Thursday, January 5, 2023

Happy New Year! Resolve to travel, make new friends, learn, grow

High atop Sydney's famous Harbour Bridge, with the iconic Sydney Opera House at the far right, Christene "Cookie" Meyers and Bruce Keller, right, celebrate their climb with new friends
from Japan, England and Switzerland. One more check off their bucket list.

Have you always wanted to swim with a sting ray? Join
Cookie and Keller at Sting Ray City in Antigua.



One recent Christmas found Christene "Cookie" Meyers
and Bruce Keller aboard a ship awaiting a tour in Capri.


WHEREVER IN the world you hope to be in 2023, consider stretching your imagination, broadening your views, meeting new people, learning something new by visiting a place you've never been.

What are you waiting for? Time, money, inspiration? Remember carpe diem and tempus fugit. So go for it!

MANY READERS ask us how to begin to plan a longed for trip. First, figure out where you'll get the money. Do you have a savings account, an IRA that needs a withdrawal? Have you stashed away a certain amount for "rainy days" or emergencies? Now's the time.  Because we're not getting any younger we've made travel a priority. It consumes 70 per cent of our budget. 

    A visit to a museum is a holiday treat, here
    between Christmas and New Year's at the
    National Gallery in London. 

    If you don't have the funds now, start by setting a goal and saving so much per week. You'd be surprised how quickly $50 adds up. That's $200 a month or $2,400 a year -- enough to plan and take a reasonably priced trip by this time next year.
    ONCE YOU'VE figured how to fund your dream trip, it's time to narrow the destination. If you're flexible, compare prices. Eastern Europe for instance is cheaper than western Europe. Your dollar will go farther on the smaller Greek islands on the Aegean Sea rather than, Santorini or Mykonos which are beautiful but overly touristed.  Croatia is cheaper than Greece for holiday rentals, dining out and drinks. Amsterdam beats Paris for luxury shopping and has one of Europe's best flea markets. Shop around for deals.

    Keller, Cookie, and new friends
    on a food tasting tour in Porto.
     how long you can afford to be gone, budgeting an average cost per day including hotel, air, food, extras such as museums, tours, parks, taxi or bus fares. A survey done by a respected travel agency in 2020 estimated the average cost for a trip abroad to be a reasonable $3,600 for a typical 12 night trip ($7,200 for two.) That breaks down to about $300 per person per day, which is on the low side with $150 per night, food and alcohol at $100, entertainment and tours at $50 per day.
    To keep in this range will take some bargain hunting and likely won't include a cruise unless you book an inside cabin. Cruise lines sometimes offer cheap air as an enticement, so consider that.
    Whale watching is a favorite diversion for us,
    here right at home on a San Diego "staycation."
    This estimate does not include air.  It could be the cost of an entire cruise, though. But you'd likely have to pay additionally for tours and extras unless you find a very attractive package.
    IF YOU'RE going international on any vacation other than a driving trip, you must consider air or a trans-oceanic cruise. If you're driving somewhere close, add in gas or petrol. Because energy prices are rising with the war and stock market flux, many people are shopping for bargain air fares -- and finding them. But you must be flexible with dates.
    If Vietnam is on your bucket list, there are some attractive
    fares right now for air and land tours. 
    Back to the budget. This is the most important step in planning a trip. It will affect
    the rest of the steps in your vacation planning process. 
THE AVERAGE vacation for one person in the U.S. costs about $1,919 per week. A vacation for two people  typically costs around $3,838 per week. (Cheaper than international because there's no overseas air.) A backpacker's average daily budget should be between $40 and $70 USD per day in the east and between $70 and $100 per day in the west. 
    So once you've done that, research flights and dates (mid-week is cheaper to fly, etc.) Choose the top places you'd like to go and look for deals. Research flights and dates. Once you've chosen your destination and booked your air, cruise or train travel,
    If you've dreamed of the Caribbean, Europe or
    Far East, now's the time to start budgeting.
    You can make it happen, here in Singapore.

    WHEREVER IN the world you hope to be in 2023, consider stretching your imagination and your pocketbook.  With a little creativity, you can broaden your views, meet new people, learn something new. Take the incentive to visit a place you've never been.
    All ages take to bikes in exciting
    Amsterdam. Now's the time
    to book a trip to the Netherlands.


Narrated bus tours may have an entertaining multi-lingual
taped narrative or sometimes a live guide. Here, we take
a hop on- hop off tour down Las Ramblas in Barcelona.

UP NEXT: We love city tours and the hop on- hop off bus trend is a fun way to meet a new town. Once you've landed, taken a nap and had a light meal, get going in your new time zone. We find narrated bus tours a fine way to explore -- a wonderful way to discover attractions you'd like to revisit. We enjoyed several bus tours on a recent visit to southern Europe.  Come explore with us as we share  roof-top views of several cities from the top floor of  tour buses.  Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on travel, nature, the arts, family and more. Please share links: 


  1. Maryland Boat FolksJanuary 6, 2023 at 9:10 AM

    Great advice, which we try to follow. Look forward to the next piece on new city adjustment.

  2. We bicycle all over the world and your suggestions encouraged us to book a bike trip in Vietnam! It's a longtime dream, now coming true.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement!