Adapted from the Washingtonpost.com Flight Crew chat conducted weekly by the Travel staff of The Washington Post.
Q: My family loves Disney World because of the no-worries feel. We’re looking for other similar East Coast locations. Our kids are 7 and 11, so museums, zoos, etc. are great.
A: Disney World is in a class by itself, but here are a few suggestions: Palmetto Dunes in Hilton Head, S.C.; Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, N.Y.; Hershey Park in Hershey, Pa.; Massanutten Resort in Virginia.
— Becky Krystal
Q: My siblings and I are looking for a rental house for Thanksgiving. I’ve found some on various websites, but I’ve never rented like this and am nervous about committing a substantial amount of money. What are the pitfalls of these arrangements, and what can I do to avoid them?
A: Due diligence is key. Common sense also comes in handy. Talk with the owner, don’t wire money or send cashier checks to a P.O. box, ask for current photos and look for positive reviews. And if the deal is too good to be true, pass on it.
— Carol Sottili
Q: I’m starting to plan a vacation next summer that will include a stop at Mount Rushmore. I’ve never been to that part of the country and wonder what else we should see.
A: Visit the Crazy Horse memorial being sculpted about 17 miles from Rushmore. It’s a fascinating story. I’d also go to the Badlands, and to Deadwood.
— Zofia Smardz
Q: Two pieces of jewelry were stolen from my luggage in August. I submitted a claim to US Airways and included receipts. After four weeks, I’d heard nothing, so I resubmitted the claim twice. Still nothing. Is there anything else I can do (besides never pack jewelry in luggage again)?
A: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but US Airways’ contract of carriage is crystal clear about its liability for jewelry, or lack of liability. Even if you show a receipt, it won’t reimburse you. And you’re right: Never pack your jewelry.
— Christopher Elliott
Q: We plan to spend a week in London with our teenagers in March. Are there three or four full-day or half-day excursions that you recommend? We like history and nature but don’t expect to do much outdoors.
A: If you’re going to be there for only a week, plan on spending much of your time in London rather than going to other cities. There’s so much to see in the city: Tower of London, Imperial War Museum, London Eye, cruise on the River Thames, etc. My teens also enjoyed spending a half-day at Hampton Court Palace. We also did one full-day excursion to Oxford.
— Carol Sottili
Q: We’ve decided that we want to get away for Thanksgiving and now we have to pick a place. We like good food, nature and history. Beaches are great, but we’d give that up for the right place.
A: How about Naples, Fla.? It will be too cold to swim, but you can still visit the beach. There’s lots of nature stuff, including a nature center with a free boat tour through a mangrove forest. Old downtown Naples is beautiful, and if you like shopping, there’s plenty of that.
— Jane Touzalin