Boomers Travel: Where Are You Headed In 2015?

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Last week, I attended The New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center in NYC. I perused the exhibits and participated in seminars for travel writers and bloggers. Since I aspire to be a travel blogger (perhaps you could say I already am since The Huffington Post Travel section featured my Miami post on its front page this week. Go Judi! Go Judi!), I listened closely to all the speakers and am now following some key travel influencers:  Monica Drake, travel editor, The New York Times, Johnny Jet, travel expert and editor in chief, JohnnyJet.com, and Paula Froelich, editor in chief, Yahoo Travel.

Boomers Are Travelers 
It’s clear from the presentations that baby boomers are big travelers. According to Yana Gutierrez, vice president at American Express (AE), “Boomers will spend close to $120 billion on travel this year and will take four to five trips in 2015. Plus, 85% of baby boomers use travel websites to find information about their trips.”  In fact, with the new sharing economy, AE has made a deal whereby members can by gift certificates for airbnb.com. I booked accommodations on airbnb.com when I traveled to France and Spain and each apartment was wonderful.

Beyond the web, guidebooks still seem to be helpful when planning a trip. Arabella Bowen, editor in chief, Fodor’s Travel, said: “Guidebooks are especially helpful when you are in a country or cruising to a faraway island where there is no WIFI.” I happen to like Fodor’s Travel Guidebooks as wells as Rick Steve’s Guidebooks.

New AARP Travel Website
Boomers can also find help at the new AARP Travel website which includes:
Trip Finder — questions to deliver ideas and recommendations for destinations;
 Map Explorer — a street-level map with attractions, restaurants, hotels, and reviews;
My Trips — a page to save and organize trip ideas, itineraries and related articles in one place and edit over multiple visits;
Articles and Destinations — travel tips from AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown, articles specifically geared toward the 50+ traveler and information about hundreds of domestic and international locations; and
Book Trips — booking tools provided through AARP’s relationships with Expedia and Liberty Travel that give you access to member discounts.

Hot Destinations For The Future
During the keynote on “Forecasting the Future of Travel,” panelists shared some places that are hot vacation spots now and others that they believe will become more popular in the future.

Peter Greenberg, Arabella Bowen, Wendy Perrin, David Pavelko, Yana Gutierrez, James Shillinglaw, NY Times Travel Show, boomer travel, boomers, life after 50

Keynote panelists (l to r): James Shillinglaw, traveAlliancemedia, Yana Gutierrez, American Express, David Pavelko, Google Travel, Wendy Perrin, TripAdvisor, Peter Greenberg, CBS News, Arabela Bowen, Fodor’s Travel.

Yana said “Myanmar, in Southeast Asia, is popular and will continue to be popular, as will Nicaragua.”
Arabella mentioned, “Croatia was a top destination last year. Chile and South America are popular. Adventure travel, city tours and culinary tours are becoming more trendy.”
Wendy Perrin, travel advocate, TripAdvisor and founder , WendyPerrin.com, said, “With the border now open, Cuba will become a new destination on the rise, especially Havana. Others such as Vietnam and Colombia will be high on the list as well.”
Stephen Oddo, co-founder of Walks of Italy, Walks of New York, noted “Walking tours are becoming more available in different cities.”

Going Gypsy

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I met boomer travel bloggers Veronica and David James of Gypsynester.com.

Before leaving, I had the pleasure of meeting two of my favorite travel bloggers, Veronica and David James. They are a fun boomer couple who write about their adventures from the empty nest to no nest at all. You can find their sightseeing tales at Gypsynester.com and they have a new book coming out called, Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All.

 

Where am I traveling in 2015?
While boomers travel, I don’t know that I will be taking four to five trips this year. My next trip is to Nashville for the Bloggers At Midlife Conference (BAM) in March. I’ve never been to Nashville and am very excited to visit. Then I’ll be in St. Thomas for my niece’s destination wedding later this spring – never been to that island either. This summer might include more travel, but I can’t share that destination yet. (Can I convince my boyfriend L to join me on a European vacation? Will L still be my boyfriend after a 10 day trip to Europe? Will I have to promise him the world to get him on a 10+ hour plane ride? Ooh, ooh, ooh, stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted when travel plans are confirmed.)

