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CAN YOU FIND US THE ULTIMATE RETIREMENT TRIP?

Q – We would very much like to have your help with planning our ultimate trip, a celebration of my retirement from the financial world with  a month-long journey that might include as much wildlife as possible in Africa as well as, if at all possible, the Amazon. We’re open to what else we might see but we really prefer the exotic. Continue Reading »

USING MY PHONE ON A CRUISE TO SOUTH AMERICA

Q – We leave for a cruise to South America this winter and we’re already looking forward to it – except for the communications part. Is there any way to cut down on the cost of making a call while still using my regular phone (Android)? 

A – There is one rather new technique that will save you big bucks. Continue Reading »

THE SELECTION AND TRAINING OF A ‘SINGAPORE GIRL”

The “Girl” is more likely a woman, but that aside, no one can deny the status of Singapore Airline’s unrivaled record as one of the World’s Top Three Airlines” for more than a decade. Despite challenges from the new collection of Five-star airlines based in the Middle East, Singapore consistently ranked # 1 or # 2 in every industry poll of on-board services. Continue Reading »

WHICH AIRLINES HAVE THE LOWEST FARES TO EUROPE?

Q – We love reading this site even though it is clearly aimed at the upscale traveler. I suppose we are about fifty-fifty upscale. But we just hate spending money we don’t have to for another inch of chair for eight or nice hours. For a 5-star hotel at the other end yes – but we just don’t think airlines that charge 50% more than their competitors are worth it. Continue Reading »

LOOKING FOR A CHICKEN IN PARIS

Q – Don’t know if you can help with this, but would appreciate it if you can help. I am not a vegetarian but my fiancé and I do not eat meat. We do eat chicken and fish. We will be in Paris for six days in August and we would love to know that we have sampled at least one really good restaurant that could accommodate our needs. Continue Reading »

THE NATION’S LEADING CONSUMER TRAVEL ADVOCATE HAS GONE DIGITAL

Wendy Perrin, the nation’s most respected consumer travel advocate  and the long-time Consumer Editor at Conde Nast Traveler Magazine,  announced her resignation citing differences with the current direction of the publication under its new management team.

Just a few days later, Perrin was named to a new position, created just for her,  as Travel Advocate for TripAdvisor’s 260 million monthly visitors. Continue Reading »

A LETTER FROM CHINA: WATCH WHAT YOU EAT

The Chinese government has been facing increasing pressure to improve the quality of its air and its exported toys. But what about domestically produced foods? In an unusually bold step, the Chinese government has banned food production in an agricultural center of approximately 8 million acres. The ongoing production of fruits and vegetables was banned because the government has certified that the soil in the region is inundated with industrial pollutants.   Continue Reading »

FEWER THAN 100 PEOPLE HOLD MORE WEALTH THAN HALF THE WORLD’S POPULATION

The international charity, Oxfam, has just released a report indicating that the 85 richest people in the world now have $1.7 trillion in personal assets. That means that their personal wealth is now equivalent to the total wealth of 3.5 billion people living with them on the same planet. Never, have so few controlled so much. Continue Reading »

HOW DO WE LOSE SEATS THAT WERE CONFIRMED SIX MONTHS AGO?

Q – We will be leaving for a European Cruise booked through Regent Seven Seas in three weeks. We booked the air/sea program and paid extra for an air deviation. We were flying United Airline on a flight from Atlanta that is actually going to be operated by Lufthansa. We have a connection in Frankfurt to Istanbul, also on Lufthansa with a United flight number on a code-share. Continue Reading »

WHICH IRAN TOUR SHOULD WE BOOK?

Q – We have read that Iran is a great destination with friendly people and a great deal to see. Wonder if you agree? We’ve been looking at Travcoa and Mir Tours. They each seem to be operating two departures this year. Which of the two passes your “legitimate Tour Operator” Test? Really enjoying the site but wish there were more on the various tour operators and the programs they offer. Continue Reading »

 THE NEW 2014 BEST AT SEA AWARDS

 We take pleasure in presenting our 2014 ‘BEST AT SEA AWARDS’ in the “4-5-Star Inclusive Category”. These ratings are based on evaluations from the most respected industry and consumer media sources, our own personal Churchill & Turen Ltd. ship evaluations, and written evaluation reports from more than 1500 upscale cruise “evaluators” each of whom has sailed multiple lines. Continue Reading »

DESIGNER LUGGAGE IS FOR SELDOM FLYERS

Recent exposure of luggage theft rings operating at LAX and several other major airports, makes it imperative that travelers follow some basic advice when packing. These are the most important rules the pros follow when packing:

01 – Leave any designer luggage or any piece costing more than $200 at home. Thieves will steal the expensive bags first and they know their brand names. Continue Reading »

ARE ONLINE FLIGHT SEARCHES RIGGED?

Q – Over a period of about 24 months, we’ve noticed that when we start planning our flights for vacation it seems that the prices have always gone up when we are ready to book, often just a day or two later. It happens too often to be a coincidence. Any recommendations or are we just plain nuts? Continue Reading »

DO I NEED A VISA FOR TRAVEL TO ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

Q – We have a rather unusual situation. We are traveling with friends on a Baltic cruise this July that includes three full days in St. Petersburg. My mother is quite ill and there is the remote possibility that I could be called during the cruise with the  need to fly out of Russia in a hurry. Continue Reading »

HOW MANY COOTIES ARE LIVING ON MY BUSINESS CLASS BLANKET?

Q – Realize yours is not an airline site but I always wonder about the cleanliness of the blankets I find all wrapped up, nice and tidy, on my seat when I am flying Business Class internationally. I’d love to know how often those blankets are actually  cleaned?  I start itching just thinking about it.

