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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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Family travel

Hiking with the grandkids sometimes means a hop, skip and jump

Hiking with the grandkids sometimes means a hop, skip and jump

With warm weather now upon us, baby boomer grandparents turn to thoughts of how to entertain their grandkids at times over the summer break if the opportunity or need arises.

Today’s guest poster, Gemma Tyler, suggests that taking the grandkids camping — now dubbed “gramping” — can provide a fun-filled and memorable multi-generational outing. Gemma regards camping as a great bonding experience, and I agree.

But if you haven’t camped for a while — maybe since your own kids were young — you may be feeling a little rusty about the basics: especially keeping young children happy and occupied in the outdoors.

So Gemma offers five practical tips to keep in mind before you get to the fun parts like hiking, toasting s’mores over an open fire, and maybe telling a ghost story or two.

By Gemma Tyler

Whether… Continue reading

Dinosaur National Monument offers scenery, adventure. Photo from Mitch Stevens.

Dinosaur National Monument offers scenery, adventure. Photo from Mitch Stevens.

Today we have a guest post from my friend Mitch Stevens, who leads hikes and adventure trips throughout the Southwest for the Sierra Club and as founder of Southwest Discoveries.

Mitch recounts a recent rafting trip along Utah’s Green River through spectacular Dinosaur National Monument. This family-oriented trip is perfect for multi-generational travel with grandkids. (And what kid doesn’t like dinosaurs?).

By Mitch Stevens

We hiked through a narrow defile carved through red sandstone. The foliage in the canyon was lush: Boxelder, grapevines, Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees all thrived in the moist environment. A clear stream murmured near the trail, contributing to the serenity.

We rounded a bend in the canyon and heard falling water in the distance. Soon our group came upon the source of the sound, a breathtaking waterfall tumbling 200 feet down a sheer… Continue reading

You might enjoy kicking a soccer ball with grandkids on a beach overseas.

You might enjoy kicking a soccer ball with grandkids on a beach overseas.

When my wife, Catharine, and I moved to Tucson 2 1/2 years ago, we happily traded the snowy winters of upstate New York for the warmth of the desert. But — much more importantly for us — we also moved to within a short drive of our son, daughter-in-law, and our new grandson.

Now we’re able to see them multiple times a week (mostly at their invitation!) and Catharine, now retired from her career as a magazine editor, is doing yeoman duty as a babysitter and enjoying every moment of it, with the possible exception of an occasional tantrum. (But that’s OK, she can usually calm me down with a chocolate croissant or some clam dip.)

For baby boomers, many of whom are now retired or nearing retirement — usually with more flexibility in time and often… Continue reading

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

 

No more almost-free senior lunch at U.S. National Parks: The price of a lifetime America the Beautiful Senior Pass rises sharply from $10 to $80 on August 28, 2017.

The Senior Pass, available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents age 62 and above, has cost just $10 since 1994, making it one of the great travel bargains in the world.

At $80, it will still be a good deal, just not the steal it is now. If you already have one of the $10 passes, it will be honored for your lifetime.

Senior Passes provide access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six federal agencies:

 

  • National Park Service
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • US Forest Service
  • US Army Corps of Engineers

Senior Pass Benefits 

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

The passes cover entrance and day-use recreation fees… Continue reading

Here’s Part 3 of  guest contributor Myles Stone’s Viet Nam Diary, featuring his insightful narratives during a recent two-month stay with his family in Hoi An, Viet Nam, during which he received a visit from my son, Grael; daughter-in-law, Nona; and my 16-month-old (and already well-traveled) grandson, Conrad. (Myles’ wife, Aimee, and baby daughter, Mimi, rounded out the  contingent of travelers.)

All were born after the Viet Nam War ended in 1975,  and thus bring a fresh perspective to the country that so consumed the baby boom generation in the U.S. during the turbulent 1960’s and early 1970’s.

In this post and the next, Myles recounts a visit to Viet Nam’s old imperial capital of Hue during the late April holiday marking the reunification of the country. As with all his posts, photos are courtesy of the family photographer, wife Aimee.

