Navigating the ‘negatives’ surrounding Cancun
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. Here are edited excerpts from a recent discussion:
I’m hearing and seeing a lot of negatives about traveling to Mexico lately, and I’ve been considering a week-long Cancun visit in midDecember. What do I need to know?
There have been more reports about bad stuff happening in the Cancun region in recent weeks. A 20-year-old from Wisconsin died after allegedly drinking unregulated grain alcohol at an Iberostar property, there was a drug-related shootout and another woman from Wisconsin was assaulted. But that region gets 10 million visitors a year, so I’m not sure that I’d panic. I’d still go. — Carol Sottili
What are the best websites and places to find last-minute travel deals? Also, are these last-minute deals legit and is there anything we need to be careful of when booking?
There are a number of sites that specialize in last-minute (or “distressed”) inventory, such as Priceline and Hotwire. But among the best sources are the companies themselves, which offer deals by email. The deals are legit, but they go fast. — Christopher Elliott
I’m starting to plan a 45th anniversary trip to Madagascar, probably in October 2018. Any tips from your experience, Andrea? We don’t want to cook or put up our own tents (we want to spend our time looking for lemurs), and definitely don’t want to do a bus tour. We will probably spend around three weeks there.
What an amazing destination for anniversary. Lodging and food are very inexpensive, even at the “higher-end” resorts. Driving and roads are crazy, so I would recommend a private driver/ guide for the lemur-and-nature-park part of your trip. If you spend a few days on the beach, you won’t need a guide. I used Audley Travel for my arrangements and had a great experience. — Andrea Sachs What would you consider to be the best Alaskan cruise? What should we consider when booking an Alaskan cruise?
I don’t believe there is a “best” cruise. Would you prefer a large ship or a small one? Big or small budget? How many days can you devote? Just about every major cruise ship line offers Alaskan cruises, and they come in different flavors. There are also plenty of smaller expedition companies. You need to narrow down your wish list. — C.S.
Next month, I’ll be cruising from Vancouver to Seward, with a trip to Denali afterward. Any tips for a novice cruiser?
If you drink, price out the alcohol package to figure out if it will save you money. If you want to do the ship’s shore excursions, book them as soon as you board. Ditto with dinner at a specialty restaurant. Research alternatives to the pricey, ship-sponsored shore excursions, but make sure you’re signing up with a reputable firm. Whatever you do, get back to the ship before it departs — they won’t wait for you if you’re not on an official excursion. — C.S.