For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

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DrGoogle2017
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:10 pm

delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:01 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:58 am
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:58 pm
delamer wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:27 pm
Semi-retired.

We were in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida) for two days as a cruise port.

Fascinating place, if you are interested in history.

Also recommend Rome, Italy and London, England for the same reason.
I guess that you do not need a visa to visit St. Petersburg. What cruise did you do?
(I personally didn't experience any 40 minute lines as noted in another post, but that may have been because Viking carries fewer passengers. I will say the Russian customs officials were not a friendly bunch. I speak a little Russian and greeted them each time with a big smile and an appropriate greeting in Russian, but got little more than a grunt in reply.)
Based on our limited two day experience, I wouldn’t recommend Russia — or at least St. Petersburg — if you want to go somewhere and interact with the natives. Not a friendly bunch.

Although our tour guides were very nice and very well informed.
Boy, I was thinking that way after talking to a native from Russia recently. Glad somebody agrees with me.

delamer
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by delamer » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:14 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:10 pm
delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:01 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:58 am
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:58 pm
delamer wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:27 pm
Semi-retired.

We were in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida) for two days as a cruise port.

Fascinating place, if you are interested in history.

Also recommend Rome, Italy and London, England for the same reason.
I guess that you do not need a visa to visit St. Petersburg. What cruise did you do?
(I personally didn't experience any 40 minute lines as noted in another post, but that may have been because Viking carries fewer passengers. I will say the Russian customs officials were not a friendly bunch. I speak a little Russian and greeted them each time with a big smile and an appropriate greeting in Russian, but got little more than a grunt in reply.)
Based on our limited two day experience, I wouldn’t recommend Russia — or at least St. Petersburg — if you want to go somewhere and interact with the natives. Not a friendly bunch.

Although our tour guides were very nice and very well informed.
Boy, I was thinking that way after talking to a native from Russia recently. Glad somebody agrees with me.
One of our Russian guides told us that Russians think that anyone who smiles a lot is an idiot (as in, must be stupid).

So there must be a lot of smart Russians, given what we encountered.

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friar1610
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by friar1610 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:28 pm

delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:14 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:10 pm
delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:01 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:58 am
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:58 pm


I guess that you do not need a visa to visit St. Petersburg. What cruise did you do?
(I personally didn't experience any 40 minute lines as noted in another post, but that may have been because Viking carries fewer passengers. I will say the Russian customs officials were not a friendly bunch. I speak a little Russian and greeted them each time with a big smile and an appropriate greeting in Russian, but got little more than a grunt in reply.)
Based on our limited two day experience, I wouldn’t recommend Russia — or at least St. Petersburg — if you want to go somewhere and interact with the natives. Not a friendly bunch.

Although our tour guides were very nice and very well informed.
Boy, I was thinking that way after talking to a native from Russia recently. Glad somebody agrees with me.
One of our Russian guides told us that Russians think that anyone who smiles a lot is an idiot (as in, must be stupid).

So there must be a lot of smart Russians, given what we encountered.
Based on my lifetime total of a whopping 17 days in Russia I can't disagree either about the tour guides or the general populace. I will say that the (mostly twenty something) wait staff and cabin stewards on the river cruise were great! Mostly college students working a summer job. Anxious to perfect their English and very friendly. More than willing to be helpful as I tried to get back my rusty Russian. (Also undoubtedly aware of the custom of gratuities but nothing wrong with that.)
Friar1610

Topic Author
flyingaway
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by flyingaway » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:36 pm

Horsefly wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:19 pm
Retired for six years. We cruised quite a bit before retiring, and have gone on several more since then. However, I don't think cruising is the best way to see places, so I would not put them on the top of my list. Here's our favorites so far:
  • New Zealand - We spent almost four weeks driving around both islands (2300 miles driven on the left side!). It is a fascinating place with wonderful people. The sheer variety of things to see makes it my top place. I also don't really like large cities and crowds, and aside from Auckland there really are not any.
  • Australia - We just got back from a five week vacation in Australia. This was a close second to New Zealand, but that may be partly because of teh wild variety of things we did. We hiked four days on the Great Ocean Road (due to a recommendation from a BH), went on two all-day private wine tours, went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, and did a 8 day Jazz cruise. Made some great new life-long friends along the way. Aussies are just as nice as Kiwis too.
When you rented a car in New Zealand, did you buy full insurance, or just use the credit card insurance?

Starfish
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Starfish » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:46 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:18 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:56 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:45 pm
Great question !!!!!

I am retired.
Been nowhere.
Newbie traveller "wanna be" trying to make plans.
Where are great places to travel to?
Cruise? We only do cruise with families of friends, usually at least three families, so that we could play cards together.
Plane? At this time, I only consider overseas travels.
Train?
Road trip?
Private tour?
Tour company? I don't like tour companies, only did twice. I like the freedom to choose where I want to go and when I want to go.
Let's get specific. :D
OP here. I put some comments above in boldface. I myself have been to 48 countries and areas, and to all 50 U.S. states.
What I am looking for is the enhanced travel experience in retirement, for those who like to travel.
In the past few weeks, I just got information that two of my colleagues (friends) were found to have heart disease and lung cancer. I really don't know how much I can get from travel in retirement, above what I have gotten.
+++1
Absolutely what I'm looking for. Highest quality and experience over quantity.
Just curious, what does this mean? 5* hotels? famous sites? fancy restaurants? tour companies? fancy cruising?
Because in my opinion all of this are against the experience of travel and destroy it completely (maybe except the "adventure" tour companies).
One of the best quality of travel is quantity.
Last edited by Starfish on Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Starfish
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Starfish » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:48 pm

delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:14 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:10 pm
delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:01 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:58 am
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:58 pm


I guess that you do not need a visa to visit St. Petersburg. What cruise did you do?
(I personally didn't experience any 40 minute lines as noted in another post, but that may have been because Viking carries fewer passengers. I will say the Russian customs officials were not a friendly bunch. I speak a little Russian and greeted them each time with a big smile and an appropriate greeting in Russian, but got little more than a grunt in reply.)
Based on our limited two day experience, I wouldn’t recommend Russia — or at least St. Petersburg — if you want to go somewhere and interact with the natives. Not a friendly bunch.

Although our tour guides were very nice and very well informed.
Boy, I was thinking that way after talking to a native from Russia recently. Glad somebody agrees with me.
One of our Russian guides told us that Russians think that anyone who smiles a lot is an idiot (as in, must be stupid).

So there must be a lot of smart Russians, given what we encountered.
Less abrupt but somewhat true in any country in Europe, more to the east.
Fake smiling is not generally appreciated.

Starfish
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Starfish » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:53 pm

delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:01 pm
Based on our limited two day experience, I wouldn’t recommend Russia — or at least St. Petersburg — if you want to go somewhere and interact with the natives. Not a friendly bunch.

