Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Paris, France: Viewing Fire Damaged Notre Dame Cathedral PDF Print E-mail

Q: We’ll be in Paris later in the month and want to see all the famous sites, including Notre Dame. Of course, we know about the terrible fire, but even if we can’t go in, we’d like to visit the historic church. Mrs. PLB, Boston MA

A: You can wander on sidewalks near the cathedral, but the entire structure is surrounded by tall steel fences while extensive repairs are ongoing. It’s difficult to see much from close-up. If you want selfies and photos, the best way of viewing the entire cathedral is by going over to walkways on the other side of the River Seine. Sadly, it could take years for full restoration.

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.

Q: How Do I Get Fair Prices At Asian Souvenir Shops? PDF Print E-mail

Just retired, we’re taking our first trip to the Far East, with stops in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. We plan to buy presents to take home to our grandkids. And we’d like some advice on how to get best prices. RRO’L, Champagne IL

A: If you buy large presents in department stores, you’ll probably get best quality and convenient shipping, but not lowest prices. If you buy smaller gifts you can carry home with you, try the street markets. There you may be able to bargain down prices from original quotes.

Q: Why Does Airplane Shake When Landing In Las Vegas? PDF Print E-mail

Is it my imagination, but every time we fly into the Nevada city, I can feel my seat jump around. Does the pilot do it intentionally? FLN, Burbank CA

A: Maybe it’s a heavenly warning to be careful of how you bet at the casinos and enjoy the Sin City night life. Seriously, especially in summer, the shaking is because of heavy thermal heating of air surrounding the airport. The nearby mountains and hot wind currents often shake the aircraft as it approaches the field for the landing.

Q: What To Wear Or Not At A Clothing-Optional Beach PDF Print E-mail

My daughter and her nature-loving husband invited us to join them for several days during their vacation at Lake Tahoe, near Las Vegas. We appreciate the opportunity to be in that beautiful resort area, but have a problem. They enjoy the clothing-optional beach there, but we’re old-fashioned and unsure if we should go. Suggestion? PLJ, Chicago IL

A: Accept the invitation and wear your usual beach clothing. Enjoy the Lake Tahoe sunshine and sights, but try not to stare.


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