Buffalo NY: Now A Doggone Friendly Airport

New York State’s Erie County SPCA has started a program of providing a free service to travelers at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Aptly named Paws For Love (PFL), it consists of  well-trained dogs that are guided through the airport waiting areas to visit with harried passengers. The canines provide relaxation and friendly companionship while people wait for their flights.

The SPCA PFL airport services is an extension of its traditional programs of sending volunteers and dogs on visits to hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions. The PFL is also operating at other U.S. airports, including San Jose CA, Ft. Lauderdale FL, San Antonio TX, Grand Rapids MI, Los Angeles CA and Miami FL. For more info, go to www.pawsforlove.info

London GB: World’s Longest Cruise Will Be For Almost A Year PDF Print E-mail

The Viking Sun set sail recently from England along with its happy passengers for 245 days. There are scheduled port visits in Scandinavia, the Caribbean, South America, South Pacific, Australia and Asia.

Your travel4seniors.com editor recalls his year-long cruise in 1944-45 from San Francisco, including scenic stops at the Philippine Islands of Leyte, Samar and Luzon. Except that some angry guys were trying to kill me, I enjoyed most of the cruise as a 19-year-old crewman on a World War 2 U.S. Navy troop transport.

It included free meals, lodging and $150 a month spending money. Incidentally, the Viking Sun voyage fees start at a mere $92,990 per person, including free meals and shore excursions.

New TSA Pre-Check System Promises Quicker Check-Ins PDF Print E-mail

Yeah, sure. And next they’ll promise no intimate body searches, lower ticket prices, unlimited free booze, comfy seats and complimentary steak dinners in flights. And, of course, low airport hotel charges without the surprising $$$ add-ons when you check out. See details: www.usatoday.com/videos/travel/2019/08/15/airport-security-lines-get-shorter

Q: Now Retired And Plan To Fly To Philly Family Frequently PDF Print E-mail

I’m living in Los Angeles and expect to visit my married kids in Philadelphia at least every other month. Need some advice on how to deal with getting the most comfort and economy during long airport stays and flights. PLJ, Burbank CA

A: Quick thoughts. Keep checking ticket prices and fly cheaper nights (redeye) during midweek. Get TSA PreCheck and Global Entry for quicker processing. Fly business class with access to airport lounges. Uncrowded and comfy, they often offer free food and drink, magazines and newspapers. Avoid pre- and post-flight checking bags by traveling only with a small carry-on containing essential clothing and meds.

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.


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