TRAVEL: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS

Home swap

I would like to do a flat-swap and live for a year in San Francisco. What advice can you give me on arranging this? Ideally I would like to move in September.

Jonathan Blane

via e-mail

The Travel Editor replies: Several British companies provide a list of overseas houseowners keen to swap. For fees ranging from pounds 38 to pounds 89, you can register with one, and keep updated on available properties in the area. HomeLink International (www.homelink.org) has the largest list (around 12,000 subscribers) and has more than 150 properties in San Francisco. At pounds 89, it is the most expensive but your property remains on its internet listing all year, and you can check out its listings details before joining. You also get five directories a year. Other organisations include: Intervac International Home Exchange (tel: 01225 892208, www.intervac.org), Home Base Holidays (tel: 0181 886 8752) and Green Theme International (tel: 01208 873 123).

Turkish sun

My wife and I would like to see the total eclipse in August, but we don't really trust Cornwall to give us a clear sky. We have heard that the eclipse is also visible in north Turkey, in an area of the Black Sea coast line between Zonguldak and Samsun. That would be perfect, as we can turn the trip into a beach holiday. However, none of the travel agents (even some specialised ones) we contacted organise any holidays in that area. Can you help us?

Hans and Mani Venmans

London

The Travel Editor replies: There are only a few tour operators based in the UK who deal with holidays to the Black Sea coast of Turkey and it is uncharted territory for packages tour operators. Pontic Tours (tel: 01548 550449) can offer a tailor-made holiday on the Black Sea coast with hotel accommodation either in the coastal town of Sinop, or in Amasya, about one hour's drive inland to the area of totality (directly in the centre of the path of the eclipse). They recommend staying on the coast as the temperatures inland can become uncomfortably hot in August. The price of one week in a two-star hotel is pounds 220 per person with breakfast and transfer by local bus included. The flights (to Istanbul), encompassing 11 August, would be pounds 210 per person. Car hire can be arranged. Green Island Holidays (tel: 0171-637 7338) are also organising a tour which incorporates a stopover in the eclipse path. This 10-night tour of western Turkey (incorporating Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Kusadasi) provides four-star hotel accommodation plus breakfast, return flights to Istanbul and all transport. The per person price is pounds 840, based on two sharing. There is still availability on this trip. Anatolian Sky (tel: 0121-643 3546) can offer a tailor-made holidays, though they don't cover the coastal region you refer to in terms of accommodation. Availability is low but, for pounds 875 per person, you could fly into Cappadocia (the main eclipse viewing area in Turkey) and spend three nights at a three-star hotel, with breakfast, sightseeing and eclipse tours included, along with car hire for two weeks. For more information about the eclipse in Turkey call the Turkish Tourist Office (tel: 0171- 629 7771).

French baby

We would like to take our six-week-old son on a driving holiday in France this summer. What precautions should we take?

Douglas Morwood

Sheffield

Dr Larry Goodyer replies: A holiday in France should not pose any serious health risks. Take the obvious precautions regarding making sure the baby does not get overheated in the car and screen the back windows from direct sunlight. It would also be a good idea to have completed all your post-natal checks before leaving. The biggest inconvenience would be arranging formula feeds, so it would obviously be easier to manage if breast feeding. Travel sickness is rare in under twos, so at least you should have no worries on that account. Be prepared that if baby sleeps a lot while travelling, the change in routine could mean less sleep at night. Perhaps arrange your tour around a relatively small area.

Dr Larry Goodyer is a lecturer in clinical pharmacy at King's College, London. Contact the Nomad Travel Health Helpline (tel: 0891 633 414; calls cost 60 per minute).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss