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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter

Clark Norton

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Notre Dame as I'd like to remember it. Photo from Paris-visit.org

Notre Dame as I’d like to remember it. Photo from Paris-visit.org

The news out of Paris is beyond imagining — fire is ravaging Notre Dame Cathedral. As I write this, Parisian officials fear catastrophic damage and perhaps total loss of this world treasure — with late word that its towers and façade may be saved. French President Macron has vowed to rebuild.

For the millions who have visited and loved and worshipped in this magnifient edifice — with so much historic, artistic, and architectural glory — as well as for residents of Paris who have been privileged to view it on an almost daily basis, the news is heartbreaking. And for those who have not had the good fortune to see it and now perhaps never will, words cannot express.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to Paris — from my first visit in 1966 until my latest visit three… Continue reading

The Murray Princess paddlewheeler at sunrise on the Murray River. Photo from Murray Princess.

The Murray Princess paddlewheeler at sunrise on the Murray River. Photo from Murray Princess.

My experience with Australian river cruises was something of a mixed bag. When our kids were young, my wife and I took them on a “Crocodile Cruise” on the Daintree River in far north Queensland.

The tropical setting was exotic, the little riverboat was appropriately atmospheric, and breakfast — including frontier-style Billy tea — was included.

The only problem: there were no crocs. Well, we did spot one baby croc toward the end of the day, at which point everyone on board started madly snapping pictures, none of which produced a clear image of the elusive reptile.

On the other hand, the boatman did allow our son, Grael, to play captain and steer the ship for a while, and we met some nice people onboard.

Our guest writer today, Sam Hoffman, lives in Australia and describes… Continue reading

On a tight budget? You can still travel the world.

On a tight budget? You can still travel the world.

I’m pleased to present another guest post from Jim McKinley, our financial writer in residence (well, virtual residence), who always has good tips for baby boomers who want to make wise use of their travel funds — and who doesn’t?

In today’s post, Jim — a baby boomer himself — looks at several ways to save money on a trip, both leading up to and during your travels.

By Jim McKinley

Many baby boomers have more time to travel now, whether it’s because they’re empty-nesters or retirees, and they’re pursuing it with more intense interest as well, as bucket lists beckon.

The good news is that travel is good for you, with benefits for the mind and body.

You’ll stay active strolling around museums and markets, swimming in the sea, or hiking in the forest, and it’ll broaden… Continue reading

Time for the pig to squeal. Image from China Travel Guide.

Time for the pig to squeal. Image from China Travel Guide.

Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival), starts on February 5 this year and continues for 15 days.

It’s the most important festival time of the year in China — when millions of Chinese travel to their home villages and cities to be with family or friends for holiday reunions.

One of the world’s most celebrated festivals, Chinese New Year is also a star occasion  in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and some other Asian countries as well as Chinatowns around the world. And in recent years, the celebrations in New York, London, Vancouver, Sydney and other overseas cities have spread out of Chinatowns.

Parades with dragon and lion dances and fireworks, family feasts, and, on the final day, a Lantern Festival illuminated by red lanterns are all traditional.

This is the Year of… Continue reading

What town is named after this "jolly old elf"?

What town is named after this “jolly old elf”?

I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season.

Now, as promised last week, here are the answers to our Merry Christmas Travel Quiz. In case you missed the earlier post and would like to take the quiz, I’m listing the answers at the bottom.

1. Christmas Island was discovered by British Royal Navy Captain William Mynors on December 25, 1643, hence the name. Which ocean would you travel to to spend the holiday season on Christmas Island?

a. The South Pacific

b. The South Atlantic

c. The Indian Ocean

d. The Antarctic Ocean

2. Which U.S. state would you travel to in search of a town named Santa Claus?

a. Indiana

b. Ohio

c. Michigan

d. Illinois

3. Where would you travel to retrace the footsteps of the original St. Nicholas,… Continue reading

While I’m recovering from a hand injury that makes it difficult to type (you may laugh, but it’s true!), I’m reprising our Merry Christmas Travel Quiz from a previous year.

