The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Clark Norton

Travel Copywriter

One of Europe's sleek new trains. Photo from Rail Europe.

One of Europe’s sleek new trains. Photo from Rail Europe.

My favorite method of traveling through Europe is by train, and Americans are fortunate to be able to buy Eurail Passes, which offer a variety of ways to tour the continent by rail.

You can choose among the One Country Pass — allowing you to thoroughly explore, say, France, Italy, or Spain; the Select Pass, which lets you choose among two, three, or four bordering countries; or the global pass, good for exploring the whole of Europe, up to 28 countries.

And from now until December 31, you can purchase Eurail Passes at 20 percent off their usual price.

On top of that, you’ll get an extra 15 percent off if two of you travel together on all segments.  (Make sure you choose you travel partner carefully, since you will just have one pass with two names on it,… Continue reading

Taughannock Falls overlook is free to all. Photo from VisitIthaca.com

Taughannock Falls overlook is free to all. Photo from VisitIthaca.com

This concludes our four-part series containing 50 tips about How to Travel Cheaply. In today’s guest post, Jesse Miller looks at how you can save money on sightseeing and entertainment, how to manage your money while traveling, and adds some safety tips that can have financial ramifications as well.

Previous posts in the series offer tips on  Planning Your Trip, Saving Money on Transportation, and Saving Money on Accommodations and Food.

By Jesse Miller

Sightseeing & Entertainment Tips

1. Be Picky.
Plan to visit your top two or three sites instead of taking a whirlwind tour of all the attractions your destination has to offer. By doing so, you can spend as much time as you’d like connecting with these areas while eliminating rushing around from one tourist spot to the next.

While at these locations,… Continue reading

This hostel in Nuremberg, Germany, is attached to a castle. Photo by Catharine Norton..

This hostel in Nuremberg, Germany, is attached to a castle. Photo by Catharine Norton.

For baby boomers, saving money on accommodations can be tougher than for young travelers.

Dormitory-style hostels and CouchSurfing may have much less appeal than for those in their 20s or 30s.

Camping — at least the type (unlike “glamping” or glamorous camping) that leaves you trying to get a decent night’s sleep in a bag on the ground — can be tough on the back (with legitimate concerns that you might not be able to straighten up at all in the morning).

But, as guest poster Jesse Miller contends, “It’s still possible to enjoy a five-star housing experience without paying a five-star price.” The key, Miller says, “is to live like the locals do. This means avoiding more traditional options (such as pricey hotels and resorts) and immersing yourself in opportunities to interact with the… Continue reading

Photo by Tony Hisgett on flickr

JetBlue is a low-cost carrier. Photo by Tony Hisgett on flickr

Today we’re featuring the second in a series of How to Travel on the Cheap by Jesse Miller, who writes for the website JenReviews.com.

This post is filled with tips on how to save money on different forms of transportation: flying, taking trains and buses, going on cruises, and utilizing public transportation, car services, and my own favorite method of getting around manageable distances: walking.

Here, then, are Jesse’s tips on getting the best deals on what is often the most expensive part of your vacation:

By Jesse Miller

In order to take your trip, you’ll need ways to get around. Because these transportation services are typically the most costly, it’s important to weigh your options based on your budget instead of convenience.

Even though flying is the most common mode of travel when taking a vacation, there… Continue reading

You can spend a lot of these...

You can spend a lot of these…

These days, traveling always seems to cost more than you think it will — or should.

Expenses add up, even after you’ve bought the airline or cruise tickets, perhaps pre-paid your hotel or rental car bills, or even booked an “all-inclusive” vacation.

And these...

And these…

It’s those little “extras” that can be killers: the pricey cups of coffee in that chic cafe, the seemingly irresistible shopping finds, the spur-of-the-moment decisions to splurge on…whatever.

And yet, those splurges can amount to some of the most memorable moments of a trip.

So, what to do to ensure you don’t return home from a vacation stressed out by credit card debt and a dwindling bank balance?

