A de­sire to pre­serve, not just ob­serve, na­ture

The Washington Post Sunday - - TRAVEL - — C.S.

On Mon­days at 2 p.m., The Washington Post’s travel writ­ers and ed­i­tors dis­cuss your travel sto­ries, ques­tions, gripes and more at live. washington post.

com. Edited ex­cerpts from a re­cent dis­cus­sion:

Do you have any ex­pe­ri­ence with vol­un­teer va­ca­tions in sup­port of wildlife? I am­par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in those fo­cus­ing on marine con­ser­va­tion (and prefer­ably not geared to high school/col­lege stu­dents). A

Google search turns up many op­tions, but I’d be re­luc­tant to com­mit to a spe­cific group with­out more in­for­ma­tion.

I have taken a few vol­un­teer va­ca­tions: one with the Sierra Club in Utah, another at a wildlife con­ser­va­tion cen­ter in Namibia. Sierra Club has many aquatic-based vol­un­teer trips, in­clud­ing a Jan­uary trip in Maui. Earth­watch is very rep­utable (but it can be ex­pen­sive), and REI or­ga­nizes trips, too.

If you sup­port or fol­low a par­tic­u­lar or­ga­ni­za­tion, such as World Wildlife Fund, see whether they of­fer vol­un­teer trips. You can also con­tact the or­ga­ni­za­tion and ask whether they have travel part­ners. Galapagos Is­land con­ser­va­tion groups, for ex­am­ple, work with or cer­tify some travel op­er­a­tors. If you find a trip you like, call and ask lots of ques­tions, such as how many hours are ded­i­cated to volunteering, the age range of par­tic­i­pants and how the group uses your fees.

— An­drea Sachs

I don’t own a car and there­fore don’t have car in­sur­ance. So I’m won­der­ing: Is the sec­ondary in­sur­ance onmy credit cards enough when I rent a car? Do I need to pur­chase the ad­di­tional cov­er­age from the rental com­pany (which I’d rather not do)? I’m not re­ally clear whether that sec­ondary cov­er­age be­comes pri­mary if there is no other in­sur­ance. I have an AmEx for which I can pay an ad­di­tional $20 per rental for pri­mary cov­er­age, which is great for longer rentals, but not re­ally worth it for a one-day rental that costs that much on its own. I can’t seem to find a straight an­swer online on this, as most re­sponses are un­der the as­sump­tion that one owns a car.

Sec­ondary cov­er­age kicks in only when your pri­mary in­sur­ance is ex­hausted. The AmEx cov­er­age is go­ing to be con­sid­er­ably less than the in­sur­ance from the car rental com­pany. If you send me a note, I’ll be happy to e-mail you the chap­ter on car rentals from my latest book.

— Christo­pher El­liott

We are two friends who are in our 60s and ac­tive. We are look­ing for a 10-day get­away in Jan­uary where we can have nice, warm weather and some­thing to do dur­ing the day. We are con­cerned about safety in Mexico. What can you sug­gest be­sides cruises, which nei­ther of us are re­ally in­ter­ested in?

So many des­ti­na­tions would fit the bill. San Diego is an op­tion that of­fers lots to do. It won’t be truly warm, but high temps should be in the 60s. As for Mexico, Can­cun and nearby ar­eas are safe, but not sure there would be enough for you to do for that long of a visit. Same goes for Caribbean is­lands. Ber­muda might be an op­tion. Or, if you are will­ing to travel, Hawaii could work.

— Carol Sot­tili I’m fly­ing on Fron­tier next week (ugh) and it doesn’t par­tic­i­pate in TSA Precheck. I’ve heard a ru­mor that I can show my global en­try card and maybe get into the Precheck line, but the TSA Web site ex­plic­itly says that’s not the case. Is it worth even try­ing?

Yes, it’s worth try­ing. No guar­an­tees, but you have noth­ing to lose. Many don’t re­al­ize that dis­count car­ri­ers, such as Fron­tier, Spirit and WOW air, don’t par­tic­i­pate in TSA Precheck.

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