By Dr. Michael Lovely
If you are traveling with a disability, planning a trip—especially internationally—can meet with daunting obstacles.
A recent survey by MMGY Global, Portrait of Travelers with Disabilities: Mobility and Accessibility, revealed that of more than 2,700 respondents (those who either have a disability and use a mobility aid, as well as their caretakers), nearly all (96 percent) have faced accommodation problems, flight problems (86 percent) or other transportation problems (79 percent).
Accessibility challenges can happen at nearly every stage of a travel journey, from transportation to lodging to sightseeing. Traveling internationally, where accessibility can vary dramatically by country and even within a country, can present special difficulties.
John Sage, founder of Sage Traveling—a travel company specializing in disability travel in Europe—knows this well. He’s traveled to more than 140 European cities in a wheelchair, assessing the accessibility of each location.
“In general, older… Continue reading
By Bob Waite
There are tragedies far more consequential than the inability of a travel writer to travel.
It’s just that I can’t think of any at the moment.
My travels ended in late January 2020. As related on this site, I visited Japan, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The month prior I had been in China.
Then the world shut down.
Subsequent planned trips to France, Jordan, Israel, Ecuador, and Panama were all postponed or cancelled. My travel was largely confined to trips to the kitchen for subsistence; to my office to teach my college students remotely; or to the family room to watch sporting events or movies.
The highlight during this period of enforced stasis was the rearrangement of the condiments in our fridge alphabetically, A-Z. And then reversing them.
But — Omicron variant permitting — brighter days have arrived. I have begun traveling again… Continue reading
I know I am. And it appears from the graphic below that most other Americans are as well, though caution still prevails among some — and I can’t blame anyone for that.
After conducting a survey on travel sentiment earlier this year, IPX1031 re-visited the topic six months later to see how feelings toward travel have changed now that vaccines have been rolled out and many restrictions have been lifted across the country.
Here are the highlights of the survey findings:
- 85% of respondents are optimistic about traveling in 2021 (up from 48% in January 2021).
- 75% plan to travel in 2021 (up from 58% in January 2021).
- Among that 75% who plan to vacation this year, 71% plan to travel within the U.S.
- 55% have already booked their trips.
- 71% of respondents feel safe flying right now (up from 48% in January 2021).
- 59% of respondents have budgeted… Continue reading
Based on that headline, things are looking up!
The travel and hospitality industries — airlines, restaurants, hotels, cruise lines — have taken the brunt of the economic hit during the pandemic. Estimates are that at least $500 billion of travel business has been lost in the U.S. alone.
With about 10 percent of the world’s population employed in some travel-related occupation, the global cost has been staggering, and many smaller operators, especially — tour companies, family-run restaurants, inns and the like — have struggled to survive or been forced to close down permanently.
Now, even with COVID cases still raging in many parts of the U.S. and the world, some 200 million Americans (out of 330 million) have received at least one dose of vaccine — and the travel industry is moving into… Continue reading
As an increasing number of baby boomers get their COVID-19 vaccinations — vital for resuming safe and authorized travel — it’s easy to forget that older adults should also keep up to date with other immunizations.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that all adults over age 50 get inoculated against influenza, shingles, pneumonia, and tetanus and diphtheria. (Some are one-time jabs, while others need periodic boosters.)
But the CDC also warns of current “widespread” outbreaks of a highly contagious virus both in the U.S. and abroad, which can damage the liver and lead to sickness, hospitalization, and even death: Hepatitis A.
While the three main Hepatitis types — Hep A, B, and C — are caused by separate viruses, they can all lead to similar symptoms.
Though not everyone is symptomatic — and Hepatitis A tends to be a… Continue reading
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.
And it’s not just airlines, cruise lines and big hotels that are hurting. As Scott Keyes, CEO of Scott’s Cheap Flights, puts it:… 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
In the midst of a world pandemic — and, in the United States, the culmination of a bitterly divided, exhausting election season — I can offer a few words of advice: Take a hike.
Hiking is an ideal way to get out of your cooped-up house into the fresh air and, certainly for less-crowded trails, is well suited to social distancing.
It’s a healthy activity and usually fun as well. (Some tougher trails aren’t always fun, but tackling — and conquering — them can be highly satisfying.)
But hiking right — meaning minimizing any risk of injury or other problem that may occur — requires adequate preparation and thought.
Guest writer Rebecca Brown lays out the key things to keep in mind for three different types of hikers: day hikers, overnighters, and multi-day hikers.
So lace up your boots, fill your water bottles, and don your backpack — but first,… Continue reading
As dedicated travelers, what are we to think of the concept of “travel shaming” — the notion that it’s irresponsible to travel or even plan future trips during a pandemic?
According to a recent New York Times article, people desperate to get out of their houses after months of self-quarantining are heading off on the road — but are traveling on the sly, reluctant to post pictures on social media or even to tell friends they’re leaving, for fear of being judged.
As the Times quoted Harvard Business School assistant professor, Jillian Jordan, who studies moral psychology: “The pandemic presents a unique case of travel entering the moral sphere, because there are two things that happen when you travel: The first is that I put myself at risk, and… Continue reading
This morning I received an email (below) from Scott’s Cheap Flights, which is my go-to website for airline deals.
Scott Keyes’ site regularly turns up airfares that are 50 percent off the regular price, and sometimes up to 90 percent off — but they’re often good for just a day or two, so you need to act fast. (Sign up to get email notifications of the daily deals.)
But acting fast to grab great fares (and with airlines anxious to fill seats again, they are plentiful) isn’t easy in the midst of a pandemic — because it’s difficult to know what the situation will be next year, much less a month or two from now.
While I’ve been on the cautious side of the when-is-it-safe-to-fly debate — as a baby boomer, my age puts me in a higher-risk category — I found Scott’s take on the risks… Continue reading