An Island Like No Other

Tasmania, Australia, is a large island just over 150 miles from the mainland, and is its southernmost state. Roughly the size of West Virginia and the twenty sixth largest island in the world, Tasmania has five diverse regions for senior citizens to explore.  It offers unique scenery and wildlife, world-class wine and food, fascinating history, and convict heritage sites such as Port Arthur.

Tasmania is promoted as the natural state, the “island of inspiration”, and A World Apart, Not A World Away. Tasmania is just so unique that senior travelers must see it for themselves. It seems isolated, yet elderly tourists flock to its shores. There is a lot of history in the name Tasmania that spans over thousands of years.

The island was initially joined to mainland Australia. It broke away from the mainland continent at the end of the last ice age around ten thousand years ago. It was inhabited by Tasmanian Aborigines for thousands of years before it was discovered by Europeans.

Seniors Discover a Physically Dazzling Island

Tasmania has shrugged off the stigma of its isolation – the whole world seems to be discovering the physically dazzling, unique and accessible island. Suitably impressed, and a tad sheepish, the rest of Australia has finally stopped laughing and started visiting.

Tassie’, as it’s affectionately known, has it all: vast, uninhabited slabs of wilderness, swimming at Seven Mile Beach, bountiful wildlife in Narawntapu National Park, gourmet food and wine in the Tamar Valley, a thriving arts scene and new-found urban cool.

Tasmania, an archipelago of more than 300 islands, has an abundantly wide variety of wildlife including some of the most bizarre animals on the planet.

Just Imagine…1,000 Mountain Peaks

What is it about Tasmania?  There are more than 1,000 mountain peaks, four mild seasons, more than 40 per cent of the island is protected as national parks and reserves, and is inhabited by some of the world’s rarest animals.

The main Island is home to about 500,000 people where almost half reside in the greater Hobart precinct. Hobart is the capital of Tasmania, the second oldest and most southerly city in Australia, see map. Hobart is located on the south east of the island of Tasmania, on the banks of the River Derwent and is dominated by Mount Wellington which looms above the city.

And That Little Devil…

And of course senior visitors will find the famed Tasmanian Devil Characterized by its stocky and muscular build, black fur and pungent odor, it has an extremely loud and disturbing screech, a keen sense of smell, and is ferocious when feeding.

If you’re lucky enough you may spot a Tasmanian Devil in the wild but there are several wildlife parks such as East Coast Nature World that seniors can get up close and take pictures of the little devils.  Just watch your fingers if you get close to a Tassie Devil!  jeb

Filed under : Adventure Travel, Australia


Seniors Go Small Village Hopping in France

I have always loved the smaller villages in France. They seem to be around every corner and are in all parts of the country. I am prone to enjoy most those that are found in Provence. A grand total of 155 villages across mainland France and two in Corsica have been awarded the prestigious ‘Most Beautiful Villages of France’ award and await senior citizen’s visits.
The villages are listed by region and there is a map showing where they are located to help senior travelers find those near your destination while you are touring France. Rent a car maybe with Europcar.  I have had good luck with them, they are big and found all over France.


Well, here’s another new URL for me called  They entitled their article “What are the most charming small towns in France with the best food experience?”  By great food experience Quora means a quality baker, butcher, great local cheese and sausages, and a quality restaurant close by (that last one doesn’t have to be in the village itself).

Seniors Seek Out Most Beautiful Villages of France

Here’s a list of the villages that senior citizens can bring up on their computers to visit online. I selected Séguret, I have been there with groups, Roussillon and then Vézelay. I love each one of them.

Each time seniors read a new site promoting these villages you will gain more expertise and information that will attract your interests. This site has some great pictures and additional villages discussed.

Collonges-la-Rouge is properly named because the whole village is red and Gordes has no equal. In Gordes I once met the head of the French communist party.

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France

The organization known as Les Plus Beaux Villages de France was founded back in 1982 by the then mayor Charles Ceyrac of Collonges-la-Rouge. This village became the first ever designated ‘Most Beautiful Village’. The aim of the founders was to protect some of the smaller villages of France that tended to be somewhat off the beaten track.

There are certain criteria that these villages must meet. For example, the population cannot exceed 2000 inhabitants and the village/hamlet must have at least 2 sites or protected monuments. Pardon the French, but this has some great shots of those best villages. Naomi murders the French in this video but shows some neat photos.