Although our tour guides were very nice and very well informed.
Disagree completely, Russians are very friendly when necessary (I know and worked with tens of Russians, and I have several good Russian friends, went to their parties etc). Just not much into "let me tell the story of my life to any stranger with a very loud voice" thing.

delamer
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by delamer » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:00 pm

Starfish wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:48 pm
delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:14 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:10 pm
delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:01 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:58 am


(I personally didn't experience any 40 minute lines as noted in another post, but that may have been because Viking carries fewer passengers. I will say the Russian customs officials were not a friendly bunch. I speak a little Russian and greeted them each time with a big smile and an appropriate greeting in Russian, but got little more than a grunt in reply.)
Based on our limited two day experience, I wouldn’t recommend Russia — or at least St. Petersburg — if you want to go somewhere and interact with the natives. Not a friendly bunch.

Although our tour guides were very nice and very well informed.
Boy, I was thinking that way after talking to a native from Russia recently. Glad somebody agrees with me.
One of our Russian guides told us that Russians think that anyone who smiles a lot is an idiot (as in, must be stupid).

So there must be a lot of smart Russians, given what we encountered.
Less abrupt but somewhat true in any country in Europe, more to the east.
Fake smiling is not generally appreciated.
A friendly smile to show good intent when you don’t share a language doesn’t constitute fake smiling in many places.

But these are cultural differences, so you go with it.

We still thoroughly enjoyed St. Petersburg.
Last edited by delamer on Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Horsefly
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Location: Colorado, mostly

Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Horsefly » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:01 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:36 pm
Horsefly wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:19 pm
Retired for six years. We cruised quite a bit before retiring, and have gone on several more since then. However, I don't think cruising is the best way to see places, so I would not put them on the top of my list. Here's our favorites so far:
  • New Zealand - We spent almost four weeks driving around both islands (2300 miles driven on the left side!). It is a fascinating place with wonderful people. The sheer variety of things to see makes it my top place. I also don't really like large cities and crowds, and aside from Auckland there really are not any.
  • Australia - We just got back from a five week vacation in Australia. This was a close second to New Zealand, but that may be partly because of teh wild variety of things we did. We hiked four days on the Great Ocean Road (due to a recommendation from a BH), went on two all-day private wine tours, went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, and did a 8 day Jazz cruise. Made some great new life-long friends along the way. Aussies are just as nice as Kiwis too.
When you rented a car in New Zealand, did you buy full insurance, or just use the credit card insurance?
I'm pretty sure it was just the credit card insurance, but I can't remember for sure. I know I had planned on using my Discover card, and even made sure it would be accepted by the rental agency. Somehow when we got there the rental counter at the airport couldn't get a Discover to go through, so I had to use something else.

One note: We thought we were driving the same car all the way to Wellington, onto the ferry, and then all over the south island. Turns out the rental companies won't let you do that. So we had to turn in first car before we got on the ferry, and rent a new one on the south island.

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celia
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by celia » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:02 pm

I'm really into genealogy and most of our travel has been to places where ancestors once lived or came from. It really doesn't matter where they came from but if you want to know why your famliy moved or what is was like 100 years ago, it really helps if you go there and meet the relatives who stayed behind.

I realize it is only luck that I was born where I was, and could have been born where my distant relatives still live. . . different opportunities, freedoms, education, etc.

Since tour groups will never go to "our villages", I plan the trips myself. I get a lot more by doing my own planning and contacting relatives beforehand that if we paid a lump sum to a tour group. But I also save a lot of money since there are no fancy hotels or restaurants for us to stay in or eat at. We keep it "real" !

Starfish
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Starfish » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:05 pm

delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:00 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:48 pm
delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:14 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:10 pm
delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:01 pm


Based on our limited two day experience, I wouldn’t recommend Russia — or at least St. Petersburg — if you want to go somewhere and interact with the natives. Not a friendly bunch.

Although our tour guides were very nice and very well informed.
Boy, I was thinking that way after talking to a native from Russia recently. Glad somebody agrees with me.
One of our Russian guides told us that Russians think that anyone who smiles a lot is an idiot (as in, must be stupid).

So there must be a lot of smart Russians, given what we encountered.
Less abrupt but somewhat true in any country in Europe, more to the east.
Fake smiling is not generally appreciated.
A friendly smile to show good intent when you don’t share a language doesn’t constitute fake smiling in many places.

But these are cultural differences, so you go with it.

We still thoroughly enjoyed St. Petersburg.


So if you don't have good intent you cannot smile? Do you really have to signal good intent?
Anyway, no point in discussing it. It's a cultural thing. Americans engage face muscles lifting corners of the mouth. Europeans don't, and even less in East where the smile is supposed to come from feelings. End of story.
Last edited by Starfish on Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

quantAndHold
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:07 pm

We traveled a lot before we retired. Now we just do it slower. We spend about 4 months a year on the road.

Our favorite trip was driving around New Zealand for several weeks, renting baches. Beautiful country, friendly people, good coffee. We enjoyed it so much we considered emigrating. I have absolutely no memory of how we handled the car insurance.

I have a bucket list item to go to every continent. I still have Australia and Antarctica left. Not sure how I’m going to do Antarctica. Wife doesn’t want to go, so I’m on my own for that one.

Mostly we travel on our own, but we have had local tour companies arrange private tours. A lot of the time, especially in developing countries, they can drive a harder bargain than we can, so we would pay the same price as we could get on our own, to get them to handle all the arrangements and provide a guide.

Right now we’re considering where we want to go over the next few years and how we want to travel. Since we’ve been most of our “must see” places, we’re considering leaving it to the fates, picking dates when we want to go, then when it gets close to the date, go wherever we haven’t been that we can get the best deal. Check back in a couple of years, and I’ll tell you how that went.

btenny
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by btenny » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:19 pm

My Ryan air bad flight. From London to Barcelona. Raining. They use old style stairs to load planes from tarmac. So we stood on stairs in rain for 30 minutes waiting for plane . It arrived and we loaded while they refueled and spilled fuel all around front of plane in rain so a big gas slick. So we walked through smell and gas puddle and get wet. We jostle for seats and put bags in over head. Seats so tight my knees are hard against seat in front of me. Short flight. Bouncy landing. Unload in rain and get more wet.

Return flight Valencia to London. Raining again. More waiting and standing in stair wells for plane. Load ok but get wet again while boarding. Other passengers are so packed in seats small fight occurs between passengers. Stewards break it up. Stormy so bouncy flight and pilot does nothing to improve. No altitude change no talk just rough ride. Landing is very bad. We bouce 2 or 3 times and over shoot landing marks and end up hard braking to stop at run way end. Unload again in rain so we get wet more.

Oh and cheap flight is wrong. The carry on bag thing is a total gamble.
Daughter took a hard side small bag. Free on this exact flight previously twice before. Not this time. 30 euros each way to check as I recall. My isle seat was 20 euros extra.

