Travelers' Intercom

There were 16 group members on the 8-day “Majestic Slovenia” tour that I returned from on July 24, 2021, and five of us were related (four cousins and a husband). Traveling with us on the tour by AHI International Corporation (Chicago, IL; 800/323-7373, was our helpful AHI Tour Director, Ivana Gavran. Ivana is Croatian but very knowledgeable about Slovenia.

The trip was originally offered in the spring of 2019, and our reservation was scheduled for May 29-...

“Tent” accommodations can be quite elaborate. Photo by Sandra Anderson

Because the idea of going to Africa may be a bit intimidating to many people, we thought a primer, of sorts, might be appreciated. We previously wrote about game-drive photo safaris (July ’21, pg. 12). This time, the information is intended to provide a feel for the types of camps and lodges we have stayed at and visited in Africa, having completed our seventh trip there in March 2020.

We describe five types, chosen for variety. While each of the descriptions is primarily about...


I have a travel spreadsheet that shows me how to get from one place to another at a destination. If the distance is less than 2 miles, I walk (weather permitting) because I can see more things that way and get some exercise. Where the ground is uneven or there is bicycle traffic everywhere, I have to be careful, however.

On a trip, I generally walk 8 to 10 miles a day over a 7- or 8-hour period — an average of only 1.2 miles an hour. A person normally walks 3.5 miles an hour, so...

Vernazza’s waterfront. Photos by Liz Fischer

On a summer trip to Europe in 2018, my husband, Bill, and I visited northern Italy. After a stay in the Dolomites (June ’21, pg. 22), a short drive in our rental car took us to the Cinque Terre and Hotel Villa Adriana (phone +39 0187 818 09, in Monterosso al Mare. For a 2-night stay, we paid €460 (near $559), including breakfast and dinner.

Just a short walk from the beach, this was a lovely hotel, with an elevator, great food, air-conditioning in our...

Guarding tourists from Komodo dragons — Komodo island, Indonesia. Photo by Margaret Hinkle

We sailed on the Bali-to-Sydney “Komodo & the Australian Coast” cruise aboard the Viking Orion of Viking Ocean Cruises (Los Angeles, CA; 855/338-4546,, Dec. 9-27, 2019.

Our Deluxe Veranda Stateroom cost us $4,999 each. The fare included air (Tucson-Los Angeles-Hong Kong-Denpasar), but we used frequent-flyer miles to upgrade to business class. Trip insurance cost an additional $619 apiece. We took a shore excursion at every port stop — some tours...

Hot springs at Lake Mývatn, northern Iceland. Photos by Cindi McNabb

My husband, Mark, and I did a 2-week self-drive around Iceland, June 15-29, 2021, and it was WONDERFUL! We felt that two weeks was the right amount of time for this trip.

It had been 21 months since our last international trip. It was so refreshing to travel in a country that was filled with smiling, unmasked faces. We chose Iceland because it was open to vaccinated US citizens and was doing well with their vaccination program, having few cases and hospitalizations.


A Hispaniolan parrot. Photos by Marian Herz

Originally, I was scheduled on a March 2021 trip to snorkel with humpback whales at the Silver Bank, near the Dominican Republic. I had arranged to do some birding with another company, Explora Ecotour (, prior to snorkeling. The snorkeling part of the trip was canceled due to COVID, but I realized I still wanted to visit the Dominican Republic.

I sent an email to Explora Ecotour asking if they could accommodate me for a longer birding trip. Manny Jimenes, co-owner...

In Mumbai, laundry is done at Dhobi Ghat. Photo by John Hicks

Because my husband, John, and I had had a fascinating monthlong private tour of northern India in 2015 conducted by Indian Panorama (No. 5 Annai Ave., Srirangan, Trichy, Tamil Nadu 620006, India;, when we decided to tour southern India, we contacted the person who had planned our northern India trip.

We found Tim Hawley ( very good to deal with, and he understood what we were interested in. We were happy with the plan for the trip, which...