Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Q&A: Is It OK To Stay Beyond Hotel Check-Out Time? PDF Print E-mail

Q: Sometimes we need to use our hotel room into the afternoon before we leave. Is it OK to stay an extra hour or two for last minute shopping, packing and other needs? Will we have to pay extra for the time? LLM, Providence RI

A: You're expected to be gone by check-out time. However, if you need it and call the front desk at least an hour in advance of the deadline, you’ll probably get another hour or so in the room at no extra cost. Always remember that a busy hotel needs the required schedule to clean and prepare rooms for arriving guests. Your cooperation is expected.

Q&A: Discouraging News About Sick Cruise Passengers PDF Print E-mail

Q: I just retired, our nest is empty and we’re planning our first ocean cruise. But recently, we’ve been frightened by stories about hundreds of passengers getting sick. Should we change our plans and celebrate at a land resort? ALMcN, Ft. Worth TX

A: Your travel4seniors.com editor has sailed the seas for decades, including Navy duty and post-retirement as a civilian cruise passenger. In all those many years, I was only sick twice, and both times because of bad Navy food. Of course, you could fall ill on a cruise, with anything from seasickness, bad food or fellow passengers who come aboard already carrying the germs that may get to you.

Q&A: How Much Should We Tip Our Hotel Maid? PDF Print E-mail

Q: My husband and I travel frequently, and we always argue about tipping the hotel room maid. I say $10 for each night, and he argues for $2. What’s your idea of an appropriate tip? Mrs. ELL, Lexington KY

A: It depends on the hotel. If you’re paying $200 or more, a tip of $10 a night is appropriate. If it’s a b&b or other cheap stay, $2 is OK. Of course, if the hotel employee helps you in any way beyond the usual chores, some extra bucks should be tossed in.

Q&A: Best Time To Cross Mexican Border To Tijuana? PDF Print E-mail

Q: We plan to drive from San Diego into the Mexican border city to meet with friends. We’ve heard from recent U.S. visitors who said they had to wait three or four hours to get through the border police hassle. What’s your advice?

A: It’s similar to planning a trip to any big city or airline flight. A crowded time at border stations is any weekday six to eight am and four to 6 pm, when people need to cross in both directions to get to and from daily work.

The most crowded is from about 10 am Saturdays and 6 pm Sundays, when tourist traffic is heaviest. Those hours are often made even slower because of time-consuming security and legality checks on items and people going into the US. Of course, be sure you have all necessary ID with you, and are not taking any banned liquids or other materials.

Q&A: We Enjoy Las Vegas Airport Casino. Are There Others? PDF Print E-mail

Q: We travel frequently, and find airport waits getting longer and more bothersome. However, whenever we go to and depart from Las Vegas, we spend the delay times at the slot machines. Are there any other airports with similar gambling facilities? Jill, Pasadena CA

A: Yes, Amsterdam, Heathrow London and Reno airports have casinos. There are also others within just a short drive from airports, such as the Hard Rock near Ft. Lauderdale. Many airport operators around the world are considering getting into the gambling racket. With ever-growing flight delays and late arrivals, they can get income while passengers enjoy the waiting time.


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