SENIOR WOMEN TRAVEL



Senior Women’s Many Options

There are more and more travel firms that are now catering to women who are considered to be “seniors.”  That can mean anything from over 50 to over 65 years of age. As more senior women choose to travel either alone or in a group with other women, options are becoming more and more available.

Rio Grande Travel is a good example. They advertise…”Why travel alone when you can connect with like-minded women on a trip led by knowledgeable, local guides? Whether you want to join a pre-planned trip alone, are interested in a travel group for senior women or would like to embark on a journey with a bunch of your friends, you can have a good time on a trip tailored to your interests!”

Eldertreks, Walking the World, 50Plus Expeditions, Senior Women’s Travel Tours and Smithsonian Journeys are fine examples of travel organizations that provide senior women a wonderful opportunity to find travel fun and safe. Adventurous Wench features Cool Trips for Women. Women-Only Trips fits the need for many seniors who prefer to travel with other active senior women.

Some travel organizations do not specifically note that they cater only to seniors but they do ONLY women travel.  Women Traveling for example, means ‘no men’, ladies. Their trips seem perfect for women who prefer to travel in escorted small groups. You may wish to pair up with a senior meet-up group that has many offerings. Transitions Abroad also fulfills a need for women to enjoy tours with other women.

Best Senior Travel Websites

So take your pick here that includes advice from Frommer’s, Journey Woman, Smarter Living’s Senior Travel and several others.  Wired Seniors has a link called a Seniors Travel Guide with suggestions and advice. Travel Directories provides senior women with dozens of options to consider.  Journey Woman  has a section entitled “The largest collection of women-centered travel classifieds on the internet.”

I’lll depart today with Solo Travel Portal and their Over 50 Travel URL.  No, just one more. The National Association of Dynamic Senior Women has to fit in here somewhere. The association is an online membership community of like-minded women over 55 who choose to focus on living longer by living younger.

Whether working or retired, 55-plus community members remain joyful, active, and involved in all aspects of life. Members lead exciting and fulfilling lives, travel frequently, and, at all times, want to look and feel their best. So, isn’t it time to finally indulge in your lifelong travel dreams? Maybe be like Mary Jo who is a pied piper for 55+ year old women who refuse to give up on life just because of their age. She invites you to join her on these uniquely creative small group cultural discoveries. jeb

SENIORS VISIT ISLAND OFF SPAIN



Seniors Romp on Formentera

TripAdvisor recently noted the 25 most beautiful beaches in the world. Playa de see Illetes rated among the best.  These visitors loved the beaches and the crystal water that accompany the island of Formentera.  It’s where senior citizen travelers can romp on a world class beach.

Illetes,once a quiet, beautiful, mostly naturist beach, is very busy in August but  a few meters across the peninsula is another  beautiful beach of Llevan. Naturism is accepted everywhere and there is a healthy mixture of people with and without clothes on the beaches of the Spanish Mediterranean.

For years, Formentera was known as the “forgotten Balearic.” The smallest island of the archipelago, it’s small…only 30-sq.-miles on a flat limestone plain. The Romans called it Frumentaria (meaning “wheat granary”) when they oversaw it as a booming little agricultural center. But that was then. Today Formentera is called “Ibiza’s chilled-out little sister.”

Senior Visitors Discover More Than Beaches

On Formentera you’ll discover more than beaches. TripAdvisor always finds plenty for senior travelers to see and do.  Such is the case in Formentera. Twenty-two fun activities will highlight your time spent there. Wondering where it’s located? Well it’s between Valencia and Palma de Mallorca. Does that help?  No. Here’s a map to pinpoint it for you and another with a super overhead interactive map with a great satellite view.

Run through the listing of popular attractions and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect on the island. Formentera is only a one-hour ferry ride from Ibiza, or 25 minutes on the jet ferry. This YouTube video provides an overview of the awesome water, beaches, boats and more. You’ll see why it’s noted as a “Piece of Paradise on Earth.” Why not add it to your travel “bucket list?”

