QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS : State Department Issues Advisories

Question: I'm a businessman planning some trips abroad. How can I obtain up-to-date information about security?

Answer: The U.S. State Department has established a free Overseas Security Electronic Bulletin Board containing advisories of importance to business travelers. For more details, write Executive Director, Overseas Security Council, 2216 Gallows Road, Dunn Loring, Va. 22027.

Q: What is the progress of the channel tunnel between England and France?

A: Construction is on schedule for opening in 1993. When completed, it will cut travel time between London and Paris from six to three hours. The actual tunnel trip will take 30 minutes.

Q: Is there any likelihood that Congress will limit the size of campers and other recreational vehicles to conserve fuel?

A: Although bills have been introduced that would restrict RV size and require greater fuel economy, none have neared passage.

Q: When and where is the big national flower exhibition to be held next year as part of the Christopher Columbus celebration?

A: Columbus, Ohio, will stage the Ameri/Flori Exposition, from April 20 to Oct. 12, 1992. It's a horticultural world's fair backed by the U.S. government. Call (800) 837-1992 for more information.

Q: Since there are cruises to the Antarctic, why not to the North Pole region?

A: You won't be able to make it all the way to the North Pole, but several cruise lines sail above the Arctic Circle. Special Expeditions' Polaris travels to Norway fiords, which provides at least a taste of the northern polar area.

Q: Are there still tours on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, and does a passenger have to ride its entire length?

A: Several companies offer shorter trips by alternating segments using both rail and air with stopovers in Moscow and other cities.

Q: People usually gain weight while on vacations. Are there any books on diets while traveling?

A: A "Traveler's Guide to Healthy Eating" has some suggestions. It is available free from the American Dietetic Assn., 216 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Ill. 60606.

Q: Where is the war memorial museum for the Confederacy?

A: It's in Richmond, Va., and contains thousands of items for Civil War buffs.

Q: Why can airlines sell reserved and paid-for seats if the person checks in later than 10 minutes before flight time? Aren't airplane tickets similar to those for theater, sports and other events?

If you're a no-show, you can get your money back, but the airlines might fly with empty seats. Airlines also make refunds of non-refundable tickets if a ticket-holder can prove that the seat wasn't used for medical reasons. Theaters and sports organizations, however, rarely make refunds.

Q: We're planning a European trip, but are concerned about inflation abroad. We know airlines won't charge us more once we've bought our tickets, but how about hotel, tour and rental-car operators?

A: A number of hotels now guarantee dollar rates, as do some tour operators and rental-car companies.

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