travels

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This would seem to be an easy question, but I think many of us would define "vacation" differently. For some it's simply days off - not being at work. For others a true vacation means getting away - traveling - to someplace different than home. I've encountered many folks who regularly do not take any vacation. Workers accrue unused vacation days, their firms do not let them roll them over to the next year, and they just let them expire. I asked in a meeting at my office last week how many have taken a two-week vacation, and no one replied affirmatively. They did say that two-week vacations are only when they go out of the country to places like Europe or Asia, and that those are not frequent.
Dr. Pepper Schwartz
Q: I'm married and lonely. My husband, age 68, has his own business, works six days a week with 10- to 12-hour days, and is recovering from prostate cancer surgery, with a low testosterone count.  
Felice Shapiro
Felice Shapiro is a writer, entrepreneur, and publisher as well as the founder of Better After 50, a weekly online magazine. In addition to being a teacher and avid runner, hiker, and yogi, she is an AARP contributor.
Happy-New-Year
Editor's Note: AARP has 53 offices - one for every state and territory of the US!  That said, there are so many awesome things going on locally that we want to be able to highlight here on our blog. We're starting with the kick butt team over in Illinois as a pilot. To start things off in the new year we thought the AARP IL team would share their new years resolutions... My name is Gerardo Cardenas and I am AARP Illinois' Communications Manager, leading a great team of professional, hard-working and talented communicators that bring our messages to our members, activists, the media, and the public.2012 is a huge year for me because ... (drum roll) ... I will finally get to the big 5-0, and enjoy full membership in the organization that I proudly represent! Now I will be able to fully convey the viewpoints of those 50+ to the communities I interact with. Oh, and my resolution is to lose 50 lbs. Lose 50 at 50. Get it? I'm Heather Heppner - Associate State Director for Communications with AARP Illinois.  Born and raised in Illinois (a big shout out to Peoria!)  A social worker turned PR hack who is part of a rock star communications team at AARP Illinois, dishing on all things 50+ in Illinois! My New Year's resolutions?  Become a Triathlete (ok, maybe that's a stretch, but I at least plan to get in good enough shape to compete in the 2012 Naperville Sprint Triathlon), spend more time with friends, and travel more.  Oh yea, I also commit to indulging myself at a spa once a month and to never ordering the same thing twice at a restaurant in 2012.  I seriously need to relax more often and develop a more adventuresome palate! Hi! I'm Jenn Baier and I'm a Program Specialist at AARP Illinois. My job here is digital strategy. As the newest member of the Illinois team and a transplant from Wisconsin, my New Year's resolution is to get out and explore Illinois and all that it has to offer - entirely through Social Media!  Some of my favorite Twitter sources so far are @freechicago @yelpchicago and the "Explore Chicago" Facebook page. Have suggestions on what I should try? Feel free to tweet me at or leave me a note on Facebook. I'll be sure to report back on my adventures. Photo Credit:  Khedara on Flickr
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According to several news stories, including this one from USA Today, many Americans are hitting the road this weekend! AAA projects that about 34.9 million people are venturing at least 50 miles from home, up 17% from 2009! They also project that 90 percent of those traveling will be traveling by car.
I've been seeing a lot of news stories - from Good Morning America segments to this story on the Wall Street Journal's site - about the increase in "boomerang kids," that is, adult children who are moving back home to their parents' home amid the recession. Now, as excited as I am to head home for Thanksgiving, I don't have any desire to be "under my dad's roof" again any time soon... But according to the WSJ and a Pew Research survey, one in ten adults ages 18-35 have moved back in with mom and dad because of the poor economy. That seems like a lot of boomerangs!
Well, the busiest travel day of the year is almost upon us - as is the busiest shopping day of the year! I, myself, am psyching myself up for a traffic headache tomorrow afternoon, but with the promise of family, good food, and good shopping in the 48 hours that follow...it will be worth it!
Here is a story from the Wall Street Journal today that discusses the inclusion of a long-term care benefit in the House bill. It's a program that would pay cash to people who become disabled by way of premiums deducted from employee's paychecks - but of course, employees would have the option to opt out of the program. The provision is meant to help with the problem that not many people have long-term care insurance if they need home care or to be in a nursing home. Medicare does not include long-term care benefits.
As the final quarter of the year is suddenly upon us, there is certainly no shortage of news concerning AARP and its members.
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Although times are tough, the summer tends to trigger the "travel itch" - you know, that sense of urgency to get out of town immediately to a sun-drenched vacation consisting of laying out by a pool and sipping on piña coladas all day. So how can we quench our vacation thirst without spending all of our retirement savings?
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