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If you’re looking to expand your Halloween fun beyond handing out candy to trick-or-treaters or dressing up like ex-presidents at costume parties, take our Halloween travel quiz. You might even pick up an idea or two for your next ghoulish holiday.

Some questions are easy, some are harder — but we’re betting you don’t stand a ghost of a chance of getting all the answers right without ghoulgling!

1. If you want to visit the countries where Halloween originated, where would you go?

a. Romania and Bulgaria

b. Germany and France

c. Ireland and Scotland

d. Hungary and Slovakia

2. Where would you find the world’s longest, deepest haunted “house”?

a. Lewisburg, Ohio

b. Rapid City, South Dakota

c. Blackfoot, Idaho

d. Lexington, Kentucky

3. What European castle is said to have inspired Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula?

a. Neuschwanstein, Germany

b. Bran Castle, Romania

c.… Continue reading

You could be back in the air very soon. Photo by Artturi Jalli, Unsplash

With the European Union announcement that fully vaccinated travelers should be able to fly to Europe at some point this summer, sufficiently jabbed baby boomers can take advantage of some truly exceptional airfares currently being offered to the Continent.

There are also some lower-than-low airfares to Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and within the U.S. Some are almost mind-boggling.

But you have to know where to look — and just as important, when to look.

That’s where the website ThriftyTraveler.com comes in.

By subscribing to its Premium service, you’ll get email notifications of hot airfare deals around the globe within minutes from the time they appear — which is good, because some of these deals disappear within a matter of hours. Thrifty Traveler considers a fare worth writing about if it’s $250 or more off… Continue reading

Kyoto women in traditional garb.
When can we return to currently closed-off countries like Japan? Vaccine passports may help. Photo by Clark Norton

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

I first wrote about medical tourism back in 2013, when it was starting to flourish as a means of saving money on medical care. The premise was that by traveling to other countries — such as India, Mexico, Thailand and others — Americans could receive hip replacements, cardiac surgeries, dental work and other procedures at considerably lower costs than in the U.S.

Then along came COVID-19, with travel to many countries banned or severely restricted. Medical tourism has been one more viral victim.

Today’s guest post, by writer Charlie Fletcher, offers a rundown on the current state of medical tourism — as well as some shoots of hope for the future as the world’s health care and tourism fields struggle to adapt.

By Charlie Fletcher

Medical tourism — the practice of traveling to other countries for affordable medical treatments — had grown increasingly popular among Americans in recent years. Until,… Continue reading

The Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota, celebrates the often-derided (but also beloved) meat product. Photo by Robert Waite.

Here’s the latest from one of my favorite guest posters, Robert Waite (who I’ve known for longer than I care to admit). Whether or not I agree with Bob on any particular travel issue, I always find his work to be thoughtful, provocative, and always beautifully crafted. In this piece, he had me hooked by the first line: “I miss travel.”

By Robert Waite

I miss travel.

Not the airport part, nor the inevitable logjam whenever I try to motor my way to a client. That’s not travel; that’s self-inflicted torture.

What I am talking about is the anticipation of experiencing new vistas, or the excitement of returning to a special place.

In this age of social distancing, physical travel has all but ceased. Sure, you can watch endless re-runs of Rick… Continue reading

I’m pleased to announce that my latest book,  Secret Tucson, has been published by Reedy Press of St. Louis and is now available for purchase at Tucson area bookstores, online at Amazon.com, or from Reedy Press.

What’s Secret Tucson about? The subtitle, A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure says it all, though I would add you’ll find such nuggets as:

What one time New York crime boss spent his last decades in Tucson?

Why does the Beatles’ classic song “Get Back” include a nod to Tucson?

Why is Tucson a must stop on many treasure hunters’ maps — and where can you search for a fortune in gold?

Where was John Dillinger captured in Tucson in 1934 after a series of blunders by his gang?

What locale is home to both the country’s southernmost ski resort and a World War II Japanese-American relocation camp?… Continue reading

Times Square on New Years' Eve -- I'll be watching at home

Times Square on New Years’ Eve — I’ll be watching at home

The one time I don’t like to travel during the year is between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Theoretically, it’s the week when I clean up my office, get my affairs in order, and enjoy more time with family and friends. Oh yes, and watch some football, especially my beloved Michigan Wolverines, who often play in a bowl game on the morning of January 1 so I have to be abstemious the night before.  Go Blue!

In practice, it doesn’t always work out that way, but I still prefer spending New Year’s Eve at home with my wife, Netflix, and clam dip, unless we’re invited to a small party with nearby friends or family. I lived in New York for 20 years and never made it to Times Square to see the ball drop — not on… Continue reading

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

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

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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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