Save Money On Food While Traveling

Save Money on Food While Traveling

I found a great article on DailyFinance.com entitled 14 Proven Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling.  There are a good many strategies to save money on food while traveling.  You CAN eat like a king (or queen), without breaking the bank while traveling.  We’ll give you our favorite tips from the list noted above, and add in a few of our own.  Try these cost saving tips while traveling!

Top 10 Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling

  1. Choose an Apartment Instead of a Hotel (look for condo rentals, etc.)
  2. Look for Hotels With Refrigerators and Microwaves (love this idea)
  3. Stock Your Own Alcohol (buying drinks from the hotel bar can bust your budget)
  4. Eat Lunch in Restaurants, Instead of Dinner (it’s way cheaper, and you can make your own dinner if you’ve done #1 and #2 above)
  5. Picnic (even better than #4… shop local and find a great spot to sit down with your travel partner)
  6. Eat Local Foods (meaning talk to the locals and find out where they eat – great idea)
  7. Look for deals (have you done your homework on Groupon, or other deal sites?)
  8. Look up a home, condo or apartment on AirBnB (sometimes you can stay in a nice home for the price of a hotel room)
  9. If you’re over 50+, ask for Senior Restaurant Discounts (if you don’t ask you’ll never know!)
  10. Look for the Food Carts (here in Portland, Oregon we love our food carts, these can serve great local foods at very reasonable prices)

More Money Saving Travel Hacks

Do you have other tips to share with our readers?  We’d love to hear your comments below!

Finding The Best Cruise Deals

best cruise dealsEver wonder how to find the best cruise deals?  There are a lot of great resources out there, and we picked from some of our favorites to bring you a list of tips. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) between 2003 and 2013, demand for cruising worldwide increased 77 percent, from 12 million to 21.3 million passengers. The CLIA says that “Florida remains the center of cruising in the United States, with its five cruise ports accounting for nearly 62 percent of all U.S. embarkations.”  Following Florida, are California, Texas, and New York (each had more than 600,000 embarkations).

Best Cruise Deals (tips from the pro’s)

NBC News.com says:

  • Book during the January-through-March “wave period”.  This is “traditionally the cruise industry’s busiest booking period. During this time, cruise lines make about 35 percent of their annual sales”.
  • Call the cruise line directly as a first step (get a quote and ask if there are any special deals out there)
  • Check the cruise booking websites (like cruise.com, icruise.com, 1-800-cruises.com and cruise411.com).
  • Call a travel agent.
  • Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate.

One thing to know before you meet with a local travel agent is that many charge consulting fees for their time with you. Like many independent travel agents, luxury cruise specialist Lucy Hirleman, president of Berkshire Travel in Newfoundland, N.J., charges new clients a $50 nonrefundable trip deposit fee. –NBC News.com

Cruise Critic.com says:

  • Look for last minute cruising deals.  60-90 days to departure can be a treasure trove of last minute travel deals
  • Be on the lookout for off-peak travel times (holidays are likely to have premium prices attached to them)
  • Be flexible
  • Take the car.  Taking the car means you won’t be paying for last minute airfares, and that can save you money too!
  • Access Military, Senior or Residency Rates. A number of cruise lines have special deals for seniors, military personnel and teachers.

Access Military, Senior or Residency Rates. A number of lines have special programs for seniors, military personnel and even teachers. Norwegian Cruise Line provides discounts to U.S. and Canadian military vets on select sailings. And for AARP members, it offers a 5 percent discount on any cruise booked at least nine months in advance. Holland America even goes so far as to offer discounts on select sailings to teachers, EMTs, firefighters, police officers and active military. Erik Elvejord, Holland America’s director of public relations, told us that, while fares vary, they’ve typically been $50 to $100 below going rates. — Cruise Critic.com

Clark Howard.com says:

  • Be flexible with your schedule.  When you’re looking for cruise deals, make sure you look at the cost-by-week to take advantage of the best deals.
  • If you’re buying your first cruise, don’t buy online.  You should have someone helping you like a travel agent, or a live cruise specialist. They’ll ask you about your interests and recommend cruises that will fit your lifestyle.
  • Clark likes the cruise website VacationsToGo.com.  They offer a number of cruise deals to be had, and highlight deals on their site.  They also acknowledge discounts for seniors and others!

