Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Hey! I'm stuck for a parking ticket I don't deserve! PDF Print E-mail

Q: I rented a car in Manhattan, and when I drove to my hotel’s garage, a parking attendant took it. Several days later, after I had checked out and returned the car to the agency, the clerk there said I owed $400 for a parking ticket. I asked how and where it could have happened, and the clerk read me a street address from the citation. It was two blocks from my hotel, indicating the garage attendant had left it illegally parked long enough to get the ticket.

The agency said it could do nothing, and the payment of the ticket was my responsibility. When I complained to the hotel, the manager said the garage was a concession, and the hotel was not responsible. The parking garage management weaseled out by claiming their attendants never left cars on the street. This was a round-robin of excuses, leaving me holding the $400 bag. What can I do?

Should we take old Dad with us to Manhattan? PDF Print E-mail

Q: We’re having a family reunion coming up soon in New York City. Because we get to the Big Apple so seldom, we want to take advantage of all the great restaurants, shopping and, most of all, the Broadway theater scene. The problem is 85-year-old Dad. He was born in New York, is a great storyteller and expert on everything in the city. He was always the life of the party everywhere he went.

However, six months ago he suffered a slight stroke. He’s as mentally bright as ever, but can’t do much walking without getting very tired. We want to take him along, but he would keep us back from seeing everything we want. If we have to be with Dad, our visit to Manhattan wouldn’t be much fun for anyone. Should we leave Dad home?

A: Whoever made the suggestion to dump Dad should stay the hell home! Preferably in a dark room with the shades drawn and a bag over his head. Seriously, if Dad says he can handle the trip, have him get a thorough medical check-up. If his doc approves, take Dad along. The solution can be very simple.

If I go on vacation, will my job still be there when I get back? PDF Print E-mail

Q: I may be paranoid, but I’m afraid to take a vacation this year. I’m 57 and have a good job, but our company has had a lot of layoffs lately, and business is still slow. My fear is that whie I’m gone, they’ll find someone younger and cheaper to do my job. Maybe they’ll kick me out because I’m eligible for early retirement. But with a big family, I can’t possibly retire until I hit at least 62 and can qualify to get Social Security to add to my small pension. What should I do?

What to do when you have a bad hotel experience PDF Print E-mail
Q: We recently stayed in a hotel in Rome, and it seemed every member of the staff was deliberately rude to us. We believe we always behaved with courtesy and consideration to them, and expected the same in return. What should you do when you're offended in that way?
Anti-Elvis Senior Visits Graceland PDF Print E-mail

We get many You Ask, We Answer letters, but this unusual one both asks the questions and then makes all the nasty answers. We won’t identify the writer except that he/she is a 70-year-old online author and columnist on a big city newspaper. If Elvis fans ever got the name, murder could happen. Here’s the letter:
Q: Just why is Graceland, this cornpone castle of the late hick squawker, who drank, drugged and gobbled until he exploded at age 42, treated by the flaky faithful as some kind of shrine like those of Lourdes, Jerusalem or Mecca? It isn't as if the former occupant  ever turned water into wine or promised 72 post-mortem virgins to now or never suicide martyrs.


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