Liftoff in T Minus 10, 9, 8 . . .
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Q. I want to fulfill a long-standing wish. Please suggest a package plan for hotel and transportation to see the Cape Canaveral, Fla., shuttle launch in October or November. I do not want to rent a car or to drive. I can stay for three or four days in case of launch postponement.
Margaret Roberts Drucker, Washington
A. We weren't able to find a tour operator selling comprehensive shuttle launch package tours from Washington, but it's a relatively simple matter to put a trip together yourself. First, monitor the Kennedy Space Center Web site, http:/
But because you won't have a rental car, it might make more sense to buy your ticket from one of the space-center-sanctioned companies that offer round-trip transportation from Orlando hotels, such as Gray Line Orlando/Gator Tours (800-537-0917, http:/
Launch postponements are where it gets tricky. Gray Line's refund policy is on the Web site, but basically, full refunds are given only up to 72 hours before the scheduled launch. After that, if the launch is scrubbed, you can either settle for a tour of the space center or reschedule for the next attempt. The company charges $30 additional for the second trip.
Once you've bought your shuttle viewing tickets, you can work backward and reserve your airline ticket and hotel room. On Kayak.com, for example, an air-hotel package that includes a round-trip flight from Reagan National and three nights at the Ramada Orlando International Drive Lakefront hotel (we added a day for a possible launch delay) costs $462.
A buddy and I are planning to travel to Egypt in May. Our flights are taken care of (we're flying into Cairo). Can you recommend a reputable tour company there that could provide a thorough overview of Egypt's ancient sites?
Richard Georgen, Round Hill, Va.
Viatour, which specializes in booking destination activities in 75 countries, has a selection of Cairo tour operators at its Web site, http:/
Send queries by e-mail (email@example.com) or U.S. mail (Travel Q&A, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Please include your name and town.