The number one rule right now about cruising is be flexible with your schedule. The week you go will control how much of your wallet you leave behind on the ship. The same exact cabin could cost you as little as a third one week what it might cost you the very next week. — Clark Howard.com

Photo credit: Robert Pittman/Flickr

There’s lots of saving to be had if you’re patient, and you do your research! Have any other tips on getting the best cruise deals? Let us know in the comments below!

Retirement Living In Mexico

retirement living in MexicoSource: Why Is Mexico Such A Popular Retirement Destination? | Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher

Retirement Living in Mexico

I thought you’d appreciate a very interesting article appearing on HuffPost.com today.  The post takes a look at why Mexico is such a popular retirement destination for US and Canadian citizens.  Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher from InternationalLiving.com report on why Mexico is so enticing for folks that are planning their retirement.

Today, more U.S. and Canadian expats live in Mexico than anyplace else in the world — as many as a million of them, it’s said. There are many reasons for that, including the vibrant culture, an affordable cost of living and excellent healthcare. –Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher

A few of the most popular Mexican cities include Puerto Peñasco, Baja Norte, and Baja Sur.  Mexico offers a great climate, friendly communities, beaches, and plenty of food options for snow birds or full-time retirees.  After spending a week down in Cabo last year, we’re looking forward to returning and doing some more exploring!

If you’re looking for an overseas retirement destination that’s conveniently close to home, and that offers a high quality of life, a rich culture, and a relaxed atmosphere … put Mexico on your list.  –Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher from InternationalLiving.com

If you’ve been exploring retirement destinations south of the border, give us the scoop in the comments section below!

Best Places To Retire 2015

Best places to retireIn January International Living published their list of best places to retire for 2015.  It wasn’t just their personal favorite places, the “best places to retire list” was based on a set of metrics that looked at the housing market, cost of living, entertainment, healthcare and climate.  They also factored in some other metrics, but these seemed like the biggies to us.

The list is very interesting because what it allows you to do is focus on what means the most to you.  For example if climate was important to you, you might want to take a good look at Ecuador, Colombia or Mexico.  If having access to excellent healthcare was important to you, you’d want to consider Malaysia or Costa Rica.  And if it was cost of living that you were most honed in on, well Nicaragua and Vietnam are good bets.

Retire in Ecuador

Best places to retireRight now International Living says Ecuador is the worlds #1 retirement haven.  World class medical facilities, great weather and low cost of living make it highly desirable.

A doctor’s visit will set you back around $10, while a main course in a restaurant can be had for as little as $2.50. The bus trip from Cotacachi to Otavalo will cost you 25 cents. For big-ticket items like real estate, you can get a lot more for your dollar here than in the U.S. A couple can live well here on $1,400 a month, including rent. – IL Ecuador Highlands Correspondent Wendy DeChambeau

Retire in Colombia

Best places to retireAnother great place to consider retiring is in Colombia. Sure we’ve all heard stories of drug cartels and the like, but Colombia boasts one of the finest healthcare systems in the region.

You can get health-care treatment comparable to that in the U.S. in any large or mid-sized city,” says Michael. “In a 2014 survey, 18 Colombian medical institutions ranked among the top 45 in Latin America. According to the World Health Organization, Colombia actually has better health care than the United States or Canada. – IL Colombia Correspondent Michael Evans

If you’re considering retiring abroad, or have tips for our readers – Please give us a shout in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!  Extra: List of Travel Discounts for Seniors

Must Have List For Cruise

List for CruiseNorwegian Cruise Lines posed a great question on their Facebook Page today. They asked; “What’s on your must-have cruise packing list?” Some of the answers are very funny, and some are very practical! Since many of you may be planning cruises this year or looking for other travel deals, we thought we’d post our favorites from that Norwegian Cruise Lines must-have list for cruise. These items (not necessarily in this order) are important to remember when you take to the high seas!  Are you planning a cruise this year?

  • Passport
  • Sun Glasses
  • Reading Glasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Flip Flops (sandals)
  • Extension Cord/Power Strip (adapter and/or 3 plug outlet)
  • Swim Suit
    • A “Cover Up”
  • Cash
  • Book Bag
  • Baseball Hat (sun hat)
  • Cell Phone
  • iPad or Kindle
    • iPad or Kindle Charger
  • Cross Body Purse (or backpack)
  • 2 Dressy Outfits (formal dinners or excursions)
    • Dressy Shoes
  • Running or Athletic Shoes
  • Work Out Gear
  • Binoculars
  • Hair Clip (for the curtains if you want to take a nap during the day)
  • Anti-Nasea Meds (dramamine?)
  • A Good Book (books)
  • A Camera (could be your phone)
  • Your Prescription Medicine(s)
  • Coffee Creamer (a lot of folks mentioned this – there’s no creamer aboard?)

