Eli Orzessek finds the answers to your travel questions.
I'm planning a trip to New York. One of the things I really want to do while we're there is take in a Broadway show. I'm open to anything, but one I'd really like to see is The Book of Mormon. Do you have tips for booking tickets?
A Broadway show is definitely a must-do if you're in New York. I've asked my contact at Broadway Inbound for some tips on booking — they organise tickets for groups of travellers.
T ake advantage of quieter periods during key holidays and events to score tickets to popular shows — for example, Halloween or New Year's Eve — the crowds will be out doing other things, but Broadway goes on.
You'll also want to get to know Broadway's schedule — many shows are closed or only perform once on Monday and Tuesday, whereas shows are often booked out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (despite many offering three performances a day). Wednesday and Thursday are a good option, many shows offer two performances, yet you are unlikely to face the big weekend crowds.
If you don't end up booking in advance, make sure you have a Plan B. Broadway shows are very popular with both locals and visitors. But if you're more spontaneous and find your chosen show is sold out, try a less hyped option — you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. The Book of Mormon is extremely popular — and it's booked out until November, so you may be out of luck there. If you're looking for something funny, Kinky Boots could be a good option.
I see our pregnant PM is travelling in the Pacific. Are Zika warnings still in effect — is it safe for pregnant women and those trying for a baby to travel to the islands?
We haven't been hearing much about Zika recently, however, warnings do still stand. MFAT's SafeTravel website lists Fiji and American Samoa as having Zika virus infections.
However, according to the CDC, it's also been reported in Samoa and Tonga. The same advice stands — if you're pregnant and must travel, take strict precautions to avoid mosquito bites and practice safe sex.
Jane Grant wrote in regarding noisy children on long flights: "Society contains all kinds of people, including children and those who don't like them. What are the options? Family-only flights, adult-only flights? If you think flying is expensive now, how much more so it would become with segregated trips.
"Flying with children is way harder than flying without them, but this is true of most tasks. However, how will children learn to be part of society, with its supermarkets, waiting rooms and airplanes, unless they are exposed to it?"
I agree. Even if kids were somehow banned from flights, do people really expect flying would be a perfectly comfortable experience otherwise? The most annoying passenger I've ever experienced was an old man who complained loudly all the way from Guangzhou to Auckland. A crying child would have been preferable.
Ian Robertson of Vostok Travel Division wrote in regarding Russian visas — his company has processed them for 15 years.
Interested travellers can check out vostok.co.nz for more information.