Travelers' Intercom

After reading the subscribers' letters about "Senior Drivers of Rental Cars" (Dec. '18, pg. 38 & Jan. '19, pg. 32), I decided to add my 2¢.

I'll be turning 86 in April 2019. In September 2018, I returned to Austria for the 10th time since 1988. I rented a car from Hertz because I received a 20% discount card from Marriott Corporation; my wife and I are timeshare owners with Marriott Vacation Club.

I called Hertz to make the reservation, and...

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Getting into central London from Heathrow Airport with bags is usually an expensive and tedious process. Having stayed at a hotel in London's Marble Arch area, Jan. 8-15, 2019, I wanted to share my experience.

• Online, I looked at the Paddington Heathrow Express train from Heathrow's Terminal 5 to Paddington Station. It costs at least £20 (near $26) per person and would involve going on the Underground (with your bags), then taking a taxi from Paddington to your...

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I am a volunteer advocate for Chris Elliott's travel help forum, Elliott Advocacy (www.elliott.org). I travel often but have never worked for a travel provider. I previously shared with ITN readers information about some of the issues people have reported regarding booking flights (Nov. '18, pg. 12). In this letter, I'd like to share some of the hotel- and car-booking issues we've seen, along with some personal advice, particularly about travel insurance.

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I have been reading ITN for many years, learning many things, and felt that I should finally contribute.

On Nov. 1, 2018, I returned from an 8-week stay in Greece, where, as a 77-year-old woman traveling alone, I traveled mostly by rental car without a problem.

My first car rental was in Crete for a week. It was a small, automatic Peugeot — a luxury I felt I deserved. (I usually rent cars with manual transmissions.) When that went well, I rented another one in late...

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I took a unique new tour from Spiekermann Travel, "Wild Frontiers of North Caucasus," May 5-22, 2018.

It covered the remote Caucasus republics of southernmost Russia — Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, North Ossetia-Alania and Kabardino-Balkaria — from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea across the entire chain of the northern Caucasus Mountains. It also went to the self-proclaimed country of Abkhazia, which is still internationally considered part of Georgia.

The tour...

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Dismay and disappointment were what my wife, Fyllis, and I experienced when the call came that our Jan. 20-27, 2019, tour to Panama had been canceled. "Panama Canal Cruise, Rainforests & Beaches" was to be our first tour with Caravan Tours (Chicago, IL; 800/227-2826, www.caravan.com).

What we were told next, however, turned what could have been a doomsday dispatch into a delight.

First, we learned that another departure of the same tour would be leaving a day earlier and...

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Ablution area in the lower level of the Hassan II Mosque — Casablanca. Photos by Stephen Addison

Casablanca is probably the first city that comes to mind when thinking of Morocco. There's the movie, of course, and the city's name conjures up the exoticism of North Africa.

Visitors to Morocco's other imperial cities (e.g., Marrakesh and Fez) will experience exoticism aplenty, but in Casablanca, not so much. As ITN subscriber Fran Koort noted in the May 2018 issue (pg. 35), "Casablanca could almost be a European city."

Based upon the May 2018...

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Those hesitant to travel independently in Central Europe might enjoy the kind of semi-independent tour that my husband and I took in June 2015. Most of our travel arrangements were made through JayWay Travel (New Rochelle, NY; 800/344-5785, jaywaytravel.com), mostly by email but sometimes by phone.

During the year I spent planning the trip, JayWay was very accommodating, making changes as I made adjustments to our itinerary. They also offered several price categories for hotels. Our...

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