The Discerning Traveler

(Third of three parts)

In this issue I will continue last month’s discussion of overseas car rentals and leases.

Picking up the car

If you drive directly to your hotel after picking up the car, it will help to map out your route ahead of time. This is facilitated in a country covered by the Michelin Red Guide, which shows town plans on which many hotels are indicated.

If you want to save the price of the first day’s rental, take an airport shuttle to your hotel...


(First of three parts)

“You are too old,” the representative said bluntly. Moments earlier my wife, Flory, and I had arrived at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. When I protested to the rep, he retorted, “Just take the shuttle to the Hertz lot, where an agent will have you drive around. If you do all right, we will give you the car.”

After easily maneuvering through the crowded parking area, I was told I had passed the test!

I was reminded of the above incident when ITN’s...


(Second of two parts)

In last month’s column I discussed the necessity of having sufficient blank pages in one’s passport and reported many other items gleaned from the Department of State website. This month I will discuss the various visa services.

Comparing visa service companies

Well, as you may recall from part one of this article, I needed to obtain visas to five countries for a planned cruise for Flory and me. To expedite the process, I went to the Department of...


(First of two parts)

“How can I possibly get our passports back in time?” l said to my wife, Flory.

“What is the problem?” she asked.

“Our cruise ship stops in five ports, each requiring its own visa, which means that I will have to send our passports to five different consulates.”

“That is a predicament.”

I was reminded of the above conversation when a letter from Victoria Davis in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, arrived at the ITN offices asking for an...


“Boy, did they go through fast.” We looked with envy as the European Union passport holders whisked through Immigration, while our line inched forward in tandem with the beetle on the floor.

“Maybe we should get a Dutch passport,” I said to Flory.

A letter to ITN from George Nastas of Haslett, Michigan, requesting an article about the acquisition of second passports, prompted me to action. My research turned up the following interesting tidbits.

Websites promising...


It was raining when we left Amsterdam on our way to France in May 2003. I put the car on autopilot and drove south until the sun came out.

We found ourselves in Satillieu, a typical small town in the French Ardèche.

We checked in at the 2-star Chaleat Sapet (Place de la Faurie, 07290, Satillieu, France; phone 011 33 4 75 34 95 42, fax 011 33 4 75 69 91 13, e-mail or visit, situated on the Place de la Faurie, an attractive, quiet square...

The Star Princess. Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises
The Star Princess experience across the Pacific
Hiking, driving, exploring the island of Madeira, Portugal