Here’s another short video to introduce you to Formentera. Another URL highlights the Ten Best Beaches in Spain and guess which on comes up #1? Condé Nast Traveller will take you on a photo tour of 15 beautiful sites.

The NY Times calls Formentera a “Quiet Place to Recuperate,” so keep that in mind if you’ll looking for some relaxation. I depart with a well-done Insider’s Guide to Formentera that will find beds, beaches and tables for you to consider. Looks like fun to me.  Enjoy the Balearics. jeb

Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe

SENIORS VISIT CHINCOTEAGUE, VIRGINIA



Let’s All Go To Chincoteague

Now all we seniors have to do is find it!  Chincoteague is a town on Chincoteague Island in Accomack County, Virginia. It’s called “The Beautiful Land Across the Water.” The population runs right at 4,000. This island is best known for its wild ponies among a host of other attractions.

It’s a fascinating place and senior visitors will find plenty to do. Legend has it that the feral ponies on Assateague Island are descendants of survivors of a Spanish galleon that sank on its way to Spain during a storm in 1750 off the east coast.

Do you know what a Pony Jam is? Me either. Well, on Assateague Island, it turns out to be the term park rangers use to describe the phenom where a dozen or so cars and mini-vans loaded with families grind to a halt in the middle of the main road, so they can take pictures, not recognizing that the traffic is backing up behind them sometimes for up to a mile!

Quaint Little Island Attracts Seniors

This quaint paradise island in Virginia is so beautiful that it draws over one million visitors annually. The Town of Chincoteague is dedicated to providing its citizens and visitors with an island rich in beauty, values, and traditions. Senior citizens will discover boating, a super downtown park, an island nature trail and a host of other attractions. Many say that Chincoteague is the most beautiful island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

So go see where those feral ponies run free and take in some bird watching while you’re there.  It’s truly a romantic spot.  The National Park Service calls the area Assateaugue Island. The Visitor’s Services overflows with information on the lighthouse, a good map and the wildlife in the area.

Celebrate summer by attending the 2 largest events on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Chincoteague Island’s Blueberry Festival and the Pony Swim, a big draw for over 40,000 visitors annually on July 24, 2013. The Chincoteague Museum attracts many senior visitors.

 Wikitravel fills in your itinerary with information of every nature. Even the New York Times highlights the activities on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. Misty of Chincoteague is a 1947 book by American author Marguerite Henry, inspired by a real Chincoteague Pony named Misty. There’s even a foundation named after Misty.

Virginia is for Lovers and that includes Chincoteague and here’s a small map of the area .  Chincoteague is Virginia’s only resort island.  I’ve found a bunch of rentals for senior citizens to consider and some neat photos to ignite your curiosity. Accommodations are abundant. Events are ongoing year round so plan your vacation based on a few of these.

For me, I think I’d time my visit based on the Seafood Festival. Enjoy everything… every activity in Chincoteague. jeb

SENIORS VISIT NILES IN THE U.S.



Seniors Ask Who and Where Are Niles

I have been to several cities named Niles and being the curious senior citizen that I am, I wanted to know where they are and just how many Niles there are in the USA.  Thus this blog.

Hezekiah Niles was a peacemaker who tried to avert the Civil War. There is a lot of history wrapped around his name. He edited and published the Weekly Register until 1836, making it into one of the most widely-circulated magazines in the United States and himself into one of the most influential journalists of his day. Devoted primarily to politics, Niles’ Weekly Register is considered an important source for the history of the period.

Let Me Introduce Senior Travelers To a Few Cities Named Niles

First senior travelers visit Niles, Michigan a city of just over 11,000. There’s a lot of history in the old Niles RR station. If you’re into specs, here’s the city website. You can pick up more in the local paper called Follow the Leader.

On to Niles, California, where there is always some event going on. This Niles was established in the 1850′s and was a junction point of the Southern Pacific Railroad lines from Oakland to San Jose and southern coastal points. The hamlet of Niles was a pre-Hollywood boomtown. In 1912, the movies’ first western star, “Broncho Billy” Anderson, saw potential in the town’s hills, canyons and its western-style false-fronted stores. Niles remains a small town anchored by a tight-knit community.

