WALK RIGHT INN
I would love to do a walking holiday in France. Is that possible? Are there guided walks like in Spain and Portugal? Is there anything you can recommend for a week?
On Foot Holidays (onfootholidays .co.uk) has announced a new walking route in the picturesque Dordogne region of southwest France. The selfguided, inn-to-inn walk follows the Dordogne River through classic French countryside and medieval villages and is designed so you feel like a local too, which is always the best way to see a new place. Beginning in the medieval city of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, the walk will take you through the Dordogne Valley and picturesque villages, staying in traditional inns and hotels along the riverside. After four days of walking, the route heads over the limestone plateau to the village of Rocamadour, finishing along the Ouysse river, at a Michelin-starred restaurant to celebrate the end of the walk. The seven-night walking holiday is graded medium with up to 5½ hours’ walking each day (shortened options are usually offered too). For $1800 (twin share and depending on exchange rates), you’ll get seven nights’ accommodation, breakfasts, four dinners and all luggage transfers – meaning you can walk with just your backpack. Shorter six, five and fournight options are also available.
I want to book direct flights with Jetstar from Sydney to Phuket for late April. I seemed to miss the boat for better prices on flights a couple of months ago. Do I hold off and wait for prices to come down, or should I book now?
David Smith, managing director of Travel on Capri, a Helloworld Travel partner, says fares for all airlines fluctuate so much and it is hard to say when special fares will come out. However, generally it is safe to say that when travel is planned over peak times such as school holidays, Easter or Christmas, fares are at a premium because demand is so much higher. As you’re looking to travel over Easter, I suggest you are best to book flights now. It’s highly likely fares will only keep going up as the flights fill, and that’s no fun for any holidaygoer. It’s also useful to subscribe to airline newsletters and alerts which will advise you of any specials coming up. Your travel agent can also look out for these specials for you.
ACCESSIBLE NEW YORK
I would like to take my 37-year-old sister to New York. I wonder about the availability of getting caregivers to come and shower and dress her in the US. Best hotels for wheelchair access rooms? Wheelchair access toilets are also another thing that comes to mind. Any advice is welcome! My brother went to New York last year with his friend who uses a wheelchair and, to make life easier, his caregiver from Sydney went too. But if you can’t manage the cost for the additional airfare and room, there are US companies who can help while you’re on holiday with your sister. Wheelchair Escapes (wheelchairescapes.com) can help with flight arrangements, organising wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and they have qualified wheelchair travel specialists on hand. When it comes to getting around, according to tourist board NYC and Co, every public bus is equipped with wheelchair lifts and seating, and lifts provide access to about 25 per cent of NYC subway stations (web.mta.info/ accessibility/stations.htm). Some apps, such as irideNYC (iride.nyc), are also a useful resource. Then there are New York City’s famous yellow taxis. According to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, there are 1800 wheelchair-accessible yellow cabs in use citywide, and another 800 green cabs which serve Upper Manhattan and the other boroughs. All of these cabs can be hailed on the street, but you can also book them in advance. Text a request to 646-400-0789, or book online at ridecharge.com. For accessible bathrooms, there’s a comprehensive list you can check at nycgovparks.org/facilities/ bathrooms. And NYC and Co (nycgo.com) also has a great list of accessible venues, theatres, galleries, tours, sports venues and hotels. NYLO Hotel on Broadway (nylohotels.com) has handicapaccessible rooms that have roll-in showers with detachable shower heads and handlebars on the side; citizenM on Times Square is also wheelchair friendly, as is the Four Seasons Downtown. Most new hotels will have wheelchair access – ask to make sure as some older styles without a lift may not. Some companies will help with in-room care – mavencare.com, care.com or caregivershomecare.com come to mind. Your hotel concierge should also be a handy resource for coOnnInecstiaognrsaamnd contacts.
VISA FOR AFRICA
We are heading to Tanzania. What visas will we need and how do we go about getting them?
Tanzania's visa application process has moved online, making it easier for Aussies and other international visitors to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, relax in Zanzibar or explore the Serengeti. To get a visa for the United Republic of Tanzania, including Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, visit eservices.immigration.go.tz/ visa/ and select “apply for a new application”. From there, fill out your details and pay $US50 (about $70) for a single-entry visa, valid for 90 days. Tanzania Immigration Services will review online applications, process them and notify applicants whether they’ve been accepted or not via email. You can also use the website to track your application.
Take in picturesque villages, staying at traditional inns and hotels, on a walk through the Dordogne Valley, France; Tanzania’s online visa application process has made it easier for Aussies.