Letters: Caught short with travel card

We loaded a travel money card with euros and sterling. At a hotel in Copenhagen we were asked for a card imprint as security despite all our accommodation being prepaid. We handed over the travel card as we had absorbed the mantra "use your card like a credit card". Two days later, we were horrified to find that our available balance was reduced by €800 ($960). I had to phone Australia to find out why our currency was restricted as the transaction did not appear on any statement we accessed. Hotel staff had debited our card as security. The money sat in limbo for two weeks of our three-week stay and was not available to us. The bank and the hotel blamed one another for the delay in cancelling the debit. I have since discovered the bank's website warns that this could be a problem, but this information does not appear in the booklet that comes with the travel card.

- H. and A. Jolley

Don't forget the children

The reinvention of Hamilton Island (Traveller, July 7-8) certainly revives my interest in the island. But when will other Australian resorts realise that not all luxury travellers are child-free? I find it sad that I have to leave Australia to find other luxury accommodation that will welcome my children with open arms.

- Kathleen Walker

Teaching in China

My 21-year-old daughter is planning to sign up with an online recruitment agency to teach English in China for five months. I welcome travellers' experiences and feedback on whether this is a great way to travel alone and experience China and its people or just an internet scam.

- Lisa Jamieson

Refund for late return

We went on our 11th P&O South Pacific cruise earlier this year. Due to engine problems in Noumea, we were late arriving back in Sydney, causing us to have to rebook an onward flight to Melbourne. We were very pleased to receive a full refund from P&O for this inconvenience.

- Verley Druskat

Easy travelling in Oman

In answer to Elizabeth Collison's query (On the road to Oman, Traveller Letters, July 7-8), my wife and I hired a car from Dubai airport and drove to Muscat, then to Nizwa and back to Dubai via Ibra. We stayed at Sohar the first night, then spent three nights in Muscat. The old fort and the gold souk in nearby Muttrah were the picks. A visit to Rustaq village and old fort is also a must. We stayed at Nizwa for two nights and enjoyed the souk, fort and goat market. It was easy to arrange in Oman, without pre-booking.

- Michael Berger

Muttrah souk is a must-do

There are only two hotels in Oman's Khasab (the starting place of most Musandam dhow cruises). Many people stay in Ras al Khaimah and take a day trip to Musandam. We regularly stayed at the Al Hamra Fort. You will need to pay a visa entry fee each time you cross the UAE and Omani border, and the process can take several hours. Muscat accommodation is of a high standard and plentiful. Must-dos are the Muttrah souk, Old Muscat and high tea at Bustan Palace.

- Aura Parsons

By boat and four-wheel-drive

I recommend Oman's 20-kilometre Khor Sham fiord and its villages, Kuzmar to the north and Lima on the east coast. Boat access can be arranged locally. Hiring a four-wheel-drive will provide more flexibility to take in the dramatic mountain areas, including Jebel Harim and Sayh Plateau.

- Pablo Bateson

Risk on the roads

Omanis drive like madmen and the Emiratis are worse, so drive defensively. Keep a lookout for goats and camels, and don't drive at night.

If you travel at weekends (Thursday-Friday in Oman, Friday-Saturday in the UAE), there may be a lot of people out and about and good accommodation will be limited, so book in advance. See sidetripofalifetime.com.au.

- Clara Zawawi

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