Travelers' Intercom

The gatehouse at Lanhydrock, Bodmin.

I strongly recommend the services of Midway Motor Travel (Southerwicks, Corsham, Wiltshire, England, SN13 9NH, U.K.; phone, from the US or Canada, 800/214-8738 or, in Britain, +44 [0] 1249 71657).

My husband, Michael, and I had been to Britain many times but never to Cornwall. I saw the ad for Midway in ITN’s MART classifieds and contacted owner Anton Prole, who was most efficient and helpful. Over a few months, we planned a customized trip for March 20-30, 2012.

The land cost for this 10-day tour for two was £5,069 (near $8,190), including accommodations,...

Fish market at Cox’s Bazar — Bangladesh. Photos by Edward J. Sullivan

Most Americans know nothing about Bangladesh, although some may remember the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh (organized by Ravi Shankar and George Harrison) that provided aid to that country, which was reeling from a devastating cyclone and the beginnings of a civil war (the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971) that would result in as many as three million deaths.

While few have visited that area of the world, such a visit is rewarding to the traveler and very helpful to the country.

The land that would become known as Bangladesh separated from India in 1947, when Muslims achieved their...


I was reviewing my old copies of ITN to tear out and file articles for future reference when I came across Alan Groudan’s letter (March ’16, pg. 12) regarding his Bank of America ATM card failure in Europe in July 2015. His new ATM-only card worked in the United States but did not work in Europe. This brought to mind an incident regarding my own ATM-only card.

My wife and I are also Bank of America (BofA) customers, and we travel out of the country often. Right before a 6-week trip to Scotland and London in April-June 2015, my checking account had a possible security...


I had the pleasure of a 10-day, 9-night expedition-type sailing on L’Austral, one of four ships operated by Ponant Yacht Cruises & Expeditions (408 Avenue du Prado, 13008 Marseille, France; 888/400-1082,, Aug. 20-30, 2015.

All of Ponant’s ships have been built for polar cruising and are well known in the European market for voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic. The company is not well known in the American market, so I’m pleased that ExpeditionTrips (Seattle, WA; 877/412-8527, brought this company to my attention....

Small group of gorillas from the Kwitonda family. Photos by Esther Perica

Whenever I want to treat myself to a trip on which I know I will have an excellent guide, top-quality hotels and an exciting and unusual itinerary along with well-traveled and interesting fellow travelers, I book with Passport Travel & Tours, a family-owned company located near Chicago (Grayslake, IL; 847/543-6729,

I have done seven trips with them over the years and consider Bill Ball, the owner and guide for all of their trips, to be one of the most professional, accountable and client-centered people I’ve ever...

The active volcano Mt. Etna as seen from the roof terrace of the UNA Hotel Palace in Catania. Photo by Ging Steinberg

Many friends have talked excitedly about the beauties of Sicily: ancient ruins, beautiful gardens, great scenery and delightful hotels. My wife, Ging, and I visited this island off Italy’s southeastern coast from mid-July until the first week of August 2016. 

We began in PALERMO, where the one-mile port walk passes docks for ships large and small, including spectacular yachts, and leads to the beautiful Orto Botanico, the botanic and zoological gardens.

We stayed at the Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa (Via dei Cartari, 18, 90133 Palermo, Italy; phone +39 091 320075, www....


The airlines have continued to decrease the value of their mileage programs by requiring more points for rewards, changing the way points are earned and making it more difficult to use points to book flights on desirable days.I believe that, instead of booking flights with miles by using an airline-rewards card, you are better off using a no-annual-fee credit card that gives 2% to 3% cash back on purchases. By using cash to purchase the tickets, you can get the flight times you want without any restrictions. I priced out a round-trip ticket from Honolulu to Chicago on United Airlines...


After cruising down the Red Sea, the ship I was on docked at Muscat, Oman, on Nov. 7, 2016, and I disembarked.Taxi cabs were readily available just outside the dockyard gate, and American dollars were accepted by the drivers, giving visitors the convenience of not initially needing local currency to pay.When I researched hotels in Muscat, it became clear that there were many. I narrowed down my decision based on cost and the part of the city I wanted to stay.I chose Hotel ibis Muscat (phone +968 244 89890, in the Al Khuwair district,...