My sister and I are going to Amman in Jordan for a long weekend. We have already booked a day trip to Petra; what would you recommend for our second day? Barbara, via email
This tiny desert kingdom has plenty to see in addition to the stunning Petra. A long weekend won’t be enough time to see it all,
so you’ll have to prioritise.
After a day trip to Petra, you will be exhausted, so you may prefer to opt for a shorter excursion on your second day. A trip to the Dead Sea is a great option. It’s an experience, but you’ll want to use the facilities at one of the resorts so you can wash off the salt afterwards.
By visiting a resort you will also have access to sunloungers and a pool to make the most of your relaxation time. A number of the resorts offer day rates; try the Mövenpick, which charges about £35 for use of the spa (movenpick-deadsea.com).
To get to the Dead Sea you’ll need to use a combination of minibuses and taxis. You can get a minibus from Amman (Muhajireen bus station) to Suweimah (one hour) and then take a taxi the last 5km stretch to the resort of your choice. Alternatively, you could get a taxi direct from Amman for about £30 return.
If relaxation isn’t top of your agenda, consider visiting the stunning ruins at Jerash which lie 50km north of Amman – one of the Middle East’s best examples of a Roman provincial city.
My wife and I want to go to Toronto for our first anniversary. We would like to do some sightseeing, and visit Niagara Falls. Would you recommend staying overnight at the Falls or just booking a day trip? Also, what’s the best way to get to the Falls?
Simon, via email
Niagara Falls, while home to a stunning and iconic natural wonder, isn’t such a glamorous town. Expect casinos, sex shops and fast food joints. Given that the Falls are only two hours from Toronto via bus or train, I would opt for a day trip. Greyhound Canada operates buses along this route (greyhound.ca), as does VIA trains (viarail.ca).
There are a number of ways to experience the Falls, including the ingenious White Water Walk (about £5.90, April-October), a walkway close to the bottom of the Falls. For a more traditional view, try the early-20th-century cable car (the Whirlpool Aero car) or the exhilarating Maid of the Mist boat tour, which takes passengers up close to the Falls – wear a waterproof jacket!
Consider an overnight stay if you want to see the Falls very early before the crowds arrive or to check out the evening illuminations.
In Toronto, make sure you check out the CN Tower, one of the world’s tallest buildings, and soak up the atmosphere in the Distillery District (thedistillerydistrict.com). The latter is a popular entertainment complex of restaurants, shops and galleries in a converted Victorian warehouse.
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Playing it straight
If you’re travelling with hair straighteners or a hair dryer, use them to iron out creases in your clothes. After returning from my travels, I still do this now. It saves a lot of time!
Zoe Jackson, via Facebook
Sell ’em a dummy
Take a dummy wallet with you when travelling, containing a small amount of cash (notes and coins) and a couple of expired credit cards or membership cards. Fingers crossed you’ll never need it, but if you were to get mugged, you have something to hand over without leaving yourself penniless.
Kate Popham, via email