The Tripologist

Papers in order: Make sure you have enough time left on your passport before travelling.MY THREE-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER AND I HAVE A DUST MITE ALLERGY SO WHENEVER WE STAY IN A HOTEL WE ARE OVERCOME BY DUST AND OTHER IRRITANTS. MY DAUGHTER ALSO HAS A PEANUT ALLERGY WITH AN ANAPHYLAXIS RISK, WHICH ALSO AFFECTS OUR ABILITY TO GO ON HOLIDAY. ARE THERE HOTELS OR CHAINS IN AUSTRALIA THAT SPECIFICALLY CATER FOR PEOPLE WITH DUST ALLERGIES AND OTHER ALLERGIES?
Nanjing Night Net

A. BARNES, GOONELLABAH, NSW

Accor (accorhotels南京夜网.au) has a number of hotels with dedicated allergy-free rooms. Allmitee Healthy Sleeping (allmitee南京夜网) is a South Australia-based cleaning specialist that can provide you with a list of hypoallergenic guest rooms in Adelaide and surrounds. Check the Healthy Hotels Guide (healthyhotels南京夜网.au) for a list of hotels that might fit your criteria. Ideally, you want a hotel room with no carpet, but with anti-allergy pillows and mattresses, blinds, no soft furnishings, good natural ventilation and where housekeeping staff use only scent-free cleaning products. The Allergy Friendly Hotels website (allergyfriendlyhotels南京夜网) has useful tips. Most hotels are conscientious when serving diners with an anaphylaxis risk. However, peanuts and peanut oil are frequently used in some Asian cuisines. These restaurants may be best avoided.

MY HUSBAND IS IN GOOD HEALTH, BUT HE USES TWO WALKING STICKS TO GET AROUND. I HAVE ASKED IN LOCAL TRAVEL AGENTS AND FIND THEIR ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS ARE NOT REALISTIC, E.G. A RHINE CRUISE WITH WALKING SHORE EXCURSIONS AT A MODERATE TO FAST PACE, OR SOUTH AFRICAN GAME SAFARIS. DO YOU KNOW OF AN AGENT OR A COMPANY WHO MAY BE ABLE TO HELP? HE IS INTERESTED IN EUROPE.

S. PIPER, WAHROONGA

If you and your husband have a hankering to see animals on the tawny plains of Africa, go for it. In my experience, the staff at game lodges will care for your husband as if he is their flesh and blood. If getting your husband on a safari vehicle is the extent of your worries, you really won’t have a problem. Talk to Bench International (benchinternational南京夜网.au) or the Classic Safari Co (classicsafaricompany南京夜网.au). Europe is not so easy. Everywhere requires walking. A cruise that involves scenery, rather than foot slogging, might be a good option. Special Care Travel (specialcaretravel南京夜网.au), Leisure Options (leisureoptions南京夜网.au) and Clubmates Travel (clubmatestravel南京夜网) are just a few of the operators that specialise in disabled travel.

A GROUP OF US WAS HEADING TO BALI FOR A WEEK; ONE OF US HAD SIX MONTHS AND ONE DAY LEFT ON THEIR PASSPORT AND WAS REFUSED A BOARDING PASS. A FRANTIC DASH TO PERTH WAS MADE – BUT THEY MISSED OUT ON THE HOLIDAY AND THEIR AIRFARES. IF A 10-YEAR PASSPORT IS ONLY USABLE FOR NINE YEARS AND SIX MONTHS, IS THAT A BREACH OF THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND THE TRAVELLER? WHY WOULD A PASSPORT VALID FOR SIX MONTHS AND ONE DAY BE REFUSED FOR A SEVEN-DAY TRIP TO BALI?

P. OLDMAN, ARMADALE, WA

It seems to me the check-in staff got it wrong, and your friend should not have been denied boarding. According to the website of the Embassy of Indonesia in Canberra, the requirement for a tourist visa is “Passport still valid at least 6 months from the date of entry”. By the barest of margins, therefore, it appears that your friend’s passport would have qualified.

Regarding your other question, an adult Australian passport is normally valid for 10 years, and the bearer is entitled to leave and return to Australia until the very last day of that 10 years.

What the Indonesian government requires is another matter. But on the basis of the facts as you’ve presented them, the airline check-in staff were clearly wrong. I’d be pressing your case with the airline in question.

As well as asking for a refund of the ticket, your friend should consider the value of the holiday in Bali that he or she was denied, and include that in any claim for compensation.

Get everything in writing, and if you do not get a satisfactory response, contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (accc.gov.au).OVER TO YOU

The question was: “Do you use a search engine such as Hipmunk or Kayak to book flights, or for information only?”

“Skyscanner lists free flight comparisons worldwide, including the cheapest fares,” writes K. Shanahan. “I frequently use Skyscanner to book and pay for short internal/domestic flights in Asia and Europe.”

P. Markson says, “I really like the Momondo search engine because it seems to find cheap flights that are overlooked by others and it shows me exactly which dates within a month offer the cheapest fares. It’s especially good for flights within Europe.”

“Kayak gets my vote,” writes J. Reddy. “I can filter the results by cost, departure time, flight duration and airline among other factors.”

“I’ve just discovered Routehappy and it’s a real gem for finding the best flights,” according to K. Lim. “Not only does it give me fares, flight times etc in a simple readout, I can also get a ranking for factors such as seat pitch, on-board entertainment and flyer ratings.”

Next question: Have you got a clever way of beating the extortionate parking fees at Sydney Airport’s car parks? Send a response, or your travel question, to [email protected] com.au. All published responses will win a Lonely Planet guidebook.

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