Travelers seek Myanmar-only trip

Q: My husband and I would like to visit Myanmar. The few organized trips we have found combine it with places we have been to. Do you know of any agency with a trip to Myanmar alone?

A: The good news is that there are a bunch of Myanmar-only tours out there, ranging from the standard Yangon-Bagan-Mount Popa circuit to treks in the remote northern reaches.

The even better news is that many outfitters say they are mindful of the ongoing ethical debate about visiting Myanmar, also known as Burma, and have taken measures to ensure that at least some of their tourist dollars go to support small, locally owned businesses and not the repressive military dictatorship. Three such companies:

 • Journeys International (800-255-8735, Three itineraries, including an 11-day “Echoes of Antiquity” trip that visits the ruins of Bagan, the markets and historical sites of Mandalay and numerous sites in between. Prices start at $2,695 per person double for private, anytime-departure travel.

Prices for this and the trips below include meals, lodging, internal transportation and guides, but not airfare from the United States, so be prepared to tack on another $3,000 or so.

 • Absolute Travel (800-736-8187, Six tours of various lengths, starting with a five-night package that visits Yangon, Bagan and Mount Popa. Prices start at $3,025.

 • Geographic Expeditions (800-777-8183, Three trips, including “A Passage to Burma,” a 14-day tour that uses chartered flights and riverboats to visit the Myanmar less seen ($10,995).

Q. I have a toddler who is a couple of weeks from being 2. I plan on buying him his own plane ticket, but does he need a car seat on the plane?

A. Technically, no, but by every other measure, yes: It’s far safer than holding him as a “lap child” (allowed for children younger than 2) or strapping him into his airline seat with an adult-size seat belt (permissible for kids 2 and older).

The Federal Aviation Administration “strongly urges” that kids who weigh less than 40 pounds fly in an FAA-approved car seat or flight harness. Find info on both on the FAA’s Web site (, click on “Flying with Children,” then “Child Safety on Airplanes”). And remember to check with your airline for its own rules on child restraints.