So yes I think Ryan air is bad.......

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Watty
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Watty » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:38 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:36 pm
When you rented a car in New Zealand, did you buy full insurance, or just use the credit card insurance?
You need to check the details on your credit card insurance since some countries may be excluded and often they are countries where they drive on the left. The list of excluded countries varies by card. American Express also offers coverage for around $25 per rental and that sometimes makes sense.

Starfish
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Starfish » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:06 pm

btenny wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:19 pm
My Ryan air bad flight. From London to Barcelona. Raining. They use old style stairs to load planes from tarmac. So we stood on stairs in rain for 30 minutes waiting for plane . It arrived and we loaded while they refueled and spilled fuel all around front of plane in rain so a big gas slick. So we walked through smell and gas puddle and get wet. We jostle for seats and put bags in over head. Seats so tight my knees are hard against seat in front of me. Short flight. Bouncy landing. Unload in rain and get more wet.

Return flight Valencia to London. Raining again. More waiting and standing in stair wells for plane. Load ok but get wet again while boarding. Other passengers are so packed in seats small fight occurs between passengers. Stewards break it up. Stormy so bouncy flight and pilot does nothing to improve. No altitude change no talk just rough ride. Landing is very bad. We bouce 2 or 3 times and over shoot landing marks and end up hard braking to stop at run way end. Unload again in rain so we get wet more.

Oh and cheap flight is wrong. The carry on bag thing is a total gamble.
Daughter took a hard side small bag. Free on this exact flight previously twice before. Not this time. 30 euros each way to check as I recall. My isle seat was 20 euros extra.

So yes I think Ryan air is bad.......
For how much it costs it's excellent. If you buy tickets well in advance you can cross Europe with less money than the bus to the airport.
But yes, it does have strict requirements on luggage and it fits a certain type of traveler. They check only sometimes, one has to take the risk.
Europe has a very extensive network of low cost airlines. You have to use a search engine like momondo or similar. Low cost means cheap only in certain conditions though.

TravelGeek
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:23 pm

Watty wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:38 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:36 pm
When you rented a car in New Zealand, did you buy full insurance, or just use the credit card insurance?
You need to check the details on your credit card insurance since some countries may be excluded and often they are countries where they drive on the left. The list of excluded countries varies by card. American Express also offers coverage for around $25 per rental and that sometimes makes sense.
Also, there are different types of Insurance. Credit cards usually only cover damage to the rental car. There is also the need for liability coverage for 3rd party property damage and i injuries. New Zealand has a no fault injury coverage scheme that eliminates the need to get liability for “people damage”. Check out this thread for details:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g ... aland.html

Traveler
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Traveler » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:57 pm

btenny wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:37 pm
I took Norweigen Air from Oakland to London in 2017. Very nice. Rode business class which is sort of recliner chairs at slight price increase. Was a 7.5 hour flight. Key was 787 Dream liner plane which is really quiet and nice so less jet lag. They are expanding to other airports and destinations so I highly recommend.

Stay away from Ryan air. They are terrible and bad. Seats are so tight your knees hit seat in front of you. Plus seats do not recline or move and tray table hit your stomach if put down. I also thought they broke safety rules and very poor landing by pilot. Just bad airline.
Are you sure it wasn't the concorde? Oakland to London must be at least a 10 hour flight. How in the world did Norwegian make it in 7.5?

neilpilot
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by neilpilot » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:11 am

Traveler wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:57 pm
btenny wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:37 pm
I took Norweigen Air from Oakland to London in 2017. Very nice. Rode business class which is sort of recliner chairs at slight price increase. Was a 7.5 hour flight. Key was 787 Dream liner plane which is really quiet and nice so less jet lag. They are expanding to other airports and destinations so I highly recommend.

Stay away from Ryan air. They are terrible and bad. Seats are so tight your knees hit seat in front of you. Plus seats do not recline or move and tray table hit your stomach if put down. I also thought they broke safety rules and very poor landing by pilot. Just bad airline.
Are you sure it wasn't the concorde? Oakland to London must be at least a 10 hour flight. How in the world did Norwegian make it in 7.5?
This flight is scheduled at 10.5 hr, but excluding gate time it’s a 9.5 hr flight. With exceptional winds 8 hours is possible, but North Atlantic flow control would usually throttle the flight back to avoid arrival at LGW too early.

Btenny has been consistently unlucky with Ryan Air, i.e. always managing to wait on airstairs in heavy rain to board. Maybe he’s similarly lucky when he goes Norwegian?

I’ve flown Ryan Air many times, always careful that our carryons don’t exceed their size limit which is smaller than other airlines. They are not my favorite for comfort but have been cheap and reliable. Airport ramp controls will not allow passengers to stand on airstairs and wait for the aircraft to arrive, so Btenny’s experience is quite surprising. Of course Ryan Air’s fleet does not fuel with gas.

bernoulli
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by bernoulli » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:21 am

Horsefly wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:01 pm

One note: We thought we were driving the same car all the way to Wellington, onto the ferry, and then all over the south island. Turns out the rental companies won't let you do that. So we had to turn in first car before we got on the ferry, and rent a new one on the south island.
Only the international car rental companies require you to switch cars. Hertz, Eurocar and the like. If you rent from a NZ rental car company, then you can take the car on the ferry. We rented from GO rental and went all the way from North to South. We did a lot of research on which rental car company to use because the last thing anyone wants is to have an accident in a foreign country - or to be accused of being in an accident in a foreign country. GO Rental proved to hold up to its reputation. When we were there, we observed that most travelers rent from Apex, GO, and Juicy.

bernoulli
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by bernoulli » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:24 am

flyingaway wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:36 pm
Horsefly wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:19 pm
Retired for six years. We cruised quite a bit before retiring, and have gone on several more since then. However, I don't think cruising is the best way to see places, so I would not put them on the top of my list. Here's our favorites so far:
  • New Zealand - We spent almost four weeks driving around both islands (2300 miles driven on the left side!). It is a fascinating place with wonderful people. The sheer variety of things to see makes it my top place. I also don't really like large cities and crowds, and aside from Auckland there really are not any.
  • Australia - We just got back from a five week vacation in Australia. This was a close second to New Zealand, but that may be partly because of teh wild variety of things we did. We hiked four days on the Great Ocean Road (due to a recommendation from a BH), went on two all-day private wine tours, went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, and did a 8 day Jazz cruise. Made some great new life-long friends along the way. Aussies are just as nice as Kiwis too.
When you rented a car in New Zealand, did you buy full insurance, or just use the credit card insurance?
NZ is a jurisdiction that requires the price of your rental car to include basic insurance. Moreover, NZ is a country that is excluded from certain credit card insurance policies. If I remember correctly, it is state specific. Florida, Texas, and a few other states exclude NZ if I remember correctly. We called Visa and checked before we go. We did not buy extra insurance and just went with what was included in the rental price.

bernoulli
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by bernoulli » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:34 am

delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:01 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:58 am
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:58 pm
delamer wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:27 pm
Semi-retired.