If you prefer the coast as does my wife, here are the top coastal towns. I heartily agree with every one of them. Oh, what the heck, check out some more. Every town I have ever been in on my trips to France was neat if you just look for the cool part and/or the old quarter.

That’ll keep you busy for a while. I must stop but not before I toss in one more site.  Just could not resist. Enjoy your visit to some of these marvelous small French villages, seniors.  jeb


Seniors Add to Their Bucket List

There has been a lot of conjecture among those “in the know” as to what THE Seven Wonders really are. There are so many impressive sites that are culturally, historically or naturally significant, all over the world, that choosing only seven is not only very difficult, but today, most ‘senior’ authorities agree that there can be no consensus.  Nevertheless there are sites that say “This is it”  or “These seven belong on the list”.

Senior Citizens, What Would Your ‘Seven List’ Look Like?

If you are a senior world traveler and have seen some of the wonders, what would your own list look like? I remember a friend who traveled around the world.  When I asked him what were the most memorable spots he had visited, Andy replied “I loved Jordan” but “Hawaii is Paradise.”  His spots were countries.  Have you been to both?  If so how do they compare?

Well here is a list compiled by CNN but how can anyone shrink great sites down to just 7?

To each his own…

For many years folks have conjured up lists such as Wonders of the Middle Ages, Seven Wonders of the Medieval Mind, and Architectural Wonders of the Medieval World. I have to admit that each is very impressive.

Then there is the New7Wonders Foundation that has their preferences. USA Today made up their listing that included the Polar Ice Caps, the Internet and the Great Migration on the Serengeti Plains.

Then we have the Seven Wonders of the Underwater World drawn up by CEDAM International (an American-based non-profit group for divers) with includes the Great Barrier Reef, Lake Baikal (Yes, it should be on this list), the Galapagos and the Deep_Sea Vents.

So if you are sufficiently confused we shall proceed…

That’s what my Psych prof used to say daily to our class. To conclude I include the master listing of many Wonders for you to wonder about even more.  Me, I’m into World Heritage Sites that always top my list. So enjoy surfing the world of wonders. jeb


Travel: Both Fun and Educational

One of the more popular variations on a “vacation” today is called a Learning Vacation.  This hottest new travel trend is both fun and educational. Seniors who are continual learners and who enjoy incorporating a learning experience with their travels love these trips.   A Learning Vacation most often refers to a program that focuses on informal learning while traveling.

One of the more popular choices today, Road Scholar,  is always accompanied by an expert in the the field. Road Scholar, the not-for-profit leader in educational travelsince 1975, offers 6,500 educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countries. Alongside local and renowned experts, experience in-depth and behind-the-scenes learning opportunities, from cultural tours and study cruises to walking, biking and more.

Are You Looking For something To Do?

Shaw Guides provides online access to the unabridged, continually updated content for many learning vacations. Search for career and recreational cooking schools, wine courses, golf & tennis schools;  camps, high performance programs, writers workshops & conferences; photography, film & video workshops, schools, art & craft workshops; language vacations, cultural travel programs, and artists’ and writers’ residencies & retreats.

Having been a language instructor for many years I found this  Guide to Language Vacations and Workshops to be of special interest.  For many seniors, learning a little Spanish while abroad heightens the travel experience.   A vacation “with a passion” with innumerable options  just might fit in somewhere.

Two of Frommer’s Favorites

Cornell Adult University makes for an intelligent choice. The other important, U.S.-based program of summer learning vacations is at St. John’s College, the “Great Books” school of American education. You can read more in detail on this all-encompassing site.

Top Learning Vacations points senior citizens to life along the seashore: help save coral reefs, watch whales, build a boat, canoe the everglades or pull some nasty weeds in Point Reyes, California.  I liked the one in Kauai (of course I’m a little bias… I love Hawaii) because you can take part in an ecosystem preservation project to preserve native Hawaiian plants. Besides, you can take in a luau, watch some hula dancers and wear a beautiful lei.

Learning Vacation Adventures

I frequently meet seniors who enjoy an “adventure” tacked on to their vacation. Or perhaps I could say, “a vacation tacked on to their adventure.”   You will find them here and senior travelers have a choice of Africa, the US, Canada and South America.

They also ask “Who’s Going?” Learning vacations can be an Adults Only, Couples, Family, Groups or Solo Travelers.  There’s bound to be an option in there somewhere that may fit your needs and interests. seems to always have the answer to most any question or concern.  Kaboose has incredible learning destinations for a family.

