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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Clark Norton

Travel Copywriter

Prague's famous Charles Bridge is often jam-packed with tourists. Photo by Clark Norton

Prague’s famous Charles Bridge is often jam-packed with tourists. Photo by Clark Norton

You may have experienced it yourself when battling humongous lines to enter San Marco in Venice, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, or the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, or when you found yourself in a wave of fellow travelers struggling to get a peek at the changing of the guard at palaces in London, Athens, or Prague.

You may have been put off by hordes of drunken revelers in Amsterdam, Mallorca, or Berlin (of which, we trust, you were not one yourself).

You may have found small Alaskan ports or Croatian islands too overrun by your fellow cruise ship passengers to appreciate the beauty that attracted you to such cruise itineraries in the first place.

You may have sought out privacy in Iceland’s hot springs, only to find them packed with Game of Thrones fans drawn… Continue reading

Just what does Medicare cover when you travel?

Just what does Medicare cover when you travel?

Today’s guest post examines an important topic: For those U.S. baby boomer travelers on Medicare, just exactly what kind of coverage can you expect when you’re on a trip, whether it’s in the U.S. or abroad?

Medicare expert Danielle Roberts says that all depends on where you’re going and what you’ve signed up for. Here’s her analysis:

By Danielle K Roberts

Whether you travel within the United States or to other countries, it’s important to know when Medicare travels with you and when it doesn’t.

 

 

Here are the key questions to ask yourself before setting off:

Are you going to another country?

How far outside the United States are you traveling?

Are you traveling from state to state?

Do you only have Original Medicare?

If not, what kind of Medicare plan do you have?

If you know the answers to… Continue reading

This idyllic scene could be yours if you plan properly. Photo from ExperiencePhlippines.org

This idyllic scene could be yours if you plan properly. Photo from ExperiencePhlippines.org

Even if you travel a lot, its easy to forget some of the basics of Trip-Taking 101. I know, because I’ve made all the “freshman” mistakes myself over the course of my travel-writing career.

And these days, despite — or because of — all the ever-changing technology and options available to travelers, it sometimes seems like you need a graduate degree in travel logistics just to get ready for a trip.

That’s why I’m glad to run this guest post by Jim McKinley with some simple reminders of what you can do to prepare for your next vacation, whether it’s halfway around the world or the next state over.

Which reminds me, I still need to make a bunch of hotel and train reservations for my trip to Europe next month…

By Jim McKinley

No matter… Continue reading

Fishing boats in Gloucester harbor. Photo from gloucester-ma-gov

Fishing boats in Gloucester harbor. Photo from gloucester-ma-gov

Some terrific destinations just seem to fall through the cracks and when you finally visit, you wonder where they’ve been all your life.

My latest revelation is Gloucester, Massachusetts, a city of 30,000 about 30 miles northeast of Boston on the Atlantic Ocean.

It shares scenic Cape Ann with three other communities: Rockport, Essex, and Manchester-by-the-Sea, and if you like water views, boating, seafood, history, and art, you’re bound to love Gloucester and surroundings.

My wife, Catharine, and I spent a recent weekend there with old friends who live in a former sea captain’s house overlooking Gloucester harbor, where we dined on lobster as ocean breezes tempered the summer air and we watched a pink twilight settle on a parade of vessels — water shuttles, yachts, cruise ships, schooners, tour boats, party boats — passing by.

You can go whale-watching in the… Continue reading

.It’s often fun to fantasize about buying a vacation home.

Where I live now in the desert, my thoughts sometimes turn to owning beachfront property. When I lived in upstate New York, with its cold, snowy winters, I found myself dreaming about snapping up a little vacation spot in the tropics.

I never took the plunge into actually purchasing, but many baby boomers have — or are seriously considering it.

Today’s guest post, by Jim McKinley, offers some sound advice on what to do and think about before you sign on the dotted line. (And by the way, I’ve been told I make an excellent house guest.)

