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

The Grande Mariner also ventures to Central America and the Caribbean. Photo from Blount Small Ship Adventures.

The Grande Mariner also ventures to Central America and the Caribbean. Photo from Blount Small Ship Adventures.

Sixth in a Series

When it comes to cruising, you can usually divide people into two camps: those who like big ships and those who like small ships.

On our recent “Magical Lake Michigan” cruise with Blount Small Ship Adventures, I don’t know how many times I heard other passengers say they would never take a big ship cruise.

The notion of traveling on a floating city of 2,000-6,000 people just didn’t interest them.

Small Ships Vs. Large

Cruising on a small ship — usually defined as one carrying 200 or fewer passengers (though often far less) — does have plenty of advantages:

* Getting on and off the ship takes virtually no time, while on a big ship, you often have to wait in long lines to do either.

*… Continue reading

Spring tulips on Windmill Island are a highlights of a strop in Holland, Michigan. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

Spring tulips on Windmill Island are a highlight of a stop in Holland, Michigan. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

Second in a Series

How can you get from Chicago to Holland without crossing the Atlantic Ocean?

Just book a “Magical Lake Michigan” cruise with Blount Small Ship Adventures, a line that specializes in taking passengers along the rivers, lakes, waterways, and seas of the United States, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Holland, in fact, is a town on the west coast of Michigan, and it was the first stop after embarking in Chicago, Illinois, aboard Blount’s 88-passenger ship Grande Mariner.

For those unfamiliar with Lake Michigan, it’s one of the five Great Lakes that top several states in the northern (mostly Midwestern) tier of the U.S. and together comprise a fifth of the world’s fresh water supply.

As I wrote in my previous post,… Continue reading

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's Upper Peninsula with the rest of the state. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with the rest of the state. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

First in a Series

Having been born in Michigan, reared in Indiana, and then returned to Michigan to attend college before moving to the West and East Coasts, I often wince a bit when I hear friends in the latter refer to the Midwestern U.S. as “flyover country.”

I’ve even been guilty of a bit of snobbery myself when I’ve noted that most of our friends in California and New York originally came from the Midwest — “but had the good sense to get out.”

I’m now officially retracting that statement, which was based on my childhood memories of bitterly cold winters, hot, humid summers, and what I perceived as a lack of cutting-edge cuisine and culture.

After spending last week cruising Lake Michigan with Blount Small Ship Adventures in the company of… 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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