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Editor's Note
We're taking a little break over the holidays, but please enjoy these popular columns and messages from past issues.
Deals and News
America's seventh largest city still maintains a small town, friendly vibe. Now's the time to start planning a trip to the west coast with the help of the San Diego Visitors Bureau and its free vacation planning kit.
Roadtrip travel in January and February is less common, than in, say, warm-enough-to-roll-the-windows-down June and July, and prices typically reflect that lower demand. So far, 2004 is shaping up to be no different, with one outfit pushing special rates of less than $10 a day.
In recent months, several North American airlines have started selling food on board domestic flights. And while it ain't Jean Georges, the sandwiches airlines are serving seem reasonably priced and pretty tasty.
These non-central neighborhoods can provide a glimpse into how locals really live. They're full of charming pubs and restaurants inhabited by residents, not tourists. They've usually got gorgeous parks, and lower crime rates than the tourist centers. And depending on where you choose to stay, they can provide either a peaceful breather from the chaos of downtown, or put you a short stagger from the city's best nightlife.
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Reader's Voice
From Sally Staley: "I am planning to go to Europe for 4 to 6 months, and I am being told that I should go to the luggage company displays and buy the fanny pack with the wire in them and all sorts of theft protection. I have my around-the-neck holder, my husband has his money belt, and we have adapters. We are 65 years old, and I want to know if those kinds of things are really needed. We plan some tours but will travel on our own when we want. What is really needed in the way of theft protection?"
From Michelle Bellinger: "I just got back from my first cruise and it was AWFUL!! It was a 4 day cruise from NYC to Halifax on Carnival Victory. The food was disgusting, the drinks had hardly any alcohol in them, the entertainment was mediocre and the pools were crowded. After exploring the ship on the first night, there was nothing else to experience. All of the lounges allowed smoking."
From Carol Bellanti: "I have been reading discussions on the DR and am a little concerned about nude beaches. We are planning a trip to Punta Cana with our family and they wouldn't be comfortable with nude beaches. Are all the beaches clothing optional?"
From Jane B.: "I hope to see Morocco someday, but after reading the Dept of State warnings - bombings in Casablanca last May, removal of Peace Corps volunteers - I decided to wait until it was safer. Imagine my surprise when I saw the recent newsletter promotion of Morocco tours. To promote visits and make no mention of such warnings seems somewhat irresponsible to me. Am I being unrealistic?"
From Danielle Von: "Most guidebooks suggest to have airport workers hand check your film for best picture results. I have never done this and wonder if my pictures would turn out better if I did. They do turn out hazy. Is it the overcast weather or x-ray exposure? Has anyone reading this ever had there film hand checked? Do the people working ever have a problem with checking it?"

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