Seniors Like Niles, Illinois

One that I am acquainted with is Niles, Illinois. If senior citizens have heard of Skokie, it’s the neighbor right next door. Most believe the town was named because Niles Construction agency helped build much of the town. You may not, however know that Niles, Illinois is the sister or twin city of Pisa. The Niles leaning tower was completed in 1934 by industrialist Robert Ilg as part of a recreation park. It is situated at 6300 W. Touhy Avenue and is a 1/2 size copy of the original leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

Niles, Ohio is not too far from the Illinois city. Seems like most cities called Niles run around 20,000 folks. This one is found in the nation’s former industrial best. Niles, Ohio was founded in 1806 by James Heaton, who owned one of the first iron-ore processing plants in Ohio. The town originally went by the name of Heaton’s Furnace but was later renamed Nilestown, after Hezekiah Niles mentioned above. Niles is known for its ethnic diversity, and the community hosts a large Italian-American community and Old School Days.

I’ll just bet that some senior citizens who follow this blog have heard of a Niles. So browse around the country a bit and look for a city called Niles.  Stop in and enjoy the flavor.  jeb


JUST FOR SUNDAY



Seniors… Pick Up a Hoe, a Good Rake and Go For It!

I’m trying to find a connection between gardening and traveling…I love gardening as much as traveling and have been wanting to write this blog for some time. It has been proven that seniors who enjoy gardening, enjoy life and find it is one of the most relaxing things one can do.

I’m a Master Gardener (Iowa State University Certificate) and I meet other Master Gardeners all over the place.  We have lots to talk about, notes and ideas to share.  I’m thinking there might me a few master gardeners out there amongst the senior citizen travelers.

Seniors Discover Joy in Gardening

Gardening is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding hobbies any senior could have. Planning your garden is an on-going task for even the smallest of gardens. It’s great fun to think about the possibilities and figure out how to make them a reality.

My problem is that I never met a seed I didn’t like. I have to plant the entire packet and then stick the seedlings in the ground… somewhere. Fortunately, my garden was large. Pinterest is a great site to share ideas and you can add yours to their listing very easily. Incidentally, don’t call it “dirt” call it “soil.”  Dirt is what you get under your fingernails, okay?

Seniors Grab Good Books and Garden Catalogs

I have a long list of favorite catalogs. I go through every one circling what I’d like to eat and then make out orders, big ones. Many like Burpee have deals that if you order over $50 worth, they will take $10 off your order. Garden Way’s Joy of Gardening is super. You can send for a good used copy from Amazon for under $5.

My mother’s garden was half flowers. The White Flower Farm is a great resource with a wide selection. I prefer seeds and plants that are deemed All-American Selections.

Here’s a directory of Organic Seed Suppliers. There’s an organization in Decorah, Iowa called Seed Savers that feature heirloom seeds. My father ordered only from Gurney’s and you’ll see why when you thumb through their online catalogHarris, in my opinion, carries not a wide variety but only the very best. Their green bean, Crockett, is unmatched and the only one my wife wants to eat. Stokes rates high with me. The Cook’s Garden is a “specialized seed company”. Johnny’s always rates high on my list.

Most of this information can be found on a single site.  So file up the hoe, start up the root-tiller…Oh yes, I swear by Jerry Baker, America’s Master Gardener, and everything he  says and does. Oh my, I almost forgot to plug Garden’s Alive that carries only environmentally responsible products. In all my years of gardening, the product called PYOLA is one that I recommend to everybody.

For me personally, gardening is the perfect antidote to the modern world. So seniors, Happy Gardening from your traveling/gardening friend, Jim.  jeb


Filed under : Editors Choice

SENIORS VISIT STATE OF WASHINGTON



Port Angeles – The Authentic Northwest!

