Travel Q&A / Consider Lake Tahoe for family water-skiing vacation

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These questions were submitted by readers to travel experts at the Washington Post:

Q: My family (with teenagers) is interested in a resort with water skiing for the late summer. We've ruled out the Caribbean because of the heat and the potential for hurricanes. Any suggestions on a lake resort?

A: Try Lake Tahoe in California. There's a good variety of water sports, plus beautiful scenery, hiking trails and even casinos. South Lake Tahoe has larger resorts and water skiing facilities.

Q: Are there restrictions on the size of containers holding liquids for checked bags?

A: There are no liquid restrictions for your checked bag, although don't go overboard; you don't want your bag to be overweight -- a pricey mistake. It's also better to keep things smaller in case of a liquid breach, and put liquids in zip-top bags to be safe.

Q: Our family of three, including a 3-year-old, has two family events on consecutive weekends in August, the first in Syracuse, N.Y., and the second in Amherst, Mass. We're looking for a nice place to relax for the days in between. Suggestions?

A: Saratoga Springs, N.Y., would be a good choice, although it's geared more to adults than kids. You're also not far from the southern portion of the Adirondacks. The Great Sacandaga Lake wouldn't be too far afield.

Q: I'm flying into Heathrow and am reading about a Tube strike. I have seven hours before a connecting flight out of Luton. I'd planned to go into London but wonder whether I should head straight to Luton.

A: The fastest way from Heathrow to the city is the Heathrow Express. The rail service is reducing service from every 15 minutes to every 30 minutes due to strike action. Conceivably, you could visit London without ever getting on the Tube. From Paddington, you could explore the Hyde Park and Marylebone area, or swing by the British Museum before making your way to St. Pancras Station, where you can hop on First Capital Connect to Luton. The line will be minimally affected.

Q: I have one free afternoon in San Diego. I'm staying on the bay near the Gaslamp Quarter and am thinking of walking to Balboa Park. Any suggestions?

A: Spending an afternoon in Balboa Park is a great idea, but I wouldn't recommend that walk. It's not far -- probably about 40 minutes -- but the route is not very pleasant. Instead, drive or take the bus. Another idea is to walk along the waterfront and go up the hill to Little Italy.

Q: I have May until Sept. 1 off from work and am interested in traveling around South America. I am active in sea kayaking and hiking. What countries should someone with a lot of time check out?

A: One idea is to rent an apartment for a few months in, say, Buenos Aires or Cartagena, Colombia, and plan side trips and excursions to surrounding countries and cities. Or, buy an air pass through one of the Latin American carriers, such as TAM.

Q: I'm looking for good snorkeling in the Caribbean without large crowds or resorts.

A: Take a look at Bonaire. It's known for its diving and snorkeling, and it's not a glitzy, high-rise sort of island.

Q: I'll be in Omaha on business and have nearly a full day on my own. What shouldn't I miss?

A: The Heartland of America Park, the Old Market warehouse district (shops, restaurants, etc.), the zoo (check out the orangutan forest) and the Durham Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate. That should fill up your day -- plus some.


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