Charging car insurance fees for rent-free days

Question: Typically, car rental vouchers awarded in frequent-flier programs are good for free days of rental in conjunction with paid days. If I charge the paid days to a card that provides collision damage waiver coverage, is it necessary to pay the CDW fee to be covered on the free-rental days?

Answer: Car rental companies contacted said that the answer would be up to the card companies.

Spokesmen for American Express, which provides CDW coverage with its gold and green cards, and for MasterCard and Visa gold cards said that as long as payment for some portion of a rental is made with their cards and that the car-rental agency’s CDW option is declined, the card companies will provide the coverage for free-rental as well as paid days.


Several companies arrange trips to Tunisia

Question: I have been trying in vain to find a representative to book a package for a week’s vacation for me and my family in Tunisia this summer. Can you help?

Answer: Here are four companies that offer tours to Tunisia. The prices for the first three do not include air fare.

African Explorers, Post Office Box 815, Parlin, N.J. 08859; (800) 631-5650 or (201) 721-2929, offers an eight-day tour to Tunis, Carthage, the Roman ruins at Eljem and Thuburbo Majus, Sfax, the island of Djerba, Matmatam and its underground houses carved from rock and inhabited by trogolodytes, the oasis towns of Tozeur and Nefta, the religious and cultural center of Kairouan and back to Tunis for departure.

The cost starts at $698 a person in double occupancy, including all ground transportation, meals and hotel; for $798, participants stay at a better grade of hotel. The company also has 14-day tours, with an extra day in Djerba and four nights at the resort of Hammamet; the cost is $889 or $998.

Flag Tours, 5629 F.M. 1960 West, Houston, Texas 77069; (800) 223-8889, also offers an eight-day Tunisia tour. Participants visit Tunis, Carthage, the seaside resort of Monastir, Sfax, Matmatam, Gabes, Djerba, the oasis of Kebili, Tozeur, Gafsa, Nefta for camel riding, the Roman ruins at Sbeitla, Kairouan and back to Tunis.


The cost per person, in double occupancy, including all ground transportation, meals and hotel, is $795 to $995, depending on grade of hotels. Flag Tours also has a 10-day trip, $995 to $1,195, to the same places with extra beach time.

Le Soleil Tours, 25 W 39th Street, Suite 704, New York, N.Y.; (212) 869-1040, offers a six-night, seven-day tour including Tunis; the beach town of Nabeul, Eljem; Sfax, Gabes, Jerba, Nefta and other small towns, Kairouan and Tunis.

The cost is $1,375 a person, in double occupancy, including ground transportation, meals and hotels.

There are no direct flights from the United States to Tunisia. One must make connections in Europe or in North Africa. Round-trip air fares from the East Coast to Tunisia vary from an off-season low of $700 to $1,100 in high season, according to the tour operators.

Swan Hellenic Tours, through its American representative, Esplanade Tours, 581 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass. 02116; (617) 266-7465, offers 13-day trips to Tunisia with departures out of London May 13 and Sept. 30. The cost, including round-trip air fare between London and Tunis, and most meals, is $1,920.

Send questions to Q&A, Travel Section, the New York Times, 229 W 43rd St., New York, N.Y. 10036. Questions may be answered only through the column, not by mail or telephone.

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