Note: this is the fifth in a series of Baby Boomer Travel Guides. In our last post, we looked at the options for seeing the Caribbean. Today we focus on means of transport around the Mediterranean Sea.
When traveling around the Mediterranean region, you have a full range of options: taking a cruise ship or ferry boat, driving, taking trains, or flying between destinations.
(If you’re on a guided tour, you’ll most likely be traveling by bus, though other forms of transport may figure in as well.)
How you choose to get around this endlessly fascinating area is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make — maybe the biggest decision — regarding your Mediterranean trip. It will color your entire experience — for the better, we hope.
Each mode of transport has its… Continue reading
For your next trip, should you take a cruise, a train, a plane, drive a car — or try something different, like taking a cargo ship or long-distance passenger ferry?
That depends to a large degree on where you’re going and what kind of travel experience you hope to have. Different areas of the world — as well as differing expectations — lend themselves to different forms of transportation.
In this series, we’ll take a look at different options for getting around various areas of the world — starting with the Caribbean.
Navigating The Caribbean
This one is easier than most, or so it seems at first glance.
If you’re headed to one island in search of a beach resort or some cultural… Continue reading
National Travel & Tourism Week, which runs this year from May 7-13, is a time to celebrate the impact that travel and tourism have on the U.S. economy.
And it’s huge. According to the U.S. Travel Association:
- In 2016, domestic and international travelers spent a combined $683 billion on leisure travel in the U.S. When you add in business travelers, the total is almost $1 trillion — some $31,500 spent per second.
- That same trillion-dollar spending generated $2.3 trillion in total economic output in the U.S., factoring in an additional $1.3 trillion spurred in other industries, such as retail.
- The travel industry supports 15.3 million American jobs — 8.6 million directly in the travel industry and 6.7 million in other industries.
- One of every nine jobs in the U.S. is dependent on the… Continue reading
How you get to where you’re going can be just as crucial to the success of your trip as the destination itself.
And in some cases, the mode of transport is, in effect, the destination.
Ocean cruises are an obvious example of the latter.
When you choose to see the world by cruise ship, you’re committing yourself to spending most of your time at sea and limiting your sightseeing on land to ports or places that are within a few hours’ drive by tour bus, taxi, or rental car from the ports.
But ocean- and sea-going vessels come in many shapes and forms — from small sailing ships to floating behemoths — that can make for entirely different journeys themselves.
Or say you want to take the Trans-Siberian Express (train) from China to… Continue reading
If you have a passionate interest in a particular topic — it could be just about anything — you’re a prime candidate for theme travel.
In my younger days, I was obsessed by the paintings of the 15th-century Flemish fantasist Hieronymus Bosch, and trekked all over Europe attempting to see every one of them; I fell a little short, but had a wonderful time and my dedicated purpose gave my journey added meaning.
I was traveling by myself, but theme travel often involves going with like-minded people who share your passion. Take theme cruises, for instance.
The Lure of Theme Cruises
For six years I wrote a regular theme cruise column for Porthole Cruise Magazine, which chronicled the adventures of folks who are crazy about the most wide-ranging subjects imaginable:
Birding cruises….mah jongg cruises…vegan cruises…vampire cruises…marathon (running)… Continue reading
Most of us probably don’t travel for our health — but generally speaking, it’s a very good perk, especially for baby boomers.
Studies have shown that leisure travel can be good medicine.
There’s straight-up wellness travel, of course, such as visiting a health spa to lose weight.
But travel in and of itself can also do the job.
- Travel helps reduce stress and promote relaxation by taking a break from routine.
- Travel usually results in greater physical activity, particularly walking. But you might also learn tai chi in China, practice yoga in India, or bicycle around Europe.
- Travel promotes brain health by challenging us with new and different experiences and environments. It can potentially help ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Travel can also help ward off depression… Continue reading
According to a recent survey of 40 countries around the globe conducted by motor home rental site SHAREaCAMPER, the Netherlands has the most adventurous people per capita, followed by Australia and Sweden.
The survey tabulated the number of online searches in each country for such adventurous activities as skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, surfing, BMXing, and caravanning — the latter being what Australians (where SHAREaCAMPER is partially based) call traveling in RVs, campers, or motor homes.
Strictly in terms of sheer numbers of total searches, the United States placed first, but of course has a much higher population than the other countries. The U.S. finished ninth in the per capita rankings.
While the Netherlands was outdone in skiing by Norway and Australia in surfing (no surprises there), Switzerland in… Continue reading
On our first trip to Asia many years ago, my wife and I were traveling in Thailand and enjoying the most consistently good food we had ever eaten.
Every meal — whether it was a simple dish of pad Thai at a noodle stand or a whole grilled fish in a sit-down restaurant — was outstanding. We were in foodie heaven.
That is, until we spotted a placard in our Bangkok hotel lobby promising a memorable evening of traditional Thai dancing combined with an “authentic Thai meal in a genuine Thai-style lodge within a sylvan setting,” or words to that effect.
What could be better?
We’d have another great dinner and get to see some Thai dancing, which was on our to-do list. We always liked a nice sylvan setting. And the price, while a splurge for… Continue reading
Most of us, when we travel to another country, probably have in mind at least one “must-see” attraction., usually an iconic structure, museum, historic site, or natural wonder.
Examples might be Machu Picchu in Peru, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, the Roman Colosseum in Italy, and the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary.
Recently, TripAdvisor — which has propelled itself into the world’s leading travel site and travel data bank — released a map of Europe displaying the “one thing you must do in each country, according to tourists.” (I found it in the Huffington Post.)
For most countries, the results were pretty true to form: The Roman Colosseum in Italy; The Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium; the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Tallinn Old Town in Estonia; the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece; the… Continue reading
Unless you’ve been camping in the desert or just can’t face listening to the news lately, you’ve no doubt heard the story about the greatest PR disaster to befall an airline since, well, maybe ever.
And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer airline: United, or — as I fondly call them — Untied Airlines.
To briefly recap: On a recent flight scheduled from Chicago O’Hare to Louisville, Kentucky, United Airlines’ employees called in airport police to forcibly eject a 69-year-old baby boomer named David Dao, a physician who lives in Kentucky.
His crime? He refused to give up his seat and deplane when United decided that he and three other passengers picked “at random” had to leave to make room for an airline crew that needed to get to Louisville.
The punishment? The police officers literally dragged… Continue reading