A – It turns out that blankets used by airlines are far more sanitary than the blankets that adorn your hotel room bed. Continue Reading »

ONE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER

Q – We’ve been following traveltruth  for the past two years and we love every bit of it – but there is one question I don’t think you’ve ever addressed. When is the best time to get awful assigned seats changed to something better? Whenever we call the airlines they say the seating is “closed”.

A – Airlines, bless their hearts, close their seating down when their computer software tells them that just about all of their sucker seats are gone. Continue Reading »

CAN WE USE CRUISE CREDITS TO REDUCE THE PRICE OF OUR CRUISE?

Q – We will need to make a payment to Celebrity Cruises for our final payment for a two-week cruise to the Mediterranean. We booked it directly with Celebrity and there seems to be some confusion about the credits we were given when we booked with their agent, Joseph. I think we should be allowed to take the credit off the price but Celebrity is trying to get us to pay the full rate. Continue Reading »

CAN A FLIGHT ATTENDANT UPGRADE ME?

Q – As a frequent flyer, I have always wondered if a flight attendant has the power to upgrade me to Business Class or even First? I think I’ve seen it happen once or twice, but I can’t be sure the flight attendant did not know the passenger. Just something I’ve wondered about.

A – With few exceptions, the answer is yes. Continue Reading »

POOR COUNTRIES WILL NOT STAY POOR BEYOND 2035 SAYS GATES

Bill and Melinda Gates, who have devoted their current lives to eradicating worldwide starvation and preventable childhood diseases, are predicting that most of the currently underdeveloped world where poverty and starvation currently exist, will rise up to middle class status by 2035. By this date, the Gates believe “there will be almost no poor countries in the world.”

They predict, says the Wall Street Journal, that by that date, more than 70% of countries will have a higher per person income than China does today. Continue Reading »

WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE REALLY GREAT CREDIT RATINGS?

Q – We were at a friends house last night doing some Pinot Noir blind tastings accompanied by s’mores when the subject of credit ratings for countries came up. A Wall Street player in our group said that he believed that credit agencies that rate businesses also rate countries. I’d really be interested in which countries get the highest ratings if you could chase that down. Continue Reading »

WILL THE COAST OF NORWAY BE A BOREWAY?

Q – As frequent cruisers, we have to make our minds up quickly about a 16-Day voyage on Regent Seven Seas between Oslo and Copenhagen. This is a cruise pretty much limited to the coast of Norway and St. Petersburg, which we’ve previously visited, is not  on the itinerary. Wondering of you would recommend this specific itinerary? Continue Reading »

GREEK FAMILY SPECTACULAR

Q – We have a rather large, tightly-knit Greek family (so what else is new) and we’re planning to go to the islands in 2016 for a two-week spectacular trip. We thought it best to start now. Of course we’ll have all age groups and some will want to do their own thing. We have some decent financial reserves for this trip and were wondering if you could provide a few ideas we may not have thought of that we could bring to our travel agent.? Continue Reading »

CAN WE DO A CUSTOM BEEMER TOUR?

Q – We have three BMW’s in the garage. For our next trip to Europe, we’d love to have a custom trip arranged where we might drive a Beemer on some of Germany’s best roads, with frequent stops for beer and Brotzeit. We know what we want – we just don’t know how to begin. Awesome site unlike anything we’ve seen on the internet before. Continue Reading »

A PHOTOGRAPHER’S DREAM TRIP

Q – Please don’t use my name but you can say that I am a fairly well-known amateur photographer whose work has appeared in several major publications including AFAR and National Geographic. But I have a day job that finances our photographic journeys. My dream is to take some great photos of Japan’s Mt. Fuji. It seems there are some wonderful lights in the distance if you choose the right spot. Continue Reading »

CAN WE TURN JAMAICA INTO A MEMORABLE VACATION?

Q – We’re really into traveltruth but we feel you seriously shortchange the Caribbean. There isn’t much objective information about the islands online – they all use the term “paradise” interchangeably.  In three months, we’re off to Jamaica on a corporate reward trip including accommodations at Rose Hall. But we keep hearing negatives about the island. Continue Reading »

MAY IS THE NEW SEPTEMBER IN EUROPE

There has been a shift in responses to the question “What is the best time to visit Europe?”

The response in years past was the summer months. But June through mid-September has seen serious heat inversions in portions of Italy, France, and Spain, along with crowds of students and school’s out backpackers. In the past three years, those numbers have swelled due to a serious influx of Chinese, Russian, and Eastern European travelers. Continue Reading »

SHOULD I LET MY DAUGHTER GO ON A CRUISE?

Q – Thank you for the information you give about some of the things you need to be careful about on some of these cruise ships. My 17 year-old daughter has asked me to let her go with a friend on a three-night Royal Caribbean Bahamas cruise. Her friends mother will be going, but she has three other children and is traveling with other family members, so I just don’t see how she would have time to watch out for my daughter. Continue Reading »

BIG MOVES TO EUROPE

Q – We have always had a desire to sail the world’s largest ship for a week or so. I’ve heard Royal Caribbean and Carnival ships are huge but we literally want to sail the biggest next summer. Can you tell us which ship that would be?

A – The Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas is, by two inches, the largest vessel currently afloat. Continue Reading »

WE’VE JUST WITNESSED THE LARGEST HUMAN MASS EXODUS IN HISTORY

The Chinese have just set a world record – more than 100 million Chinese citizens traveled per day during the busiest period of the week long “Chunyun” or Spring Festival. The festival was celebrated on January 31st this year.

Trains alone carried 6.8 million passengers per day as the Chinese left the major urban areas en mass to join their families at home in rural China. Continue Reading »

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