Travelers' Intercom

Entrance to the Imperial Hotel — Museum Meiji-mura, Inuyama, Japan. Photo by Jane B. Holt

On a day trip from Nagoya during our March-April 2016 sakura (cherry blossom) trip to Japan, my husband, Clyde, and I headed to Inuyama and its open-air architectural Museum Meiji-mura ( Our target was Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel.

The museum site encompasses 60 cultural properties that were saved from planned demolition and reconstructed in a lovely, 250-acre setting. The structures date from 1867 to 1989 — the Meiji, Taisho and Shōwa...

The <i>Shakti</i> in a lagoon in Raja Ampat. Photo by Donna DeGaetani

Lying in the Pacific Ocean's Coral Triangle, the Raja Ampat archipelago, in West Papua, Indonesia, is among the places with the world's richest diversity of corals and fish. A 2001 survey in association with Conservation International recorded 450 species of hard corals and more than 950 species of reef fish.

As an avid snorkeler, I was attracted to the biological diversity and remoteness of the islands' waters, so I enrolled for a 12-day, May 2018 live-aboard excursion...


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,...


When taking a trip with multiple destinations, my wife, Patti, and I want any lost luggage to find us in the destination country.

For example, we flew to Lima, Peru, in May 2015 and inserted our names along with our hotel name and address into our luggage tags. From Lima to Cuzco, we inserted the name of a new hotel, and the same for our flight to La Paz and the trip back home. This way, if our luggage was lost, it was more likely to be delivered to our destination hotel.



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...