Most outfitters can book travelers in adults-only groups

Q&A

December 02, 2007|By San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

My wife and I don't have kids. Are there companies that offer active travel vacations or cooking schools for adults only?

If you're active travelers, many companies offer challenging excursions that might include strenuous hiking or rafting and don't appeal to families.

Mountain Travel Sobek (mtsobek.com), for example, has a number of these trips and says it tries to book clients in adults-only groups if requested; most other outfitters will do the same. Also, traveling at times of the year when kids are in school usually guarantees adults only.

Some cooking schools, such as the Culinary Institute of America, restrict their tours to adults. They have programs in Spain, Italy, India, Mexico and other countries. (Go to ciapro chef.com, then click on "worlds of flavor" and then travel.) Karen Herbst, president of the International Kitchen (theinternationalkit chen.com), says her schools cater almost exclusively to adults.

We're traveling to Oman to visit a friend. Will we have trouble entering the country because of the Israeli stamp in our passports?

We received a similar query last year in which we noted that Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia are unlikely to permit visitors whose passports contain Israeli stamps (although Saudi Arabia has loosened its policy).

We contacted the information office of the Embassy of Oman in Washington, (omani. info) and were told that an Israeli stamp will not cause you to be denied entry; however, this is contrary to the Web site www.arab.net, which states, "Evidence of travel to Israel will result in your being denied entry to Oman." So proceed with caution.

You can also obtain a temporary passport, valid for a limited length of time, from the U.S. State Department (travel.state.gov). But you'll have to submit a letter explaining your reasons for requesting a second passport.

Other things to remember: You'll need a visa to enter Oman, which you can purchase on arrival for $55. And your current passport must be valid for six months beyond your stay.

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