As frequent guest-poster and financial expert Jim McKinley points out in this piece, boomers on a budget can help realize their dreams of outdoor adventure — or any kind of travel, for that matter — by taking a number of relatively easy steps.
Tracking flight deals, accruing mileage points racked up by responsible use of credit cards, planning ahead, and saving on gear by finding coupons and promo codes online are all very doable.
And that list doesn’t even include camping or RVing to save on lodging (though maybe not your back). Or the great options now available on vacation rentals (airbnb, VRBO) that can make staying in a house more affordable than hotels, especially if you have other family or friends in tow.
Jim also provides a number of helpful links — so enjoy browsing through them, but… Continue reading
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
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
These little-known travel benefits can save you plenty of money and make your travel a lot more convenient.
Today’s guest post, by writer Anna Kucirkova, lays out the basics of “travel hacking.” If you aren’t familiar with the concept, read on — it may help to inspire you to invest the effort it takes to start seeing the world for free, or at least less.
Baby boomers with the time to devote to forming a comprehensive strategy and with credit scores sufficiently high to become accomplished hackers may use these methods to land free flights, hotel rooms, and other travel perks.
Hacking is really no more than capitalizing on money you might spend anyway to take full advantage of all those enticing credit card offers you see on TV — and seeking out others as well.
But be sure to heed Anna’s warnings about common travel hacking mistakes. If… Continue reading
Second in a Series
My previous travel experiences in Japan had been very brief before my wife, Catharine, and I flew off to Tokyo in early April, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
How much of a language barrier would we find? Is Japan as expensive as it’s reputed to be? Would we face greater-than-average logistical problems there?
Those taking an organized tour to Japan can avoid most of these potential problems, of course, but — just as some people enjoy figuring out how cars or watches work — I like figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B while traveling as efficiently and economically as possible.
I also like to follow my own schedule, choose my own lodgings and restaurants, and not have to follow a guide around. (This isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed some wonderful… Continue reading
Is it time to hang up your backpack when you reach your 50s and 60s or even your 70s?
Certainly not — not if you don’t want to.
Sometimes carrying your traveling gear on your back can be easier than wheeling a suitcase through city streets as well as in the country.
So even if the term “backpackers” conjures up visions of 20-somethings bearing heavy loads of camping supplies and sleeping bags strapped on their backs, heading out onto forest trails or tramping around Europe or Australia, this article by Jenn Miller at Jen Reviews may change your mind.
Jenn provides a clearly written, comprehensive guide on how to pack for a backpacking trip, filled with practical tips and advice that will save you time, space, and help make your trip even more enjoyable.
Besides general packing… Continue reading
How many days in advance should you book a cruise to get the best price?
In part that depends on your destination, according to the website Cruisewatch.com, which uses artificial intelligence to study trends in worldwide cruising. In this case, says a Cruisewatch press release, they undertook a “massive study [that] examined 18,983 sailings by region with departures in 2017.”
They also conducted an “intensive analysis of over 18 million data points” (which are, of course, too numerous to detail in a press release or just about anywhere for that matter, but we are nonetheless grateful for modern technology).
Cruisewatch says the massive study found a “surprising trend: as the date of departure approaches, cruise prices fluctuate to a greater extent.” Some regions, they note, show as much as a 71… Continue reading
As a sequel to our posts on travel-related military discounts last year, we have a great new list of discounts for active duty and military vets thanks to the website dealhack.com. It covers a number of aspects of travel including transport, car rentals, hotels, museums and parks, restaurants, language learning, and military sign-up discounts.
You’ll find the complete list of dealhack’s military discounts (including clothing, cars and more) by going to their website; this one was compiled by writer Emma Lewis.
Amtrak: Amtrak offers an exclusive 10% military discount on the lowest available rail fare to active duty military personnel, their spouses, and dependents. All uniformed personnel and family members are also welcome to the front of any Amtrak line. Certain limitations apply (source).
Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Cruise Lines offers… Continue reading
The one time I don’t like to travel during the year is between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Theoretically, it’s the week when I clean up my office, get my affairs in order, and enjoy more time with family and friends. Oh yes, and watch some football, especially my beloved Michigan Wolverines, who often play in a bowl game on the morning of January 1 so I have to be abstemious the night before. Go Blue!
In practice, it doesn’t always work out that way, but I still prefer spending New Year’s Eve at home with my wife, Netflix, and clam dip, unless we’re invited to a small party with nearby friends or family. I lived in New York for 20 years and never made it to Times Square to see the ball drop — not on… Continue reading
Today’s guest post is by financial writer Jackie Edwards, who offers some tips on how to get your finances in order to budget for your next big trip (and beyond).
Among other tips, she cautions that while international travel isn’t just for the rich, you should approach travel as an investor would — making sure it pays off for you personally.
Good planning, choosing the right destinations, and learning about personal finance are other ways to develop a realistic travel budget. So don’t assume you can’t afford foreign travel — instead, make it happen using the resources you have (or can develop) and using them wisely.
By Jackie Edwards
The term “jet-setter” implies a person who hops around the globe, seeing places others only dream of. It’s often used in conjunction with other terms like “the wealthy”… Continue reading