By Michael Martinez
San Jose Mercury News
Q. I'm planning a trip to Aruba, but I understand there's a lot of hotel remodeling on Palm Beach. Where can I stay to avoid the construction? - K.S., Los Gatos, Calif.
A. You'll see some hotel renovation if you visit in the coming months, but not enough to spoil your vacation. Among those undergoing - or about to undergo - construction are the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino (www.aruba.hyatt.com), which is expected to complete its $20million refurbishment this spring, and the RIU Aruba Grand (www.riu.com), which is closed until late this year during an expansion that will add 286 rooms. It will reopen as the RIU Palace. Also, the Aruba Marriott Resort (www.marriott.com) will begin work on room and restaurant improvements in June as part of a two-year, $40 million makeover.
Looking for a construction-free zone? Try the Westin Aruba Resort, formerly a Wyndham property (www.westin.com), which completed a renovation in December; the Radisson Aruba Resort (www. radisson.com); the Holiday Inn Aruba SunSpree Resort (www.holidayinn.com); and the Occidental Grand Aruba (www.occidentalhotels.com), which opened last year.
Q. I'm planning a cruise to China that includes a land tour with air travel. What are the weight and size restrictions for checked bags on domestic planes? - V.C., San Jose, Calif.
A. If you're flying coach, the weight restriction on checked bags is 20 kilograms, or 44 pounds, on most airlines (business and first class have higher allowances). Each passenger is permitted one checked bag and one carry-on; your carry-on must fit in an overhead bin or under the seat.
If you're over the weight limits, which are imposed by the airlines, you'll be charged additional fees - on the spot. Also note that all checked bags must be locked.
We couldn't find any information regarding the size of luggage, so we assume that most standard-size bags are OK.
Michael Martinez: firstname.lastname@example.org
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