The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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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

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

Photo by Tony Hisgett on flickr

Photo by Tony Hisgett on flickr

In Part 2 of our multi-part series on travel deals and discounts for active-duty military and vets, Alex Miller, writing for upgradedpoints.com, takes a look at websites and airlines that offer special airfares for military personnel past and present.

Following that up, Miller then details websites that offer deals on resorts and other lodging options for veterans.

To read Miller’s previous post, which outlined a number of websites dedicated to travel (and other) deals for the military, go here.

By Alex Miller

Booking Flights as a Military Veteran

The following websites provide discounted flight booking for veterans:

  • Military Fares: Military Fares allows users to search a variety of airlines for military airfares. The platform is a Priceline Partner Network that provides an extensive offering of flights. Recent military deals that users have purchased are displayed so visitors… Continue reading

Photo from USAA

If you’re a military veteran or part of a veteran’s immediate family, keep reading — you won’t regret it.

The website upgradedpoints.com recently came out with a detailed guide to travel discounts for active-duty U.S. military and veterans, and it’s eye-opening.

While I was familiar with the concept of military discounts, I had no idea so many travel deals were available for vets and how many organizations provide access to resources.

In the first part of a multi-part series of guest posts, writer Alex Miller profiles ten organizations that offer travel deals (along with other services) for the military and provides links for further info.

He follows that with a look at four websites where vets can book discounted travel and bring their families along.

By Alex Miller

Over 8 million consumers are part of the U.S. military community when you count active duty, retired personnel, reservists,… Continue reading

efore you fly, check all your options.

Before you fly, check all your options.

How to find the lowest airfares?

It’s a vexing question in this day and age in which many of us essentially act as our own own travel agents.

This usually means combing a variety of Internet search engines and airline sites, taking a stab at sometimes obscure “airfare hacks” that may be overly complex or irrelevant to our situations, or just quickly booking a flight and hoping for the best because we simply don’t have time for all the other stuff.

Of course, one thing is always in the back of your mind: Could I have saved hundreds of dollars or more by checking more sites, trying more hacks, booking on a different day?

Steve Cuffari, Senior Content Marketing Manager at couponbox.com, an international savings website that includes a travel component, feels your pain. He notes that “Flight hunting is… Continue reading

First step to traveling abroad: get a passport.

First step to traveling abroad: get a passport.

A recent British Airways survey of 2,000 randomly chosen U.S. baby boomers (aged 55-70) asked what their biggest regrets were in life.

About one out of five (women 22 percent, men 17 percent) responded that they wish they had traveled more.

The majority of those respondents cited responsibilities at work and home that ate up their time — and what they believed would be prohibitive expense — as to why they hadn’t pursued their travel dreams.

About half the men surveyed and more than 60 percent of the women had never gotten passports, mainly due to the perceived expense of international travel.

More than a fifth of all those surveyed now believed that not taking vacations had had a negative effect on their health. And of those who did take vacations, 10 percent said they had worked more than an… Continue reading

Dear Readers, 

While I’m traveling in Antarctica for a few weeks I’ll be reprising some of my most popular posts from the past three years. This post — now updated — originally ran in June 2013. 

Spirit interior cabin -- photo by Spirit Airlines

Spirit interior cabin — photo by Spirit Airlines

Cut-rate Spirit Airlines has developed an interesting marketing approach. They’ve traded in customer service and comforts for ultra-low fares, and are charging extra for everything from rolling carry-on bags ($35-$55) to water ($3 a bottle), and printing a boarding pass at the airport ($10). Can pay toilets be far behind?

Spirit hypes what it calls its “bare fare: No’free’ bag. No ‘free’ drink. A ticket with us gets you and a personal item from A to B.”

For “personal item,” think average purse size or a small backpack. Measurements are stingy — 16” x 14” x 12” — and if you don’t pay… Continue reading

El Yunque Waterfall is one of Puerto Rico's natural wonders. Photo from Puerto Rico Tourism Company

El Yunque Waterfall is one of Puerto Rico’s natural wonders. Photo from Puerto Rico Tourism Company

Now that April 15 has passed and (if you live in the United States) you’re eagerly awaiting your tax refund — should you be so fortunate as to get one — the big question arises: what to spend it on?

Sure, you could pay off some bills, maybe put food on your table, add to your kids’ or grandkids’ college funds — or do what 13 percent of Americans plan to do with their refunds: take a vacation. (This according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.)

It’s been a long, hard winter in much of the country, and tax season is no fun, either. We fall squarely on the “take a vacation side,” especially if you can make your tax refund go farther at your chosen destination.

Puerto Rico — Caribbean… Continue reading

An evening in medieval Dubrovnik. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

An evening in medieval Dubrovnik. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

I love Croatia: walking the walls of medieval Dubrovnik, viewing the ruins of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s 3rd-century AD Palace in Split (the city is literally built into the ruins), wandering through the winding streets of the historic town of Trogir, being astonished to come upon a beautifully preserved Roman amphitheater in Pula, exploring larger cities like the double-Z combo of 3,000-year-old (!) Zadar and culturally rich Zagreb (the capital), and cruising among Croatia’s 1,000 islands, which sit like sparkling jewels in the Adriatic.

They’ve made Croatia one of the hottest destinations in all of Europe, and a favorite of baby boomers. (Both Super Bowl head coaches, Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, are of Croatian descent.)

But despite two trips there, there’s still much of Croatia I’ve yet to see, including the intriguing-sounding… Continue reading

This is one of the beautiful images you'll find on StrideTravel.com. Photo by Dennis Cox.

This is one of the beautiful images you’ll find on StrideTravel.com. Photo by Dennis Cox.

“The Savvy Path to Breathtaking Travel, Without the Hassle”

“Less Planning, More Experiencing”

“A Journey of a Thousand Smiles Begins With a Single Click”

These are some of the taglines that express the essence of the new travel website, StrideTravel.com, where I worked for more than a year as Content Director. (My job is now in the capable hands of Content Coordinator Samantha Scott, who, together with co-founders Gavin Delany and Jared Alster, comprise a formidable team.)

In practical terms, Stride aspires to be — and in many ways already is — the best place on the Web to survey the wealth of multi-day, pre-planned trips that are now available from hundreds of travel suppliers around the world.

“Pre-planned trips” may encompass guided group or private tours as well as independent journeys… 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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