We were in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida) for two days as a cruise port.

Fascinating place, if you are interested in history.

Also recommend Rome, Italy and London, England for the same reason.
I guess that you do not need a visa to visit St. Petersburg. What cruise did you do?
(I personally didn't experience any 40 minute lines as noted in another post, but that may have been because Viking carries fewer passengers. I will say the Russian customs officials were not a friendly bunch. I speak a little Russian and greeted them each time with a big smile and an appropriate greeting in Russian, but got little more than a grunt in reply.)
Based on our limited two day experience, I wouldn’t recommend Russia — or at least St. Petersburg — if you want to go somewhere and interact with the natives. Not a friendly bunch.

Although our tour guides were very nice and very well informed.
True that the Russian culture thinks poorly of you if you smile at all, strange to me, but it is their culture. I still smiled like I always did when I was there and had a great time in St. Pete. Who cares if they think I am dumb because I smile. We have our own opinions about them too and I am sure they don't care either. In any case, we went to St. Pete more than 10 years ago. Amazing city, great history, very different from Western Europe, definitely worth a trip - despite the fact that we had to go through the trouble of getting a Russian visa and the border crossing was tedious. We hope to go to Moscow one day when we have a little more time.

Also, I find the Russian people as friendly as anyone. We went to a restaurant and when the waitstaff could not communicate with us, they called in an English speaking person - who rushed in on a motorcycle. And the important question was - "would you like potatoes with your meal"? I thought the people were very nice. In fact, nicer than some other European countries. I am Asian American and encountered racial slurs and/or was singled out for passport checks (in a long line of travelers and I was the only one who was called to present my passport) in Estonia, France, England, and Hungary. But the Russians treated me very well, just like one of their own. Oh and they have really nice fluffy cats - like those Norwegian forest cats and Russian Blues, so all in all a great trip. I highly recommend St. Pete and also the surrounding areas including Peterhoff.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by orlandoman » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:46 am

Be careful about NZ car rentals ... the majors have a clause in their agreements that say that if you have an accident & get a ticket, the insurance on the vehicle is void & you are responsible for 100% of the damage. I'm not sure that CC coverage would apply if this happens(?).

Below is the response from Budget about this issue.

We were in NZ in December & rented through EZI car rental on both North & South islands, https://www.ezicarrental.co.nz/, who does not have this clause and were very happy with them. Great trip, highly recommend NZ!

-----
Thank you for your query.

22.h) This means, if you had an accident/damage caused by traffic offence ( e.g. you drive through in red traffic light and got accident . You got damage/accident due to speeding. You had an accident/damage due to parked on the not allowing parking area/time etc... ; you had damage/accident to our vehicle due to breaching any traffic offence ), even though your rate has included basic motor vehicle insurance/ coverage/additional coverage., All insurance would be voided and the person will be full responsible for the damage of the vehicle. Hope this makes sense.

Kind Regards,

Annie/ Email Reservations Agent
Budget Rent-a-Car Ltd - New Zealand
"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by whodidntante » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:19 am

Not retired.

Traveling is most enjoyable in your youth if you enjoy getting out and seeing the sights on your own. Group tours with a bus and sweaty fanny packs do not interest me. I'm already old enough that it has limited my energy and ambition to travel, and I've observed that many old people do not have the health or energy to travel, and that some also become closed off to other cultures and resistant to leave home. So I'm spending on travel now.

It's likely that I will retire outside the USA. I've considered retiring now and living in a developing country like those FIRE lunatics. I have some experience visiting developing countries (in fact I'm leaving for one in a few hours) but not enough to really chose a home. The main thing that keeps me working is my work situation is pretty good right now, probably close to peak earning. That and market timer is selling NASDAQ futures. :twisted: But if suddenly I couldn't get a good job I think I would nope out.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:22 am

bernoulli wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:34 am
delamer wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:01 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:58 am
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:58 pm
delamer wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:27 pm
Semi-retired.

We were in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida) for two days as a cruise port.

Fascinating place, if you are interested in history.

Also recommend Rome, Italy and London, England for the same reason.
I guess that you do not need a visa to visit St. Petersburg. What cruise did you do?
(I personally didn't experience any 40 minute lines as noted in another post, but that may have been because Viking carries fewer passengers. I will say the Russian customs officials were not a friendly bunch. I speak a little Russian and greeted them each time with a big smile and an appropriate greeting in Russian, but got little more than a grunt in reply.)
Based on our limited two day experience, I wouldn’t recommend Russia — or at least St. Petersburg — if you want to go somewhere and interact with the natives. Not a friendly bunch.

Although our tour guides were very nice and very well informed.
True that the Russian culture thinks poorly of you if you smile at all, strange to me, but it is their culture. I still smiled like I always did when I was there and had a great time in St. Pete. Who cares if they think I am dumb because I smile. We have our own opinions about them too and I am sure they don't care either. In any case, we went to St. Pete more than 10 years ago. Amazing city, great history, very different from Western Europe, definitely worth a trip - despite the fact that we had to go through the trouble of getting a Russian visa and the border crossing was tedious. We hope to go to Moscow one day when we have a little more time.

Also, I find the Russian people as friendly as anyone. We went to a restaurant and when the waitstaff could not communicate with us, they called in an English speaking person - who rushed in on a motorcycle. And the important question was - "would you like potatoes with your meal"? I thought the people were very nice. In fact, nicer than some other European countries. I am Asian American and encountered racial slurs and/or was singled out for passport checks (in a long line of travelers and I was the only one who was called to present my passport) in Estonia, France, England, and Hungary. But the Russians treated me very well, just like one of their own. Oh and they have really nice fluffy cats - like those Norwegian forest cats and Russian Blues, so all in all a great trip. I highly recommend St. Pete and also the surrounding areas including Peterhoff.
Do you believe this is because you are Asian. . or Asian American?
What is the sometimes opinion (via media, etc, or cultural) of Europeans to Asians? (chinese or japanese?)
Is this something of consideration for a tourist/traveler in Europe because of perceived cultural differences (within forum guidelines)?
Curious.
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Sandtrap
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:24 am

celia wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:02 pm
I'm really into genealogy and most of our travel has been to places where ancestors once lived or came from. It really doesn't matter where they came from but if you want to know why your famliy moved or what is was like 100 years ago, it really helps if you go there and meet the relatives who stayed behind.

I realize it is only luck that I was born where I was, and could have been born where my distant relatives still live. . . different opportunities, freedoms, education, etc.

