San Francisco CA: The Presidio Museum Welcomes Visitors

For 200 years, this classic U.S. Army base facing the Pacific was headquarters for training and administration through America’s times of war and peace. From the first cavalry actions in the 1790s to the final deployment in 1990 for the Gulf War, the Presidio was one of America’s oldest fortresses.

The recent opening of the El Presidio de San Francisco Museum in the former officers’ Club welcomes visitors to view hundreds of historic military and archeological artifacts that date back two centuries and more. They include cannons, sabers, firearms, ammunition, uniforms and much more. www.presidio.gov

For those who plan to stay overnight, there’s a boutique hotel called the Inn at the Presidio, located at the former Pershing Hall Bachelor Officers Quarters. Room rates are from $250. The address: 42 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco, California 94129, www.inatthepresidio.com

Tip: How to assure your safety on a cruise PDF Print E-mail

Try rock climb aboard, but only if physically fit

Because of constant tight security, cruise ships are much safer than any other vacation venue, including hotels, amusement parks, beaches and mountain resorts. Everyone aboard, both crew and passengers, is registered and accounted for. There are no casual strangers aboard, as you’d find anywhere else on your travels.

However, despite all the protections, crimes and accidents do occur on cruise ships. Some tips from cruise experts and frequent sailors may help you have a safe trip on your next sailing.

Royal Palace Guards, London, England PDF Print E-mail

British soldiers

Tips: Cruise dinner conversation starters PDF Print E-mail

Formal diners

Let’s create the scenario. You’re on a cruise by yourself or with a travel pal, both hoping to meet someone new and interesting. Tonight you’re all spiffed up and looking your absolute best for the main dress-up dinner, so this may be your opportunity.

You’re assigned to a table of ten, and you’re in luck. The person sitting next to you is very good-looking, about your age, so you cleverly come up with sparkling questions, all great conversation starters.

1. Is this your first cruise? This can get some reaction, especially if that person is actually on a first cruise. You can now reveal all of your great knowledge of cruising. Even if this is your first cruise, too, you’ve studied up so you can be an authority on features of the ship, entertainment schedule, spa, pool, best places for food and booze, and which shore excursion is the very best.

2. What’s your hometown? Whatever town your soon-to-be-friend names, you have something pleasant to say about it. For example: Oh, so you’re from Lancaster, Pa. I’ve been there many times. Love the pretzels and family-style restaurants. New York City? I go there every year for the Rockettes show at Radio City. If the answer is Newark or Cleveland, you’ll have to think hard, but clever you will come up with something nice to say about any hometown.

Sleep under a Red Roof for a copper penny! PDF Print E-mail

Lincoln penny

Hey, traveler, if you’re planning to stay at a Red Roof Inn between now and April 15, you may get lucky and pay just a penny for your room! Just book a stay at a participating Red Roof Inn at redroof.com website, and you’re eligible to be chosen to just pay one Abe Lincoln coin for your night. The deal is in effect until all the penny rooms are sold out, so if a Red Roof Inn is in your plans until April 15, go for it now!

Travel industry hurting, so prices should drop PDF Print E-mail

Las Vegas skyline with caption

Vegas may be in the most financial pain

The hotel industry is in what one executive calls a “survival mode”. A major hotel in Las Vegas shuts down. Average nightly hotel occupancy throughout the U.S. this year is close to 70%, and 50% or less in Vegas. This could be the worst hotel occupancy year since the Great Depression.

What can we frequent travelers do about it? Many of us are seniors, and the economy hasn’t affected our travel plans too much. If pension and Social Security checks keep coming in, we’ll still do our annual cruise, summer week at a beachside resort and occasional visit to Sin City.

Corporate travelers still must meet sales needs of their companies and attend conventions and seminars. However, with the growth of video conferencing and other instant electronic communications, for sales reps to be on the road and annually in Vegas has been greatly reduced in recent years. Anyhow, business travel budgets are tight and getting tighter all the time.

What can seasoned travelers do about it? First, consider how you can help the travel industry by not cutting back on your schedules. If it means staying at cheaper hotels and flying coach, do it. You’ll know you’re supporting an important business sector of the American economy. Further, if you know the hotel, resort or cruise where you’re booking is only half-filled, and a price is quoted, say our magic words: I know you can do better than that.


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