Seniors are welcome to Port Angeles, Washington, the activity center of the North Olympic Peninsula and the seat of government for Clallam County. The city’s home page is loaded with Olympic Peninsula Links of every nature. You’ll have a good idea of what to expect as you explore in detail the Outside Resources. They advertise… A Million Acre Park just filled with hiking trails that senior hikers will enjoy. That park of course is the Olympic Forest. The Salt Creek Recreation area is a big draw for senior visitors from across the globe.

Let’s start off with a bevy of photos to learn more about Port Angeles. The ferries are an important part of life at Port Angeles. Wikipedia is always an excellent resource for information of all kinds. The estimated population runs right at 70,000+ and Port Angeles is just south of the Canadian border of British Columbia. TripAdvisor has planned a nice vacation for you including hotels, B&Bs and major attractions.

Visitors will find classic wineries like Olympic Cellars and Camaraderie Cellars for wine tasting. While this is an ad for the Port Angeles Inn, the photos are very nice. Hey, maybe jump on board the Prince of Whales and go whale watching. Explore the Salt Creek Recreation area, a big draw for senior visitors from across the globe. 

Seniors Find Victoria Nearby

The Butchart Gardens are close by in Victoria British Columbia and this site has a map and guide to help senior visitors find your away around. Fodor’s ranks it right up there with the finest and notes that it is one of only two 3-Star attractions in Victoria. So shrink this map down little by little to see how easy it is to get to Victoria.

Maybe take a ferry up through the San Juan Islands to Victoria. This trip was memorable for me years back.  The many islands are covered with beautiful pine trees. You will enjoy orcas galore, the crystal clear water, tons of birdlife, a plethora of photo opportunities and finally you will arrive at Victoria.  It’s almost a “must” for adventurous seniors.

I leave you today with several videos that are guaranteed to catch your attention in and around Port Angeles.  And Virtual Tourist has some good information for senior visitors of Things to See and Do. These seven maps are fun and well done, plus on this page, you can download the Port Angeles Visitor Guide and send for a Free Travel Planner.

Clallam County is ready to welcome senior citizens with open arms. A little weather info is always nice up this direction. So be prepared, as you know, it rains quite a bit in Washington State and here’s what it’s doing today.

Enjoy the Great Authentic Northwest at Port Angeles. jeb

SENIORS VISIT HAWAII



Seniors Enjoy Hawaii’s “Little Sisters”

Senior citizens who have been to Hawaii know of O’ahu followed by The Big Islands of Hawai’i, Kaua’i and Maui.  Not many it seems want to check out  Moloka’i or Lana’i. And perhaps you, like me, have never even heard of Ni’ihau or Kaho’olawe islands.  They are pretty small but are part of the Hawaiian chain.  So let’s see what’s out there in the middle of the Pacific on Moloka’i and Lana’i.

Moloka’i “The Friendly Island”

Hawaii’s fifth-largest island, Molokai is only 38 miles long and 10 miles across at its widest point. Hop in and fly with me through the Halawa Valley in Moloka’i. Beautiful greenery, a waterfall or two and awesome scenery. Molokai is home to the highest sea cliffs in the world along its northeast coast (3,600-3,900 feet) and Hawaii’s longest continuous fringing reef (28 miles) off Molokai’s southern coast.

Senior visitors will find roughly 8,100 friendly folks with a high percentage of native ancestors. With Molokai’s high population of Native Hawaiians, it’s no wonder that Molokai is sometimes known as “the most Hawaiian Island.”  Little Moloka’i lies between O’ahu and Maui. Many senior tourists simply fly over rather than checking out the amenities.  So has the world left Moloka’i behind or is it the other way around?

The island has two distinct regions: the verdant east with mountains and soaring sea cliffs and the drier, flatter west where you’ll find farms, ranches, and a coffee plantation.

 

The principal website is called Moloka’i Hawaiian by Nature. Getting to Moloka’i is not a problem, it’s only a 25-minute flight from Oahu. TripAdvisor has all the info you will need or want to fill in your itinerary and features several Moloka’i websites. Fodor’s Travel Guide has helpful information for first timers. Let’s take a short photo tour and a video before we head over to Lana’i.

