Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
My Tourist Camera Blocked At The Sistine Chapel In Rome PDF Print E-mail

Q: On a recent visit to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece I pointed my camera at the beautiful ceiling. Suddenly a guard’s hand blocked it, scaring the hell out of me. What are the rules? TFB, Chicago IL

A: The no photo rule in the chapel is because cameras disturb the religious setting for other visitors. Also, when there are flashes, the bright light can damage the fragile old artwork. Other world art on display, such as in London’s Westminster Abbey, have similar no photo rules. So, when visiting any famous old site, be sure to know where to keep your camera lens closed.

Q&A: Is It OK To Take Doggy Bag Extras From My Vegas Buffet? PDF Print E-mail

Q: After my hotel buffet, I always take leftovers with me for a later casual lunch and/or late night snack. Last week, after I did it as usual, people at a nearby table said it was bad manners, and I had broken hotel rules. What’s the answer? JML, Oakland CA

A: They were right, and although not usually enforced, most Vegas hotels forbid doggy bagging. Actually, taking the leftovers as later meals is cheating the hotel out of another $25 or more you’d spend next time you'd dine there.

Q: What’s The Most Economical Way To Experience Las Vegas? PDF Print E-mail

We’ve been going to Vegas for several decades, and on recent visits we’ve been shocked by the increasing high prices on everything. Room rates are through the roof. In 1990 we paid $25, and now for the same hotel room it’s $250. A buffet was $5, now $29.99. Taxis for a 10-minute ride from the airport to the hotel were $5, now $40. How can we avoid the rising Sin City robbery rates? PLF, San Antonio TX

A: Consider all kinds of alternatives for seniors. To avoid airline, hotel and other high costs to Vegas, check prices at Native American casinos closer to you in Texas. For Sin City local transport, ride with Uber, Lyft or take the bus. Las Vegas RTC transit offers reduced fares to seniors with photo ID.

If you continue going to Vegas, do research before booking. There are seasonal money-saving promotions, packages that include flights, hotels and meals, as well as senior and AARP membership deals.

Q: How Can I Avoid Jet Lag On My 12-Hour Flight To Asia? PDF Print E-mail

After a flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong last year, I was so sick it ruined the whole vacation. We’re planning another trip that involves long hours in the air. Can you help me make it through the flight? BLJ, Malibu CA

A: Best is to try to set your internal clock on usual hours of sleep and other habits. Get comfy and snooze as much as you can during the flight. Eat lightly whenever you’re hungry, and go easy on the booze.

At start of the flight, set your watch to the time it is at your destination, and gradually prepare mind and body to be able to function normally when you get there. During the flight, get at least five minutes of exercise per hour by strolling the aisle, and stand to stretch arms and legs in bulkhead space.

Q: Are Costumed Street Performers Legal In Las Vegas? PDF Print E-mail

We’ve been going to Sin City for many years, but on our last visit we saw many more people now doing sidewalk music and costumes. They’re all over the Strip and downtown Fremont Street. What are the city laws, and is it OK to tip them? RLO’D, Memphis TN

A: There are laws they must obey, but so far the street characters are legal. As in NYC’s Times Square and on Hollywood Boulevard, in Las Vegas they earn tips with costumes and by performing on busy tourist areas. Today, most travelers have cellphones and selfie sticks, and the performers make money by posing for photos and videos. If your camera shoots them, give a tip of from $1 to $5, maybe higher if you're with them more than a few moments. If they bother you, just walk past quickly without taking any photos.


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