Travelers' Intercom

I ordered three pairs of convertible travel pants ($134.95 each plus $7 shipping), one of each of the available colors, from Clothing Arts (Brooklyn, NY; 646/422-9222, I am very satisfied with my purchase.

In preparation for a trip, I tested a pair of the pants this August to make sure there were no problems, particularly in respect to the garment's fit.

Halfway down each leg of the pants is a hidden zipper, allowing me to detach the lower portion,...


Many opportunities abound for doing "service travel" and making a difference somewhere in the world, often at minimal cost to the traveler. One example is the United Methodist Church's Primetimers Program (Atlanta, GA; 404/942-4015,, which offers trips that combine education and service at very reasonable prices.

I also have led and participated in Volunteers in Mission trips through the United Methodist Church, visiting such diverse...


My wife, Karen, and I have often read about getting cell phones or SIM cards for overseas travel, but, as my wife and I have found, there is no need to do that due to affordable and universally useable cell service from Google's Project Fi (*

My personal experience with both T-Mobile and Verizon while traveling internationally was receiving bills amounting to several hundred dollars for only a few phone calls and less than a gigabyte of data usage. That's what...

Cell phone tower disguised as a palm tree at the Kasbah Tamadot hotel in Asni, Morocco. Photo by Stephen Addison

Typically, when Americans travel internationally, their wireless carrier will offer some version of a reasonably priced international roaming plan for voice, text and data. Often, these plans cover at least 140 countries, or about three-fourths of the world's nations. These plans are likely to include the countries on your itinerary.

As I learned the hard way several years ago in Jordan, always check in advance to confirm that every country you plan to visit is covered. Many of...


"Beyond expectations" describes my thinking after hiking in Scotland's Glen Coe with HF Holidays (Catalyst House, 720 Centennial Ct., Centennial Park, Elstree, Hertfordshire, England WD6 3SY, U.K.; phone +44 20 8732 1220,, June 2-16, 2018.

It wasn't the hikes, themselves, that surpassed my hopes, as the Highlands, lochs and glens are renowned. It was the wonderful travelers and staff, enjoyable folk dancing, two quiz nights, a comfortable room in the...

Kathy Dolan and Lorenz Rychner demonstrating an optical illusion.

Did you know that Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972), usually known as M.C. Escher, was Dutch? I guess everybody has, at one time or another, seen some of Escher's fantastical works, where stairs simultaneously go up and down and where endless loops are hard to figure out with the naked eye.

In Den Haag (The Hague), my wife, Kathy, and I visited the permanent "Escher in Het Paleis" exhibition (Lange Voorhout 74;, located in Lange...


Returning to Seattle from a European vacation on May 12, 2018, one hour before our scheduled departure from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), we learned that our easyJet flight 8322 to London Gatwick Airport had been unceremoniously delayed four hours.

We noticed the schedule change while sitting at the gate, but there was no accompanying announcement (not even in French), no explanation and no customer support staff on hand to help.

Thirty minutes later, two easyJet...


Another reader's letter reminded me of an experience of my own.

Heading home from Frankfurt, Germany, in September or October 2016, my wife and I boarded a United Airlines flight to Chicago, but the plane then sat on the ground hour after hour due to mechanical problems.

By the time things were fixed, we were told that a new flight crew would have to be found, as there would not be sufficient time for the crew on board to arrive at our destination within their allowable...