This guest post by Jesse Miller, the first in a series of how to travel on the cheap from jenreviews.com, offers some answers — or will at least get you… Continue reading

Today’s guest infographic comes from PortableAdvisor.com, a website devoted to RV travel and the “portable lifestyle.”  It’s run by an Irish-American named Rick Rose and his wife Sandy, who have lived life on the road for eight months of each year since 2012.

I can vouch for some of these incredibly scenic highways from personal experience; others remain to be explored, but it’s a terrific list to keep in mind for your next European vacation(s).

The infographic is packed with useful info such as mileage, driving difficulty, seasonal closures, sights en route, and various practical tips.

Here’s the intro and infographic courtesy of PortableAdvisor:

With the rise of budget airlines in Europe, the popularity of driving around the continent has waned. As a result, some of the continent’s most breathtaking locations go unseen as visitors  simply fly from one capital city to the next without taking in… Continue reading

Zurich, Switzerland, is ranked as the top city in the world for baby boomers. Photo courtesy of myswitzerland.com

Zurich, Switzerland, is ranked as the top city in the world for baby boomers. Photo courtesy of myswitzerland.com

Sometimes you can only get away for a weekend, and the folks at weekenGO.com (I like the name) commissioned a thorough study to find the best cities around the world in which to spend 48 hours.

They looked at criteria such as walkability, accommodations, dining, bars, cultural events, museums and galleries, green spaces, safety and security, tolerance, and more, surveying 1,000 cities in all.

And along with overall winners, they picked the best cities for three different groups: millennials, families, and yes, I’m glad to say, baby boomers.

The list is heavy on European cities, for good reason — they’re usually easy to get around, have lots of activities going on, are rich in historic and artistic treasures, etc.

Now, most Americans aren’t likely to jet off to London — the overall… Continue reading

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card got WalletHub's top mark for best initial bonus.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card got WalletHub’s top mark for best initial bonus.

While I don’t usually wade into the credit card wars — too much fine print and peeking behind the promotional curtains can quickly turn great-sounding offers into not-so-hot — the personal-finance website WalletHub has done its homework in determining what it calls Winter 2017’s Best Travel Credit Cards. 

With holiday travel season approaching, this might be a good time to take a look at the offers on hand. Applying for certain cards now will give you enough time to earn up to $625 in “free” travel — at least if you’re willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars first.

Note that they all come with annual fees, so these cards are ones you’ll want to use if you successfully apply for them. (And they all require good-to-excellent credit.)

Be sure you have definite… Continue reading

Mt. Hood with lake view. Photo by Bill Bens.

Mt. Hood with lake view. Photo by Bill Bens.

Today’s guest post is by my friend and fellow baby boomer Mitch Stevens, founder of Tucson-based Southwest Discoveries, where he leads tours throughout Arizona and adjoining states.

In this post, Mitch ventures out of his comfort zone into the great Northwest to tackle Oregon’s forbidding, snow-covered Mt. Hood. His entourage consisted of a hiking buddy and a drill sergeant-like guide — but it was his ill-fitting boots and unseasonably warm weather that proved problematic in the end.

By Mitch Stevens

The snow-cat rumbled to a stop amidst the barren rock and snowfields on Mt. Hood, Oregon’s iconic summit at 11,250 feet.

It was an eerie sensation to be grinding along in pre-dawn blackness. We had to start our journey at 12:30 am to avoid melting snow and ice-fall near the summit.

Bundled up against the chill, it was hard to… Continue reading

Dogs love water features along the trail. Photo from ruffwear.com

Dogs love water features along the trail. Photo from ruffwear.com

When I was growing up, I had a great dog named Tiger (full name: Tiger Pirate Furious Ferocious Double-Trouble Dirty Dog Norton).

Tiger was a pretty smart dog. When he was told to stay out of a particular room, he would back into it so that it appeared he was leaving. When my parents moved from Indiana to Maryland, he somehow managed to escape from his crate on the train and hung out at a Baltimore police station until my father was alerted to his presence there.

Why the police station and not a deli or a pet supply store? Only Tiger knew, and he wasn’t talking.  But it got him a write-up in the papers.

But I never took him on a long hike up a mountain, and now, reading this guest post from Sarah Jones, I regret… 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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