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Theme Parks

Cruises are a common source of military discounts and onboard perks. Photo by Clark Norton

Cruises are a common source of military discounts and onboard perks. Photo by Clark Norton

Readers: This is the third and last in a series of travel deals and discounts especially aimed at U.S. active duty and military veterans.

Writing for the website upgradedpoints.com, Alex Miller has compiled a comprehensive list of online resources for vets to save money on leisure travel. Today Alex looks at deals on theme park tickets and cruises.

By Alex Miller

Buying Theme Park Tickets as a Military Veteran

Military rates help families save on visits to some of America’s most popular theme parks. Here are some resources:

Disney World Military Ticket Rates: Active and retired members of the U.S. military are eligible for special deals at Walt Disney World. By visiting Disney’s Military Ticket Rates site, veterans can check eligibility, look over deal terms, and learn how to take advantage of… Continue reading

Budapest's Parliament building is Hungary's top must-see attraction . Photo by Clark Norton Can't afford to fly to Budapest? Try using kayak.com or Google Flights. Photo by Clark Norton

Budapest’s Parliament building is Hungary’s top must-see attraction . Photo by Clark Norton

Most of us, when we travel to another country, probably have in mind at least one “must-see” attraction., usually an iconic structure, museum, historic site, or natural wonder.

Examples might be Machu Picchu in Peru, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, the Roman Colosseum in Italy, and the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary.

Recently, TripAdvisor — which has propelled itself into the world’s leading travel site and travel data bank — released a map of Europe displaying the “one thing you must do in each country, according to tourists.” (I found it in the Huffington Post.)

For most countries, the results were pretty true to form: The Roman Colosseum in Italy; The Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium; the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Tallinn Old Town in Estonia; the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece; the… Continue reading

Victoria Falls at dawn -- no theme park needed? Photo by Dennis Cox

Victoria Falls at dawn — no theme park needed? Photo by Dennis Cox

The news that Zimbabwe is planning a Disneyland-style theme park near Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is yet another example that Robert Mugabe’s corrupt, brutal and clueless rule is ruining that beautiful central African country — for both its citizens and tourists.

One writer has likened it to building casinos next to the Pyramids in Egypt, and I can’t disagree. (Cairo has enough tacky papyrus shops near the Pyramids as it is.)

I’ve been lucky enough to twice visit Vic Falls — also known in local tradition as “The Smoke That Thunders” — and consider it among the most stunning places I’ve ever seen, on a par with Arizona’s Grand Canyon or China’s mist-enveloped, multi-peaked Mt. Huangshan.

The last time I visited Vic Falls, I saw Mugabe speak, shortly after he… Continue reading

Universal Studios Hollywood logo -- courtesy of Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood logo — courtesy of Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood theme park is now aggressively marketing $299 “V.I.P. Experience” passes that allow users to skip to the front of lines — avoiding waits that can sometimes seem interminable.

According to this June 10 New York Times piece,  V.I.P.s also have access to valet parking and parts of the studio’s normally closed back lot, are treated to rides on special escorted trolleys, and are fed two gourmet meals (breakfast and lunch). The park even throws in some hand sanitizer, a poncho to stay dry and some mints.

If you just want to get to the front of lines or shows without waiting, you can shell out $149 ($169 in peak summer), which is considerably more than the already-steep regular one-day admission price of $84.

The allure of not standing in 45-minute lines on hot summer… Continue reading

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Best Baby Boomer Travel Blogs in 2015

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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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