It was news to me, but National Grandparents Day is on Sunday, September 13th.
According to Family Travel Association:
- 50 million U.S. households are now led by grandparents, forecasting a continued travel boom by this large group of baby boomers.
- Today’s grandparents are far more active than their parents were, spending lots of time planning trips around specific activities.
- As a result, multi-generational adventure travel is up 30% year after year. (Multi-generational travel is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry and tops the list of travel trends, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report.)
- More grandparents are traveling with just the grandchildren, leaving the greandkids’ parents’ behind.
- 22% of all grandparents traveled with just their grandchildren in the past year.
Here are a few suggestions for multi-generational travel, whether it’s… Continue reading
I recently read of the death of Yvonne Craig, an actress best known for her role as “Batgirl” in the campy late 1960s “Batman” TV series.
While Yvonne wasn’t a baby boomer — she was 78 when she died after a two-year battle with breast cancer, weakened by a long regimen of chemotherapy — she was an icon of sorts for many boomers. She was a role model for young women — the first woman superhero, predating “Wonder Woman” and the rest — and an object of desire for many young men of the era.
I’m writing about Yvonne not because of this but because my wife, Catharine, and I briefly knew her while we were on a small ship cruise together down the Croatian coast of the Adriatic Sea eight years ago.
It wasn’t her role as “Batgirl” that impressed me so much as… Continue reading
River cruising has exploded in popularity over the past decade. River cruise lines are rapidly expanding from their strongholds in Europe into North America, Asia, Africa, and South America, adding new ships and innovations such as all-weather “indoor balconies” – sitting rooms facing floor-to-ceiling windows — every year.
It’s recently become the hottest segment of the cruise industry, with no signs of slowing down. Here are some reasons why:
- River cruising is more intimate than ocean cruising. Rather than the multi-thousand-passenger megaships that resemble floating cities — with built-in malls, casinos, and giant waterslides – the long, sleek river cruise ships typically hold from 120-200 passengers. And most won’t be getting any larger, due to the constraints posed by passing through locks and canals and under bridges. With fewer passengers, you won’t have to fight… Continue reading
What city in the U.S. can claim the first American:
- Public school (1698)
- Residential street (1702)
- Library (1731)
- Independent hospital (1731)
- Fire-fighting company (1736)
- Meetings of the U.S. Congress (1774)
- First university (1779)
- Public Bank (1780)
- Daily Newspaper (1784)
- Stock exchange (1790)
- Circus (1793)
- Manned air flight (1793)
- Art museum and school (1805)
- Carbonated water (1807)
- Theater (1809)
- Natural history museum (1812)
- African American university (1837)
- Advertising agency (1869)
- Zoo (1874)
- Merry-go-round (1867)
- Ice cream soda (1876)
- Cafeteria-style restaurant (1902)
- Funeral home (built as such) (1905)
- Thanksgiving Day parade (1919)
- Totally air conditioned building (1932)
- Cheesesteak (1932)
- Girl Scout cookie sale (1932)
- Fully electronic computer invented (1946)
- Slinky (1948)
- Polio vaccine (1960)
Not to mention (though I’m mentioning them anyway): the first U.S. Mint, the first department store, the first botanical garden, the first opera… Continue reading
If you’re planning to travel solo — or, perhaps more to the point, worried about traveling solo — the infographic below from Solos, A UK-based travel company that specializes in singles tours of Europe, may help ease your mind.
Solos has been in business for more than 30 years, running escorted tours to the UK, Ireland, France, and Italy, and has been voted the Best Singles Holiday Tour Operator in the UK for the past four years. An experienced tour leader accompanies all tours and you’re guaranteed your own room, a big plus when compared to many other tours.
You can also choose tours designed for folks in the 50s-plus age range.
Long before I could afford to take an actual ocean or river cruise, I loved riding ferry boats wherever I traveled around the world.
Whether it was ferrying around the Greek Islands, or riding the Star Ferry in Hong Kong, or taking the ferry from Washington State over to Victoria, BC, riding ferries was a way of getting out on the water both scenically and inexpensively.
And I still love it.
That’s why my wife, Catharine, and I (who shares my enthusiasm) have ridden the Cape May-Lewes Ferry three times in the past six years that we have vacationed in Ocean City, New Jersey, including this August.
The ferry travels from Cape May on the far southern reaches of the Jersey Shore across Delaware Bay to Lewes, Delaware, which lies north of beach communities like Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and Ocean City, Maryland.… Continue reading
Over the past several years, I’ve had the following exciting, sometimes scary, often challenging, but ultimately exhilarating adventures:
- Summiting a peak in British Columbia, then rappelling down the side of a cliff onto a glacier.
- Whitewater rafting in Nepal on class IV and V rivers.
- Riding a camel in the Sahara and Sinai deserts.
- Hiking for a week over the hills and dales of County Kerry in southwest Ireland.
- Feeling the rush of whales diving directly under my Zodiac and surfacing less than 20 yards away in Glacier Bay, Alaska.
- Biking 45 miles from the top of Maui’s Mount Haleakala to the shores of the Pacific, the world’s longest downhill bike ride.
- Swimming with piranhas in the Amazon.
- Mushing a dogsled team in Finland.
And I’ve done them all after the… Continue reading
Bicycling is great exercise for baby boomers, who may find running to be too hard on the knees, surfing too fraught with teenagers, golf too pricey and frustrating, and hula-hooping just all-around too embarrassing.
With cycling, though, it’s easy to just hop on a bike and take off. Of course, it’s good to have someplace safe to ride.
Ocean City, New Jersey, on the lower stretches of the Jersey Shore south of Atlantic City, knows how to make cycling safe and appealing, which helps keep people out of cars and improve physical fitness and air quality as well.
Its longtime slogan “America’s Greatest Family Resort” is morphing into “America’s Greenest Family Resort.”… Continue reading
Sixth in a Series
When it comes to cruising, you can usually divide people into two camps: those who like big ships and those who like small ships.
On our recent “Magical Lake Michigan” cruise with Blount Small Ship Adventures, I don’t know how many times I heard other passengers say they would never take a big ship cruise.
The notion of traveling on a floating city of 2,000-6,000 people just didn’t interest them.
Small Ships Vs. Large
Cruising on a small ship — usually defined as one carrying 200 or fewer passengers (though often far less) — does have plenty of advantages:
* Getting on and off the ship takes virtually no time, while on a big ship, you often have to wait in long lines to do either.
Fifth in a Series
On our recent “Magical Lake Michigan” cruise aboard Blount Small Ship Adventures‘ 88-passenger ship Grande Mariner, we started in Illinois (Chicago), sailed to Michigan, made three stops (Holland, Beaver Island and Mackinac Island), and now were headed to Wisconsin.
The world’s fifth largest lake, Lake Michigan borders parts of four U.S. states — Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana — and only Indiana is not included on the itinerary.
Lake Michigan is the only one of the five Great Lakes not to share its waters with the province of Ontario, Canada. That made it ideal for some of the American passengers who didn’t own passports. (Though as an aside I would encourage everyone to get one; for example, to take… Continue reading