Dal­las sights; cruise routes

The Washington Post Sunday - - TRAVEL - An­drea Sachs

Q Dal­las. I’m tak­ing Can you my re­com- first trip to mend there? must-see We’ll have at­trac­tions a car, so ex­plor­ing out­side Dal­las is also a pos­si­bil­ity.

A You must visit Dealey Plaza, the site of JFK’s as­sas­si­na­tion. The Sixth Floor Mu­seum in the former school book de­pos­i­tory from which Lee Har­vey Oswald al­legedly shot the pres­i­dent is pretty fas­ci­nat­ing. The Dal­las Arts District is worth a visit, too. Southfork, the ranch of “Dal­las” fame, is open for tours. But if you have a car, be sure to head over to Forth Worth, barely half an hour away. Visit the Stock­yards, touristy but fun, and the Cul­tural District down­town brings to­gether five fab­u­lous mu­se­ums.

Zofia Smardz

Is it pos­si­ble to take a cruise to places other than the beaches and Alaska? We pre­fer the moun­tains or river tub­ing to a crowded board­walk or beach. Cer­tainly there are cruise op­tions for trav­el­ers like us.

Sounds as if you’d be prime can­di­dates for a Canada/New Eng­land cruise. My par­ents took a cruise that started in New York, worked its way up the New Eng­land coast and ended up in Que­bec City. They liked it.

Becky Krys­tal

My alma mater is hav­ing a once in a life­time bas­ket­ball sea­son (we’ve only made the NCAA tour­na­ment once in 10 sea­sons) and I’m strongly con­sid­er­ing trav­el­ing to see them play in March. This seems to be chal­leng­ing be­cause the sched­ule of games is only known a few days in ad­vance. What’s the best strat­egy for pur­chas­ing tick­ets at rea­son­able fares? I’ve never pur­chased for leisure travel on such short no­tice.

Some air­lines, such as Amer­i­can, still post dis­counted week­end fares. It’s best to sign up on the air­line sites to re­ceive sale no­ti­fi­ca­tions. You should also sign up to re­ceive Twit­ter up­dates from air­lines such as JetBlue that of­fer sales through so­cial me­dia. Con­sider us­ing alternative air­ports (BWI Mar­shall in­stead of Rea­gan Na­tional, for ex­am­ple). Go to the des­ti­na­tion’s air­port Web site to find out what air­lines fly there to make sure you’re not miss­ing a dis­count car­rier that wouldn’t show up on third-party book­ing sites.

Carol Sot­tili

Do you know about op­tions for the hand­i­capped at the Vat­i­can or St. Peter’s Basil­ica in Rome?

There is dis­abled ac­cess — ramps, el­e­va­tors, ren­tal wheel­chairs, etc. — to the Vat­i­can Mu­se­ums, the Sis­tine Chapel and St. Peter’s, but those re­quir­ing a wheel­chair have to take some longer routes to get from one to the other to avoid the many stairs. And gen­er­ally, they do the mu­seum tour in the op­po­site di­rec­tion from the route most vis­i­tors fol­low, again to avoid stairs. Check Sage Trav­el­ing ( www.sage

trav­el­ing.com) for in­for­ma­tion.

Zofia Smardz

What’s a rea­son­able se­nior ticket price for round-trip air be­tween San Diego and Geneva? Is buy­ing tick­ets 10 to 11 weeks out good ad­vice for snag­ging the best fares for sum­mer trips to Europe?

Only a few air­lines of­fer se­nior dis­counts, and they of­ten aren’t cheaper than the go­ing econ­omy rate. I’d start track­ing the fares now. There have been var­i­ous stud­ies done on best times to buy air tick­ets, and they of­ten con­tra­dict one an­other. It all de­pends on de­mand. If there are empty seats as sum­mer gets closer, sales will take place. If not, no sales and higher prices. You may be able to save money by fly­ing out of Los

An­ge­les or by tweak­ing your travel dates.

Carol Sot­tili

I’d like to take a road trip with my 13-year-old son this Au­gust. He’s a huge Stephen King fan and wants to visit the au­thor’s home­town: Ban­gor, Maine. We’ll be driv­ing from Falls Church. Can you sug­gest some in­ter­est­ing stops along the way and some things to do in Ban­gor? An amuse­ment park would be a nice di­ver­sion too.

