Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER
Samsonite
Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Q: Should We Give Money To Street Beggars And Homeless? PDF Print E-mail


In our travels in New York. San Francisco and LA, we’re encountering more and more people asking for hand-outs. Is it OK to help them? LRM, San Jose CA

A: On the streets of popular tourist cities around the world, travelers are seeing larger numbers of the homeless. With continuing inflation, loss of jobs, illegal immigration and other current problems, more people are forced to live on the streets. For many, they see begging as the only way they can cope.

However, especially in the most popular tourist areas, be aware that not all people there are homeless. Some clever opportunists choose to make money by pretending to be poor. A recent news article reported a young street guitarist boasted of earning $1,000 a day tax-free on a choice New York City corner where thousands of tourists roam daily.

You can help the homeless more effectively if you don’t hand out money on the street. Donate to those organizations that deal with the problem professionally. They include the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other recognized charities. And when you give legally, it’s also a tax deduction.

 
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: Is It OK To Travel In Hong Kong? PDF Print E-mail


Our local seniors group plans a trip to the Chinese city in the next several months, but I keep reading about the daily demonstrations. I use a cane and in OK physical shape for my advanced years, but fearful. I may be out on the city streets when an out-of-control mob and cop confrontation gets to me. Suggestions? MPL, Houston TX

A: Considering the ongoing Hong Kong troubles, reconsider joining the trip. So far, the demonstrations have been mostly non-violent, but growing and louder numbers nightly are causing more serious police actions. Unfortunately, the confrontations may get dangerously violent.

Maybe try to convince your group to choose a more peaceful Pacific destination, such as Singapore, Seoul, Manila, Honolulu or Shanghai.

 
«StartPrev12345678910NextEnd»

Page 3 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.