Question: We're going on a trip around the country and we want to do our own planning. What's the best way to start?
Answer: Local visitor and tourist bureaus usually have hotel and sightseeing brochures with prices. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for a free copy of "Call for Visitors Information" from the International Assn. of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, P.O. Box 758, Champaign, Ill. 61824.
Q: We're planning two weeks in Europe , but have been told that hotels, meals and local transportation will be expensive. How much money in traveler's checks and currency should we take?
A: Whether you're on a prepaid tour or an independent trip, you can minimize the amount of money you take, depending, of course, on your activities, such as shopping and eating in restaurants. If you use a major credit card, and most are accepted, it will further reduce the amount of traveler's checks you need to carry. For a free copy of "Money Sense Overseas," send a self-addressed, stamped business size envelope to Traveler's Tips, Box 3602, Peoria, Ill. 61612-3602.
Q: Why can't I or my travel agent obtain the low cost fares airlines often advertise? Isn't it illegal to advertise something and then refuse to sell it?
A: It's like a hotel offering a minimum-price room and then telling everyone that it is all sold out. Airlines can legally set aside a percentage of seats to sell at low cost and stop booking them at that price once they're filled. So far our courts have ruled in their favor.
Q: Where are fiddling contests staged?
A: The Grand Master Fiddling contest will be held in Nashville's Opryland in June 15. For reservations and more information, call (615) 889-3060.
Q: I'm handicapped but would like to go on a cruise. However, my travel agent doesn't have all the information I need. Is there a source for this data?
A: "Guide 91," priced at $85, lists all the world cruise ships and ferries with facilities for the handicapped. Contact Marine Trading, P.O. Box 4216, Station A, Portland, Me. 04104. The "Handicapped Travel Newsletter" ($10 annually), P.O. Box 269, Athens, Tex. 75751, also has listings. In addition, there's the "OHRC Cruise Directory," P.O. Box 5985, Cherry Hill, N.J. 08034, $75, and the "Berlitz Cruising Handbook," P.O. Box 886, FDR Station, New York 10150, $13.50.
Q: We'd like to follow some baseball teams during our vacation. Do the major league clubs offer such trips?
A: You now can stay at the same hotel with your favorite team as part of four- and five-day packages that include accommodations, tickets and transportation to the ball park. Cost is $575 per person, double occupancy. Participants pay their way to the city of their choice. For more information, contact Sports Tours, (800) 722-7701. Also, some major league teams have fan clubs that operate one-day outings.
Q: Where in England is the museum containing exhibits associated with the Battle of Britain and other military aviation?
A: The museum, undergoing considerable expansion and construction of exhibits, is at Duxford, near Cambridge. Its collection includes planes from World War I to the Falklands.
Q: Are there any tours that include stays at spas?
A: Many spas have individual packages. A number of tour companies are now offering programs. Some are: Custom Spas Worldwide, 1318 Beacon St., Brookline, Mass. 02146, (800) 443-7727; Sante International, 55 Park Ave., Suite 1NW, New York 10016, (800) 826-8062; Spa-Finders, 748 Broadway, New York 10003, (800) 255-7727, and Spa Trek Travel, 470 Park Ave. South, New York 10016, (212) 779-3480.