Since tour groups will never go to "our villages", I plan the trips myself. I get a lot more by doing my own planning and contacting relatives beforehand that if we paid a lump sum to a tour group. But I also save a lot of money since there are no fancy hotels or restaurants for us to stay in or eat at. We keep it "real" !
Great suggestions.
Thanks.

Also interested in genealogy.
What villages where?

aloha
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Mr.BB » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:28 am

Not retired yet, but we LOVE to travel.
#1 Maui...best place in the world.
Italy
Mexico
Spain
France
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:30 am

Watty wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:08 pm
.. when did you retire....
(Your financial situations may also help, if you don't mind).
Retired in 2015 when I was 58, pretty middle class compared to a lot of posters here so the travel budget is a factor. I started traveling more when I was in my early 50's

I usually pick where to go based on where there are good deals and we usually take one big trip a year.

I just got back from a five week trip to Australia which has been on my "to do" list for a long time but it always seemed pretty expensive. There were great deals on flights last fall(< $600 round trip) and the exchange rate is pretty good right now so in general costs seemed similar to US. It was the shoulder season so hotel rates were also good.

One time I was not able to find a good deal so we were going to do a US road/camping trip. Three weeks before my scheduled vacation Delta opened up a new route between Atlanta(where I live) and Shannon Ireland and they had great introductory rates for a limited time. I bought the tickets during lunch and then called my wife to let her know we were going to Ireland. We had discussed me still looking for a deal so I had her prior OK to jump on any that I found so it was not a total surprise to her.

Over the years we have been to many of the popular tourist areas in Europe which were enjoyable and fun but probably not what you would call exciting. One of our best trips was to Spain which surprised me. In southern Europe in the shoulder season we can usually find decent hotels for maybe $100 a night or less except in large cities. One great thing about Europe is that a modestly priced hotel can be a nice family run business, in the US a modestly priced hotel is often more like a Motel 6 or worse. We often travel without hotel reservations except for key nights when we have a flight or when we will be in an expensive big city.

One place you might consider is going to the less well known Greek Islands, the hotel prices drop dramatically in mid-September but the weather was still great when we were there. We were able to get nice mid range hotels near the beach for maybe $50(or less) a night but that was around ten years ago. We had a nice time on Naxos and Paros, Santorini was more expensive but still worth going to. You take ferries between the islands.

It was years ago but when I was in my 20's I once took the Alaska Ferries through southeast Alaska, without a car. They go many of the same areas where cruise ships go but they are a lot less expensive and you have a lot more flexibility.

Last year for something different I took a six week photography course in Montana and also drove a 2,200 roadtrip each way stopping at lots of national parks along the way. We have also taken a Road Scholar week long course and will probably take more of them when we are a bit older.

We once took a short cruise and enjoyed it but it confirmed that we are not "cruise people" which I suspected. Before you take a big cruise you might try out a short one.
This is a great tip, "Watty".
DW and I have never been on a cruise and are a bit hesitant to be "stuck" on a ship if it is not working out or we get sea sick or anything else.
I wish I could just have a tour of a cruise ship, walk around on it, see what it "feels" like.
Not sure if a cruise ship company would allow this.

We've only been on a "whale watch" ship for several hours (and that was "enough") and also a few off waikiki dinner cruises. We were not crazy about any of them.
j
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Barkingsparrow » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:41 am

Watty wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:38 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:36 pm
When you rented a car in New Zealand, did you buy full insurance, or just use the credit card insurance?
You need to check the details on your credit card insurance since some countries may be excluded and often they are countries where they drive on the left. The list of excluded countries varies by card. American Express also offers coverage for around $25 per rental and that sometimes makes sense.
I drove in NZ a few years ago, and I think I had to get full insurance as a requirement of being an overseas visitor.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by flyingaway » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:41 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:30 am
Watty wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:08 pm
.. when did you retire....
(Your financial situations may also help, if you don't mind).
Retired in 2015 when I was 58, pretty middle class compared to a lot of posters here so the travel budget is a factor. I started traveling more when I was in my early 50's

I usually pick where to go based on where there are good deals and we usually take one big trip a year.

I just got back from a five week trip to Australia which has been on my "to do" list for a long time but it always seemed pretty expensive. There were great deals on flights last fall(< $600 round trip) and the exchange rate is pretty good right now so in general costs seemed similar to US. It was the shoulder season so hotel rates were also good.

One time I was not able to find a good deal so we were going to do a US road/camping trip. Three weeks before my scheduled vacation Delta opened up a new route between Atlanta(where I live) and Shannon Ireland and they had great introductory rates for a limited time. I bought the tickets during lunch and then called my wife to let her know we were going to Ireland. We had discussed me still looking for a deal so I had her prior OK to jump on any that I found so it was not a total surprise to her.

Over the years we have been to many of the popular tourist areas in Europe which were enjoyable and fun but probably not what you would call exciting. One of our best trips was to Spain which surprised me. In southern Europe in the shoulder season we can usually find decent hotels for maybe $100 a night or less except in large cities. One great thing about Europe is that a modestly priced hotel can be a nice family run business, in the US a modestly priced hotel is often more like a Motel 6 or worse. We often travel without hotel reservations except for key nights when we have a flight or when we will be in an expensive big city.

One place you might consider is going to the less well known Greek Islands, the hotel prices drop dramatically in mid-September but the weather was still great when we were there. We were able to get nice mid range hotels near the beach for maybe $50(or less) a night but that was around ten years ago. We had a nice time on Naxos and Paros, Santorini was more expensive but still worth going to. You take ferries between the islands.

It was years ago but when I was in my 20's I once took the Alaska Ferries through southeast Alaska, without a car. They go many of the same areas where cruise ships go but they are a lot less expensive and you have a lot more flexibility.

Last year for something different I took a six week photography course in Montana and also drove a 2,200 roadtrip each way stopping at lots of national parks along the way. We have also taken a Road Scholar week long course and will probably take more of them when we are a bit older.

We once took a short cruise and enjoyed it but it confirmed that we are not "cruise people" which I suspected. Before you take a big cruise you might try out a short one.
This is a great tip, "Watty".
DW and I have never been on a cruise and are a bit hesitant to be "stuck" on a ship if it is not working out or we get sea sick or anything else.
I wish I could just have a tour of a cruise ship, walk around on it, see what it "feels" like.
Not sure if a cruise ship company would allow this.

We've only been on a "whale watch" ship for several hours (and that was "enough") and also a few off waikiki dinner cruises. We were not crazy about any of them.
j
My own experience is that: if you are an out-going people, you will have good time on the ship. Otherwise you may want to have a few friends to go with.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by flyingaway » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:49 am

whodidntante wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:19 am
Not retired.

Traveling is most enjoyable in your youth if you enjoy getting out and seeing the sights on your own. Group tours with a bus and sweaty fanny packs do not interest me. I'm already old enough that it has limited my energy and ambition to travel, and I've observed that many old people do not have the health or energy to travel, and that some also become closed off to other cultures and resistant to leave home. So I'm spending on travel now.

