Baby boomer travel
‘Tis the season for holiday travel. But, in many cases, before you get home (or perhaps someplace that’s warm and tropical) for the holidays, you have to fight the Airport Wars.
Everyone who has flown during the holidays knows what this means: long lines to get through security, frantic searches for places to charge your cellphones, dodging other stressed-out travelers dashing to make their flights, maybe missing your own connections, and more — just the sorts of headaches that crush the holiday spirit before you even hit the eggnog.
You may even be at the airport right now as you read this (and, I hope, have your phone or laptop charged enough to do so).
If you’re en route, still packing, or just thinking about an upcoming trip now or any time of year, check out an app called… Continue reading
In my last post, I recommended a terrific book from the Quarto Publishing Group (Voyageur Press), Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements, by Jim Sonderman.
If you ever traveled Route 66 or even just wanted to, you’ll love this tribute to an iconic American highway, the points of interest along it, and, of course, the signage that captured the imaginations of countless travelers — including me and my fellow baby boomers.
Now I’d like to highlight two more travel-related books from Quarto Publishing, which is based in Minneapolis and is turning out a number of excellent titles.
I was drawn to Backroads of Arizona (Voyageur Press, 2016, 2nd Edition), by Jim Hinckley with photography by Kerrick James, because I’m now living in the Grand Canyon State and looking to discover just the kind of “byways to breathtaking landscapes and quirky small towns” that the book’s sub-title promises… Continue reading
This year I’ve come across five travel-related books I’d like to highlight.
I think any or all of them would make great gifts for the baby boomer traveler on your list — or anyone else who enjoys a dose of history and adventure with their travels or making new discoveries on the back roads of America.
All are from the Minneapolis-based Quarto Publishing Group USA, under the imprints Voyageur Press and Zenith Press.
I’ll feature all the books in this and upcoming posts.
The first, Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements, is written by Joe Sonderman, with photography by Sonderman and Jim Hinckley. It was issued by Voyageur Press in 2016.
If you remember traveling on Route 66 — or even just getting your kicks by watching the early 1960’s Route 66 TV show starring Martin Milner — you will love this book. It’s guaranteed… Continue reading
As regular readers of this blog know, I have a soft spot for off-the-beaten-track destinations.
Yes, I love Paris and Venice and London, but I also like to explore the lesser-known out-of-the-wsy places that many travelers never reach.
Once years ago, I set off by train from Paris to visit Mont-Saint-Michel, a medieval abbey off the coast of Normandy that I had read about in college in the Henry Adams’ book, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres.
The trip took two full days because the train connections were awful, but I made it, and didn’t regret it. It’s a dramatically situated Gothic masterpiece, rising atop a rocky island with a maze of narrow streets surrounding it.
Traditionally, Mont-Saint-Michel has only been reachable by land when the tides are out, via squishy mud flats. When the tides come in,… Continue reading
It’s that season again — when it’s time to stuff the stockings that are hanging by the chimney with care.
The good news: If the stocking you’re stuffing belongs to an ardent baby boomer traveler, there are plenty of new travel gadgets that you didn’t really know you needed until you read about them here. And now you gotta have ’em…
Tip ‘n Split
Our first gadget is called the Tip ‘n Split, invented by a baby boomer named Connie Inukai.
Tip ‘n Split is a compact, multi-use gadget that functions as an easy-to-use tip calculator — and can even split your restaurant bill, if you wish. (It won’t actually pay the bill, however — that’s still up to you and your companions.)
But what I really love about Tip ‘n Split is that it also features a… Continue reading
A few months ago I attended a stamp and coin show in Tucson and was disappointed to see that most of the displays were devoted to coins, not stamps.
And I became almost morose while chatting with some of the few stamp dealers there (all of whom were baby boomers, by the way). They each told the same story: in their experience, at least, stamp collecting is a dying hobby. Many of their items had been marked down for faster sale.
As a boy growing up in Indiana, I became a fervent stamp collector while still in grade school.
While I collected stamps from all over the world, including the U.S., I especially liked the issues of British and French colonies — not because I romanticized colonization (I didn’t know its moral implications at the time), but because they beautifully depicted far-away, exotic places that, quite simply, made me… Continue reading
For our first annual Thanksgiving Day Quiz, we shall delve into the history and the mystery of this travel-related holiday, when most everyone in the United States either heads to Grandma’s house or Grandma flees to the buffet at Golden Corral.
Either way, there’s bound to be turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and at least one relative who hits the sauce too much, cranberry or otherwise. It’s a quintessential American holiday, epitomized by food, football, family and friends.
But how much do you really know about it? Here’s the quiz, and Happy Thanksgiving!
1..Which historical figure is most identified with Thanksgiving in America?
a. The Earl of Cranberry
b. Davy Crockett
c. The Sultan of Turkey
d. Governor William Bradford
2. Who invented the green bean casserole, and when?
a. Betty Crocker in 1949
b. Dorcas Reilly in 1955
c. … Continue reading
How to find the lowest airfares?
It’s a vexing question in this day and age in which many of us essentially act as our own own travel agents.
This usually means combing a variety of Internet search engines and airline sites, taking a stab at sometimes obscure “airfare hacks” that may be overly complex or irrelevant to our situations, or just quickly booking a flight and hoping for the best because we simply don’t have time for all the other stuff.
Of course, one thing is always in the back of your mind: Could I have saved hundreds of dollars or more by checking more sites, trying more hacks, booking on a different day?
Steve Cuffari, Senior Content Marketing Manager at couponbox.com, an international savings website that includes a travel component, feels your pain. He notes that “Flight hunting is… Continue reading
In a recent post, I noted that the tiny Republic of San Marino, which is entirely surrounded by Italy, was number one on my personal bucket list.
The main reason was that it was the only country in Western Europe that I hadn’t visited, and that since I would be visiting Italy soon, I could then cross it off my list. Of course, I also wanted to go for all the reasons I want to go anywhere — seeing what there is to see and, I hope, enjoying it — but I admit the list thing was the top consideration.
As it happens, I did visit Italy shortly after the post appeared, and I did make it to San Marino — whose irresistible full name is The Most Serene Republic of San Marino.
And — as a… Continue reading
It features a number of “exam” questions that, in a humorous way, are designed to get you thinking about whether you’d rather spend this January in Italy — on their 10-day tour of Rome and Naples called “Fundamental Italy” — or back home in the U.S. in the dead of winter.
Illustrated with photos old and new, the exam asks you to choose between, among other things, shoveling snow or standing in the sunshine overlooking Rome’s Tiber River; having a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee or a cappuccino; eating American fast food or Italian pasta; and viewing a smoggy American city or what looks to be a dreamy photo of the Isle of… Continue reading