baby boomer travel
I’m always glad to run guest posts that contain valuable information for baby boomer travelers, and my friend Samantha Scott at StrideTravel.com has put together a good compendium of the most popular trends in boomer travel today — as well as some excellent suggestions for tour companies that will help you join in the fun.
Samantha’s post strikes on many of the themes I’ve been discussing here for nearly three years now: that baby boomers are dedicated travelers and life-long learners, love to take river cruises and travel with their grandchildren, are embracing the wide diversity of tours now available — including adventure travel — and are far more tech savvy than is generally believed.
While not a boomer herself, Samantha “gets it” — boomers are big travelers, are open to and eager for new experiences,… Continue reading
First in an occasional series of profiles of ardent baby boomer travelers:
I hadn’t seen Carol Bruen — who I knew as Carol Heller before she was married — since the end of seventh grade.
Carol and I were grade school classmates in Greencastle, Indiana, before she moved to Alaska. We reconnected recently via this blog. (One of the best things about blogging is hearing from old friends, classmates, and colleagues — so if some of you are still lingering out there, don’t forget to write!)
In our correspondence, we discovered our lives had taken many similar turns — we both did stints working in the U.S. Senate in Washington during the 1960s; we both lived in the same neighborhood in San Francisco in the 1970s; we both had come to know Alaska quite well; and,… Continue reading
In my last post, I recommended a piece by Anita Mendiratta of the CNN Task Force contending that the world’s seniors (those aged 60 and up) are “global tourism’s silver lining.”
Based on world tourism and economic statistics, Mendiratta notes that senior travelers have more disposable income than other age groups, have more flexibility as to when to travel, and tend to stay longer on the trips they make.
But I thought her own observations about how seniors bring a special sense of excitement and awe to travel was especially insightful.
Baby boomers (now in their 50s and 60s) have a lifetime of experience and knowledge to bring to their travels, and I think this results in greater appreciation for — and excitement about — the places… Continue reading
I don’t usually use the word “seniors” when I’m referring to baby boomers — “seniors” somehow always seem older than us — but there’s a very insightful piece written by Anita Mendiratta of the CNN Task Force promoting the world’s seniors (those aged 60 and up) as “global tourism’s silver lining.”
Mendiratta praises senior travelers as “one of the most strategically valuable, yet socially undervalued, segments of the global travel population.”
The piece, which was syndicated by e Turbo News, touches a lot of bases that I’ve blogged about over the past 2 1/2 years, and has added a few new wrinkles (if you’ll excuse the expression) as well.
Her key premise is that older travelers should not be forgotten as the tourism industry actively courts millennials and other younger age groups. “To the traveling… 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
River cruising is the hottest trend in the cruise world right now, and not just in Europe. It’s also thriving right here in the United States — and the aptly named American Cruise Lines (ACL) is leading the
ACL has ships cruising the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, the Hudson River in upstate New York, the Intracoastal Waterway in the Southeastern U.S., and many more.
But my wife, Catharine, and I were most intrigued by ACL’s cruise down the lower Mississippi — from Memphis to New Orleans — partly because it was an area of the country we hadn’t explored as much as some others, and partly because the ship, the Queen of the Mississippi, was built in the style of an old-fashioned paddle wheeler, allowing us to return to Mark… Continue reading
On my recent trip to Central Europe with Insight Vacations, I enjoyed Prague immensely, discovered the delightful Medieval town of Cesky Krumlov (also in the Czech Republic), rekindled an old flame in Vienna, but fell totally in love with Budapest.
Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for river cruises — the evening dinner cruise we took on the Danube was magical — or maybe it was the Hungarian Parliament building, lit up like a centenarian’s birthday cake at night and almost as beautiful inside by day, or maybe it was that lunch consisting solely of the best strudel I’ve ever eaten.
Probably some of all three, but there were also the endearing intangibles:
* Asking a couple of locals shortly after our arrival the name of the bridge in front of our hotel,… Continue reading
Cesky Krumlov, a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride through country roads south of Prague in the Czech Republic, has often been described as a “fairytale” town, and it fits the description well.
As our Insight Vacations tour director, Neira Milkovic, explained en route, the town was cut off from trade routes by Europe’s destructive 30 Years War in the 17th century and “went to sleep” for about 300 years after that.
It’s now awakened as a tourist magnet, for good reason. If you want to see what European towns looked like hundreds of years ago, Cesky Krumlov — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is a great place to do it.
It comes complete with a hilltop castle, winding cobblestone streets, a scenic river cutting an S shape through town, a central square, and — in a nod to modernity — plenty… Continue reading
When you think of European beer, Germany may spring first to mind, but the real capital is the Czech Republic.
Czechs are said to drink more brew than any other nationality in the world: 40 gallons annually for every man, woman and child in the country. I’m guessing that the average is somewhat higher than that for adult men.
The very word “pilsner” derives from the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic, where the country’s best known export — and my longtime favorite beer, Pilsner Urquell — is brewed. It was the first golden pilsner ever made.
On my recent Insight Vacations tour of Prague, I discovered that Pilsner Urquell is only the beginning of what Czech beer has to offer.
Along with 30 other journalists from around the world, I was fortunate to join the… Continue reading
For the most part, a visit to Prague is a light-hearted affair: exploring Prague Castle, perusing Old Town Square, sauntering across the Charles Bridge, and perhaps doing some shopping for crystal or dining in a beer hall (more to come on that in a later post).
But the historical attractions are museum-quality relics of long ago, and bizarre incidents — political rivals being tossed out of windows, leading to destructive wars — are ancient history, fascinating but distant. The Habsburg dynasty — which ruled here for nearly 400 years — and the Holy Roman Empire are long gone, leaving us buildings and cathedrals to admire but perhaps less to stir our souls.
But Prague has a more recent past that should stir us to the core, and it bubbles to the surface in the city’s… Continue reading