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Hold the Cellular Phone

November 15, 1987|ERIC FRIEDHEIM | Friedheim is editor/publisher of Travel Agent magazine.

Question: On my trip abroad, can I use my cellular phone for local and long-distance calls?

Answer: Right now, only in Canada, the United States, the Virgin Islands and Hong Kong. Your phone won't work in Europe, but rentals are available in some countries.

Q: Will I save money by making travel arrangements directly with my personal computer?

A: It's possible, but only an expert can sift through the thousands of fares and hotel tariffs to find bargains for your particular trip. Better rely on a travel agent.

Q: I'm trying to log all the places I've visited. Is there an official roster of all the countries in the world?

A: About 300 islands and territories claim to be nations, but the United Nations lists 159 members and six others with observer status.

Q: We're planning some long trips with our young children. Where can we get information about hotels and other facilities that cater to families?

A: Numerous travel guidebooks identify such accommodations, restaurants, attractions and special services. For a free catalogue, write to Families on the Go, 1259 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025.

Q: We've received brochures from motor-coach tour companies. Is there any organization to vouch for their reliability?

A: Your travel agent has a listing of more than 200 motor-coach tour operators who belong to the National Tour Assn., P. O. Box 3071, Lexington, Ky. 40596, and who subscribe to its membership standards.

Q: Is it true that you should not use ballpoint pens when signing traveler's checks?

A: Because such signatures may be easy to erase, credit card companies call for the use of permanent-ink pens.

Q: We'd like to rent a house in the Caribbean this winter. Is it best to go through a real estate agency or deal directly with the owner?

A: Sometimes you might save on rentals by dealing directly, but brokers normally have a wide selection with various rates. For further information, consult World Wide Home Rental Guide, 142 Lincoln Ave., Santa Fe, N. M. 87501. The cost is $5.

Q: Does the company operating the Orient Express have hotels and is there one in the United States?

A: Orient Express has hotels in the United Kingdom, Italy, Bahamas and Vail, Colo.

Q: We're planning a leisurely tour of the Florida Keys and want to do some scuba diving. Where can we obtain information about some of the best areas for diving and the facilities available?

A: Some Florida guidebooks devote considerable space to the subject. For free brochures and other details, write to the Florida Division of Tourism, 107 W. Gaines St., Tallahassee, Fla. 32301.

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