Holiday Panhandling Pays Off Big For Pro Street Beggars PDF Print E-mail

Half a century ago, your travel4seniors.com editor lived in a Philly fourth-floor walk-up with three other college students. A first-floor tenant was a legless guy who begged daily at a department store entrance. He wore an Army uniform, but actually never served.

I once asked him how much money he earned by begging. He said at holidays it was up to $900 a day, and at other times only $500. Today’s value would be at least five times those amounts. After holiday seasons, he flew to spend winters in posh Miami Beach hotels.

During your holiday season travels and walks along busy city sidewalks in the U.S. and elsewhere, you’ll encounter beggars. Some will dress poor, while others sing, play music and/or wear gaudy costumes. As with my legless friend, many are total phonies. If you feel generous at holiday time, instead of giving to street beggars, the money will be more effectively helpful if you donate to legitimate organizations, including the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Pause In Your Busy Holiday Travels To Help The Homeless PDF Print E-mail

You’ll be hurrying to get to your destination to celebrate the season with family and friends. On the way, you’ll see them in airports, bus terminals, train stations, parks, on city sidewalks and camped along roadways.

They’re homeless and will continue to be ignored by most holiday celebrants during this festive season. Take a moment or two to offer a few dollars. Or before you go on your holiday journey, contribute to organizations that help the homeless, such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Your kindness will make your own holiday happier.

Winter Travel Crowds Bring Flu Dangers To Avoid PDF Print E-mail

Before you hit the road or sky, get a flu vaccine shot. With store and airport holiday crowds jammed together, your chances of mixing with sick people are highest of the year. Also take supplies of antibiotic medicines with you, as well as a kit with tissues, soap and other disposable heath products.

To avoid contamination, try to stay away from obviously ill coughers and sneezers. And always wash your hands before and after meals, as well as when using public restrooms. If you’re susceptible to catching colds or flu when in crowded travel situations, it’s a good idea to wear disposable medical face masks.

Treat All Travel-Related Unsolicited And Robo Calls As Scams PDF Print E-mail

When you pick up the phone, there’s a friendly voice, and it frequently begins with: How are you today? For your travel4seniors.com editor, the immediate reply is a loud curse and quick slam of the phone. That’s the safest way to protect yourself from being robbed.

However, if you cluelessly decide to listen, as millions of senior suckers do, the voice offers all kinds of goodies, often including that you’ve just won a free cruise. Of course, you should then realize the wise old saying: there’s no such thing as a free ocean ride.

The next step in the scam is requiring you to send in your credit card and other personal info. That’s when you’ve foolishly set yourself up for online robbery. Whenever you plan a voyage, always deal directly with the cruise line or a trusted travel agency.

New York NY: Times Square: Avoid Many December Dangers There PDF Print E-mail

During holiday season and the traditional New Year’s Eve ceremony, this city landmark is more popular for wandering tourists. However, before you put it on your itinerary during a Manhattan visit this month, consider some not so nice facts about it.

During the day, Times Square is full of money-grabbing con artists and phony costumed characters. As you walk by, they hound you for money, especially if you pause for a moment to watch their scam routines. Or worse, if you dare to point a camera or smartphone at any of them without handing out money.

At night, Times Square can be dangerous, especially for physically vulnerable seniors. While NYC police do their best to make the area safe, they can’t be everywhere. Pickpockets, phone swiping, soliciting and other street crimes abound, especially if you wander into dimly lit areas.  

As for Times Square on New Year’s Eve to watch the midnight ball drop, concerns for elderly visitors are intensified. Besides the usual petty crimes, tight crowding and actions of celebrants make it dangerous to physically challenged seniors. So, if you'll be in Times Square during the holiday season and/or during New Year’s Eve activities, watch your step, as well as wallet, pocketbook, smartphone and personal safety.


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