New Giveaway

Meantime, where are you traveling in 2015? Are you going solo or with a companion? Are you going (or have you already been) to any of the hot destinations? Or, where do you want to travel during your life after 50? Leave a comment and enter the rafflecopter giveaway (below)  to win a copy of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, the second edition: Completely Revised and Updated with Over 200 New Entries.

 

 

Happy travels in 2015!

Judi

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Self-Care For The Soul: An Interview with Life Coach Pamela Mulhearn

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersI always like to talk to boomer women who are doing interesting things during their life after 50. Recently, I had a chance to chat with Pamela Mulhearn, Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. Pamela works with empty nesters and helps women get ready for their next chapter.

“For 11 years, I was a multi-venture entrepreneur and small business advisor. This gave me flexibility to be available for my children. The day came as my children started leaving the nest when I decided to sell the businesses,” said Pamela. “I took some time and volunteered for women’s organizations assisting women in reinventing themselves and making changes in their careers. I then decided to get certified as a life coach and have been working with women in transition ever since.”

Advice From The “Queen of Reinvention”
While I’m a few years post the empty nest, my life continues to evolve. I was curious  to hear what Pamela had to say about her work with post 50 women. Here are excerpts from our discussion:

What trends are you seeing in women post 50 and post empty nest?

Transition Life Coach Pamela Mulhearn helps women in transition at emptynestinstitute.com.

Transition Life Coach Pamela Mulhearn helps women in transition at emptynestinstitute.com.

“The biggest trend right now is women shifting toward ‘self-care of the soul.’ Women over 50 are taking stock of their lives and making the changes necessary to achieve happiness and fulfillment. There is a ripple benefit of this peace and contentment to all those around her.” (Yes Pamela. That’s me – I’m re-evaluating many areas of my life and working on setting more mindful intentions around my mind, body and spirit.)

Is there a common thread?
“I generally work with women in two categories. First, women who put their careers on hold for 20+ years to raise their families. With now grown children, these women find themselves trying to find a new purpose. Many of these women have devoted and flexed their lives around their children’s hectic schedules and are feeling lost. We work together to help them find their “ME” again.

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Take Me Back To Warm Miami

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50It’s freezing outside. There are icicles on my patio. While very beautiful to look at, my mind, body and spirit keep saying “take me back to warm Miami.” Since I don’t have any plans to visit soon, all I can do is drink hot cocoa and reminisce about the wonderful vacation that my boyfriend L and I took to South Beach this past November. For those who are visiting Miami this winter, here are my favorite spots and things to do:

The Sunny Savoy Hotel
This is the second time L and I stayed at The Savoy Hotel in South Beach. (Read about the first time in my February 2014 post.) It is a small hotel on Ocean Drive near 5th Street. We like the location because it is far enough away from the main drag, yet close enough to walk everywhere. You don’t need a car. We stayed in a suite with a partial ocean view. You can easily access the beach and they have a lovely pool. Prices go up after around November 15, that’s why we always go earlier in the month.

Biking and Walking

Lincoln Road South Beach Miami, Deco Bikes, life after 50, Miami, South Beach Miami

Stroll along Lincoln Road or rent a bicycle and take a ride.

Miami is a great place to ride a bike. There are Deco Bike stations around the city. I rented a bicycle each morning, adjusted the seat and off I went. Rentals are inexpensive, you’ll need your credit card, and bring a bottle of water that you can pop into the bike’s basket. I recommend paying for an hour minimum so you don’t have to rush. You can return the bicycle at any stand.

While L and I are very compatible, he is not a biker. He does like to walk and we walked several miles each day to Lincoln Road. There are many nice shops and good restaurants for alfresco dining. We like PAUL French bistro for breakfast – the best iced coffee, croissants and baguettes – and Books & Books cafe for tasty luncheon salads. Continue reading

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Setting Intentions For 2015

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersWelcome back and happy new year. I’ve been on hiatus the past few weeks. It’s been nice to take a step back and reflect on 2014 and prepare for 2015. During that time, I caught up on my magazines and lowered the pile a tad (or thought I did until the February issues arrived in my mailbox yesterday). I did lots of yoga. I spent time with my daughter A, my son D and my boyfriend L.