By Myles Stone

Photos by… Continue reading

An Bang Beach, Hoi An, Viet Nam

This is the second in our series of guest posts from Myles Stone, a Tucson physician who recently spent two months in Hoi An, Viet Nam, with his wife, Aimee, and baby daughter, Mimi.

Our son, Grael, daughter in law, Nona, and our then-16-month-old grandson, Conrad, spent two weeks visiting the Stones there this spring.

These are slice-of-life pieces that provide insights into what Viet Nam — a country that played such a huge role in the baby boomer experience of the 1960s — is like today.

You can read about the usefulness of their local neighborhood “fixer” in Myles’  first post.

In this post, Myles treats us to a visit to one of the many tailoring shops in Hoi An, where you can get custom-made suits, shirts, and other items of clothing made from scratch for a tiny fraction of what… Continue reading


Today I’m delighted to introduce guest poster Myles Stone, a physician and friend of my son, Grael, and daughter-in-law, Nona.

Grael, Nona, and young Conrad P. Norton, who was 16 months old at the time (all pictured above arriving in Viet Nam), recently spent two weeks visiting Myles, his wife Aimee, and their baby daughter, Mimi, during their stay this spring in Hoi An, Viet Nam.

Though their experiences were those of a younger generation — none were alive during the Viet Nam War that so consumed the formative years of most baby boomers — Myles’ observations on their two months in Hoi An offer insightful and amusing glimpses of what life is like there today more than 40 years after the end of the war. (His complete blog can be found here.)

In this installment, one of a multi-part series, Myles describes the  key role that the… Continue reading

Bison roam Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Bison roam Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Cotopaxi, a company that makes backpacks, jackets and other outdoor gear — and donates a percentage of its earnings to worthy causes around the world — has come out with an infographic in celebration of this year’s 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service.

It shows the top five U.S. National Parks in terms of annual visitation, plus five “Hidden Gems” that are far less visited.

The top five visited National Parks, in order, are Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain, California’s Yosemite, and Yellowstone, which extends over parts of three states: mostly Wyoming, but also Montana and Idaho.

I’ve visited all of the most popular ones at one time or another, but have to admit I’ve never been to any of the Hidden Gens: Washington’s North Cascades, Florida’s Dry Tortugas, South Carolina’s… Continue reading

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Research has shown that as we get older, we tend to become more altruistic

As “narcissistic and materialistic values wane in influence” (with age) writes Jim Gilmartin, CEO of the Chicago-based agency Coming of Age, which specializes in marketing to baby boomers and seniors,”concern for others increases.”

In the travel field, this trend has helped fuel the rapid rise of volunteer vacations, also known as “voluntourism”

The concept is simple: rather than go on a more traditional vacation, such as taking a cruise or staying at a resort, you sign up with a company or agency that sets you up to work on a project such as helping in wildlife conservation, building classrooms and  homes, or improving local water systems, usually in the developing world.

Yes, you pay for the privilege of helping others, but it’s not necessarily all work and no play, and benefits accrue to the travelers… Continue reading

The view from the fortress above Nafplio is stunning. Photo by Clark Norton

The view from the fortress above Nafplio is stunning. Photo by Clark Norton

Although I’d been to Greece twice before, I wasn’t familiar with the town of Nafplio (also spelled Nafplion) until four members of my family and I spent several days there recently to attend a baptismal ceremony and celebration for the baby daughter of some friends. (More on that in my next post.)

Nafplio is  about a two-hour drive from the airport in Athens, and is located at the northern end of the Peloponnesian Peninsula, where the Peloponnesian War pitted the Athenians versus the Spartans in the 5th century BC.

The militaristic Spartans prevailed over the once-dominant but philosophically minded Athenians, dealing a fatal blow to the golden age of ancient Greek democracy.

It was kind of like the Michigan State Spartans football team taking on the UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. Ouch.

Nafplio,… 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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