Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Cross Country Trip: OK To Drive Instead Of Fly? PDF Print E-mail

Q: My spouse and I are considering driving round trip from San Francisco to visit relatives in Cleveland. If we fly, with parking, security and plane changes, it would take at least 14 hours each way, and cost for two is $3,000 or more round trip.

If we drive straight through, our cost for gas and food will be about $500 total. Taking turns at the wheel, we hope to make the drive in about 20 hours each way. When much younger, we did cross-country driving several times, but are now in our late 60s. Is it a good idea at our age?  MRMcL, San Francisco CA

I Love Travel, But Just Can’t Afford It Anymore PDF Print E-mail

Q: I’m 74 and long-retired Navy E9. In my active duty career, I experienced just about every world location. I still enjoy travel, but it keeps getting more expensive.

I don’t need luxury, but are there any ways I can get to France, England, Africa, Italy, Japan or China on the cheap? Or totally free? BKL, Birmingham AL

A: The internet is full of bargain travel opportunities, many inexpensive and/or free. Quick general examples: volunteer to teach, rebuild in a storm-damaged area, host at a hostel, home share and guide a tour. Put together a resumé of your education, as well as Navy and other experiences. Make yourself a prime candidate for one or more of those great deals out there. Do some serious internet research, and soon you’ll be packing for that next great travel adventure.

Senior Retirement Choice: Viva Mexico or Not? PDF Print E-mail

Q: I keep hearing talk about retiring to Mexico. Considering how expensive healthcare, housing and everything else is in the US, and rising all the time, it sounds like a good idea. Especially for those of us with fixed incomes. We're barely making it from month to month on my pension and our Social Security checks.

We travel to Mexico frequently, sometimes on cruises to the beautiful Lower Baja coastal cities, and have always enjoyed our trips. My spouse speaks and writes Spanish, so we wouldn’t have language problems. What’s your take on it? PJMcW, Boston MA

A: Best idea is to pick a city or town in Mexico, and rent an apartment or condo for a month or so. Get familiar with the land, people, culture, living costs, medical facilities, personal safety issues, sanitation and other concerns. Talk to other North Americans who’ve lived there awhile and hear their highs and lows about it.

Mexico has long been a favorite destination for senior vacationers. On both the East and West coasts, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Just recently we took a tour of a mostly U.S. and Canadian retirement community on the beach about 50 miles south of Tijuana.

Shy Senior’s Shipboard Romance: Should I Contact Him? PDF Print E-mail

Q: I know travel4seniors.com offers all kinds of travel solutions, so maybe you can suggest a personal one for me. I’m divorced, in my late 50s. When we met on a singles cruise, the guy said he was widowed. We hit it off very well. By the end of the week, we were in love. At least that’s what I thought.

When the cruise ship docked, we exchanged email addresses. Then he left for New York, and I went home to Baltimore. We made all kinds of promises to see each other again, but that’s the last I heard from him. I’m old-fashioned and believe he should be the first to make contact. What do you suggest? PBL, Baltimore MD

A: Hey, whadda ya think our site is, a lonely hearts column? OK, seriously, too often the old term shipboard romance means just that. It ends with the cruise, and the temporary lovers return to their lives, too often their wives and husbands.

Hidden Travel Costs: Have I Got a Deal For You! PDF Print E-mail

Q: Why do all airlines, cruises and hotels advertise just the basic price, such as bargain $99.99 per flight, and/or all-inclusive $199.99 a night at the Podunk Resort? With add-ons, the actual amount you pay is usually $50 higher or more. Bill K, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

A: You’re right, Bill, of course, but that’s the old snake-oil-salesman method to peddle today's products and services. Another example, you buy a car advertised as “$1,500 cash back with your purchase”. The receipt may show that amount as your savings, but actually it was already factored into the price.


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