I experienced some setbacks when my BFF L had a stroke over the holidays. It was a scary time but she is an amazing woman and is already back up on her feet. My role as a caregiver jumped in — ready to help a friend in need. It’s episodes like this one that remind me to live in the present and enjoy each moment. (My own severe neck pain also alerted me to slow down and take care of my body. Thankfully the neurologist gave me a shot of cortisone yesterday in hopes of calming the muscles and nerves in my head. I remember when my mom had cortisone shots in her back and now it is happening to me. Welcome to aging.)

The Four Intentions
“Did you make up those four intentions?” I asked my yoga teacher P at our class on the last day of December. “Aren’t the words wonderful? They are from Deepak Chopra,” said P.

I went home and quickly googled the words. I didn’t have to go far — the intentions were in my inbox in a yet to be opened email newsletter from The Chopra Center. I read each motivating mantra aloud several times:

The Four Intentions by Deepak Chopra

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7 Ways I’ve Changed For The Better In 7 Years Post 50

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThis week marks seven years since the passing of my husband M. He left me two weeks shy of my 50th birthday. I often think about the words my bereavement coach S said during our class: “The heart never mends after losing a spouse, the hole just gets smaller.”

“Are you really a different person since turning 50?” asked  R at a boomer girls’ gathering last weekend. “What’s different, how are you different?” R wanted to know.

My answer was quick. I did not hesitate. “Yes, I am a different person,” I said. I proceeded to list several ways I have positively changed during the past seven years.

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My two plants are 7 years old. Their growth is a symbol of my own.

Questions like this remind me to review my accomplishments – big and small. In fact, this December marks a symbolic moment in my life after 50. My relationship with myself is quite the opposite of the seven-year-itch.

Unlike a potential wandering spouse, I don’t want to be unfaithful to myself. The person I was before 50 and the person I am becoming after 50 are evolving into one authentic relationship that I plan to keep improving, growing, and moving forward. Yes, there is a constant push and pull between the two – but lately the Judi after 50 seems to win out and make the right choices.

How Am I Different?
I could go on and on, but I’ll save that for my book (if I ever motivate myself to get past the first few chapters and finish it). In honor of my seven-year-itch, I’ve listed seven ways I’ve changed for the better: Continue reading

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Are You In A Postmenopausal Desert?

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“I’m itchy down under,” I told the gynecological nurse practitioner during my last visit. I was going to purchase an over-the-counter medication for what I thought was a simple vaginal infection. Glad I didn’t self-medicate. It’s not a good idea.

“You have postmenopausal dryness,” said the nurse practitioner. “Your vaginal walls are thinning and irritated due to your lack of estrogen. It’s simple to fix.” She prescribed an estrogen cream. Just a few small dabs worked wonders and now I’m pleasantly hydrated again.

Not Alone With My Postmenopausal Woes
I’m not alone with my postmenopausal woes (psst, psst, it can impact your sexual health after 50 too) and soon there will be many more women joining me in the vaginal desert. According to statistics, nearly one out of every two (45.25%) American women will be menopausal or approaching menopause next year. While most women are aware of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes  and night sweats, fewer know about vaginal atrophy, a condition that effects one-third of women. (OMG, OMG, OMG, that’s a lot of dried out women!) Continue reading

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Holiday Gift Guide For Boomer Girls

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenAre you all shopped out from Black Friday and Cyber Monday? If you are still looking for gifts I thought I would share some suggestions from the NY NOW Home + Lifestyle Show. I’m also pleased to highlight gift ideas from talented boomer girls Debbie Miller, Elizabeth Morrow, Linda Janssen, Susan DeGarmo, and Elaine Coyne, who are doing creative things during their life after 50.

Listen, listen, listen – since it’s the gift-giving season, I’m not only going to share my holiday gift guide, I’m going to give away some of these gifts throughout December. Watch the bottom of each blog post for the Rafflecopter giveaway! Then leave a comment about something you are grateful for this holiday season and enter to win.

