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Q&A: Safety For Single Senior Woman Traveling Alone PDF Print E-mail


Q: I’m a retired teacher and want to travel by myself. It gives me total independence and freedom to set my own pace. I’ve gone with groups, but gave up due to restrictive schedules, boring companions and other bothers. What’s your opinion on a single, 67-year-old senior woman seeing the world by myself? Ms MML, Boston MA

A: We strongly suggest you travel with at least one healthy companion. This is necessary where current conditions may be dangerous. While planning, search online for crime rates, political unrest and other reasons to be cautious or stay away.

When checking in, ask the hotel host about current safety conditions. When in public, especially crowded areas, keep your purse safe under an elbow with shoulder strap. Secure phone or camera, and wrap the straps around a wrist. Obey safety rules, and keep your companion close at all times.

 
Q: Is It Still Worthwhile To Use Travel Agents PDF Print E-mail


During my work career, I did a lot of business travel and always used an agency. Now, as a retiree and with all the available online resources, I’m considering doing all the research and booking myself. Opinion? LJMcC, PhilaPA

A: Of course, you may be able do it yourself. However, if you still travel frequently, remember how your hometown agent helped when you were stuck in the airport because an airline booted you off a flight. Or when you arrived at a hotel and your booked room wasn’t available. Agents are involved daily with the constantly-changing realities of travel, and are available by phone or email 24-7 to help when you need them.

 
Be A Pro Photographer & Bring Home Professional Memories PDF Print E-mail


Q: Our seniors church group is taking a trip to Italy, and the itinerary includes Venice, Florence and Rome. We all have cellphones that can take pictures and video. However, we’d like to shoot some quality scenes in the Vatican and other historic sites. Is it possible to hire a local professional to work with us? Mrs. PLV, Pittsburgh PA

A: You can check with the tour company or online sites that provide such services. Consider www.flytographer.com and locallens.com. It could cost several hundred dollars, but worth it if you bring home quality results you can frame and proudly display at home or local art gallery.

 
Q: Do Online Travel Sites Really Get You The Best Prices? PDF Print E-mail


I recently bought an online deal for a Vegas hotel of $120 a night. But when I checked in, the clerk said because I was a senior, I could’ve paid just $99. Are those sites giving out wrong info to make money? MCJ, Atlanta GA

A: Of course online agencies exist to earn money. Sometimes their prices are lower than booking direct with hotels. It’s a matter of timing, season, special promotions and other ever-changing factors. When checking in, always ask the clerk if that’s the best price. Of course, also mention you're a senior, frequent visitor and/or other positive fact. Chances are, you’ll get a lower price and/or other benefits, such as larger rooms, free meals and entertainment.

 
Q: What Do I Do When A Passenger Grabs My Assigned Seat? PDF Print E-mail


On a recent flight, after boarding, I saw an elderly woman in my seat. I checked my boarding pass, and said she was in error. She refused to move.

When I told the flight attendant, he said the woman, who waved her cane at me, was handicapped and could not be moved. Angry as hell, I was sent to a seat in the rear. During the flight I saw the “handicapped” woman easily strolling the aisle several times. What should I have done? Jack R., Lafayette IN

A: Not much. You can later file a complaint with the airline, and maybe get a free future flight. Fake handicap pre-boarding, seat grabs and phony companion dog scams are all too frequent. The best way to react is not to lose your temper and just firmly state the facts to the airline. In flight, always cooperate with flight attendants, who must deal with these offenders daily.

 
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