Eli Orzessek finds the answers to your travel questions.

I've only ever travelled solo or with friends and family in the past, but I've just booked a 10-day tour to Vietnam. It's a first for me and the more I think about it, the more nervous I am. What happens if I really dislike someone in the group, or don't really bond with anyone?


I've been in a fair few group travel situations now and it's not always easy. You're with people from different countries and completely different backgrounds and often there will be someone who just rubs you up the wrong way. It's happened to me - everything from finding someone's laugh really grating to the casual racist comments that just don't sit well with me. The best advice I can really give is to find your people and stick with them, while keeping your distance from those you don't like.


On every group I've been part of, everyone has found a friend and it's highly likely you will too.

Plus there will be plenty to see to distract you from interpersonal relations - and all that time in a bus can help you understand anyone, anyway!

Karen Stevens, the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman, has answered a couple of readers' queries.

Why is it some travel insurance companies do not cover your flight if it's cancelled due to mechanical reasons? For example, I had a ticket for Auckland to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui. The flight was delayed by 15 hours due to mechanical issues. I missed the flight from Tahiti to Easter Island on LAN (which was a separate ticket). Insurance refused to cover the flight missed. Air Tahiti Nui wouldn't pay because it was on a separate ticket.
How can insurance companies get away with that?

Alison Hopkirk

"Many basic travel policies only offer limited cover. Your travel insurance policy will detail what you are and are not covered for, and not all policies are identical. Travel insurance normally does not cover flights missed due to airline faults such as mechanical issues, rescheduling and overbooking, as most of the time the airline has some liability to meet these costs. Insurance would only reimburse you for any costs you could not recover from the airline, if the policy covered flight delays."

My husband and I are travelling to Brisbane to meet our new great-granddaughter. We have a Westpac Platinum credit card and so qualify for free travel insurance. We are aged 75 and 79 and both in good health. When I look at the policy I am astounded to see anyone 75 years and over is NOT covered for anything medical.

"Frequently, travel insurance offered for free with your credit card is more limited than specialist comprehensive travel policies. Many policies will have an upper age limit, so it is worth checking the details to make sure you will be covered. You may want to consider talking to a specialist travel insurance broker who may be able to find suitable cover for your trip."

Email your questions to askaway@nzherald.co.nz

Eli cannot answer all questions and cannot correspond with readers.