When it comes to travel, writer Janey Womeldorf knows her way around. She has worked as a tour guide in her native Bath, England, and as a travel agent in Germany. Now, as an Orlando, Fla., transplant, she's the in-house theme-park planner for her extended family. Over the last decade Womeldorf has coordinated family trips that include toddlers and adult children as well as grandparents.
Summer travel often means staying in a hotel or motel room, or in a succession of hotels if you’re on a tour. It can be a great luxury, but especially if you’re moving from one place to another every few days, it can get confusing. I’m sure every one of us has left something in a hotel room: a converter plugged into the wall, your toothbrush, clothes hanging in a closet.
When summer finally rolls around and you have some extra daylight on your hands, it’s a good time to escape to somewhere wet. It could be to a beach, lake, river or even a neighborhood pool. But my advice is to skip all the places everyone goes and try something new.
I’m always surprised when I hear friends or colleagues say that their families rarely get together for reunions. That’s because between me and my husband, there are at least a couple to choose from every year. So we usually pick one and set aside some vacation time for it.
I love helping to spread the news about our AARP travel surveys, which explore people 45-plus and their vacation and travel habits. On more than one occasion, I find myself on the wrong side of the research, and I try to adjust. I had one of those self-adjustments this month around multigenerational travel. The most recent survey found that almost half of the folks surveyed planned to take a multigenerational trip in the next 12 months. I wasn’t in that category, so I decided to change that.
Two back-to-back international trips this year — to Germany and South Africa — gave me a good reason to brush up on my world-traveler skills. Here are the main things I think about when I'm planning a trip abroad.
I love train travel. If I can choose between a plane and a train, I'll choose a train whenever I can. It makes the transition from one place to another a gradual one, with plenty of time to watch the world go by (to say nothing of the deep nap the train puts me in). And for some trips the travel time can be about the same, or close enough, once you factor in getting to the airport an hour and a half early and crawling through security. Plus, on a train there's no worry about fitting a bag in the overhead bin or struggling to hoist it up there.
Here we are rocking and rolling down the coast out of Seattle, not with a band, but aboard an Amtrak train that bumps, jumps, sways, jerks and hurtles all at the same time, knocking me around like a dog in a shipping crate thinking that at any moment I might go airborne.
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