Travel blog

The History of Hearst Castle

Hollywood royalty and the political elite of the 1920s and 1930s would arrive at Hearst Castle via the estate’s airstrip, or aboard the private Hearst-owned railcar that regularly made the journey from Los Angeles to the sprawling oceanside estate in San Simeon, California. From Clark Gable to Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill to Charlie Chaplin, the politicians, movie stars, titans of industry, and other privileged guests of William Randolph Hearst were in awe of the jaw-dropping grandeur of the 90,000-square foot estate informally called “the ranch.”

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Topics: Americas, Travel Tips, Senior Travel

Kiwi Phrases Every Traveler to New Zealand Should Know

New Zealanders—Kiwis for those in the know—are famous for speaking in their own unique dialect. Not convinced? Just listen to any local conversation. Fast and sometimes quite thickly accented, the regional speech is packed with local slang that often requires a translator. To get you started, here are a few phrases used in New Zealand. And always remember, should your conversation stall or you’re unsure what to talk about, rugby is always a safe place to start!

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Topics: Travel Tips, Senior Travel, Australia, New Zealand

10 Items You Should Never Pack in Your Checked Luggage

When packing your luggage for vacation, you’ll want to include appropriate attire and items that will make your travels comfortable. Packing the wrong things in your checked bag has the potential to turn a relaxing trip into a stressful experience. Once your suitcases are checked at the airport, you have minimal control over situations where it may get lost, broken, or roughed up by baggage handlers. However, you can prepare for these scenarios by making sure you never pack these 10 items into your checked luggage:

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Topics: Travel Tips, Senior Travel, Airlines

The Best Places to Travel With Your Mom

We have a lot to thank our mothers for. They’re the ones who carried us, who nurtured us, who showed us right from wrong, how to get over heartbreak, and the key to choosing the best watermelon (does it sound hollow when you tap it?). Our mothers are some of the most precious women in our lives, and Mother’s Day is the perfect day to celebrate them.

This year, why not rethink your Mother’s Day gift? Cooking classes and flowers are nice, but if you want to really treat your mom, don’t overlook the power of a well-planned experience. We have a list of options your mom is sure to love. These are the best places to travel with your mom—whether she wants to take a Bucket List European vacation, or to finally stand at the rim of the Grand Canyon, we have something for every style of traveler.

Not sure where to start? We can help you narrow down the kinds of trips your mom would like by determining her travel style. Here are eight of the most common styles we’ve seen, and the best affordable tours for each type!

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Topics: Asia, Americas, Planning a Vacation, Europe, Rose Parade, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Balloon Fiesta, History, New Zealand, International Travel

How to Pack for Your Alaskan Vacation

Alaskan vacation packages are a great way to explore all that our 49th state has to offer. Many guided options even allow you to take a combined land and cruise tour so you can get the full tourist experience. When participating in Alaskan tours, you will need to prepare for all types of weather because it is common to have sunny skies, rain, and wind all within the course of one day, regardless of the season. Your packing list for an Alaskan cruise will require layers so you can put them on or take them off to match the changing weather. Here is a list of items to pack for your Alaskan tour:

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Topics: Alaska, Travel Tips, Senior Travel

Top 7 Sights to See at Flume Gorge

Hidden deep in the White Mountains of New Hampshire lies a granite ravine extending 800 feet with walls soaring up to 90 feet high, cutting a deep fissure through the wooded landscape. First discovered in 1808 by 93-year-old “Aunt” Jess Guernsey on a fishing trip, it is considered to be one of America’s most beautiful State Parks.

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Topics: Americas, New England/Canada

What to Do if You Get Sick on Vacation

Getting sick while abroad is unpleasant and can be very frightening. After all, you are way from the comforts of home, unfamiliar with the local health-care system, and may face a communication barrier if English is not widely spoken. However, there are things you can do before leaving home, and while abroad to ease the stress if you get sick on vacation.

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Topics: Travel Tips, Senior Travel

The Colorful Background of Murano Glass

Not far offshore from Venice is the island of Murano, Italy, home of some of history’s most famous and innovative glassmaking. Authentic Murano glass can be found in shops all over Venice. Murano glass is recognizable by its stunning quality, intricate craftsmanship, innovative designs, and unexpected bursts of color. Look for evidence of gold or silver, and for imperfect details. True Murano glass is hand-blown, so a few bubbles and asymmetry are just the proof to look out for!

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Topics: Europe, Italy, Senior Travel, International Travel

Greek Customs: 10 Dos and Don’ts for Visiting Greece

Whether it’s your first visit to Greece or a return trip, knowing the customs and practices of the locals is always a good idea. Not only will you it help you make friends along the way, it will also allow you to avoid unwittingly committing embarrassing cultural faux pas. Here are some do’s and don’ts to know before traveling to Greece:

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Topics: Greece, Travel Tips

Getting to Know Cuban Culture

For a small country, Cuba has a lot of soul. Cuba's location at the crossroads of the Caribbean and the United States made it a key trade hub for centuries, blending together Spanish, African, French, Amerindian Taino, and English walks of life to create a distinct culture. If you want to learn more about modern Cuban life, Cuban cuisine, local art, music and dance, the most popular sport in Cuba, politics and economics, the culture of Cuba, or just what makes an authentic cup of Cuban coffee so special, read on!

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Topics: Cuba, Planning a Vacation, Caribbean, Food and Dining