I’d stop in Prince­ton, N. J., for a stroll through the Prince­ton cam­pus, then maybe some­where in west­ern Mas­sachusetts — Stock­bridge is lovely and has the Norman Rock­well mu­seum, or Northamp­ton or Amherst, both beau­ti­ful col­lege towns — then head east to the coast. You can stop at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, N.H., if you want an amuse­ment park, then head to Portsmouth, N.H., or Ogun­quit or Ken­neb­unkport, Maine. Then up through Port­land and on to Ban­gor. The Univer­sity of Maine Mu­seum of Art in Ban­gor has a good col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing works by Winslow Homer and An­drew Wyeth. There’s a po­lice mu­seum and a fire mu­seum, too.

Zofia Smardz

I’m plan­ning a trip to Mon­go­lia for late Au­gust or Septem­ber. Can you rec­om­mend a tour com­pany that isn’t too high­end? I’m also look­ing for an air­line rec­om­men­da­tion.

I flew United, con­nect­ing in Bei­jing, but my friend Ed al­ways flies Korean Air. I chose the cheap­est fare, but I’ve heard very good things about Korean Air, and Seoul is a great lay­over air­port. I’d look at Boo­jum Ex­pe­di­tions for a tour. Un­for­tu­nately, be­cause Mon­go­lia’s tourist in­fra­struc­ture is still de­vel­op­ing, the trip will be pricey. But you can save money by opt­ing for more bud­get lodg­ings and cheap eats.

An­drea Sachs

A friend and I are trav­el­ing to Amsterdam in May. Are there a few things that we ab­so­lutely must do? We’re look­ing into which mu­se­ums we should visit and maybe a canal tour.

Yes, a canal tour is great, and def­i­nitely visit the Ri­jksmu­seum and the Anne Frank House. Most peo­ple take a walk through the red-light district for the voyeurism/cu­rios­ity fac­tor.

Zofia Smardz

I’m run­ning the Paris Marathon and man­aged to get a cheaper flight to Lon­don Heathrow, then plan to con­nect to Paris via Eurostar. Is 3 1/ hours

2 enough time to clear cus­toms and get to St. Pan­cras train sta­tion in Lon­don?

You can take the Pic­cadilly line from Ter­mi­nal 5 at Heathrow to St. Pan­cras. The trip takes about an hour, so that should give you enough time even with the typ­i­cally long im­mi­gra­tion process at Heathrow.

Carol Sot­tili

We’re look­ing for an in­ex­pen­sive sum­mer va­ca­tion. We like to do things out­doors, like walking tours, amuse­ment parks, his­tor­i­cal ar­eas. Our bud­get is around $1,000 or less.

How about Wil­liams­burg? Visit Colo­nial Wil­liams­burg/Jamestown/York­town and Busch Gar­dens, maybe hit the sand at Vir­ginia Beach if you have time.

Becky Krys­tal

We’re try­ing to fig­ure out where to go for our sum­mer va­ca­tion. We’re look­ing for a place where we can bring our new puppy. We’d love to go some­where that we would all en­joy (Mom, Dad and 12-year-old daugh­ter).

West Vir­ginia is a very pretty state and I love it for a sum­mer

get­away when it gets op­pres­sively hot in Washington. Try look­ing for places in or near some of the re­sort ar­eas, such as Canaan Val­ley or Snow­shoe. State parks also of­ten have rea­son­ably priced, pet­friendly ac­com­mo­da­tions.

Becky Krys­tal

I’m trav­el­ing to Hawaii in May. I’d like to have a room with a kitch­enette so that I can save money by eat­ing some meals in the room. Would it be bet­ter to look for a condo to rent?

Many lodg­ings come with kitchen fa­cil­i­ties, not just con­dos. Check Oahu’s tourism Web site ( www.go­hawaii.com/oahu), which has an ac­com­mo­da­tion­find­ing tool. Also check the main book­ing sites, such as Kayak and Ex­pe­dia. The ho­tel de­scrip­tion will in­clude the avail­abil­ity of a kitch­enette.

ALAMY

St. Peter’s Basil­ica in Vat­i­can City has ac­cess for the dis­abled, but wheel­chair routes can be longer.

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