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
Today’s guest post is by financial expert Saleh Stevens, with timely reminders of why it’s crucial to obtain or renew a U.S. passport now if you need one — or even if you think you don’t.
By Saleh Stevens
The Early Bird Saves Money
The initial cost of a U.S. passport is $135 for an adult applying for the first time ($110 application fee and $25 execution fee). The cost of an adult passport renewal is $110.
Alternatively, you can opt for a passport card good for land or sea crossings only to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda for $30, but this card is not good for any international air travel.
However, if you wait too long to apply before your upcoming trip (generally within six weeks of travel) you may be forced to pay a $60 fee for expedited… Continue reading
In my last post, Where to Go in 2018 (and Beyond), I presented what I consider to be the essential destinations in the U.S. (primarily cities and national parks), the essential European countries, and the essential counties in the rest of the world.
By essential, I mean those which any dedicated traveler should seek out to establish their “travel literacy,” if you will. They are not necessarily my favorite countries and destinations, but those that offer some unique quality that makes them stand out among all others.
For example, I love both the Mediterranean island countries of Malta and Cyprus — and strongly recommend seeing them — but not (necessarily) before visiting France or Spain.
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to skip over U.S. cities: New York, San Francisco and the rest, on the assumption… Continue reading
Just about every travel publication, digital or print, now seems to start the New Year with a top ten list of “where to go this year,” counting down to the most irresistible spot on the planet.
One year, the hot ticket may be to Croatia, the next year to Colombia, the next year to Canada. (For my own facetious take on where Americans would be going in 2017 — with nearly half the country fleeing to Canada for extended vacations, the other near-half checking out the newly discovered charms of Russia, and the remaining in-betweeners headed to Cuba — check out my post from December 29, 2016. Seems so long ago…)
My own (rather cynical) theory about top ten lists of this nature is that they mostly reflect where editors of said publications want to… Continue reading
Today’s guest post, by Aussie-expat writer Brittnay, is about some ways to save money while traveling in Europe — which can be a very expensive destination these days. I’ve added my own comments after each tip, usually to expand on them a bit.
While these tips only scratch the surface of the topic, they’re all valuable ones to keep in mind while planning your next European vacation.
Although travelling through Europe can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be.
We’ve put together five tips that have allowed us to visit 21 European countries in the past two years! Using these tips enable you to experience the cities and towns you visit more like the locals do — and that’s usually a good way to save money.
- Get a City Welcome Card
City… Continue reading
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
For baby boomers, saving money on accommodations can be tougher than for young travelers.
Dormitory-style hostels and CouchSurfing may have much less appeal than for those in their 20s or 30s.
Camping — at least the type (unlike “glamping” or glamorous camping) that leaves you trying to get a decent night’s sleep in a bag on the ground — can be tough on the back (with legitimate concerns that you might not be able to straighten up at all in the morning).
But, as guest poster Jesse Miller contends, “It’s still possible to enjoy a five-star housing experience without paying a five-star price.” The key, Miller says, “is to live like the locals do. This means avoiding more traditional options (such as pricey hotels and resorts) and immersing yourself in opportunities to interact with the… Continue reading
Sometimes you can only get away for a weekend, and the folks at weekenGO.com (I like the name) commissioned a thorough study to find the best cities around the world in which to spend 48 hours.
They looked at criteria such as walkability, accommodations, dining, bars, cultural events, museums and galleries, green spaces, safety and security, tolerance, and more, surveying 1,000 cities in all.
And along with overall winners, they picked the best cities for three different groups: millennials, families, and yes, I’m glad to say, baby boomers.
The list is heavy on European cities, for good reason — they’re usually easy to get around, have lots of activities going on, are rich in historic and artistic treasures, etc.
Now, most Americans aren’t likely to jet off to London — the overall… Continue reading
Here’s a handy and enjoyable Outdoor Adventure Guide infographic from the folks at Dickies, a Canadian clothing company that features outerwear, work clothing, and other apparel for men, women, and kids.
The guide offers good reminders of what to bring on a camping trip, fishing trip, rock climbing trip, or when traveling abroad — including what to wear, of course, but also easy-to-overlook items like a universal power adapter for foreign travel and a headlamp for a camping trip.
As someone who once neglected to pack a coat for a cruise up the coast of Norway that traveled hundreds of miles above the Arctic Circle — brrrr — and once spent a few snowy days in Switzerland wearing only sandals on my feet — double brrr — I can appreciate reminders of what to wear in the outdoors as well.
Just in time to get out and enjoy that… Continue reading