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Nancy Parode

Senior Travel Blog

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Travel Photo of the Week: Gulaschsuppe

Wednesday May 28, 2014

For me, trying new foods is part of the fun of travel. This particular bowl of brown liquid is actually gulaschsuppe ("goulasch soup" in English), as served at the New Castle Restaurant in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. It's made from beef, broth, onions and spices. This particular version was pretty spicy, which was fine with me.

Not all of us enjoy spicy foods, or mysterious foods. Some travelers have food allergies or must follow a special diet. Is it still possible to travel with such restrictions?

I would argue that you can travel overseas and eat well, if you plan ahead. You might need to learn a few words in another language or do some of your own cooking, but it will be worth the effort.

Photo © Old Line Photography. Licensed to About.com.

Tips for Touring a Historic Ship

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Touring historic ships, whether they be Navy ships or tall ships, can really bring history to life. I had no interest in the Spanish-American war until I toured USS Olympia in Philadelphia, but after my tour I found books about the battle of Manila Bay at the library and read them all.

One of the things I've discovered during my visits to historic ships is that you really need to pay attention to where you step and where you place your hands. Restrooms can be an issue, too. If you're planning to tour a ship this summer, take a look at our tips for visiting historic ships before you leave home.

Photo © Old Line Photography. Licensed to About.com.

Remember

Sunday May 25, 2014

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer in the United States. Families and friends gather to relax and enjoy time together or to take a short vacation.

Memorial Day weekend is also a time to remember. Throughout history, men and women have gone to war, fighting for the country they love. Some of those men and women never came home, and tomorrow's holiday was created to honor their sacrifices.

Whether you visit a war memorial like this one in Washington, DC, stop by a military cemetery, attend a wreath-laying or observe a moment of silence, take some time to remember.

Photo © Nancy Parode. Licensed to About.com.

Travel Like a Local: Explore a College Campus

Saturday May 24, 2014

There's something special about a college town. Every one I've visited has a unique atmosphere, and I've always been able to find interesting, affordable restaurants, friendly people and fun things to see and do in college towns.

If your travels take you to a college town, consider spending some time on campus during your visit. You can take a guided tour or just wander on your own. Many on-campus events, such as concerts and theatre performances, are open to the general public. You might even find a museum or two to explore.

Photo © Photo © Sebi Ryffel / Creative Commons

US State Department Issues Thailand Travel Alert

Saturday May 24, 2014

The US Department of State issued a Travel Alert for Thailand yesterday, urging citizens to avoid nonessential travel to Thailand in light of this week's coup.

According to The Guardian, the Royal Thai Army has imposed a nightly curfew and tourists are being confined to their hotels at night.

Visitors to Thailand are strongly encouraged to avoid rally and protest sites and to be prepared for traffic congestion en route to airports.

Photo © Paula Bronstein / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Travel Photo of the Week: Lambeau Field

Wednesday May 21, 2014

If you're a football fan and are feeling the pain of the off-season, consider adding a NFL stadium tour to your next travel itinerary. Many of the NFL's most famous stadiums offer tours on non-game days, including Green Bay's Lambeau Field (pictured). Tours typically include a visit to a locker room, a trip to the football field and stops at iconic places within the stadium, such as Soldier Field's Doughboy Statue.

Advance planning is key; some stadiums offer tours only on specific days of the week, and tours at certain stadiums, such as Lambeau Field, are so popular that they sell out well in advance.

Photo © Jeramey Jannene / Creative Commons

5 Ways to Avoid Travel Regrets

Tuesday May 20, 2014

We all make choices when we travel. We choose one destination over another, one restaurant rather than the eatery next door. On occasion, we end up regretting a particular choice, even when it seemed like the best decision at the time.

I've made some decisions I've regretted, over the years, ranging from walking away from the funniest T-shirt I've ever seen to missing out on a trip to Northern Ireland. As I talked with someone about that T-shirt the other day, I realized that rethinking options and planning ahead can help travelers make choices they won't regret later.

In fact, there are five ways (at a minimum) to avoid some of the most common travel regrets. I'll never be able to buy that T-shirt, but I will never regret the crazy conversation I had — in French — at the waterfall in this photo.

Photo © Nancy Parode

Can You Buy Travel Insurance That Covers MERS?

Sunday May 18, 2014

As of now, yes. Travel insurance providers have not yet declared MERS-CoV a known event. Should a regional epidemic or a pandemic be declared for MERS, the disease becomes a known event, and you won't be able to use trip cancellation or trip delay coverage to recoup your costs if your trip must be canceled.

Travel insurance comparison and review website Squaremouth has put together a MERS and Travel Insurance Information Center to assist travelers who want to purchase travel insurance and need up-to-date information about how MERS might affect their buying decisions.

Need more information about MERS? The CDC's main MERS webpage is updated regularly and offers FAQs, travel information and much more.

Photo © CDC / Cynthia Goldsmith, Maureen Metcalfe and Azaibi Tamin

3 UK Travel Firms Cancel Trips to Kenya, Evacuate Vacationers

Saturday May 17, 2014

UK tour operators First Choice and Thomson flew approximately 400 vacationers back to the UK amidst travel warnings from the UK, US and Australia. According to the BBC, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against nonessential travel in parts of coastal Kenya, the area near Kenya's border with Somalia, parts of Nairobi and Mombasa and a strip of land near Garissa. First Choice and Thomson have canceled trips to Kenya through October 2014, and tour operator Kuoni has canceled trips to Kenya for the foreseeable future.

The US Department of State also updated its Travel Warning for Kenya this week, in light of recent bombings and kidnappings, and urged its citizens to evaluate the risk of travel to certain parts of the country before planning a trip.

Travel Photo of the Week: Mount Vesuvius at Dusk

Wednesday May 14, 2014

Mount Vesuvius looms over the Gulf of Naples, just as it has dominated the history of the area long before the 79 A. D. eruption buried Pompeii and Herculaneum. Although the volcano is just 4,000 feet high, its hulking presence gives you the feeling that you should keep an eye on this massive mountain.

You can, of course, visit Pompeii or Herculaneum, and each is well worth your time. I also recommend climbing Mount Vesuvius; it's easy enough to do, and will give you a true appreciation for the power of nature. If you have a rental car, you can drive from Portici, Ercolano or Torre del Greco to the pay parking lot, which is about halfway up the mountain. From Herculaneum or Pompei Scavi, you can pay to take a minibus to the parking lot. There's an admission fee to climb the volcano.

Tips: In April, expect swarms of gnats as you make the climb. Wear comfortable, closed-toed walking shoes, as the path is made of relatively deep gravel. Souvenirs and water cost more at the top of the crater than they do down below. Look for wisps of steam that rise from the crater. Fog and clouds can obscure your view of the Gulf of Naples at any time of year, but you'll still be able to walk part way around the crater and take photos of it. For fun, look carefully at the shoes climbers are wearing as you walk back down to the parking lot, and give yourself a pat on the back for planning ahead.

Photo © Steve Parode

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