Essential Tips for Senior TravelApr 26th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel
Travel is full of pitfalls. One wrong step and your vacation could be ruined by a seedy hotel room, an overpriced restaurant, a wasted afternoon at a tourist-trap attraction or an overnight flight crammed in the middle seat. So, guarantee a smooth trip by planning thoroughly. Here’s how Time Magazine suggests that seniors make all the right moves called 50 Essential Travel Tips. This may keep you busy reading for some time and here you will find many helpful suggestions for planning, booking, flying, lodging and on the ground. The detail provided is on my list of essential reading.
User-review sites on the Internet have changed the way many people plan their travel, giving us an enormously useful tool for evaluating hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and the like.
- TripAdvisor.com is the big kahuna, with more than 20 million reviews, mostly of hotels — but also less traditional lodging like B&Bs, villas and private homes — as well as restaurants and attractions.
- TravelPost.com is another, owned by Kayak.comand recently relaunched; like its airfare-aggregating parent, TravelPost.com collects reviews from various websites, such as Citysearch.com, Yahoo! Travel and IgoUgo.com.
- Check out Yelp.com for locals’ takes on restaurants, shops and other businesses, or
- OpenTable.com, which guarantees that reviewers have actually eaten at the restaurants they rate (ps. I use this one myself).
User reviews are helpful but not foolproof, so keep in mind the following tips:
- Read between the lines, asking yourself if the writer shares your mind-set, or if a negative review is the result of a persnickety traveler or a singular bad experience. As a rule of thumb, the more people have contributed, the more valuable overall ratings become.
- Always see how recent the post was. Establishments are quick to change, move or close.
- Always look at photos posted by users; you may find them more telling than words could ever hope to be.
Thirty two of the world’s most popular destinations are highlighted at http://www.time.com/time/travel. I find this site very helpful as it provides travelers with a list of 10 Things to Do in 24 Hours in each city listed. Included also is a City Guide called “An insider’s guide to the essential city — where to sleep, eat and play” in N. America, Middle East, Europe, Australia, Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Next time you hit the road, stay connected, be mobile and look drop-dead cool with some of the 25 world’s best tech gadgets at The Best Travel Gadgets of 2009. Hats off to Time Magazine. jeb