A desire to preserve, not just observe, nature
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.