Senior Travel Resources: Fodor’s Travel Tips

Nov 4th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

One of the great things about the Internet is the availablity of travel tips for senior citizens who have a tour booked.  Here are some I find really helpful:

  • London Touring: Many of London’s best cultural attractions charge no admission, and the number of free museums is staggering. The British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, Natural History Museum, and the Science Museum are a few from the top of the list (though there may be a fee for special exhibitions). You can dip in and out of these and then relax with the locals for free in Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, or others. Do take one of the popular double deck bus tours of the city. I alway try to take the Grey Line Tour in any major city I visit. The Official City Guide for London is pretty complete. If you are a first timer, check out this site.
  • Belgium: Eat French Fries!  These are a Belgian invention. Stands (friterie in French or frituur in Flemish) serve them in large cones, with a selection of condiments that go far beyond banal ketchup. Another favorite snack is the famous Belgian waffle (gaufres in French, waffles in Flemish), which you can buy at stands and in some city bakeries. Waffles are considered an afternoon snack here, though. Of course, in Belgium and France they do not eat much catsup. They prefer mustard with their “pommes frites”.

  • Caribbean: Know which side of the island you want.  Decide whether you want a hotel on the leeward side of an island (with calm water, good for snorkeling and swimming) or the windward (with waves, good for surfing, not good for swimming). So welcome to the Caribbean Sea and hundreds of tropical Caribbean Islands some call paradise.
  • Japan: Greet with a bow.  Japanese of all ages and backgrounds bow in greeting each other (even on the telephone!), and foreign visitors who at least bob the head will get a smile of recognition. However, Japanese know all about handshaking now, and the visitor’s head may crash with an out-stretched hand. In business, exchanging name cards is essential. I know this from experience as I ran out of cards and came home with a collection of over business 50 cards. Just about everyone you meet who is in any form of business or education will offer you a card. If you choose to take business cards along, have the card all in Japanese on the backside. This site has a listing of correct Japanese etiquette. Another one of the “know before you go” essentials. I had no idea how to take a bath in a japanese home. You DO NOT soap up in the tub. You do this “before” you even get into the tub. Most Japanese homes have a hot tub and use it often. Here is how you do it properly.
  • Morroco: Know market prices when shopping.  You must negotiate when purchasing Moroccan specialties. There’s no rule for the percentage by which you should aim to reduce the price, because some vendors start with a decent price and others start by inflating the price ten- or twenty-fold. Any kind of intermediary, like a guide, will inflate the price. Shopping in Morocco is a unique experience. No visit to Morocco would be complete without visiting a medina in one of the cities like Fez or Marrakech. This site provides a shipping guide. For instance: For your first trip to the medina, bring a minimum of money (always carefully concealed). Just window shop, or buy some small items. Remember if you ask for a price you should be prepared to buy it! Isn’t that just something!
  • New Zealand: Do pay attention to the “strong sun”.  Cover up with a long-sleeve shirt, a hat, and long pants or a beach wrap, because the primary health hazard is sunburn or sunstroke, not to mention that little matter of that giant ozone hole. Likewise, avoid dehydration. The wisest approach when dressing is to wear layered outfits. Frequently, particularly at the change of seasons, weather can turn suddenly. Here is a site dedicated to “catching some sun” in NZ.
    I could not leave you with out at least a couple more great Fodor links to investigate… so how about some Practical Travel Tips and Last Minute Travel.       jeb


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