After a year when the COVID-19 virus has devastated the world’s tourism industry and thwarted vacation plans of millions of travelers, vaccinations have arrived that offer hope that 2021 may usher in some return to normalcy.
And none too soon for baby boomers, who have seen precious travel time and opportunities slipping away: cruises cancelled, tours postponed, bucket-list destinations closing their borders.
The fact that all this has been necessary to curb the ravages of the killer virus doesn’t make it any less painful — especially when you factor in the economic toll on tourism-dependent destinations. Estimates are that one in ten jobs worldwide are travel- and tourism-related.
I first wrote about medical tourism back in 2013, when it was starting to flourish as a means of saving money on medical care. The premise was that by traveling to other countries — such as India, Mexico, Thailand and others — Americans could receive hip replacements, cardiac surgeries, dental work and other procedures at considerably lower costs than in the U.S.
Then along came COVID-19, with travel to many countries banned or severely restricted. Medical tourism has been one more viral victim.
Today’s guest post, by writer Charlie Fletcher, offers a rundown on the current state of medical tourism — as well as some shoots of hope for the future as the world’s health care and tourism fields struggle to adapt.
By Charlie Fletcher
Medical tourism — the practice of traveling to other countries for affordable medical treatments — had grown increasingly popular among Americans in recent years. Until,… Continue reading
For years, I resisted getting a massage, fearing I was too ticklish and would embarrass myself by laughing out loud on the massage table.
Then one day while traveling with a press group I was offered a free massage and, egged on by the group leader, decided I might as well give it a try.
Five minutes into it, I was already hooked, and would have kicked myself for missing out on all those massage-less years if I hadn’t been so relaxed I couldn’t move a muscle.
This guest post by Dr. Brent Wells, a chiropractor based in Anchorage, Alaska, delves into some of the reasons why massages are particularly helpful to travelers, and gives a rundown of the types of massages you can choose from.
By the way, after having dozens of massages during and after my travels, I’ve never burst out laughing. I did cry out in agony… Continue reading
Today’s timely guest post is from Medicare expert Christian Worstell, who gives an update on how Medicare changes in 2021 can benefit American travelers — assuming we get the opportunity.
It all starts with the distribution of safe, effective vaccines, which could be available soon. And for Medicare recipients, as Christian points out, they’ll be free — just one of several upcoming perks. Here’s the latest:
By Christian Worstell
After a year of isolating at home and waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic, surveys show that once it’s safe, American baby boomers are eager to hit the road and travel again in 2021.
And as they do every year at this time, Medicare-eligible boomers are looking ahead to any changes in their Medicare benefits for the upcoming year.
So, what does one… Continue reading
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a periodic series on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism providers across the globe.
Back in the late 1960s, when I was still mostly fantasizing about globetrotting, I picked up a paperback book called Bargain Paradises of the World.
Although all the pictures were in black and white and the information inside was perhaps overly colorful, it was the kind of book that got my travel juices flowing.
One particular “paradise” that caught my eye was Ceylon, the tear-drop-shaped Indian Ocean island nation that has been known as Sri Lanka since 1972.
My fantasy Ceylon — which had been colonized by Britain until 1948 and was known in the West mostly for its tea exports — was pictured by Bargain Paradises as an idyllic place where… Continue reading
With travel largely curtailed this summer, basic travel wellness procedures may get overlooked. But when it’s time to travel again, it’s wise to review some of the basics, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, pacing yourself, and making sure any medications are in order.
Guest writer Shaun DMello has some good tips and reminders for staying healthy on the road, especially for those past 50.
By Shaun DMello
The growing population of senior travellers is evidence that you can live a life of travel and adventure no matter your age — especially if you stay healthy. Adopting healthy habits won’t diminish your vacation fun – it’s just about making smart choices that allow you to keep having fun. Here are some you can incorporate into your travel routines:
- Fight Jet Lag… Continue reading
Today’s guest post, by financial writer Jim McKinley, offers several practical suggestions for business executives on how to avoid stress while taking much needed vacations.
I think some of the same suggestions can be applied to middle managers as well — and even some freelance writers!
As the winter holidays approach and visions of Caribbean or Mexican beaches beckon, here are Jim’s tips for truly getting away from it all (or at least most of it):
By Jim McKinley
Business owners work under a great deal of pressure and consequent stress. Business fortunes can change in the blink of an eye, and a deal you’ve sweated over for months can come to nothing.
Waiting it out can be highly stressful and can overwhelm even the most experienced business professional, considering how much is at stake. Sometimes, getting away from… Continue reading
Until I heard from Erin Lowry, a blogger for 1stClassMedical.com, I didn’t realize that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third largest cause of illness-related death in the United States after heart disease and cancer
As Erin points out, “COPD is a broad term for a group of diseases affecting the airways and lungs,” with chronic bronchitis and emphysema being the two most common types.
While the main cause is long-term exposure to cigarette smoke, Erin says “it’s also possible to get COPD from air pollution, chemicals and even dust. Outside toxins can worsen the effects of COPD, making it hard for COPD patients to go outside without having a flare up.”
And she adds that while there is no current cure for COPD, since damage to the airways… Continue reading
When I first saw this infographic from the UK company Computer Planet about the health benefits of playing video games, I thought, “Hmm, interesting, but how much relevance does it have to baby boomers?”
After all, the prototypical image of gamers is of young men — who, as the infographic itself suggests, are seen as “anti-social hermits who shut themselves in their bedrooms day and night.”
And along with that image goes empty pizza boxes, bottles of soda or beer, maybe a haze of cigarette smoke…you get the picture.
Then I did a little research and was surprised to read that nearly a quarter of all gamers in the U.S. are age 50-plus, outdistancing those aged 36-49 and not too far behind the under 18 and 18-35 age ranges.
There’s more: according to surveys by Pew Research, in 2017 55 percent of Americans aged 50 and up played video… Continue reading