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For Summer Travel Plans, Consider Going on the Cheap PDF Print E-mail

Because all travel-related businesses are hurting for customers these days, now is the first time in years when you can find real bargains for your upcoming summer ventures. And the process is super fast. No longer do you have to wade through piles of brochures, study the Sunday newspaper travel sections and sit through lectures at your friendly neighborhood travel agency.

Now, when clicking your computer, within seconds you can find hundreds of bargains as summer competition heats up for your travel dollar. A good way to start is to check out the online agencies, including Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Sherman and many others, all now eager to sign you on as a customer. They offer new and newer deals all the time, often posting last-minute bargains that just beg to be snapped up by savvy senior travelers.

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Senior Travel Laugh: Flight from ORD to LAX Brings Miraculous Cure PDF Print E-mail

Because it has no reserved seating, Southwest Airlines allows people in wheelchairs to board first. On a recent SW flight out of Chicago, we observed a fragile-looking senior gentleman being wheeled to the aircraft entrance, where an attendant helped him slowly to a seat. When the flight landed in Los Angeles, the man walked briskly off the plane and into the terminal. When he saw the angry stares from other passengers, he stopped, lifted his arms heavenward and exclaimed, “Thank the Lord! It’s a miracle! Look what California air does for my arthritis!”

Warning: Don’t try the same scam next time you fly SW. The airline requires a written note on a doctor’s prescription form explaining your physical limitations, and requests early boarding. SW is under no obligation, but usually will accept it.

Los Angeles skyline

 
Do the Airline Bump, and Grind Out Free Flights and/or Cash PDF Print E-mail

Q: We’re often seated aboard a flight, and just before take-off, an attendant announces that the flight has been overbooked and asks for passengers to volunteer to get a later flight. The promise is a reward of a free flight, and sometimes another $100. We’ve never volunteered, fearing Murphy’s Law will kick in and the later flight will somehow be delayed or cancelled. What’s your opinion about volunteer “bumping”?

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Get Yourself a Repo At Sea For Summer Cruise Bargains PDF Print E-mail

In the cruise industry, repo doesn’t mean that big hairy TV guy and his even bigger blonde wife will come storming up to your house and take away your car. It stands for repositioning, an annual practice that can mean real bargains for savvy senior travelers.

Some of our favorite summer trips have been on repositioning cruises. As retirees with no time limits, we’ve often waited until late summer to book our trips. Cruise lines have a system where, before the onset of winter and stormy seas, they must get many of their ships away from cold climates, such as Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Alaska and Russia. They move them to tropical and other warm climates for the winter cruising season.

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Five Reasons to Learn the Language When Traveling Abroad PDF Print E-mail

1. To some clueless tourists, common sense may not be a good enough reason to learn the language when traveling in a foreign country. However, the reason is simple. If you expect courteous treatment, knowing the basics of a language proves you’re reaching out to show consideration. It will help very much when meeting local people, shopkeepers, hotel employees, cabbies and everyone else you encounter.

Even the most simple good mornings and a few other language pleasantries can make a great difference in attitudes of the local people toward foreign visitors. Often, knowledge of the language means savings in prices of goods and services.

2. The old phrase describing some foreign cities as “tourist traps” was probably coined by arrogant Engish-only-speaking visitors who dressed and acted in such outlandish manners that prices immediately jumped everywhere they made their fussy presence felt.

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