Ask T+L: Whale Watching, Yoga Trips, Identity Theft
Published: June 2009
What's the best way to spot whales along the Oregon coast?
—M.W., WASHINGTON, D.C.
Though gray whales can be seen year-round off Oregon's rocky shore, March is when they start migrating north to Alaska in large numbers. During Whale Watch Week (March 20-27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; www.whalespoken.org), trained volunteers will be stationed at 28 locations to assist novices in spotting these magnificent 40-ton mammals as they spout, breach, and even spy-hop. For a closer look, head out to sea on a whale-watching expedition from the small town of Depoe Bay—dubbed the "whale-watching capital of the Oregon coast." Both Tradewinds Charters (800/445-8730 or 541/765-2345; www.tradewindscharters.com; from $15 per adult) and Dockside Charters (800/733-8915 or 541/765-2545; www.docksidedepoebay.com; from $15 per adult) have 50-foot boats steered by knowledgeable captains. Brave souls will opt for a trip aboard an inflatable Zodiac, which allows for face-to-face encounters with whales.
I'm looking for a yoga trip that combines sightseeing with daily classes. Do you have any recommendations?
—H.H., SEATTLE, WASH.
Yogis who don't want to spend their entire vacation in the downward-facing-dog position should look into these three tours. Guests on the Ayurveda Rejuvenation Package in Kerala, India, offered by White Lotus (91-11/2613-9569; www.whitelotusherbals.com; March 1-12; $2,588 per person, double) follow morning asanas and meditations at the Kadavu Resort with herbal massages, cooking demonstrations, and visits to local cultural institutions. Between sunrise and sunset yoga sessions, participants on Living Morocco's journey from Marrakesh to Ouarzazate (212/877-1417; www.livingmorocco.com; May 6-15; $3,150 per person, double) visit souks, traverse the Atlas Mountains, and explore sacred desert villages. Global Fitness Adventures (800/488-8747; www.globalfitnessadventures.com; price varies depending on length of trip) has private and organized yoga retreats to destinations like Bali, Kauai, and Lake Como. After morning workshops, adventurous yogis can bike past rice terraces, hike up volcanoes, or raft down rivers.
What should I do if my wallet and passport are ever stolen while I'm traveling abroad?
—A.W., BOSTON, MASS.
Identity theft is rampant these days, so you're right to be concerned. Whether or not you're traveling, the following tips will help prevent the worst-case scenario.
• Send yourself an e-mail with all of your emergency contact details, including numbers of credit card companies and their direct customer-service phone numbers. Travel security consultant Kevin Coffey advises not identifying the companies by name. Instead, number each and keep a list in a separate place.
• Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet. If your health insurance company uses your Social Security number as your membership ID—and many still do—carry only a photocopy of your insurance card with your SSN blacked out.
• If your wallet is stolen, in addition to canceling all your credit cards, phone the fraud department at any one of the three major credit bureaus: Experian (888/397-3742; www.experian.com), Equifax (800/525-6285; www.equifax.com), or TransUnion (800/680-7289; www.transunion.com). Thanks to a new "joint fraud alert," there's no need to contact all three. Experian is the only one that lets you report fraud on-line.
• If your passport is stolen, call the nearest U.S. Embassy. They'll stop travel on your passport and issue a temporary replacement.
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