Don’t know about you, but I get excited about this topic of learning and vacation all tied up into the same package. jeb


Seniors Board Holland American Line

Holland American Lines says in their mission statement, ‘Through excellence we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences, every time.’  For almost 140 years, the safety and security of their guests has been their highest priority.   Holland America Lines offering a variety of cruises are inviting senior citizens to consider heading north to Alaska and the Yukon.  This video shows folks soaking up the colorful trail of the Alaska Gold Rush.

For 2013 Holland American Line is adding some new itineraries to their cruises. These include “Sampler” tours for seniors combining their cruise options with land packages.  Imagine witnessing a pod of whales breaching and glaciers calving along Glacier Bay National Park or the twin Sawyer Glaciers. Both are memorable sights for cruise line passengers.

You may choose to spend more time exploring on your own.  Consider one of their new Triple Denali Cruise Tours that is called the “Ultimate Alaska Experience.” Anchorage, Glacier Bay, Dawson, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, the Kluane National Park, Skagway, Tok and more are all awaiting your visit.

Senior Travelers Start Here

Seniors, you can make arrangements by calling 1-800-391-6258 or by contacting a travel professional.  Presently Holland American Line is offering their Denali Cruise Tour roundtrip from Seattle for an additional $500.  This includes an overnight stay in the Emerald City along with a motor coach transfer to and from your cruise in Vancouver and a flight to or from Fairbanks. How does that sound?

Available now are deals for up to 50%, a free or reduced fare for 3rd/4th guests.  Senior travelers sometimes enjoy having someone with whom to travel that they know well such  family, friends, or travel club members.  Included also is a free hotel stay on select departures.  These have to be booked by January 31, 2013.  Find your cruise herewhere you can set up your dates, duration, your choice of a cruise tour port and you may also view itineraries.

Why Holland America Line?

For more than 139 years, Holland American Line has been a recognized leader in cruising, taking guests to exotic destinations around the world. If you are looking for some of the most spacious and comfortable ships at sea, award-winning service, five star dining, extensive activities and enrichment programs and compelling worldwide itineraries, they claim to have it all.

Holland American Line is committed to their mission: ‘through excellence, we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences, every time.’  Senior travelers can feel more secure with a plethora of information such as how to check in, getting a boarding pass and so forth. Shore excursions are special as well so put on your explorer jacket and check out the various possibilities. jeb


Family Vacations at Bargain Prices

Senior citizens looking for a vacation with grandkids or your own kids,  family resources are always welcome.   One great resource has been Budget Travel. Their site lists ten best family resorts with prices, addresses and phone numbers as well as their bargin priced family vacation options.  Another great resource is  Adventure Finder, complete with multiple destinations, activities and quick escapes.

Dude Ranches Welcome Families

Bar W Guest Ranch is located near Whitefish, Montana.  It’s open year-round and welcomes seniors and their families. Most kids love horses and the ranch has special 3-night packages for families.

Another option is the Malibu Ranch in Milford, Pennsylvania. It’s called the “Best Dude Ranch East of the Mississippi” and it’s only 75 miles from New York City. Reservations and info: (570) 296-7281.

Family Camps Rate High

Montecito Sequoia Lodge is an award winning, all-inclusive lodge located at 7,400 feet in Sequoia National Forest. Things for grandparents and grandkids to do includes taking a hike, fishing, playing tennis, paddling a canoe and dozens of organized activities designed just for kids.

The lodge is surrounded by the grandeur of Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park, the  lodge and small, private lake are set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Great Western Divide and only minutes away from the fabled Giant Sequoia groves.

Put the Kids to Work on a Farm

City kids have little idea of the happenings on a typical farm in America.  At East-Hill Farm there are eggs to gather, goats to feed, cows to milk and in the winter ice to skate on.  Sounds like fun!  Contact the farm at 1-800 242-6495. They cater to Family Farm Vacations as well as senior programs.

On their 150 acres, they raise heritage breed cows, goats, and pigs along with horses, sheep, chickens and other farm animals. Kids enjoy getting acquainted with farm animals in a non-threatening environment.  After a week “working” on the farm and caring for animals, most kids come away with a great feeling of accomplishment.

Enjoy thinking about the possibility of vacationing with your grandkids…perhaps some new ideas have sparked here.  jeb


Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Are Off To Explore Australia

Australia is a long ways off.  For senior citizens who have been there, they well know the hours it takes to fly from LA or SF to Sydney or Melbourne. While is it the smallest of continents, it’s big with nearly 3 million square miles and slightly smaller than the 48 US states and Brazil.

