Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Q: What's Best For Senior Travelers: Hotel Or Airbnb? PDF Print E-mail

Each time we book a favorite resort hotel over the past few years, the price jumps five, ten or more percent from the previous charge. Friends now tell us it’s much cheaper to stay in a private Airbnb home in the resort city. Expert opinion? NLR, Houston TX

A: The Airbnb explosion on the travel scene has been both good and bad. A positive scenario is when you’re traveling with a group of four more. An upscale private home or apartment with several bedrooms and kitchen can be considerably cheaper than hotel rates charged for several single rooms.

A negative is that in some popular world tourist cities, Airbnbs are being reduced or totally forbidden by local governments. The list includes Venice, Barcelona, Prague, Amsterdam and others. The reason is that travel agencies often book Airbnb homes and apartments to large groups of tourists, many young celebrants.

The results are loud drink and drug parties that spill out noise onto nearby Airbnb residences at night. If you want to explore the bargain appeal of Airbnbs, try to book one that won’t be a 24-7 adult playground for a mob of loud and loaded young people.

Q: Are All Travel Ads And Customer Testimonials Fake? PDF Print E-mail

After seeing exciting ads for a seaside resort hotel, we booked a weekend. In the ads, it showed happy visitors enjoying lush rooms, pool, beach and dining in fancy restaurants. Actually, for us the hotel was old and dirty, the food awful and the beach worse. How can we avoid this kind of rip-off? PLJ, NYC

A: Take all big-promise TV, smartphone and print travel ads with caution. Like the miracle drugs, fancy cars and other flowery product ads that are endlessly repeated, most is exaggerated promotion. Before you book, check several independent websites such as TripAdvisor that sensibly review travel destinations.

Help My Aging Mind And Body Cope With Long Flights PDF Print E-mail

Q: I need to fly frequently, but as I get older the ordeal becomes more and more uncomfortable, both physically and mentally. I still have another five years of frequent business travel before I retire. Any suggestions on how I can cope? MJMcC, Portland OR

A: Try meditation. Block out aircraft noise, confusion and discomfort. Look for local services that teach the ancient practice, and/or scan online meditation websites for instructions. There are also basic ways to pass the long flight time with smartphones and other portable electronics in your ears and eyes. Fill them with prerecorded books, music and videos. And don’t forget to bring a brimmed hat or cap you can pull down over your eyes to blot out the crowded, noisy aisles and seats around you.

Q: OK To Pin A Fake Helper Badge On My Traveling Dog? PDF Print E-mail

I know I’m supposed to register Millie as an official emotional support dog. For the past five years, she’s gone everywhere with me as a daily helper. Now we’re both invited on a sea cruise next month with my church group. We have to fly to the seaport, and I’m worried the airline will not let Millie on the flight with me. What should I do? PPK, Branson MO

A: Because lately there have been too many air passengers who fake all kinds of animals with them as legit companions, airlines are getting more strict. You’ll be able to take Millie, but make it legal. First, check with your doctor to get written proof of your needing help. Also there are all kinds of internet info on how to legally register Millie, including: www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/aug/12/fake-emotional-support-animals-service-dogs

Q: Is Last Minute Booking Best Way to Get Travel Bargains? PDF Print E-mail

We just returned from a cruise where we thought we got a good price because it was billed as last minute. However, when we checked with other passengers, we learned we had paid as much as 50% more than those who booked early. What’s the best way to get lowest travel prices? PNJ, New London CT

A: Cruise lines often offer lower prices if you book within a week of departure, so they won’t sail with empty cabins. However, you’ll learn that the advertised low prices didn’t include taxes, service fees and other add-on charges. Before you book a cruise, thoroughly research daily cruise advice and price deal sites on the internet and/or by dealing with your experienced local travel agent.


Page 4 of 68
Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.