Trip Coach: Feb. 28, 2006 Susan Stellin answered your questions about planning and booking travel. Budget Travel Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006, 3:10 PM Budget Travel LLC, 2016


Trip Coach: Feb. 28, 2006

Susan Stellin answered your questions about planning and booking travel.

Susan Stellin: Hi, this is Susan Stellin--thanks for joining me. I'll try to answer some of your questions about planning and booking travel!


Syracuse, New York: We are looking for a flight from Syr-YVR May 26 with a return Anc-Syr June 8. Is this a good time to purchase tickets or do you foresee the price decreasing in the future?

Susan Stellin: Since your travel dates are pretty specific and include a holiday (Memorial Day weekend), I'd buy tickets now. It's unlikely that prices will drop on those routes for that time period, so the sooner you book, the more likely you'll get a discounted fare.


Cape Vincent, NY: My husband and I are planning a trip to Seattle/Vancouver for our 25th anniversary. I am very excited about seeing this part of the country . The other day I was reading a novel that was set in the san juan islands and it spoke of 2 1/2 hour waits for the ferries . Is this common in Seattle in the end of June?

Susan Stellin: I think your best bet is to call the ferry company and ask what the typical wait is for the time you plan to travel -- I'm sure it varies between a Friday afternoon and a Wednesday morning. But 2 1/2 hours sounds like the exception rather than the rule.


NYC, NY: We plan to visit San Fransisco area (including wine countries and Yosemite NP and Big Sur) in last week of March (1 week) to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We want to rent a car for going to places but it seems difficult to get an economical hotel in downtown SF with parking facilities. Can you advise which hotels would combine economy, convenience and parking? We can spend only about $100 a night.

Also if you can advise on how to divide one week between SF, Yosemite, wine countries and Santa Cruz/Carmel areas we will be extremely grateful. Mahen

Susan Stellin: Very few hotels in San Francisco include free parking in their rates, so you should definitely ask about parking fees before you book. Another option is to park your car in one of the municipal lots in the city -- I think the parking lot at 5th and Mission St. has pretty reasonable rates. You might also consider waiting to rent a car until you're ready to leave the city. As for your itinerary, you may not have time to see all the places on your list in one week -- unless you don't mind spending your entire vacation on the highway! You can definitely visit the wine country as a day trip from San Francisco, but you really need at least a couple days to see Yosemite (including driving time from San Francisco). And it would be pushing it to visit both Santa Cruz and Carmel as a day trip, especially if you want to drive along the coast and take time to stop along the way. So I'd suggest picking fewer places to see if you only have a week.


Mishawaka, Indiana: I will be taking my 15 yr. old granddaughter to Europe this summer. We want to fly into Rome (from Chicago) and fly home to U.S. from Paris (to Chicago). I am trying to arrange trip myself online, but I can't figure out how to use 2 airports. How would I do this, and is it just too prohibitative in cost to do it this way? Thank you in advance, Judy

Susan Stellin: You can definitely book a ticket from Chicago to Rome and then back to the U.S. from Paris. If you're looking up prices online, you may have to choose the "advanced search" option in order to enter this type of itinerary. And you may find you get better prices if you consider flying into Milan (and then taking the train to Rome), since some airlines have more flights to Milan.


Philadelphia, Pa: Where should I start to look for a last min. deal (within a month) from Phl to AZ (anywhere but PHX) w/air, car, hotel? I want to do this for my parents, they both had colds and need to dry out!

Susan Stellin: A few Web sites that specialize in last-minute packages are,, and, though some of these sites only book trips for departure within the next few weeks. I'd also check what's available from Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity, as well as some of the airlines that fly out of Philadelphia (like and

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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