The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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Travel safety

Taughannock Falls overlook is free to all. Photo from VisitIthaca.com

Taughannock Falls overlook is free to all. Photo from VisitIthaca.com

This concludes our four-part series containing 50 tips about How to Travel Cheaply. In today’s guest post, Jesse Miller looks at how you can save money on sightseeing and entertainment, how to manage your money while traveling, and adds some safety tips that can have financial ramifications as well.

Previous posts in the series offer tips on  Planning Your Trip, Saving Money on Transportation, and Saving Money on Accommodations and Food.

By Jesse Miller

Sightseeing & Entertainment Tips

1. Be Picky.
Plan to visit your top two or three sites instead of taking a whirlwind tour of all the attractions your destination has to offer. By doing so, you can spend as much time as you’d like connecting with these areas while eliminating rushing around from one tourist spot to the next.

While at these locations,… 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

Before you fly, check out these tips to make things go more smoothly

Before you fly, check out these tips to make things go more smoothly

Leading-edge baby boomers — those born in the late 1940s — are now edging into their 70s, and with that inevitably come new challenges when we travel, no matter how healthy we are.

Much as we may hate to admit it (and I’m a prime offender in this regard), we may walk a bit slower, require assistance from time to time, and need to take care of ourselves a bit more.

Flying and airports can be especially vexing, and so I was struck by this piece by Bay Area freelance journalist Scott Morris from the excellent website caring.com that’s filled with tips on how to make the flying and airport experience a bit smoother.

Here’s Scott on a topic of interest to anyone who flies, but especially to older travelers:

By Scott Morris

Flying can be difficult… Continue reading

Before you fly, make sure your medical condition won't hold you back

Before you fly, make sure your medical condition won’t hold you back

Note: This is the fourth in a series of guest posts on traveling with a medical condition by British writer Laura Miller. In this post, Laura provides advice on flying with a medical condition and obtaining the right vaccinations and visas for your trip.

By Laura Miller

Flying with a medical condition

While traveling with many medical conditions is generally safe, airlines do have the right to deny passengers who could suffer complications in the air.

For those travelling by plane, the most common in-flight problems are:

• Neurologic events
• Cardiac events
• Respiratory events
• Gastrointestinal events
• Vasovagal syncope (fainting)

If you’re worried about the risk of being denied passage, it’s worth speaking to your doctor to ask for medical clearance. Consider if any of the following apply:

• You could compromise the safety of… Continue reading

Florence, Italy, is a generally safe destination choice for those traveling with certain medical conditions. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Florence, Italy, is a generally safe destination choice for those traveling with certain medical conditions. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Note: This is the third in our series of Traveling with a Medical Condition, written by British journalist Laura Miller. Today Laura offers specific tips for traveling with cancer, a heart condition, or dementia.

By Laura Miller

Traveling with cancer

There’s no reason why a cancer diagnosis should limit your traveling. You’ll still want to see the world for the same reasons as everyone else and cancer shouldn’t be the barrier.

It’s not unusual for people with cancer to book up a holiday at the end of their treatment. On the other hand, others will have no qualms about leaving the country after being told the bad news.

However, it’s important to speak to your doctor and get their opinion before arranging a trip. You’ll then know the ins… Continue reading

Sit back, relax -- but don't get too comfy.

Sit back, relax — but don’t get too comfy.

Unless you’ve been camping in the desert or just can’t face listening to  the news lately, you’ve no doubt heard the story about the greatest PR disaster to befall an airline since, well, maybe ever.

And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer airline: United, or — as I fondly call them — Untied Airlines.

To briefly recap: On a recent flight scheduled from Chicago O’Hare to Louisville, Kentucky, United Airlines’ employees called in airport police to forcibly eject a 69-year-old baby boomer named David Dao, a physician who lives in Kentucky.

His crime? He refused to give up his seat and deplane when United decided that he and three other passengers picked “at random” had to leave  to make room for an airline crew that needed to get to Louisville.

The punishment? The police officers literally dragged… Continue reading

When riding a camel, .I just wart to get there. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

When riding a camel, .I just wart to get there. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Based on years of informal polling of friends and family, most everyone has pet peeves about words, phrases or expressions that leave them feeling like they’ve just heard chalk squeaking across a blackboard.

(I don’t know if teachers still employ chalk and blackboards, but baby boomers will remember.)

Words that irk. Phrases that irritate.

Many have to do with the workplace. For example, my daughter once had a friend who was a chef and couldn’t stand the word “meat.”

One of my brothers-in-law who works in business hates jargon-y business words like “parameters.”

My wife, a longtime magazine editor, is driven up a wall by nouns turned into verbs,  such as “impact.”

A friend who is an avid cook despised the word “dollop,” to the point where he almost refused to serve sour cream… Continue reading

You can Bicycle the "World's Deadliest Road" in Bolivia on this fun trip. Photo from Travel Supermarket

You can Bicycle the “World’s Deadliest Road” in Bolivia on this fun trip. Photo from Travel Supermarket

The infographic below from the UK-based TravelSupermarket.com came across my desk recently and I thought I would pass it along as a public service. It’s essentially a compendium of Extreme Adventures around the world that I can cross off my bucket list even before trying them.

Oh, I might try riding the Alpine rollercoaster in Austria or give the world’s fastest zip line in Wales a shot at pumping my adrenaline to warp speed.

But bungee jumping into a volcano in Chile, cliff camping in Colorado (yes, that means sleeping on the edge of the cliff), or riding a bike along Bolivia’s notorious Death Road?

Thanks, but I’ll leave those to another lifetime, which I would probably be starting soon if I succumbed to the temptation to try any of them, which… Continue reading

You can avoid long security lines. Photo from TSA.

You can avoid long security lines. Photo from TSA.

As airport security lines snaked around airports like giant boa constrictors threatening to strangle passengers trying to reach their gates this spring — with waits of an hour or more in some locations, and thousands of flights missed — my wife, Catharine, and I were generally able to waltz through security in under five minutes.

In most cases, we didn’t have to take off our shoes, belts, or light jackets, and sometimes I didn’t have to remove my laptop from my briefcase. We also didn’t have to go through those infernal body scanners that require you to remove even non-metal objects from your pockets; instead, we walked through simple metal detectors.

No, we’re not airline employees, or VIPs, or anything other than ordinary travelers. We weren’t flying first class or boasting elite status with the airlines. None of our relatives… Continue reading

In our last post, we posed ten questions that might affect your health and well-being as a traveler. Here are the answers:

What are possible ways to counter jet lag?

What are possible ways to counter jet lag?

1. The direction in which you fly may influence the severity of your jet lag. Other conditions being equal, which direction is most likely to produce bad jet lag?

Answer: B, West to east. When flying west to east, especially across America, you’re more likely to encounter darkness when you arrive, which helps disrupt the body’s “inner clock” (jet lag is caused by disorientation by crossing time zones, which exposure to light seems to ameliorate). Assuming no time zones are crossed, there’s technically no jet lag at all flying north-south or south-north, though you can still feel the ill effects of a long flight.

2. One good way to counter the effects of jet lag is to:

Answer: D… 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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