Summer is officially here !!!!

I have always believed that travel is affordable. “Where there is a will there is a way”

If you have the desire to travel you will find a way to have enough money to do so, whether it is in a compact car hauling a tent (our early travels) or if it is flying off first class to the French Riviera (I wish).

Having always been a budget traveler, you will find many of my tips throughout “In My Head, Of My Heart” and “Global Grandma It is Better to go Global than Postal.”

This summer the affordability of travel seems to be a challenge. With both gasoline prices and jet fuel sky rocketing travel will not be as reasonably priced as in previous years. Consequently we must be more resourceful and may need to do a bit more research than normal. Plus we may need to exercise some creativity with our options.

My suggestions are to subscribe to every travel web site as possible that features current travel deals (Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, Travelzoo, Dunhill Vacations.) Also subscribe to every airline and tour operators news letter that services the destination in which you plan to visit. Consider travel packages that include meals, tours and airfare, bundling options often reduces costs.

After booking at trip visit advice web sites and read community forums (Trip Advisor, Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Rick Steves, Virtual Tourist) for other traveler’s recommendations for free and low cost activities in the area you wish to visit.

Be flexible with your planned destination; if you find a better deal to a different destination consider it. Be flexible with departure dates and gateways. Also consider “shoulder seasons” to travel when rates are considerably lower than during “high” season.

My absolute very best advice is to spend time on RESEARCH, knowledge is power. Time spent on research is money in your pocket.

Take the challenge…find a trip that is right for you at a price that is right also!

 
 
Today is a special day, a day when we all find time to tell our dad’s that we love them and thank you for being so special. So for all of the dad’s out there … we love you and thank you for being you!

To my dad Dean, at almost 85, he has always been there for me, encouraging me to learn by doing.  About 50 years ago he got me started traveling the US in our little homemade travel trailer, learning about our country by living it.  Little did he know at the time that he bore into my heart a “passion.” He inflicted me with an incurable wanderlust.

And do to his cigarette smoke in the car as we traveled he also cured me from a desire to ever smoke! (Thanks dad!)

My dad with his memorable phrases

“My point basically is….."   “But that’s the way life is”       “Plus, plus, plus”

will tell you he had a huge effect on all of my brothers too.  Dad will tell you how he couldn’t afford to send six kids to college so he encouraged us to work and find our own way; be strong, independent and self-reliant. He takes full credit for three of my brothers joining the United States Coast Guard…following in his footsteps.

Today dad’s memory isn’t what it used to be and he relives some of our early travels through my books.  I wish dad or I would have documented more of our travels together so we both could remember them better.

Regardless dad helped form the me I am today…thanks dad.  I hope you have a great day.

And to my husband Ross, thanks for being a wonderful dad to our two girls…Happy Father’s Day.

 

 

 
 
As Alice Cooper would say “SCHOOL”S OUT FOR SUMMER” and it is time for summer vacations to begin!

However I have always believed that when you travel you should learn something. Travel is fun and exciting but should also be enlightening. I think you learn more by doing than just by watching it on TV or from reading a book. I do not learn well from books but I can’t begin to list everything I have learned from my travels.

When my girls were younger I took them to the Tulip Festival in Holland Michigan to learn more about the Dutch culture. They learned about endangered species when we went on trip to South Carolina and witnessed the release of baby loggerhead turtles. In Florida they learned about the endangered manatee when we snorkeled with the amazing gentle giants in the Crystal River.

They also have picked cotton in Alabama and have seen chocolate being made in Hershey Pennsylvania. Both of my girls have learned a lot through our travels.

When I took my Girl Scout troop to Canada, the Bahamas and to Mexico  I assured the girl’s parents that the trips would not only be fun but educational.

On a trip to Jamestown with my granddaughters I told them that they needed to learn something from the trip. Taylor the eldest said “I learned Pocahontas was a real person, not just a Disney character!”

When my nieces and nephews traveled to Washington DC (a trip I believe every American should do) they called their Aunt Marsha on the ride home  to tell me what they had learned!

         “I hear and I forget,

                   I see and I remember,

                          I experience and I understand.”

                                                 Confucious                                      

We are never too old to learn, so just because “school is out for summer” it does not mean we must stop learning. (Teachers I hope you appreciate this advice!)

So this summer be a student again … go out and learn something and parents help out your children’s teachers.

"Travel is a great education: It teaches you how little you know when you’re very far away."~ Anonymous



 
 
This blog is dedicated to the memory of a friends dad.

Recently I was saddened to learn that a friend and co-workers father had passed away. The sudden death came as an expected tragedy for his family. All sudden deaths are hard for family members but this death was more traumatic because it occurred during a family vacation.


Not only grieving for their loss, but the family also had to deal with the complication of having his body returned to the US from a foreign country.

This kind man was enjoying his Punta Cana vacation sitting poolside with a cocktail and word puzzle book on a Caribbean island.

So I ask...

Dear Lord when you decide it is my time to go (and I hope it is not too soon, I still have a lot to see and do on my "bucket list") even though it may be hard on my family when it is my time can I too be sitting on a tropical island drinking a cocktail poolside and working a word puzzle or reading a juicy book/ebook?

I can’t think of a better way to go…traveling and enjoying life to its fullest!