Fortunately, it’s an “evergreen” — meaning it won’t pass its expiration date anytime soon, and which conjures up images of Christmas trees as well.

So good luck, and try to resist googling the answers — I’ll have them in my next post.

What town is named after this "jolly old elf"?

What town is named after this “jolly old elf”?

Christmas is a popular time to travel, especially for baby boomers escaping cold weather (those who live up north) and/or taking advantage of their empty nests (if applicable).  And if you have grandkids you don’t want to part with at Christmastime, you can always take them with you!

One option is to put together a Christmas-themed vacation. But how much do you really know about where to find… Continue reading

The Grand Canyon taught Mitch a hard-earned lesson in trail guiding.

The Grand Canyon taught Mitch a hard-earned lesson in trail guiding.

One of our frequent contributors to clarknorton.com, my friend Mitch Stevens, is kicking off our occasional series of first-person pieces on how various baby boomers got started traveling for a living.

Mitch’s odyssey led him from summer camp in Pennsylvania to the depths of the Grand Canyon to college field trips in Wyoming and eventually to Tucson in the (mostly) sunny deserts of southern Arizona, where’s he’s been leading Sierra Club hikes for years and more recently founded his adventure travel company Southwest Discoveries.

Like the intrepid cyclists who compete in the 100-mile El Tour de Tucson race each fall, Mitch’s long-distance hikes through the canyons and across the mountains of the Southwest provide inspiration to me as I sit here at my computer giving my typing fingers a thorough workout.

So lace up your hiking boots, grab… Continue reading

Gorgeous Milford Sound on New Zealand's South Island. Photo by Clark Norton

Gorgeous Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South Island. Photo by Clark Norton

New Zealand is one of my favorite destinations.

I’ve hiked along the Milford Track and through Abel Tasman National Park, marveled at gorgeous valleys and mountains that served as dramatic backdrops for the “Lord of the Rings” saga, made my way through an eerie glowworm cave, cruised through ice blue narrow passages of Milford Sound, enjoyed the urban amenities of Auckland and Wellington, and dined on lamb, lamb, and more lamb (though there’s much more to the diverse Kiwi cuisine — I just like lamb).

The country consists of three main islands: North, South, and Stewart (the latter is much smaller), and climate can range from warm and tropical in the north to cold and wintry in the south. Don’t forget that the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, so beautiful Fjordland in the far south can… Continue reading

The beach at Rocky Point, Mexico. Photo from Visit Rocky Point.

The beach at Rocky Point, Mexico. Photo from Visit Rocky Point.

Today’s guest post, by financial writer Jim McKinley, offers several practical suggestions for business executives on how to avoid stress while taking much needed vacations.

I think some of the same suggestions can be applied to middle managers as well — and even some freelance writers!

As the winter holidays approach and visions of Caribbean or Mexican beaches beckon, here are Jim’s tips for truly getting away from it all (or at least most of it):

By Jim McKinley

Business owners work under a great deal of pressure and consequent stress. Business fortunes can change in the blink of an eye, and a deal you’ve sweated over for months can come to nothing.

Waiting it out can be highly stressful and can overwhelm even the most experienced business professional, considering how much is at stake. Sometimes, getting away from… Continue reading

You may want to eat your turkey at home next year.

You may want to eat your turkey at home next year.

Some 25 million Americans are expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday – up seven percent from 2017.

It’s considered the busiest travel season of the year in the U.S.

Last year, more than 153,000 flights departed from U.S. airports between the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the Monday after.

Airports are busiest on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, making it the worst day to fly if you’re looking to avoid crowds, delays, and disruptions.

The best time to fly to avoid disruptions is between 6 a.m. and noon.

Here are the busiest flight routes: 

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) → San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and reverse

New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) → Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and reverse

Kahului Airport (OGG) → Honolulu International Airport (HNL) and reverse

New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) →… 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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