Can you name five cities in Australia?  How about just three?  Most senior travelers know of Sydney or Melbourne.  What most of us do not realize is the Great Victoria Desert that covers over 150,000 square miles.  There are even wild camels roaming around and they are wrecking some sacred sites.

Australia is one of the most remote countries in the world and is known both for its extremely low population density and untouched natural beauty, both of which are best exemplified by Cape York, Peninsula, a huge expanse of untouched wilderness located on the country’s northern tip. Remote yes, but ironically it is also one of the most popular places for senior tourists to visit, especially among backpackers, budget travelers and the Brits. 

WikiAnswers has the Answers

Want to know a few more facts about the country before you head out?  Try Answers with a nice slide show to boot. Being a triviaholic myself, I like lots of facts and About.Com has them on Australia. UK Citizens flock to Australia and their government provides lots of great info that US travelers can use as well.

One thing is for sure.  Senior travelers won’t be able to take in Australia like you would France, Mexico or even Japan.  This site suggests that you consider one of 14 amazing places to visit. Once there you will discover for yourself that there is “Nothing like Australia.”

Lonely Planet has five neat videos to whet your appetite for Australia that include Uluru-Kata, Kangaroo Island and the Great Barrier Reef.  You WILL NEED a visa to enter into the country along with your passport and travel documents. VisaWizard can help you with the visa.

A Few Good Reasons Seniors Travel To Australia

Here is a concentrated listing of just ten good reasons senior visitors will enjoy traveling to Australia. The Great Barrier Reef alone is reason to take that long flight.

Great Barrier Reef

This site can help find flights for you and they claim up to 70% off.  I was amazed at all the US departure airports for flights to Australia. Wow!

TripAdvisor  notes that there are 607 airports in Australia.  Wow again!  Myself, I’ve always liked Orbitz, Expedia or my own Best Travel Websites page with more to choose from.  This SIS site  for seniors (Seniors Information Service) offers lots of travel information once you are in the country.  Look for the Tours for Seniors on this site.

Maybe hop onboard a train for a real travel adventure. Great Southern Rail is an additional option. You will be overwhelmed when you input Tours to Australia via Google or Yahoo.  There are so many, so try to fit one into your purse, update that passport, send for the visa and talk with your travel agent.

Bone up on a few Aussie words.  Have fun and enjoy your Fosters.  jeb


Seniors Are Drawn to Narragansett

I have always been drawn to sites with weird names like Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Webster, Mass or Truth or Consequences, NM. The name Narragansett was brought to my attention because of Hurricane Sandy. Known as Gansett by the locals, I wanted to know what attracts senior visitors, its past history and why the locals choose to live there. I found some great information to share with senior readers.

Neat Town and Great Beaches

Narragansett is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island. The population was 15,868 at the 2010 census, but there is a greater population in the summer.  Tourism is an important facet of life in Narragansett, with attractive beaches, sport fishing, a relaxed atmosphere, comfortable cottages and motels, and camping areas all contributing to the senior tourist’s enjoyment.

Center of Town

The focal point of the community is the Pier area, the center of the town, where senior visitors can soak up the sun at Narragansett Town Beach. The center of town also hosts special concerts and dance lessons at the historic Towers. The picturesque mile-long sea wall on Ocean Road is a fantastic place to take in the glorious views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Vacation Community Draws Senior Travelers

Situated at the mouth of Narragansett Bay, the town of Narragansett is widely recognized as one of the areas quintessential vacation communities. Home of “The Best Town Beach in New England,” and one of the largest commercial fishing fleets, Narragansett and the surrounding area has everything senior citizens need to plan a single day away, a romantic weekend interlude or a family-fun vacation week.

Wikipedia provides the full story on Salt Pond, Narragansett Pier, Galilee and Point Judith that are all close by. My oh my…24 things to see and do in this small town so you won’t be wanting for your itinerary.  The Towers are pretty neat as is the famous still functioning Point Judith Lighthouse.

Narragansett Bay forms New England’s largest estuary, which functions as an expansive natural harbor, and includes a small archipelago. This bay is mostly within the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, but small parts of it extend into Massachusetts.  Fishing is also very popular going for the big silver strippers (bass), and look at that “hog” on this link.

