Showing posts with the label Travel

Coronavirus: Want To Cancel Your Flight? Read This Before You Do So.

We already know that the coronavirus outbreak has put air travel in crisis. Many of us with upcoming leisure trips are wondering if our flights will be canceled by the airlines or if we should be canceling them ourselves.  Such uncertainty can drive us to cancel our flights immediately, especially, if the travelers are senior citizens with pre-existing medical conditions like my parents or if you are traveling with kids.  For instance, we have an upcoming trip to Mexico in April 2020 and we are booked on Delta airlines for the US-Mexico leg and Volaris from Cancun to Mexico City. At this time, about USD 2500 worth of our flight tickets is at stake.  No cash refund unless the airlines cancel the flight. Unfortunately, if your flight hasn't been canceled by the airlines, there is a possibility that you may not get a 100% cash refund (if you have non-refundable ticket). However, a lot of airlines (including Delta) are offering e-credits/ travel credits that you will be able to u

Coronavirus: How It Is Affecting My Travel Plans To Mexico For 'Spring Break'?

So, this year (2020), we decided to visit Mexico to see the Chichen Itza pyramids. Our plans were made during my yearly India trip in October 2019 (much before the coronavirus outbreak happened) and since then we had started making all the reservations, i.e. flight tickets, hotels, local tours, etc. Based on our Mexico travel dates, my parents also booked their flight to the US. They arrived here in February when the coronavirus news was still at a nascent stage. However, since last week, both coronavirus and news about it have suddenly spread like a wildfire. With over 3000 people dead worldwide, a lot of countries have issued travel bans. This has led to airlines and cruises canceling their routes. Therefore, we are wondering whether we should opt out of going to Mexico  even though there are just twelve confirmed cases of Covid-19 there.  Moreover, the U.S. State Department has maintained its Level 1 travel advisory-  exercise normal precautions - for most of Mexico. Likewise,

Visiting Mount Vernon With Elderly Parents

Much before the city of Washington, D.C., was planned, the banks of the Potomac River were occupied by wealthy families. Over time, the numbers of these palatial estates dwindled as the capital city grew in the 19th century. However, some examples still remain on the Virginia side of the Potomac River with George Washington's estate being one such example. I had gone to Mount Vernon last year and loved it! It is a beautiful historic place to visit and is a perfect day trip if you are in the MD, VA or DC area. This year my parents are in town and I knew that I had to take them to Mount Vernon. I planned this trip way before they booked their flights to the US and made sure they arrived before President's Day so that we could take advantage of Mount Vernon's free admission day. We reached at 9:15 am and went straight to the Ford Orientation Center to collect the timed tickets for the Mansion Tour. We wanted to see the orientation film at the Ford Center, however,

Egypt Travel Scams And How You Can Avoid Them

Last week, I was in Egypt and I have never been so disappointed with any of my past travel experiences. As much as I loved witnessing one of the seven wonders of the world, the magnificent pyramids of Giza, I cannot stop thinking of how I got scammed despite following all anti-scam protocols.  This post is therefore dedicated to all the future budget travelers  to Egypt and includes different types of scamming and some tips to avoid getting scammed.  The Pyramids and Sphinx in Giza Scam 1: Unofficial tour guides and guards scam at the Giza and Saqqara Pyramid complexes in Cairo. Unofficial tour guides dressed up on traditional Arabic robes (see the below photo) will pretend as if they are the official authorities. They will ask to check your ticket, not return it and then proclaim themselves as your guide. They will demand an inflated fee and won’t return you the ticket until you pay them.   Some also offer simple, unsolicited help, like pointing to a direction o

How To Renew Your Indian Passport In The US? - with Cox & Kings

This post is for the Indian citizens (Indian passport holders) living in US and would like to renew their passport from the US. My husband has applied for his passport renewal from the US because he was not confident that his passport will get renewed within the two weeks of vacation time in India. Moreover, he did not want to go through the hassle of running to a PSK center for a personal interview/biometrics or a local police station for police verification. I mean that you are literally stuck at home waiting for the police to come for verification. Another problem was that his passport was expiring in April 2020. He wants to travel to India on December 2019 and the US will not permit to enter unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. Given his situation, it was best to apply for his passport renewal in the US.  Last time he had renewed his passport directly through the US Embassy in New York and had a terrible experience. His