So that’s the list so far.  What did we forget?  Help our readers make their first cruise a good one by sharing your cruise experiences with the group.  What’s on your must-have-list-for-cruise?  Tell us in your comments below!

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Best Cruises To Consider In 2015

Best Cruises to take in 2015Thinking about taking a cruise this year?  Ya, we are too!  If you’re interested in the best cruises to consider in 2015, you might first start with the top cruise ships.  We found a handy website that just published a top 10 list of the best cruise ships to consider this year.  Cruise Critic boasts that it’s the leading cruise review website in the world.  They also hosts the largest cruise “community” of it’s kind.  Cruise Critic is easy to navigate, and there is a lot of great information to glean from the consumer ratings to cruise news you can use.

What I most like about cruise critic is that there is a robust community contributing meaningful content to the site.  For example, take a look at the below screenshot to see the user contributions for the cruise ship “Disney Dream“.

Best Cruises to take in 2015

With 398 reviews of the Disney Dream Cruise Liner, you can do some interesting trending analysis to see if this cruise is for you.  This looks like a great ship, and sure enough the Disney Dream tops their list of best cruises to take in 2015 (for big ships).

Cruise Critic has ratings for all of the best cruises you can take this year.  They even look at the size of the ship for those folks that might want a smaller cruise ship to consider this year.  For those of you that love the big cruise liners, here is Cruise Critics’ top 10 (Big Ship) best cruises for 2015:

Cruise Critics Best Cruise Ships for 2015

  1. Disney Dream
  2. Disney Fantasy
  3. Nieuw Amsterdam
  4. Celebrity Equinox
  5. Celebrity Reflection
  6. Celebrity Eclipse
  7. Allure of the Seas
  8. Carnival Liberty
  9. Jewel of the Seas
  10. Carnival Valor

Do you enjoy cruising?  What ships have been your favorites over the years.  Do you stick with one cruise liner, or mix it up a bit?  Fill us in using the comments section below.  We’d love to hear from you!

Tips For Those Considering Retiring Overseas

Retiring Overseas - Expert Tips

Ever thought about retiring overseas? If you answered yes, you need to read this great article by Kathleen Peddicord (of Live and Invest Overseas fame). In Kathleen’s HuffPost write-up, David and Cathy Thompkins tell their story of how a rock-solid western US couple moved from Northern Idaho to Cayo, Belize just a year ago.

Retiring Abroad

Retire Overseas

If you’re going to consider retirement overseas, you should probably make a few test runs first.  Spend some extended-time in the locations you’re considering.  This is a good rule-of-thumb even if you’re considering a domestic move right here in the good ole USA.  Just a few of the big challenges that David and Cathy faced included; What to do with all their stuff back home, where to find food, and how to build new relationships.

As you can imagine, the people in Belize are great – and things seem to be working out swimmingly (pun intended) for the Tompkins’.  If you’re looking to retire in Belize, or anywhere else for that matter – Do your homework. Click here for a direct link to the article or find it on our Facebook page where you’ll find all kinds of great boomer/senior related resources.

Making The Best Of A Delayed Flight

A delayed flight with the Port City SoundYou know the drill… You hop on your flight and get buckled in when the captain comes on the intercom with this announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen we’ve been placed on a weather hold because of storms rolling across the greater Chicago area.  The tower has asked us to hang tight here in the gate area while this weather moves through.  Current estimates put our hold at around 30 minutes or so.”

Naturally, a delayed flight is anxiety inducing and uncomfortable for all.  This is usually the case, but on a recent US Airways flight to New Orleans a flight delay got you a free ticket to hear the Port City Sound, an award winning barbershop quartet!  Kari Mann a flight attendant for US Airways captured the moment and the smiles that went with it.  Hats off to these guys for making this a flight to remember.  They’re incredibly talented and get 2 thumbs up from The Senior List!  Watch the video below.

Senior Discounts On Travel 2015

We love digging into the world of senior discounts.  After being interviewed by several prominent news organizations recently, we’ve come to the realization that there’s a lot of interest in discounts for boomers and seniors these days.  Because so many of you have asked for additional updates to our big list of senior discounts, we thought we’d get a jump start on updating this year’s list of senior travel discounts.  Keep in mind that senior discounts can change from time to time, so we rely on our Senior List community members to let us know about updates, additions or changes as required.