It's likely that I will retire outside the USA. I've considered retiring now and living in a developing country like those FIRE lunatics. I have some experience visiting developing countries (in fact I'm leaving for one in a few hours) but not enough to really chose a home. The main thing that keeps me working is my work situation is pretty good right now, probably close to peak earning. That and market timer is selling NASDAQ futures. :twisted: But if suddenly I couldn't get a good job I think I would nope out.
I agree. When I was young, I did not have money or time to do more travels.
I now have money and time, just hope that it is not too late for me to do some exciting travels.
I am also thinking about moving to another country in retirement, but it seems unlikely at this time as my wife does not want to leave her friends here in the U.S.
Last edited by flyingaway on Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by TheTimeLord » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:51 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:30 am
Watty wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:08 pm
.. when did you retire....
(Your financial situations may also help, if you don't mind).
Retired in 2015 when I was 58, pretty middle class compared to a lot of posters here so the travel budget is a factor. I started traveling more when I was in my early 50's

I usually pick where to go based on where there are good deals and we usually take one big trip a year.

I just got back from a five week trip to Australia which has been on my "to do" list for a long time but it always seemed pretty expensive. There were great deals on flights last fall(< $600 round trip) and the exchange rate is pretty good right now so in general costs seemed similar to US. It was the shoulder season so hotel rates were also good.

One time I was not able to find a good deal so we were going to do a US road/camping trip. Three weeks before my scheduled vacation Delta opened up a new route between Atlanta(where I live) and Shannon Ireland and they had great introductory rates for a limited time. I bought the tickets during lunch and then called my wife to let her know we were going to Ireland. We had discussed me still looking for a deal so I had her prior OK to jump on any that I found so it was not a total surprise to her.

Over the years we have been to many of the popular tourist areas in Europe which were enjoyable and fun but probably not what you would call exciting. One of our best trips was to Spain which surprised me. In southern Europe in the shoulder season we can usually find decent hotels for maybe $100 a night or less except in large cities. One great thing about Europe is that a modestly priced hotel can be a nice family run business, in the US a modestly priced hotel is often more like a Motel 6 or worse. We often travel without hotel reservations except for key nights when we have a flight or when we will be in an expensive big city.

One place you might consider is going to the less well known Greek Islands, the hotel prices drop dramatically in mid-September but the weather was still great when we were there. We were able to get nice mid range hotels near the beach for maybe $50(or less) a night but that was around ten years ago. We had a nice time on Naxos and Paros, Santorini was more expensive but still worth going to. You take ferries between the islands.

It was years ago but when I was in my 20's I once took the Alaska Ferries through southeast Alaska, without a car. They go many of the same areas where cruise ships go but they are a lot less expensive and you have a lot more flexibility.

Last year for something different I took a six week photography course in Montana and also drove a 2,200 roadtrip each way stopping at lots of national parks along the way. We have also taken a Road Scholar week long course and will probably take more of them when we are a bit older.

We once took a short cruise and enjoyed it but it confirmed that we are not "cruise people" which I suspected. Before you take a big cruise you might try out a short one.
This is a great tip, "Watty".
DW and I have never been on a cruise and are a bit hesitant to be "stuck" on a ship if it is not working out or we get sea sick or anything else.
I wish I could just have a tour of a cruise ship, walk around on it, see what it "feels" like.
Not sure if a cruise ship company would allow this.

We've only been on a "whale watch" ship for several hours (and that was "enough") and also a few off waikiki dinner cruises. We were not crazy about any of them.
j
There is no standard cruise ship or cruise. They are diverse in size, itinerary and service. Easily the most interesting people I ever met traveling was on a small cruise ship (150 passengers) to an obscure destination. Dinner was fascinating as everyone at the table was well travel and it was like a master's class every meal. A short cruise bears zero resemble to a longer cruise, they are rushed, have unimaginative itineraries and tend to attract bargain cruisers because they are inexpensive. If you do your research and pick a cruise with an interested itinerary that is targeted towards your demographic you should at the vary least have a nice time as your hotel room moves from port to port while you sleep. If one the other hand you randomly pick a ship by price and end up on a Carnival Spring Break cruise share on you.I can't remember which cruise line it it (I think Princess or Norwegian) who has some fascinating Asian itineraries that would seem to be perfect for cruising. Moving from unique city to unique city with planned excursions and not having to repack every night and catch a flight to change locations really isn't all that bad.
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by TravelGeek » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:55 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:30 am
DW and I have never been on a cruise and are a bit hesitant to be "stuck" on a ship if it is not working out or we get sea sick or anything else.
I wish I could just have a tour of a cruise ship, walk around on it, see what it "feels" like.
Not sure if a cruise ship company would allow this.
Don’t think you can tour cruise ships, but there are relatively short (3 days?) cruises out of some ports like 3 days Baja California from LA/Long Beach. Worst case, you get off in Ensenada and drive home :)

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Barkingsparrow » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:56 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:07 pm
We traveled a lot before we retired. Now we just do it slower. We spend about 4 months a year on the road.

Our favorite trip was driving around New Zealand for several weeks, renting baches. Beautiful country, friendly people, good coffee. We enjoyed it so much we considered emigrating. I have absolutely no memory of how we handled the car insurance.
Our favorite trip was also driving around the South Island. Flew into Dunedin, drove all around the southern coast through the Catlins. Stayed at a Catlins sheep-farm stay for a few nights, then through Invercargill, and up to Te Anau. Stayed there a few nights, then over to Queenstown for another few nights; before driving back to Dunedin, and flying back home. This was about 5 years ago - and one of the best things about this trip was how undeveloped, unspoiled, and remote the Catlins were at that time. We met very, very few other tourists. Not sure how it is now, but at that time the tourism infrastructure was minimal. The Catlins farm-stay was in the middle of nowhere, and we loved it. This was before the recent Chinese tourism influx which seems to be now overrunning NZ.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Naismith » Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:07 am

Another possibility, for those who have achieved some comfort with international travel, is giving back by doing some volunteer work in a foreign locale. For USAmericans, the Peace Corps actively recruits qualified seniors. Several universities in China invite seniors to come and teach English or share about their pre-retirement expertise. Many NGOs welcome senior volunteers.

My husband and I left our paid work a few years early to serve as missionaries in Indonesia for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although we are very busy with our unpaid job, we have been able to enjoy a few trips to various islands, with some tourism opportunities.

