Until this morning, when I read about it in eTurboNews, I hadn’t heard about York, England’s “world famous” (as the Visit York website puts it) smellable travel guide to that alluring city, adding a key sensory sensation to what is normally a sight-only medium.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a smellable picture must add a few hundred more.
The guide, called Smell York – which is straightforward enough, though I might have chosen something less edgy like “York Aromas” — invites you to scratch and sniff 12 different scents to cajole you into literally sniffing out various York attractions and shops.
Some are clearly pleasant — drawing you towards the city’s chocolatiers, tea shops, and floral gardens — and others perhaps less seductive. For instance, one scratch and sniff yields the “haunting aromas of ghosts,” which apparently combine sulfurous notes with… Continue reading
Imagine a country with scenic mountains, some with “surreal” rock formations similar to those you might see in China, uncrowded ski slopes, ancient temples, and a general feel of a place that hasn’t changed all that much in the past few decades.
It holds an annual marathon with opening and closing ceremonies held “in a stadium filled with thousands of cheering North Koreans,” according to a dispatch from eTurboNews.
It also has the dubious honor of being the most closed, secretive society in the world today.
Obviously, we’re talking about North Korea, where tourists — especially Americans, with the notable exception of Dennis Rodman — have been made to feel less than welcome. Some American tourists have even been detained for long periods of time or sent to prison camps based on flimsy evidence of spying or… Continue reading
According to recent reports, East African safari tour operators have suffered a 30-70 percent drop in bookings (including cancellations) in recent weeks due to the Ebola scare.
Southern Africa tour operators have been hurt somewhat less, but are nonetheless feeling the pinch.
Let’s put things in perspective.
Just because Ebola has tragically ravaged three West African countries — Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone — doesn’t mean it’s not safe to travel to East or Southern Africa, where the vast majority of wildlife safaris take place.
Here are some (perhaps surprising) facts:
London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro are closer to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa than are East and Southern African safari centers like Nairobi, Kenya; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Nairobi is about 3,300 miles from the outbreak,… Continue reading
Since one of my favorite cruises ever was the Hurtigruten voyage along the coast of Norway, and Antarctica is currently number one on my bucket list, I thought I’d pass along this news from Hurtigruten about big price cuts in some of their upcoming Antarctica cruises, even though you may beat me to a cabin I’m eyeing myself.
You can currently save up to $7,820 per person on a 10- to 19-day voyage to the White Continent, with the new fares running as low as $6,081 per person, double occupancy. While that may not seem cheap compared to, say, a Caribbean cruise, a trip to Antarctica is typically a once-on-a-lifetime experience, and it just got thousands of dollars cheaper on a very experienced expedition-style cruise line:
* The 10-day “Land of the Penguins” voyage is available from… Continue reading
Last fall after a visit to Charlottesville, Virginia, I wrote about Ten Things I Didn’t Know about this lovely Virginia city where my daughter now lives.
And now, after a recent second visit, I’ve compiled a list of Five More Things I Didn’t Know About “C’Ville.” So I guess I’m learning. (Stay tuned next year for “One or Two More Things I Didn’t Know About Charlottesville?”)
You could call this the “sports and outdoor activities” edition of the things I didn’t know. It was warmer in October than it was last year in late November, so I got outside more, including to a University of Virginia night football game, a win over Pitt that came complete with exploding scoreboard every time UVA scored, enough cheerleaders and band members to… Continue reading
As we get older (yeah, I know, who wants to be reminded of that?), we need to focus more on our health: eating better, staying active, perhaps taking brisk morning walks or gardening.
I also ride an exercycle, handy for winter days in New York when I can’t ride my bike outdoors.
But travel can also play a big role. Wellness retreats, for instance, allow you to get away from your usual daily activities and focus on renewing your health.
Wellness retreats offer a wide variety of services to rejuvenate your mind and body. Most options are relatively inexpensive and provide an all-new way of relieving mental and physical stress.
From centers in the U.S. and abroad, you can find the ideal retreat to suit your needs — and your budget.
These specialty vacations typically… Continue reading
After posting my recent piece on repositioning cruises, I received this guest post entry from reader Suzanne Meades, offering some reasons why baby boomers might prefer taking a cruise ship to flying to and around Europe.
And for those boomers who have the time, I couldn’t agree more.
Both ocean and river cruising are big with boomers. A transatlantic cruise — fairly rare these days, except for repositioning cruises — evokes particular nostalgia for me, since a Spanish steamship took me across the Atlantic on my first trip to Europe in college. I even have a medal for winning the shipboard table tennis tournament, no easy task since the ship was rocking and rolling through the waves during my final match. At least, I think that medal is hiding around here somewhere…
As for seeing… Continue reading
I’ll confess: My wife can always tell when I’ve been drinking out of a particular glass by whether or not it has greasy fingerprints all over it (mine).
Same with who used our tablet last — my fingerprints are everywhere. Maybe it’s the chips I like to snack on. Maybe it’s because I have long fingers. Maybe it’s…well, who cares, I leave fingerprints. Fortunately, I’m not a burglar by trade.
But I do like to read, look at photos I’ve taken, and write and watch things, etc., on our tablet, and I especially like to do these things when I’m traveling, which I do for a living, so if I can spare getting fingerprints all over… Continue reading
Every fall and spring, a number of ocean-going cruise ships leave one area of the world — say, Europe, Canada, or Alaska in the fall — for another, such as the Caribbean, South America, or Hawaii, to take advantage of the warmer winter waters in the latter spots.
These are called repositioning cruises (repo cruises for short), and they tend to be longer — sometimes quite a bit longer — than a typical cruise.
The cruise lines don’t want to run the ships empty, of course, so they sell the cabins often at much-reduced rates, especially considering the length of the voyages. You might find a 17-day October repositioning cruise from Italy to Brazil, for example, for about the same price as a regular 10-day cruise.
In the spring, you might find a 12-day repo… Continue reading
Multi-generational travel is hot.
So hot that it’s up 30 percent over the past year. And boomer-led family groups are spending an average of $1,000 more per year than other travelers, according to findings at a recent family travel summit.
The second TMS Family Travel Summit, organized by TMS Family Travel and Family Travel Consulting, brought together 38 travel journalists, editors, publishers and marketers to hear the latest research, discuss travelers’ needs, and determine marketing strategies for family groups led by retiring boomers.
The multi-generational travel phenomenon presents both challenges and opportunities for those in the travel industry.
But what, exactly, constitutes multi-generational travel?
One speaker defined it as a travel party comprised of at least one traveler over age 60 with at least one traveler under age 18 who resides in a different household.… Continue reading