Lana’i Entices Senior Citizens

Lana’i, “The Pineapple Island”, is where you’ll walk the otherworldly landscape of keahiakawelo, also aptly called the “Garden of the Gods.” Lana’i is a senior ocean lover’s dream with azure waters filled with fish and plentiful sea life.

Lana’i City has the Culture and Heritage Center where tourists learn all about the rich natural history of the island. Golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman rate high for golfers. Just hop aboard the Lana’i Ferry from Maui and take in the many amenities on Lana’i Island. Manele Harbor is a top draw.

I found a nice resort for you to consider on the island.  If it’s your first trip to Lana’i you’ll discover that this intimate island does not disappoint. The Manele Bay Hotel is very nice as well. Learn a little more about the History of Hawaii before you arrive.  You’ll enjoy the islands even more.  Aloha.  jeb


TRAVEL GEAR FOR TRAVELING SENIORS



Senior Travelers Can’t Do Without Them…

There has to be a multitude of gadgets and travel gear that seniors who travel a lot say  they just could not get along without.  I know from my own travel experiences that I could make up a pretty long list myself. I would start off with putting in a plug for both Magellan’s and Travelsmith.  They have dozens of supplies that I have found to be extremely useful.

Magellan’s microfiber pants are the finest pair of travel pants I have ever owned. They have to be nearly twenty years old and still look new. The stretch waistband and a zipper pocket to protect a wallet are excellent. My Travelsmith shirt (60% cotton and %40 polyester) is also the finest travel shirt I’ve ever owned. Lightweight and easily washed and a neutral color. I still prefer to wear both when traveling.

Travel & Leisure Magazine Lists the Best Travel Gear

If you are searching for some super designs that have won awards, then read on, senior travelers. The Best Watch choice was the Timex Weekender Slip Through with a changeable strap, for $45.  Good start I’d say.  The Best Luggage, and it should be for only $2,690, is a Porche Design leather trolley and the best travel bag is a Dror for Tumi convertible nylon backpack. It came in at just $595 and is a real beauty.

The Best Camera was relatively inexpensive considering that you can pay thousands for a camera today. They selected a Pentax-Q10 for $600. For the Best Travel Accessory, a pair of sunglasses won out.  They are called Gotti Switzerland fold-flat model for $310.

For senior men, Luigi Blanchi Mantova lightweight field jacket was tops at $890. It looks nice, kind of wrinkled, but of highest quality. Here are some additional specs on the jacket. FYI it’s made with Loro Piana Storm System fabric, the jacket is waterproof, windproof, and wicks away heat and moisture to keep you dry and comfortable. Senior women, the Best Women’s Travel Clothing Terra New York Polyurethane Trench won the prize for $320.

Gadling (that’s a new one for me) has their list of Best Gear and the website shows a whole pile of gear ready to go. Amazon too has their own best gear choices. Then there is Walkabout and REI who carry great travel accessories. Look over Fodor’s Best New Travel Gear. For the Best Adventure Gear how about a BioLite CampStove.  About.com has helpful information and great apparel.

The Bobble is all about portable filtration, and the people behind it have a mission: to change people’s drinking habits by slowing the mass consumption of single-serve water bottles. You always need to be aware of drinking only good potable water.

Enjoy thumbing through Travel & Leisure’s gadgets and travel gear and you might find something for your next adventure. jeb

 

NEW LUXURY RESORT IN MEXICO



New Nizuc Resort & Spa Attracting Senior Visitors

The award-winning luxury hotel chain, Las Brisas Hotel Collection, has just announced the opening of their new, elite brand- NIZUC Resort & Spa- at the gateway of the sun-soaked coast of the Riviera Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula. My latest Travel & Leisure magazine had an ad for the  new Nizuc Resort and Spa and it looked like senior citizen material. I don’t usually plug a particular resort, but I had to check this full-page ad and discovered that it’s grandiose. The doors open in March (2013).