For Those Who Need to Relax
Anna’s Potions and Lotions are created by Debbie Miller, based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Anna’s Sweet Rose Cream, will calm you with the aroma of fresh roses. As Debbie says, “It’s like having a jar full of rose petals.” For those who want to ease stress, there’s Anna’s Organic Rose Perfume Potion. According to Debbie,  “Rose oil is known to increase a sense of well-being and relaxation.” Check out AnnasPotionsandLotions.com.

For Those With Sleepless Nights

Spoonk mat, insomnia, anxiety, life after 50

I could sit on the Spoonk massage mat all day.

Spoonk Acupressure Massage Mat is for people who experience a lack of deep sleep, tension and muscular pain, or stress and anxiety. I tried out this mat at the NY Now Show and wanted to sit on it all day. The flyer says Spoonk mats “stimulate specific reflex points throughout the body, releasing blocked energy, easing tense muscles, and creating deep mental and physical relaxation. You can find these mats at www.spoonkspace.com and at Amazon.com.

 

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Giving Thanks To Family Caregivers

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersIn honor of November National Family Caregivers Month, I’ve written about the role that caregiving plays in our society. In “A Month To Honor Family Caregivers,” I reinforced what it was like to care for my mom as she aged and why I am so grateful for all the little things I can do each day, things that I used to often take for granted.

Last week, in recognition of November National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, I shared some staggering statistics about this debilitating disease and it’s impact on family caregivers. Sadly, every 67 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

A Celebration of Caregiving Event
On Friday, I attended “A Celebration of Caregiving Event” at Rutgers University in Camden, N.J., which was sponsored by AARP New Jersey. The event was attended by many local caregivers who told their stories of caring for their moms, dads, aunts, uncles and elderly neighbors.

AARP NJ, National Family Caregivers Month, family caregivers, life after 50, aging

Jim Dieterle, AARP NJ State Director

Jim Dieterle, AARP New Jersey State Director, quoted former first lady Rosalyn Carter when he spoke about the lifecycle of caregiving.”Mrs. Carter said there are four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers. Those who are caregivers. Those who will be caregivers. Those who will need caregivers.” It’s a reminder that the role of the caregiver is bigger and broader than we may realize.

National Family Caregivers Month
Since this week is Thanksgiving and a time for family gatherings, I’m pleased to partner with fellow midlife bloggers at Midlife Boulevard to bring you additional public service information about National Family Caregivers Month.

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Raising Awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersWhen the team at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) asked me to get involved in spreading the word about Taking Action Against Alzheimer’s, I agreed to participate in this important campaign. While I feel very lucky that neither of my late parents experienced this devastating condition, I have seen the impact it has had on the families of close friends who have moms and dads with Alzheimer’s disease.

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Alzheimer's Prevention Institute, National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, life after 50, over 50, caregiving

Jessica Langbaum, PhD, is Principal Scientist at BAI and Associate Director of Alzheimer's Prevention Institute in Phoenix, AZ.

In addition to National Family Caregivers Month, November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. I learned a lot about this disease during BAI’s blogger briefing. Jessica Langbaum, PhD, Principal Scientist at BAI and Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative in Phoenix, AZ, shared some staggering statistics which are only going to increase as baby boomers get older.

 Every 67 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
 More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.
 Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death.
 Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 cause of death that cannot be prevented, treated or cured.

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Diane Keaton Imparts Her Wisdom On Aging

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersI’ve always adored actress Diane Keaton’s individual style from the moment I saw Annie Hall. When I was in college in the later 70s, I tried to emulate Annie. I went to the thrift store and bought a navy man-tailored vest and tie and wore the combo with a long-sleeved shirt and baggy khakis (also from the thrift store). I even copied her mannerisms with phrases like “la de da, la de da” – just like Annie would say.

Pennsylvania Conference For Women, Diane Keaton, life after 50, aging

Diane was interviewed by newscaster Monica Malpass.

Last month, Diane was a keynote at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women in Philadelphia, PA. She looked amazing wearing her Annie-style attire. The brim of her hat was so wide you could barely see her face. At 68, she is still as bold and bubbly as ever – just like the mature female characters she has played during her post 50 career – with movies like Something’s Gotta GiveBecause I Said So, And So It Goes.

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