest? RLV, Houston TX

A: There is continuing bad news about the spread of the disease, especially in Asia, and unfortunately, including Japan. The problem could be solved quickly by convincing your dad to plan a family summer trip elsewhere.  Consider the Grand Canyon AZ, Honolulu HI, Malibu CA, Paris, France, Venice, Italy, or other location that hasn’t been hit with the deadly virus.   

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled from July 24 through August 9, so you still have plenty of time to discuss all the options with grandpa. Maybe unfair to Japan, but necessary, one question could be the most important. Do you want your Tokyo-bound family, especially if it includes vulnerable children, to possibly be exposed to what could be an even worse epidemic by this summer?

Q: Will Taking Vitamins Before Flights Help Avoid Coronavirus? PDF Print E-mail

With all the news and travel cancellations about the illness, I want to protect myself on the next trip. Should I take my vitamins? RRJ, Camden NJ

A: They may not help much, but they can’t hurt. Many frequent flyers start taking extra vitamins several days before traveling. The National Institutes of Health says no conclusive data has shown that large doses of vitamin C will prevent colds and other virus diseases, but admits it may reduce the severity or duration of symptoms. Therefore, take your vitamins, but also take health and cleanliness precautions when you travel. This includes a kit of medicated wet wipes, face mask and medications to avoid the symptoms happening to you.

Q: Flying To China Soon. How Can We Avoid Sickness? PDF Print E-mail

Q: With all the virus problems in the news, should we postpone our Asian trip? MJ, San Francisco CA

A: It is getting serious. Keep checking the internet for breaking travel info before you decide. Also, when you fly anywhere these days, take intelligent precautions against catching flu, colds and worse.

For example, when you do go, try to book a window seat with an overhead fresh air duct. Also, if next to a cougher or sneezer, quickly ask the flight attendant to move you to an empty seat next to healthy passengers. And, of course, pack a pocket with face masks and disposable medicated wet wipes.

We Rented An Airbnb And It Went All Wrong! PDF Print E-mail

Q: When we arrived late at night, we found the previous family still there for one more night. We had to wait in our car for several hours until they moved out. What should we do about the inconvenience? PLJ, Morestown NJ?

A: As with hotels, restaurants and other travel bookings, sometimes you don’t get what you’ve paid for with a private rental. The fair solution is to ask for a specific discount of one night’s price. www.usatoday.com/story/travel/hotels/2019/12/29/airbnb-rental-problems-and-how-solve-them-reviews-cancellations


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