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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Clark Norton

Travel Copywriter

What we left behind in Greece. Photo by Catharine Norton

What we left behind in Greece. Photo by Catharine Norton

After an idyllic three-week sojourn in the Greek islands (which I’ll write about soon in subsequent posts), my wife, Catharine, and I experienced  “one of those days” where virtually everything went wrong trying to get home to Tucson.

It was like having a karmic payoff for everything that had gone right in Greece, where we got tanned, rested, and ready (we thought) for the slew of appointments and other challenges that we knew awaited us over the coming weeks.

I don’t want to suggest in any way that our bad day compared to the serious disruptions that many travelers have suffered from weather-related delays and cancellations — including, no doubt, some on our own Newark to Dallas flight who were trying to make connections to a plethora of onward destinations.

More than any single thing, this day was a… Continue reading

Are you getting the most mileage out of your travel credit cards?

And I don’t mean just airline miles, but other, lesser-known perks as well.

Today’s guest post from consumer writer Andrew Rombach should give you some ideas about how to leverage your travel credit cards to their maximum advantage — and make your travel experience just a bit easier and more economical as well.

By Andrew Rombach

While cash back, airline miles, and discounts on shopping are pretty well-known fare for many travel credit cards, there is a long list of other travel benefits you may not be aware of.

These little-known travel benefits can save you plenty of money and make your travel a lot more convenient.

And they aren’t just limited to high-end cards. Knowing what to expect from your credit card benefits should also make travel hacking a bit easier as well. Here are a… Continue reading

While you're running with the bulls in Spain, someone may be making off with your possessions.

While you’re running with the bulls in Spain, someone may be making off with your possessions.

Today’s guest post may save you some money if you’re a traveler and a renter — and have renters’ insurance.

How much do you know about what your policy covers? You may be pleasantly surprised.

I know I’m going to check my policy more carefully from now on!

By Armand Levitz

With an average cost of only $12 a month, renters’ insurance offers tremendous value at a low price.

But what many travelers don’t realize is that renters’ insurance can protect you even when you’re far from home.

And you don’t even need an international renters insurance plan to be protected abroad.

Take the example of one couple, Andres Modak and Rachel Cohen, who recently took a trip to Spain to attend a wedding.

Unfortunately, what should have been a… Continue reading

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

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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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