The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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I love Chicago -- in summer. Photo by Clark Norton

I love Chicago — in summer. Photo by Clark Norton

Did you know that Chicago, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh are the best places to celebrate Christmas in America?

And I’m sorry to have to tell you this, residents of Hialeah, Florida, but you finished dead last for Christmas cheer in a survey of the 100 biggest U.S. cities, conducted by the financial site Wallethub.

You Hialeahans might as well stoke up the coal furnace right now, because all you’ll get in your stockings are lumps of the sooty stuff.

But back to the merry cities of Chicago, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh, followed close behind by New York City and Seattle, all dubbed tops for Christmas joy — and affordability, although some might question the latter.

Orlando, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Las Vegas (NV), and Portland (OR) rounded out the top ten.

How These Results Were Determined

Wallethub surveyed “29 key… Continue reading

Markets like this one in Barcelona offer excellent lunch possibilities. Photo by Clark Norton

Markets like this one in Barcelona offer excellent lunch possibilities. Photo by Clark Norton

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.

By Brittnay

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. 

  1. Get a City Welcome Card

City… Continue reading

This hostel in Nuremberg, Germany, is attached to a castle. Photo by Catharine Norton..

This hostel in Nuremberg, Germany, is attached to a castle. Photo by Catharine Norton.

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

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card got WalletHub's top mark for best initial bonus.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card got WalletHub’s top mark for best initial bonus.

While I don’t usually wade into the credit card wars — too much fine print and peeking behind the promotional curtains can quickly turn great-sounding offers into not-so-hot — the personal-finance website WalletHub has done its homework in determining what it calls Winter 2017’s Best Travel Credit Cards. 

With holiday travel season approaching, this might be a good time to take a look at the offers on hand. Applying for certain cards now will give you enough time to earn up to $625 in “free” travel — at least if you’re willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars first.

Note that they all come with annual fees, so these cards are ones you’ll want to use if you successfully apply for them. (And they all require good-to-excellent credit.)

Be sure you have definite… Continue reading

Photo from USAA

If you’re a military veteran or part of a veteran’s immediate family, keep reading — you won’t regret it.

The website upgradedpoints.com recently came out with a detailed guide to travel discounts for active-duty U.S. military and veterans, and it’s eye-opening.

While I was familiar with the concept of military discounts, I had no idea so many travel deals were available for vets and how many organizations provide access to resources.

In the first part of a multi-part series of guest posts, writer Alex Miller profiles ten organizations that offer travel deals (along with other services) for the military and provides links for further info.

He follows that with a look at four websites where vets can book discounted travel and bring their families along.

By Alex Miller

Over 8 million consumers are part of the U.S. military community when you count active duty, retired personnel, reservists,… 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

Whether running with the bulls or leaving a museum in Pamplona, it pays to have travel insurance.

Whether running with the bulls or leaving a museum in Pamplona, it pays to have travel insurance.

Getting travel insurance may seem like an afterthought, but there are times when it proves vital.

When my mother broke her hip in Pamplona, Spain —  I’d like to say running with the bulls, but actually slipping and falling on her way out of a museum — she had a week’s stay in a hospital there and then a first-class flight home complete with nurse accompaniment, all covered by travel insurance.

It was one of the best investments my parents ever made, because the bill ran to something like $30,000-$40,000.

Many personal health insurance policies don’t cover medical costs abroad, so it pays to be on the safe side. For an outlay of perhaps five to 15 percent of the total cost of your trip, you could save yourself a significant… 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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