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Dutch tulips: better than cave biking. Photo by Rachel Kramer on flickr.

Dutch tulips: better than cave biking. Photo by Rachel Kramer on flickr.

According to a recent survey of 40 countries around the globe conducted by motor home rental site SHAREaCAMPER, the Netherlands has the most adventurous people per capita, followed by Australia and Sweden.

The survey tabulated the number of online searches in each country for such adventurous activities as skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, surfing, BMXing, and caravanning — the latter being what Australians (where SHAREaCAMPER is partially based) call traveling in RVs, campers, or motor homes.

Strictly in terms of sheer numbers of total searches, the United States placed first, but of course has a much higher population than the other countries. The U.S. finished ninth in the per capita rankings.

While the Netherlands was  outdone in skiing by Norway and Australia in surfing (no surprises there), Switzerland in… Continue reading

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson''s home, is just outside Charlottesville and can be reached by a hiking trail. Photo by Clark Norton

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson”s home, is just outside Charlottesville and can be reached by a hiking trail. Photo by Clark Norton

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 one (now slightly updated) originally ran in October of 2014. 

After my first visit to Charlottesville, Virginia, I wrote about ten things I learned about this lovely Virginia city where my daughter now lives.

And now, after a second visit, I’ve compiled a list of five more things I learned about “C’Ville.” So I guess I’m making progress. (Stay tuned next year for “One or Two More Things I Didn’t Know About Charlottesville.”)

You could call this the “sports and outdoor activities” edition of the things I didn’t know. It was warmer for this visit than the last, so… Continue reading

Camel riding is fine until you turn numb and get dust in your mouth. Photo by upyernoz on flickr.

Camel riding is fine until you turn numb and get dust in your mouth. Photo by upyernoz on flickr.

I never like to say “never” when it comes to travel experiences, especially adventurous ones, but there are certain ones I don’t care to repeat.

I’d glad I did them — but “did” is the operative word (as in the past tense). I’ll do just about anything once, with the possible exception of bungee jumping. I’m still working up to that one, and admire anyone who’s done it — although I’d feel pretty stupid if that’s the way I kicked the bucket, list or no.

Here’s my “honor roll” of once-or-twice-in-a-lifetime-is-enough-thanks travel experiences:

* Camel riding. It seems the height of romanticism — crossing the Sahara or the Arabian sands on a camel. Lawrence of Arabia, Omar Sharif,  flowing robes, Bedouins and all that. My first camel ride, in Tunisia,… Continue reading

Omaha! at night. Is it on your vacation list? Photo courtesy of Visit Omaha.

Omaha! at night. Is it on your vacation list? Photo courtesy of Visit Omaha.

When we last checked in on the serendipitous relationship between the city of Omaha, Nebraska, and Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning’s signal calling during the NFL playoffs —  often consisting of shouting “Omaha! Omaha!” to indicate when to hike the football or change a play — Omaha’s tourism officials were overjoyed  at all the free publicity that Manning had generated. According to those who actually counted, Manning yelled “Omaha” more than 40 times during the game against the San Diego Chargers, searing it into the nation’s consciousness.

In response, @Visit Omaha, the Twitter handle of Omaha’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, tweeted that “We certainly appreciate all the love from #PeytonManning,” which garnered some 4,000 retweets and increased Visit Omaha’s Twitter following by at least 400.

But that was just a start.

Hotels.com,… Continue reading

Will boomers stop traveling to courses like Turnberry in Scotland? Unlikely.

Will boomers stop traveling to courses like Turnberry in Scotland? Unlikely.

An old friend who I used to play golf with in school sent me a newsletter item from the National Golf Foundation (NGF) that questioned whether or not baby boomers would go bust in retirement — and, as one result, not be able to afford to play golf as much as retirees usually do.

According to the NGF, about 10 percent of boomers (aged 49 to 67) play golf, about one-third of all golfers in the U.S.

Typically, the NGF notes, retirees play more and more golf the older they get, until they’re too elderly to swing a club anymore. And the fact that boomer retirees 65+ will almost double the number of current retirees — there being 76 million of us, after all — means that golf should be looking at a, well, green future for the next… 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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