The 29 acre property that faces the white sands of the Caribbean Sea is settled within a paradise of protected mangroves and lush local foliage. The new Nizuc is described as having a “Mexican Spirit” with a “Mayan Soul.” Its prime location makes it a convenient starting point for senior vacationers to access all of the Yucatan’s natural wonders, archaeological sites and attractions. There are many Mayan ruins nearby and you can take guided tours from Nizuc to Chitzen Itza, Coba and Tulum.

The area is the newest luxury destination in the Mexican Caribbean situated on some the most desirable land of the Mayan region. Snorkel Bob is not here, but you’ll find plenty of space for snorkeling, just ask these folks. The hotel offers 274 comfortable and well-equipped, air-conditioned individually decorated guest-rooms and abounds with amenities.

Full Spa Service Attracts Senior Citizens

As per usual with such a high class resort they feature six world-class restaurants with gourmet cuisine. Perhaps you would enjoy your own personally designed menu in a private room. The Executive Chef Vincent Wallez invites senior citizens to come and see for yourselves.

For the ladies, three spa signature treatments at the full service spa; and for all seniors, their fitness and wellness center will help keep your mind and body strong and healthy. At Nizuc Resort and Spa you can cool off in one of the 5 outdoor swimming pools.

Tours and activities can be easily arranged by the concierge. Golf is just 2 miles away. Travelocity has a map with street, aerial and hybrid views. TripAdvisor notes that you had better get on it soon as it will sell out quickly. Expedia has additional information.

Why not make it a Deluxe Ocean View Room? Here’s the address and phone number: Punta Nizuc Blvd. Kukulcan Km.21 – 260 Cancun, QROO 77500 Mexico 1-866-599-6674. That about covers it for Nizuc. Neat name huh? Did you notice the nice little insignia for Nizuc? Maybe I’ll just bump into friends at Nizuc.  jeb

SENIORS ENJOY FRANCE



The Abbey at Cluny Fascinates Seniors

This senior well recalls his first visit to one of the largest romanesque abbeys in the world. I stood in awe as I gazed upward in its interior and marveled at the architectural structure that was completed so long ago. Cluny, located in the Burgundy region of France, was the first of the major monastic reform movements and its construction continued for many years.

Senior travelers will find France to be rich with old romanesque churches,  but none in my mind can compare or even come close to Cluny. Most were constructed between 1000 and 1200 and their architectural styles vary from region to region, as do their sizes. Cluny was immense at one time however presently only one huge tower remains of the entire structure. Here’s a view of what it looked like years ago. Notice the only portion standing is the darker colored tour on this model.

So Get Me To Cluny

Cluny on this map is in east-central France. Early on it owed its importance to its celebrated Benedictine abbey, founded in 910 by Duke William the Pious of Aquitaine. Cluny’s abbey is the main attraction this Burgundian city offers, although the region does have several other interesting attractions for you to visit. It is an attractive small city and, although it is quiet and quite tranquil, it receives over 100,000 visitors yearly due to its appealing historical past and unique set of buildings.

If you, like moi, enjoy interesting facts on old sites, these on Cluny Abbey will keep you busy for a while. Brittanica has many links on Cluny that include architecture, religious and cultural life of the times and the Benedictine religious order. And here are 117 photos that can each be enlarged that show many of the Abbey’s primary features.

It is a sacred place, and you will sense  this once you stand silently within its monstrous walls.  I recall a mass taking place inside that was very moving… monks chanting, sounds reverberating off the walls. This video is in French but you will comprehend much of it with the photos. Note the size of the old column bases now in ruins. I loved this Cluny III en 3D video, again one sees the immensity of the abbey and the fact that only one tower remains today called the South Tower.

A Reading Assignment For Senior Learners

I’ll leave you with a little assignment to read prior to your visit and a small model to study more closely.  I am confident that you too will be overwhelmed by Cluny and the other Benedictine monasteries in France. The Cistercian monasteries are plentiful and beautiful as well.

If you enjoyed Cluny, check these out.  This book at Amazon will prove helpful. The local Office du Tourisme is always a good resource for first timers.  Enjoy Cluny.  jeb


Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe

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