Travel blog

Passport Rules to Know For a Faster Renewal

When traveling abroad for work or pleasure, you will need a valid U.S. passport. According to, the processing time for routine service takes about 4-6 weeks by mail or in person. That timeline may increase, however, based on the number of applications. Ensure you get a new passport in time for your next trip by following these rules for fast passport renewals without delay:

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Topics: Travel Tips, Senior Travel, International Travel

Do I Need a Converter or Adapter on My Vacation?

So you’ve booked your international vacation but you still have a few questions, like how you can keep your phone charged during your travels. “Do I need a travel adapter?” “Do I need a converter?” “What’s the difference between an adapter and a converter?” These are all important questions, and finding the answer you need can be a bit daunting. That’s why we’ve put together this simple guide to help you understand which adapters or voltage converters you will need to pack for your trip to Europe or anywhere outside of the United States. Read on to learn more!

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Topics: International Travel

How to Pack for Your European Vacation


Booking a European tour is exciting – especially escorted tours of Europe because you don’t have to worry about researching hotels or planning your daily activities. The one thing that can take some of the enthusiasm out of your upcoming trip is the stress of packing. While your packing list will vary slightly based on the weather, we’ve compiled a list of essential items that you will use during every season.

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Topics: Europe, Travel Tips, Packing Lists

¡Que Viva el Mariachi!: The Movement, The Meaning of Mexico’s Music

The booming sounds of mariachi music are uniquely and quintessentially Mexican. Played loud, fast, and with an abundance of powerful emotion, mariachi is an expression of the “joyful sorrow” that has long defined the spirit of Mexico. The legendary musical tradition is even part of the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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Topics: Planning a Vacation

7 Ways to Avoid Paying for Airline Baggage Fees

Finding affordable airfare these days can be a challenge, especially with many airlines charging additional fees for checked baggage. These fees can range from anywhere between $25 to $50 and are enough to leave the most excited travelers feeling blue since that money could go toward meals, excursions, and souvenirs while on vacation. If you are interested in keeping your travel costs down, here are seven ways to avoid paying these for airline baggage fees:

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Topics: Travel Tips, Senior Travel, Packing Lists, Checked Baggage, Checked Bag, Carry-On bag

St. Maarten and St. Martin Travel Tips

On 37 square miles of scenic land in the eastern Caribbean, you’ll find two nations at home on a single island. The island of Saint Martin is home to both Saint-Martin and Sint Maarten, two countries that sit side by side, separated only by friendly welcome signs and their allegiances during the World Cup. While visitors can travel back and forth across the island almost without realizing it, there are some significant cultural distinctions between its two parts that travelers should be aware of when comparing St.-Martin vs St. Maarten.

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6 Tips for Packing Your Carry-On More Efficiently

Travelers are typically allowed to bring one personal item and one carry-on bag onboard at no cost whether flying domestic or international. If you decide to forgo checked luggage altogether to save on baggage fees, or just want to make the most of your carry-on, there are some great ways to get everything you need on the plane with you! While you should be prepared for some trial and error, here are six tips for how to pack efficiently when using a carry-on:

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Topics: Planning a Vacation, Travel Tips, Senior Travel, Packing Lists

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