How to navigate Los Angeles by plane, train and automobile

The Washington Post’s travel writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts: 

Q: I am moving to Europe with my 17-lb dog. She can fit in a large mesh carrier under the seat, but it’s a squeeze. But I believe trans-Atlantic flights might have more room under the seats. Is that true? Are the pet restrictions a case-by-case or with the new normal, is everything measured by the millimeter?  

A: It all depends on the airline and the class of seat. Your pup will have a lot more space in any class above Coach. The airlines post their rules and sizes for pet carriers online. You will need to reserve a space, because airlines limit the number of pets per trip, and make sure you have all of the paperwork required by the new country.  

American Airlines, for one, says this: “For pets traveling in the cabin, the maximum size for pet carriers is 23″ long x 13″ wide x 9″ high. Animals must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in the kennel. Soft-sided pet carriers are accepted as long as they are constructed of water-repellent, padded nylon with mesh ventilation on two or more sides. Also note that the pet carrier counts as either a passenger’s one carry-on bag or personal item.”  

– Andrea Sachs  

Q: I’ll be flying to Los Angeles International Airport and then hopping on an Amtrak train. I figure I’ll take a taxi or car service from airport to train station. I’m a confident air and train traveler, but I’ve never traveled to vast Los Angeles before.  

A: Give yourself plenty of time to make that train. LAX is located about 20 miles southwest of the train station, which is in downtown Los Angeles, and it can take an hour or longer to get there if traffic is bad (and it’s almost always bad). It should cost about $35 to get from one to the other via Lyft or Uber.  

The bus is a good alternative. My daughter-on-a-budget, who lives in Los Angeles and travels quite a bit, swears by it.  

– Carol Sottili  

Q: I’m considering flying WOW to Iceland, but the internet reviews are horrific. Have any of you flown it or have any positive feedback to share about the experience?  

A: Wow is a budget airline; I place it in the same category as Spirit and Frontier. As they say: You get what you pay for.  

– A.S.  

Q: We are booked (small deposit only) at a resort in Turks and Caicos, planning on arriving Dec 15. We have not purchased airline tickets, pending Hurricane Irma damage rebuilding efforts. Now there is word of another possible hurricane. If we wait too long, tickets will skyrocket, due to holiday travel demand? Should we book and take our chances? (And purchase a good travel insurance.) Or wait it out a bit longer and see what happens?  

A: You are traveling pre-holiday, so tickets should be reasonable. Prices go up right before Christmas. In addition, after all of this storm activity, demand might be low, which means lower fares. I would book it now, if the prices are good, but definitely purchase to travel insurance. Or, if you are more of the gambling type, wait. Or, consider one of the ABC islands outside the hurricane belt. Or go to Maine.  

– A.S.  

Q: We would like to away for about five or six days in early November before baby number two arrives. (Thank goodness for baby-sitting grandparents!) Our budget is about $2,500 and we were thinking of Santa Fe, New Mexico, or Austin, Texas, but are open to other spots that have interesting sights, food, and a feel that’s basically the opposite of the Washington area.  

A: Both are great choices. If you don’t mind the cold, I would also throw out Montreal or Quebec City. Or how about New Orleans?  

– A.S.  

Q: My wife, adult daughter and I are going to spend two and a half weeks in Kuala Lumpur, but are interested in short trips to such places such as Singapore. Any other suggestions worth a road trip or a quick flight?  

A: Some suggestions for day trips in Malaysia: Putrajaya, Fraser’s Hill, Kuala Selangor Nature Park (storks!) and Batu Caves (monkeys!).  

– A.S.


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