And because of being here and serving the people, we have gained such deep insights into local customs and challenges, far beyond what we would have understood by being mere travelers. Especially since we've been able to live here for a year, and see and participate in all the various holidays and seasons. And speaking a foreign language is good for the brain.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:00 am

Barkingsparrow wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:56 am
Our favorite trip was also driving around the South Island. Flew into Dunedin, drove all around the southern coast through the Catlins. Stayed at a Catlins sheep-farm stay for a few nights, then through Invercargill, and up to Te Anau. Stayed there a few nights, then over to Queenstown for another few nights; before driving back to Dunedin, and flying back home. This was about 5 years ago - and one of the best things about this trip was how undeveloped, unspoiled, and remote the Catlins were at that time. We met very, very few other tourists. Not sure how it is now, but at that time the tourism infrastructure was minimal. The Catlins farm-stay was in the middle of nowhere, and we loved it. This was before the recent Chinese tourism influx which seems to be now overrunning NZ.
I spent about 13 months in Australia, but never been to New Zealand. Hope I will be there in the next few years.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Kiter » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:50 am

I'm not yet retired but my best trip was when it was allowed , Independent travel to China's TAR. A week in Lhasa for the tibetan new year Losar. Jokhang temple ,Potala palace, the Lakes ,ghost cleansing,sky burial ..... thx for making me refresh

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Barkingsparrow » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:21 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:00 am
I spent about 13 months in Australia, but never been to New Zealand. Hope I will be there in the next few years.
Australia is my next goal. The issue I'm having is paralysis by analysis: trying to pin down an itinerary.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by apple44 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:56 am

I'm far from being retired -- I'll likely be working for another 35 years (I like working btw).
But before we had kids, I made traveling to all seven continents a goal and condition to having kids, and even after kids, our family have been following the tradition of traveling abroad at least once a year, so I've been to many places, including Japan, China, Tibet, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, most of Europe, Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

The most exciting/unforgettable place is no doubt: Antarctica! If you have the time and money, go! It's our honeymoon trip and it's totally worth it!

The region that I haven't been but would love to explore is the Middle East.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by flyingaway » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:50 pm

apple44 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:56 am
I'm far from being retired -- I'll likely be working for another 35 years (I like working btw).
But before we had kids, I made traveling to all seven continents a goal and condition to having kids, and even after kids, our family have been following the tradition of traveling abroad at least once a year, so I've been to many places, including Japan, China, Tibet, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, most of Europe, Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

The most exciting/unforgettable place is no doubt: Antarctica! If you have the time and money, go! It's our honeymoon trip and it's totally worth it!

The region that I haven't been but would love to explore is the Middle East.
Looks like you like challenging places, both Antarctica and Middle East.
I have a cruise to south end of the South America booked in December to January. I am looking at Africa and Middle East, which have been a problem for me due to security concerns. Maybe I will start with Israel.

Starfish
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Starfish » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:03 pm

Antarctica is basically a cruise and Middle East is as far from challenging as one can get. Iran, EAU, Jordan, Israel are all very accessible, safe, easy to travel too, and there are many things to see.

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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Cycle » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:10 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:21 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:30 pm
The title says everything.
I'm not fully retired, but travel is the thing to which I want to retire.
(Your financial situations may also help, if you don't mind).
Good Q, I agree.
I'm a SCUBA diver and for two decades prior to retirement in 2013, I did 7-10 day dive trips to the Caribbean mostly.
I've continued this in retirement, with repeat visits to Bonaire, Cozumel, Curacao, the Caymans, Belize, Maui, and even Jamaica.
And I've got a dive trip to Indonesia booked for 2020.

I also do Road Trips in retirement, most recently for the entire month of March: 7600 miles from New England to Arizona, with multiple stops in between.

I also do European adventure travel group trips in retirement, mostly involving day hikes. Three so far, to southern France, to Morocco, and to northern Italy.
Two more such trips this year: to the Cotswolds part of England and to Mallorca, Spain...
How is it you haven't dived Galapagos?
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

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TheTimeLord
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:11 pm

Cycle wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:10 pm
The Wizard wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:21 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:30 pm
The title says everything.
I'm not fully retired, but travel is the thing to which I want to retire.
(Your financial situations may also help, if you don't mind).
Good Q, I agree.
I'm a SCUBA diver and for two decades prior to retirement in 2013, I did 7-10 day dive trips to the Caribbean mostly.
I've continued this in retirement, with repeat visits to Bonaire, Cozumel, Curacao, the Caymans, Belize, Maui, and even Jamaica.
And I've got a dive trip to Indonesia booked for 2020.

I also do Road Trips in retirement, most recently for the entire month of March: 7600 miles from New England to Arizona, with multiple stops in between.

I also do European adventure travel group trips in retirement, mostly involving day hikes. Three so far, to southern France, to Morocco, and to northern Italy.
Two more such trips this year: to the Cotswolds part of England and to Mallorca, Spain...
How is it you haven't dived Galapagos?
Isn't that fairly cold water and mostly Hammerheads?
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

Cycle
Posts: 1533
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Location: Minneapolis

Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by Cycle » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:18 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:11 pm
Cycle wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:10 pm
The Wizard wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:21 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:30 pm
The title says everything.
I'm not fully retired, but travel is the thing to which I want to retire.
(Your financial situations may also help, if you don't mind).
Good Q, I agree.
I'm a SCUBA diver and for two decades prior to retirement in 2013, I did 7-10 day dive trips to the Caribbean mostly.
I've continued this in retirement, with repeat visits to Bonaire, Cozumel, Curacao, the Caymans, Belize, Maui, and even Jamaica.
And I've got a dive trip to Indonesia booked for 2020.

I also do Road Trips in retirement, most recently for the entire month of March: 7600 miles from New England to Arizona, with multiple stops in between.

I also do European adventure travel group trips in retirement, mostly involving day hikes. Three so far, to southern France, to Morocco, and to northern Italy.
Two more such trips this year: to the Cotswolds part of England and to Mallorca, Spain...
How is it you haven't dived Galapagos?
Isn't that fairly cold water and mostly Hammerheads?
Yes, freezing. Hood and thick wetsuit needed for below the thermocline.

Tons of massive hammerheads, turtles, sea lions, big Ray's, other sharks.

It's relatively easy to get to from the US, and no jet lag. Excluding airfare, my total ten day trip there cost $1400, 4 dive days (8 dives), 1 snorkel day. I planned the trip 12hrs before boarding the flight from Quito.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

oldmotos
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:37 pm

Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by oldmotos » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:19 pm

I retired April 3 and my wife and I left on a road trip the next day from the Midwest to Nashville, Savannah, Miami etc, Then a cruise to Cuba and the Bahamas. Now at our vacation rental condo in SW Florida enjoying the great weather and beach and doing some repairs and updates. We will drive home next week and see some sights along the way.

The cruise was our first in 19 years and while we enjoyed it we enjoy other types of travel more. We do have a 10 day Mediterranean Cruise booked with three other couples next year that we are looking forward to.

Our plan is to hit the travel hard for several years while we have the energy and desire. Because of four wonderful & young grandchildren that live very close to us we plan to keep trips to 6 weeks or less while they still think we are cool!

