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Ask T+L: Airborn Illness, Hotel Splurges, Yoga Weekends

Courtesy of Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises Questions

Photo: Courtesy of Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises

Now that it’s flu season, I’m concerned about catching a cold or the flu when I fly. Do emergen-c or airborne really help?—Paula Wolf, Chicago, Ill.

A: Many Travel + Leisure editors swear by vitamin supplements or Airborne when they fly. But Dr. John D. Cahill, codirector of travel medicine services at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, cautions that while these products are not harmful, they may be making stronger claims about their effectiveness than they should. Dr. Cahill suggests a healthy diet, including vitamin-rich fruits like oranges. He also recommends a flu shot and good old-fashioned common sense: wash your hands, avoid others who are sick, and ease up on alcohol, an immunosuppressant. If you do take over-the-counter vitamin supplements, Dr. Cahill advises no more than 1,500 milligrams daily, or roughly 11/2 packets of Emergen-C.

Can you recommend a great weeklong yoga retreat? —Alexis Mandel, Dix Hills, N.Y.

T+L senior editor (and certified yoga instructor) Maria Shollenbarger offers these tips on where to practice sun salutations across the globe: New York–based OmYoga (212/254-9642; omyoga.com; trips from $1,200) organizes vinyasa yoga camps—including meditation instruction and vegan meals—at the Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, as well as retreats in Miami and Nicaragua. Or tap into the roots of yoga in India, through London’s In:Spa (44-845/458-0723; inspa.co.uk; trips from $3,500), which recently teamed up with the Bangalore-based yoga retreat Shreyas. Opt for the Indonesian massage after your morning energizing class.

My wife and I are thinking of taking a last-minute trip to Mexico this winter, and we’re willing to splurge on the right hotel. Any suggestions?—Jonathan Anderson, Falls Church, Va.

On the Riviera Maya—known for its white-sand beaches and coral reefs—book the Maroma Resort & Spa (Km 51, Carr. 307; 866/454-9351; maromahotel.com; doubles from $480) before December 16, and save up to 63 percent off three- to five-night packages. And the recently expanded Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita (Punta Mita, Bahía de Banderas; 52-329/291-6000; fourseasons.com; doubles from $495), on the Riviera Nayarit, along the Pacific coast, offers a fourth night free with any three-night stay. For more hotel deals in Mexico and around the world.

What is the best advice you can give to disabled airline passengers? —Maggie Barrett, Kirkland, Wash.

Travelers should know that the amended Air Carrier Access Act of 2000 states that passengers on all domestic and international flights cannot be refused service because of a disability. Inform the airline of your condition; it should provide lifts or boarding chairs (required for all aircraft with more than 19 seats) to get you from the terminal to the plane. Be sure to check in half an hour earlier than the recommended time. Ask to speak with the airline’s Complaint Resolution Official if you encounter any trouble—all carriers are required to have someone available to negotiate problems. You can also call the Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Disability Hotline (800/778-4838).

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