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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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MSC cruises sail the world. Photo from MSC Cruises
A year ago, MSC Cruises had the last remaining cruise ship at sea. Photo from MSC Cruises

Based on that headline, things are looking up!

The travel and hospitality industries — airlines, restaurants, hotels, cruise lines — have taken the brunt of the economic hit during the pandemic. Estimates are that at least $500 billion of travel business has been lost in the U.S. alone.

With about 10 percent of the world’s population employed in some travel-related occupation, the global cost has been staggering, and many smaller operators, especially — tour companies, family-run restaurants, inns and the like — have struggled to survive or been forced to close down permanently.

Now, even with COVID cases still raging in many parts of the U.S. and the world, some 200 million Americans (out of 330 million) have received at least one dose of vaccine — and the travel industry is moving into… Continue reading

You could be back in the air very soon. Photo by Artturi Jalli, Unsplash

With the European Union announcement that fully vaccinated travelers should be able to fly to Europe at some point this summer, sufficiently jabbed baby boomers can take advantage of some truly exceptional airfares currently being offered to the Continent.

There are also some lower-than-low airfares to Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and within the U.S. Some are almost mind-boggling.

But you have to know where to look — and just as important, when to look.

That’s where the website ThriftyTraveler.com comes in.

By subscribing to its Premium service, you’ll get email notifications of hot airfare deals around the globe within minutes from the time they appear — which is good, because some of these deals disappear within a matter of hours. Thrifty Traveler considers a fare worth writing about if it’s $250 or more off… Continue reading

This morning I received an email (below) from  Scott’s Cheap Flights, which is my go-to website for airline deals.

Scott Keyes’ site regularly turns up airfares that are 50 percent off the regular price, and sometimes up to 90 percent off  — but they’re often good for just a day or two, so you need to act fast. (Sign up to get email notifications of the daily deals.)

But acting fast to grab great fares (and with airlines anxious to fill seats again, they are plentiful) isn’t easy in the midst of a pandemic — because it’s difficult to know what the situation will be next year, much less a month or two from now.

While I’ve been on the cautious side of the when-is-it-safe-to-fly debate — as a baby boomer, my age puts me in a higher-risk category — I found Scott’s take on the risks… Continue reading

Waterfalls empty into beautiful Milford Sound on New Zealand’s south island. Photo by Jade Chan

Among our far-flung correspondents is Jade Chan, who writes for The Star, an English-language newspaper in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Jade was on vacation in New Zealand just days and hours before that country — as well as Malaysia and Australia (where she had to transit) — severely limited travel to combat the coronavirus threat.  Getting home was something of a trial — “I was ‘saved by the bell,'” as she puts it — but at least she wasn’t stranded for weeks on a cruise ship.

I’ll let Jade take it from here (note that a somewhat different version of this piece originally appeared in The Star).

By Jade Chan

My family had planned for a holiday in New Zealand more than half a year ago, and departed for the Land of the… 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

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

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

Before you fly, check out these tips to make things go more smoothly

Before you fly, check out these tips to make things go more smoothly

Leading-edge baby boomers — those born in the late 1940s — are now edging into their 70s, and with that inevitably come new challenges when we travel, no matter how healthy we are.

Much as we may hate to admit it (and I’m a prime offender in this regard), we may walk a bit slower, require assistance from time to time, and need to take care of ourselves a bit more.

Flying and airports can be especially vexing, and so I was struck by this piece by Bay Area freelance journalist Scott Morris from the excellent website caring.com that’s filled with tips on how to make the flying and airport experience a bit smoother.

Here’s Scott on a topic of interest to anyone who flies, but especially to older travelers:

By Scott Morris

Flying can be difficult… Continue reading

Before you fly, make sure your medical condition won't hold you back

Before you fly, make sure your medical condition won’t hold you back

Note: This is the fourth in a series of guest posts on traveling with a medical condition by British writer Laura Miller. In this post, Laura provides advice on flying with a medical condition and obtaining the right vaccinations and visas for your trip.

By Laura Miller

Flying with a medical condition

While traveling with many medical conditions is generally safe, airlines do have the right to deny passengers who could suffer complications in the air.

For those travelling by plane, the most common in-flight problems are:

• Neurologic events
• Cardiac events
• Respiratory events
• Gastrointestinal events
• Vasovagal syncope (fainting)

If you’re worried about the risk of being denied passage, it’s worth speaking to your doctor to ask for medical clearance. Consider if any of the following apply:

• You could compromise the safety of… Continue reading

South America is not out of reach for travelers with disabilities. Photo from riodejaneiro.com.

South America is not out of reach for travelers with disabilities. Photo from riodejaneiro.com

Continuing our series on traveling with a medical condition — written by British freelance journalist Laura Miller — we’ll focus today on traveling with a disability.

If you missed Laura’s first post in  the series, you can read her top tips for traveling with a medical condition here.

Laura provides a wealth of tips and advice that I’m sure many baby boomer travelers — and their traveling partners — will find helpful and reassuring.

By Laura Miller

In today’s world, travel isn’t restrictive. Regardless of whether you’re fit and healthy, have a physical impairment, learning disability, or any other condition, there’s no reason to  avoid traveling.

You can visit even the most exotic of destinations: from South America to Southampton, a disability shouldn’t stop you from seeing the world.

Here’s how:

Planning… 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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