Topic Author
flyingaway
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by flyingaway » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:28 pm

oldmotos wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:19 pm
I retired April 3 and my wife and I left on a road trip the next day from the Midwest to Nashville, Savannah, Miami etc, Then a cruise to Cuba and the Bahamas. Now at our vacation rental condo in SW Florida enjoying the great weather and beach and doing some repairs and updates. We will drive home next week and see some sights along the way.

The cruise was our first in 19 years and while we enjoyed it we enjoy other types of travel more. We do have a 10 day Mediterranean Cruise booked with three other couples next year that we are looking forward to.

Our plan is to hit the travel hard for several years while we have the energy and desire. Because of four wonderful & young grandchildren that live very close to us we plan to keep trips to 6 weeks or less while they still think we are cool!
That is also our plan, especially my plan. I think it will be difficult for us to do serious travel other than cruise after 70.

jello_nailer
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:20 pm

Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by jello_nailer » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:55 pm

Didn't retire yet but absolutely agree with the ANZ recommendations.
Wife and I went took a side trip to Tasmania last month on a Melbourne/Sydney business trip. Tasmania is a cool destination, very laid back with tons of vineyards and of course great seafood. It's a very natural kind of place. We also especially like New Zealand but Auckland seems to have gotten a little rough around the edges the past decade but the rest of the north and south island is superb. I would go every year if I could. A little closer to home and what we think is the hidden gem - Victoria B.C. on Vancouver Island. Victoria is modern and vibrant but very European and you don't have to go very far at all to be all alone in nature. For us all of these places have one thing in common that draws us there - fantastic fly fishing (exception Mel/Syd). Put Alaska on the list too.

As for the flight. You fly a 787 Dreamliner in lie flat business even the 16 hour flight from Houston to Sydney isn't bad. Just a long day, ou arrive 2 days later in the early morning. Take it from the waterboy - "you can do it!" said the guy that flew 243,000 miles last year.

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flyingaway
Posts: 2587
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by flyingaway » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:27 pm

jello_nailer wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:55 pm
Didn't retire yet but absolutely agree with the ANZ recommendations.
Wife and I went took a side trip to Tasmania last month on a Melbourne/Sydney business trip. Tasmania is a cool destination, very laid back with tons of vineyards and of course great seafood. It's a very natural kind of place. We also especially like New Zealand but Auckland seems to have gotten a little rough around the edges the past decade but the rest of the north and south island is superb. I would go every year if I could. A little closer to home and what we think is the hidden gem - Victoria B.C. on Vancouver Island. Victoria is modern and vibrant but very European and you don't have to go very far at all to be all alone in nature. For us all of these places have one thing in common that draws us there - fantastic fly fishing (exception Mel/Syd). Put Alaska on the list too.

As for the flight. You fly a 787 Dreamliner in lie flat business even the 16 hour flight from Houston to Sydney isn't bad. Just a long day, ou arrive 2 days later in the early morning. Take it from the waterboy - "you can do it!" said the guy that flew 243,000 miles last year.
Need some money to pay for that 787 Dreamliner in lie flat business.

SRenaeP
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by SRenaeP » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:10 am

apple44 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:56 am

The most exciting/unforgettable place is no doubt: Antarctica! If you have the time and money, go! It's our honeymoon trip and it's totally worth it!
Will you elaborate? I know a few people who have gone but it seems like it was mostly just to check the list of having been to all seven continents. What was so exciting about it?

btenny
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by btenny » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:04 am

For those that like colorful flowers and big gardens go visit Butchart gardens in Victoria Canada. They are wonderful and a great way to spend a day.

https://www.butchartgardens.com/

apple44
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Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

Post by apple44 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:14 am

SRenaeP wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:10 am
apple44 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:56 am

The most exciting/unforgettable place is no doubt: Antarctica! If you have the time and money, go! It's our honeymoon trip and it's totally worth it!
Will you elaborate? I know a few people who have gone but it seems like it was mostly just to check the list of having been to all seven continents. What was so exciting about it?
Here are my main reasons:
1. The beauty of nature: Needless to say, Antarctica has the most unique landscape. I've been to Alaska a few times, Iceland and the southern tip of New Zealand, Antarctica still stands out.

We are probably the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time -- the Mona Lisa, the pyramids, volcanos erupting and animals attacking, because we've seen them on TV or at least pictures, and those second-hand experiences are often better than first-hand (Mona Lisa is a major let down for me!), because the image is crisper, and the camera angle and the soundtrack were designed to manipulate my emotions, and reality just doesn't match it.

Not Antarctica. Photos don't do it justice. The sheer vastness of the snow and ice, the purity, the quietness that is only disrupted by the iceberg collapsing and the voices of the glaciers. To quote John Muir: "To dine with a glacier on a sunny day is a glorious things and makes common feasts of meat and wine ridiculous. A glacier eats hills and drinks sunbeams."

Also the animals! Penguins everywhere! On land in water. And they are so cute! On the first day everybody would stop and take pictures of the penguins, but by day 3 nobody bothered to stop. And the seals! The birds! Especially the Albatross -- To quote Robert Murphy: "I now belong to a higher cult of mortals, for I have seen the albatross."

2. Activities: You can sign up for various activities, including cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, mountaineering, sea kayaking, and camping!

We did sea kayaking and camping. Kayaking was amazing (we also did standup paddling). We were doing it almost everyday (the weather was too bad one day and we had to go back after 10 minutes). The only downside is that this experience kind of ruined kayaking anywhere else -- now when I kayak, I can't help comparing it to Antarctica...

Camping on the Antarctica continent was fun but it was very cold indeed (mind you, we were of course prepared). I wouldn't do it again. We dug a hole and put our sleeping bags in the hole and then got into the sleeping bag. The sun never sets (you go to Antartica during the summer when there's perpetual daylight) and it's kind of weird. You pee in a barrel (and we took the barrel when we left so not to leave any human traces) and penguins were staring at me when I peed. Penguins also tried to play with my sleeping bag while I was inside. And then seals were not far away -- they were just laying or slowly moving their heavy bodies and not minding us.

3. History: Antarctica has a lot of history to offer too -- it's the frontier before the Moon and Mars. There was a race to the south pole about 100 years ago (just like a race to the moon during the Cold War), and it was exciting. I read about the famous explorers, including the stories of Captain Scott (British, tragic hero, died on his way back from the South Pole), Roald Amundsen (Norwegian, first to reach South Pole), and Ernest Shackleton (British, charming). There's also the history of exploring and claiming territories of Antarctica by different countries.

4. Food: I had the best seabass (they call it toothfish) and crab legs in my life! (I've been to two and three Michelin star restaurants in New York) You don't need butter or anything, the fish and crab meat are just so fresh and naturally sweet and juicy!

5. I'm not into photography. But if you are, then that's an extra reason.

Writing about the experience makes me want to go back so badly...

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