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Ask the travel expert: Are airport hotels a good option when on vacation?

The travel expert also shares inputs for finding vegetarian food in China.

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Updated: Nov 28, 2019, 09.52 AM IST
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Airport hotels are great for business travellers who intend to get in and out of the city as soon as possible.
Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions India, Flight Centre Travel Group Australia’s Indian subsidiary, answers your questions on Travel — howtos, trends, recommendations and more. Send in your questions to: askrakshit@in.fcm.travel.

We are a family of five, travelling to the Schengen countries. Do all of us need to appear in person for our visa appointment?
The Schengen countries have a Visa Information System (VIS), under which all visa applicants need to provide biometric data. This means that when applying for a visa, you will have to visit the embassy in person to submit your fingerprints and digital photographs.

However, this is a one-time procedure, applicable only for short-term visas. For subsequent applications within the next 5 years, biometric data from your previous visa application will be used. Apart from a few other exemptions, children under the age of 12 are not required to undergo this biometric process.

I'm travelling to Germany for a 10-day trip with a few friends. Is it a good idea to stay at one of those airport hotels?
They're turning out to be much cheaper than hotels in the city centre. Airport hotels are great for business travellers who intend to get in and out of the city as soon as possible.

Though ostensibly cheaper than staying in the city centre, you'll end up shelling out a lot more on travelling to the touristy parts of Germany every day. Travel passes which cover the entire public transport system exclude the airport zone so you'll effectively be purchasing separate tickets just to get in and out of your hotel daily. The best parts of Germany - its beer gardens, schnitzel stands and town squares are all closer to the city centre and that's where you should be.

My parents are travelling to China for a week. Since they're vegetarians, how can I ensure that they have no trouble finding food of their liking?

If you are looking for vegetarian food, it is advisable to scout for Indian restaurants in the vicinity of the hotel and across popular tourist locations for lunch and dinner meals. ​(Image: Cityscape of Guiyang at night​)
If you are looking for vegetarian food, it is advisable to scout for Indian restaurants in the vicinity of the hotel and across popular tourist locations for lunch and dinner meals. (Image: Cityscape of Guiyang at night)

Finding vegetarian food in China can be a bit of a challenge, but with some research you should be able to manage all meals without too much trouble. Most hotel breakfast menus and buffets will include bread, butter, juices, fruits, cookies and salads. You can also find these easily at supermarkets.

I would suggest that you scout for Indian restaurants in the vicinity of the hotel and across popular tourist locations for lunch and dinner meals. If they're very particular about food, it would be a good idea to carry some snacks from India.

My husband and I are travelling to Kuala Lumpur and Penang with our 2 year old. Can you suggest some attractions which we can enjoy together as a family?
Malaysia has several indoor and outdoor places that are fun with a toddler. In Kuala Lumpur, visit the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park, Sunway Lagoon, National Zoo of Malaysia and Farm in the City which is a petting zoo. In Penang, Tropical Fruit Farm and Upside Down Museum etc are fun for both children and adults.

* Flight Centre Travel Group, headquartered in Australia, is one of the world’s largest travel management companies. In India, the group operates an extensive portfolio of corporate and retail travel brands including FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller (corporate travel management), Travel Tours (leisure travel), FCM MICE (incentive travel and events) Travel Money India (foreign exchange), FCM InComing (inbound travel) and Travel Air Representations (travel wholesalers).

- Please note that reader questions may have been modified for length or clarity. Views expressed in this column are personal, please check applicable rules before your trip.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)

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