By Jim McKinley

The current housing market means that now is as good a time as ever to purchase a vacation home — preferably providing both a getaway and a good investment.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework before… Continue reading

White Rhino

White Rhino

As a follow-up to our recent post “5 Great Reasons to Take an African Safari,” we bring you this offer from Kenya Airways:

A free safari with the Nairobi National Park Stopover Package!

Yes, passengers traveling on Kenya Airways flight 101 from London’s Heathrow Airport to Nairobi and transiting to one of seven other East African destinations can spend a long layover looking for wild animals rather than vegetating in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport waiting for their onward flight.

Animals you might see include rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hippos, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes and birds (with over 400 bird species recorded).

If you have at least six hours to kill between flights, and book the arrangements in advance, you’ll be:

* Met on arrival at the transit terminal by the “KQ Karibu” hospitality team

* Fast-tracked through immigration using your granted eVisa

* Transferred… Continue reading

Test your travel knowledge!

Travel photographer Dennis Cox has created this beautiful poster — a collection of his “photo paintings” from two dozen top travel icons around the world — and he’s offering a free poster to the first person who can correctly name all the icons.

Just email me at clark@clarknorton.com with your answers and we’ll do the rest.

If you’re a winner, you can choose this poster or one of many other artistic travel photo posters he has created. Subjects include The Art of Cruising, The Great Wall of China, European Castles, and the Colors of India, among others.

To check out all the posters in Dennis’ Photo Explorer Productions collection, click here.

Dennis also designs men’s ties and women’s fashions and business cards.

Good luck and hope to hear from  you!
Win this or another travel poster from Dennis Cox/Photo Explorer ProductionsWin this or another travel poster from Dennis Cox/Photo Explorer Productions

Santa Fe is known for its art, architecture -- and clean air. Photo from Tourism Santa Fe

Santa Fe is known for its art, architecture — and clean air. Photo from Tourism Santa Fe

Until I heard from Erin Lowry, a blogger for 1stClassMedical.com, I didn’t realize that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third largest cause of illness-related death in the United States after heart disease and cancer

As Erin points out, “COPD is a broad term for a group of diseases affecting the airways and lungs,” with chronic bronchitis and emphysema being the two most common types.

While the main cause is long-term exposure to cigarette smoke, Erin says “it’s also possible to get COPD from air pollution, chemicals and even dust. Outside toxins can worsen the effects of COPD, making it hard for COPD patients to go outside without having a flare up.”

And she adds that while there is no current cure for COPD, since damage to the airways… Continue reading

When I first saw this infographic from the UK company Computer Planet about the health benefits of playing video games, I thought, “Hmm, interesting, but how much relevance does it have to baby boomers?”

After all, the prototypical image of gamers is of young men — who, as the infographic itself suggests, are seen as “anti-social hermits who shut themselves in their bedrooms day and night.”

And along with that image goes empty pizza boxes, bottles of soda or beer, maybe a haze of cigarette smoke…you get the picture.

Then I did a little research and was surprised to read that nearly a quarter of all gamers in the U.S. are age 50-plus, outdistancing those aged 36-49 and not too far behind the under 18 and 18-35 age ranges.

There’s more: according to surveys by Pew Research, in 2017 55 percent of Americans aged 50 and up played video… Continue reading

A male Impala hosts a bird on his back at Sabi Sands area private reserve near Kruger National Park South Africa. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

A male Impala hosts a bird on his back at Sabi Sands area private reserve near Kruger National Park South Africa. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Today’s guest post by Stuart Cooke of Northern Ireland hooked me with his first great reason to take an African safari: “Africa is Incredible.”

I couldn’t agree more. My first experience visiting the “Third World” was decades ago in Africa. I was traveling there for six weeks on assignment for a news service I worked for, and was supposed to be writing political stories.

I did manage to pound some out, but my heart wasn’t in it.

I quickly discovered that I wanted to see and experience as much of Kenya, Tanzania, and other countries as I could. So I rode trains to Lake Victoria and Zambia, flew to Zanzibar, feasted on Indian food in Nairobi, spent a few idyllic days on the Indian Ocean… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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