If you haven’t read our list of senior discounts for dining out you’ll want to get your hands on that (and share it with friends). We’ve also produced a list of senior discounts on prescriptions, and where to turn if you need government help for prescriptions (there are a number of programs available to people in need).

So without further delay, here is our 2015 list of Senior Travel Discounts!

List of Senior Travel Discounts

Senior Discounts on Airfare

senior discounts on airlines

photo credit:wikipedia

American Airlines: Various discounts for 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: (Merged with United Airlines)
Southwest Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)

Senior Discounts on Rental Cars

Senior Discounts for Rental Cars

photo credit:flickr/gillfoto

Alamo Car Rental: Up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: Up to 25% off for AARP members
Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
Hertz: Up to 25% off for AARP members
National Rent-A-Car: Up to 30% off for AARP members

About Us: The Senior ListSenior List Traveler Tip: Many of the discount warehouse clubs and other organizations offer discount codes for rental cars.  Costco, BJ’s, AARP, USAA and AAA all offer discount coupons for rental cars. (*Note: You’ll need to be a member to access car rental deals through these clubs.)

Senior Discounts on Hotels

senior discounts on hotels
Photo credit:flickr/Elliott Brown

Best Western: 10% or more for AARP or senior guests (55+)
Candlewood Suites:  Discounts vary (62+)
Crown Plaza:  Discounts vary (62+)
Days Inn:  Discounts vary (60+) (up to 20% with AARP card)
Holiday Inn:  Discounts vary (62+)
Howard Johnson Hotels:  Discounts off best available rate (60+)
Hyatt:  Up to 50% off (62+)
Knights Inn:  Up to 10% off (60+)
La Quinta Inns:  Discounts vary (65+)
Marriott:  15% off (62+)
Motel 6:  10% off (60+)
Super 8:  Seniors save 10% off (up to 20% with AARP card)
Travelodge:  Discounts vary (60+)
Wyndham Hotels:  Up to 20% with AARP card

Other Travel Deals For Seniors

There are plenty more travel deals to be had.  If you are traveling by bus, you should know that Greyhound, Peter Pan and Trailways all offer senior discounts (62+) for Bus travel.  If you’re traveling by train, Amtrak (and VIA Rail Canada) each offer senior discounts.  You can count on a 10% discount from Amtrak if your 60+ and a 15% discount if you’re 62 or older!  Another great source of senior discounts is available by joining AARP.  They have a great page dedicated to exclusive senior travel discounts for AARP members.

We find that senior discounts aren’t often advertised.  If they are, you can usually find them in the fine print.  If you frequent a business of any type, ask if they offer any senior discounts.  You have nothing to loose!  If they don’t, kindly as them to consider offering a discount in the future. 

As always, if you have any travel discount tips, or any updates to the senior discounts noted above, please let us know in the comments below!

Movie Review: Land Ho!

Independent Film Land Ho!I’m jaded when it comes to movies.  Throughout an entire show, I’m waiting for something to go wrong, or a twist in the plot I never saw coming.  A movie can be rolling right along with a feel-good story line, everything is hunky-dory and then- BAM!  Someone cheats, dies suddenly or the aliens descend to take over the planet.  So, I don’t watch many movies, except for the 8-10 year old boy genre that my kids like.

So, I take great pleasure in sharing the movie review for “Land Ho!”, directed by Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens.  It is one of the best “grown-up” movies I have seen in quite a while.  Set in picturesque Iceland, former 60 year old brothers-in-law Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) and Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) set off on a journey to explore new frontiers and reconnect to their youth (and each other).  Mitch is a loud and unabashedly female-approving older man.  Colin is a reserved and soft spoken Australian gentleman who is more interested in a person’s intelligence than her assets.  The audience is privy to intimate conversations about aging, marriage, divorce, kids, and of course, women.  I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table with my grandfathers, getting a fly-on-the-wall view of things they would say if I were not around.

I won’t tell you how it ends, but I’ll let you in on a secret, I was smiling the whole time. And giggling and laughing out loud. And sometimes embarrassed to be hearing such intimate thoughts from two older men I had come to love in a grand-daughterly sort of way.

The Icelandic setting is gorgeous- filled with ocean cliffs, geysers, and natural hot springs, I’m ready to purchase a plane ticket.  The film is able to relate to audiences from mid-20’s to the golden years with its honest insight and celebration of the two.  There is even a dance club scene with glow sticks for the truly young at heart.  The film is set to be released August 1, 2014 in major cities and I give it two “Senior List Thumbs” up.