Tips and advice: The Tripologist

Casinos on cruise ships are less tightly regulated than those on dry land, and there is good reason to suspect that the odds of a win from a poker machine aboard a cruise ship are less favourable than from a land-based casino.

AFTER VISITING ALASKA WE PLAN TO FLY TO SALT LAKE CITY OR LAS VEGAS, RENT A CAR AND SPEND FIVE DAYS VISITING NATIONAL PARKS. CAN YOU SUGGEST AN ITINERARY AND ACCOMMODATION. D. COLEMAN, FITZROY NORTH VIC

Starting at Las Vegas is going to make more sense than Salt Lake City with the limited time you have available. Also, there are more flights into Las Vegas from just about everywhere, so less time spent getting there. Start with the south rim of the Grand Canyon, and spend the night at Grand Canyon Village: it puts you in a prime position for viewing the canyon at sunrise and sunset, when it's at its most spectacular.

Next stop is Monument Valley, about a three-hour drive. The View Hotel (monumentvalleyview.com) is my number one pick for accommodation, with classic views from the rooms that you'll probably recognise from old Hollywood Westerns. There are several more hotels in Kayenta, about 30 kilometres from the national park.

The drive west to Zion National Park will take about four hours. Zion Lodge (zionlodge.com) is the number one choice but there are several more relatively close including the Best Western Plus Zion Canyon (bestwestern.com), Cable Mountain Lodge (cablemountainlodge.com) and Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens (cliffroselodge.com).Next stop is Bryce Canyon, about a 90-minute drive, and Bryce Canyon Lodge (brycecanyonforever.com) is the standout with Stone Canyon Inn (stonecanyoninn.com) and the Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel (bestwestern.com) as alternatives.

The drive from Bryce Canyon to Las Vegas should take around four hours. When you get to the Grand Canyon buy an America the Beautiful pass, which will give you free entrance to all national parks for a driver and all passengers in your vehicle, valid for one year, at a price of $US80.

MY PARTNER AND I WANT TO DO A ONE-DAY TOUR OF SOME WORLD WAR I BATTLEFIELDS AND MEMORIALS DURING OUR STAY IN PARIS. MOST TOURS PICK UP FROM AMIENS OR ARRAS TRAIN STATIONS AND WE'RE NOT CONFIDENT ABOUT GETTING THERE, IS THERE A TOUR COMPANY THAT WOULD SUIT US? L. STILL, WERRINGTON DOWNS NSW

Google "Viator visiting World War I battlefields from Paris" and you can find several one-day tours to these battlefields. However, the choice is limited, and focuses on the battlefields where the major European powers fought as opposed to those where Australian forces were more heavily involved. If that's where your interest lies you'd be better off getting to Amiens and picking up a tour, and True Blue Digger Tours (trueblue-diggertours.com) and Cobbers Battlefield Tours (anzac-tours.com) are two possibilities.

Getting from Paris to Amiens by train is not difficult or complicated. Trains leave from Paris' Gare du Nord, which you can get to easily by taxi or via the city's metro system. The train takes just over an hour from Paris to Amiens and services are frequent.Catching trains throughout Europe is simple: stations and platforms are well signposted, getting tickets and information is easy and the food is usually far better, and cheaper, than any airport terminal. Once you've done one train journey in Europe, you'll never look back.

MY WIFE AND I WILL BE STAYING IN SORRENTO AND WE'D LIKE TO PAY OUR RESPECTS AT THE GRAVE OF MY UNCLE, KILLED IN WORLD WAR 2 AND BURIED IN NAPLES WAR CEMETERY. WE HAVE AN AFTERNOON FREE. GIVEN THE TIME CONSTRAINTS, WHAT'S THE BEST WAY OF GETTING TO THE CEMETERY? C. VISVALINGAM, GLEN ALPINE NSW

You can take a train from Sorrento to Naples' Porta Nolana Station, which will take about an hour, but I'd be more inclined to take the ferry, at least in one direction. This can take as little as 40 minutes and you get a fantastic view of Vesuvius and the coastline across the Bay of Naples. From either Porta Nolana Station or the ferry terminal, catch a taxi to Naples War Cemetery, to the north of the city centre, on Via Vincenzo Janfolla in an area known as Piscinola. On the Commission's website (cwgc.org) you can pinpoint the location of your uncle's grave. The cemetery is open every day at all hours but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that there have been several robberies reported in this area.

MY HUSBAND AND I ARE PLANNING TO VISIT THE CZECH REPUBLIC, HUNGARY, SLOVENIA, MONTENEGRO AND ALBANIA. WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THE LOGISTICS OF GETTING AROUND, AND PREFER NOT TO DRIVE IF POSSIBLE. S. DRAKE, ESSENDON VIC

Despite the number of borders you'll be crossing, travel in Europe is relatively painless, and train is by far the best way to get around. It's fast, comfortable and cost effective, particularly if you book ahead. But while train is a great way to get from one city to another it's not so great if you want to loiter in the countryside and explore at your own pace, and Slovenia and Montenegro both reward slow travel. In particular, the coastal regions of both are not well served by trains, and they're among the highlights. If you don't want to get behind the wheel, one alternative is to base yourself in a city and take a day tour to see the sights, and Viator (viator.com) provides plenty of alternatives.

Everything you could possibly want to know about train travel in Europe is on the website of The Man in Seat Sixty-One (seat61.com)