Senior Visitors Discover B&B’s

I’ve found a couple nice B&Bs for senior travelers to look into. Tower House to start with was featured in Yankee Magazine’s “Best Of New England”and the 1900 House voted #1 B&B in S. Rhode Island by Reader’s Choice Awards in 2012. My wife and I would take either one.

I leave you with a super find that will update you on just about everything above in detail. It’s a very informative URL. Enjoy Little Rhody, and in particular your visit to Narragansett.  jeb


Airtreks and Air New Zealand

If you would like information on how to plan your senior round the world trip, Airtreks might be just the ticket.  You can fly ‘Round the World’ on Air New Zealand starting from Los Angeles or San Francisco. Visit the best of the UK, Asia and the Pacific Islands en-route to New Zealand.

Fly out one direction, and come back in the other.  Ride the London Eye, shop in Hong Kong and bungee jump in Auckland. Want to snorkel? You can stop off in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. That’s a truly global experience for the senior traveler.

Cirpac and In Transit

Cirpac Travel is a licensed travel agency specializing in Business Class & First Class Flights for International, Circle-Pacific, & “Around-the-World” Travel since 1991.  Cirpac has negotiated Business Class & 1st Class discounts that are not available to the general public.

In Transit has a site dedicated to finding the best ticket fare . Save up to 60% on Business Class & 1st Class airfare to international destinations. Trailfinders (, a London-based travel agency with offices in Australia, offers tailor-made round-the-world routings for senior travelers.

Wikitravel Is Helpful, Seniors

Wikitravel is a great site for Round The World travel information.  It offers information on ticket types, conditions, airlines, as well as ‘helps’ for planning your trip.

It sounds complicated to me but if you’re willing to invest your time, the benefits you’ll receive from using these kinds of tickets can be significant.  Read on for an In-Depth Guide to Buying your ticket .  It is a time investment, seniors and you will find that it will take  some work to put together a round the world trip and you will need to enlist the help of a travel agency.

Just ask Chris Guillebeau who travels the world and is said to be a “master of clever air travel.”  This site can be very helpful for the novice traveler with a number of super suggestions to get the job done. You will discover that each airline alliance has its own rules for how the ticket works as Guillebeau points out.

Round The World Videos

Get Inspired with these eight amazing around the world videos. Pack that backpack, your passport, some cash and head on out to circumvent the globe folks. Just wave to me as you pass overhead on your way to Fiji.

I really enjoyed writing this blog and a RTW ticket is now on my “bucket list”. jeb


Seniors Consider Buying RTWs



A round-the-world ticket (also known as round-the-world fare or RTW ticket for short) is inviting seniors to fly around the world for a relatively low price.  An RTW is a special fare (or a series of point-to-point tickets) that allows you to fly to multiple cities and continents.

These tickets are sold through airline alliances and agencies that specialize in around-the-world travel, and they can help you save money and organize your itinerary. Read on for a run-down on where to buy tickets, how they work and the cost.

If you are interested, you will want to check out each one of these valuable  resources. Many times a Round the World ticket, especially in business and first class may cost less, than a round trip ticket to the more remote regions of the world.

Round-the-World fares are almost universally offered by airline alliances such as SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld.

Not Just For “The Other Folks” Anymore

Image 3

Round-the-world travel isn’t just for the young or independently wealthy. Students, senior citizens and even working folks with a few weeks of vacation time can take advantage of the convenient pricing and flexibility of round-the-world tickets.

You can travel around the world for nearly any length of time, from a few days to a few years. Your trip can involve a couple of brief stops or dozens of stopovers and side trips. Here’s a personal blog on the cost of a Trip Around the World and Airtreks assisted him with his ticket(s). Senior travelers can always learn from the experiences of others, especially on a “bucket list” trip like this one.


The Round the World fares start from $2264 to 85 destinations in 35 countries. A transatlantic crossing and a transpacific crossing must form part of a Round the World fare and can only occur once on the fare, with a side trip from Singapore to Asia permitted.

The Circle Pacific fares start from $1969 to 36 destinations in 13 countries. The Circle Pacific fare is a unique program permitting travel around the Pacific Rim in one general direction, usually flying a combination of two airlines for one all inclusive price. The fares are very similar to Round the World fares but travel is limited to destinations in the South Pacific and Asia although one pass does allow travel to limited destinations in South America.

Look for more information on my next blog…there was too much on this subject for just one shot here. jeb

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