Back in October of 2011, shortly after Travel For Boomers launched, contributor Christine Krzyszton began her journey with you, or readers, by telling you how she sees the world in a weekend — literally! Since then, many of you have enjoyed her World In A Weekend posts, but most of you – readers who have joined us more recently — haven’t heard how she does it. So over the next three days, we’re going to re-run her three-part series on “How To See The World In A Weekend.” Let us know what you think of her advise in the Comments section! -- Kim Weiss
By Christine Krzyszton
Planning that spring break to Daytona Beach, once again? Spending a couple thousand bucks and driving home with burnt skin and a hangover? Hey, you’re a Baby Boomer. Those days should be behind you because they’re, well, so last decade.
Try this on for size: You have a few hundred dollars and want to get out of town and try something new and exciting. I’m talking exciting: Latin America, Europe, Central America, or even Asia. Think it can’t happen?
You are about to learn that this is exactly what can happen when you are exposed to traveling in an entirely different way and then act on what you’ve learn. You may embrace it, reject it, or not “get” it at all, but one thing is for sure: You’ll consider the possibility. Some of you may even become addicted and never travel any other way.
Going where everyone else goes at the same time everyone else wants to go there is expensive. It’s the law of supply and demand. It isn’t a good value for your travel dollar or a particularly unique experience. You don’t have to do that anymore.
Years ago you would have said, and with good reason, “I have to go when the kids are out of school” or “I have to go between Christmas and New Years because that’s when my office is closed.” There are a thousand more excuses to keep traveling the way you’ve been traveling. The end result is that you will do what you’ve done before, experience the same experiences, see what you’ve already seen, and spend more money making it all happen.
It’s time to snap out of it! If you’re willing to think differently about your travels, your experiences will change, and they will change for the better.
The adventure truly begins when you throw away the destination. Chuck it, forget it, abandon it! You know “when” you’re going you just don’t know “where” you’re going. This one critical step, in itself, will change the way you travel. Let’s say you have five travel days and, because you haven’t selected a destination, you’ve opened up the possibility of going anywhere in the world. Yes, anywhere. (Let’s hope you’ve gotten your passport by now so you can play on other playgrounds, not just the United States. If not, scroll down to the bottom of the Travel For Boomers blog and click on “A Passport: Your Ticket To The Rest of The World.”)
Now comes the hard part: How do you determine where you’re going? Let’s go back to our reasons for considering this seemingly absurd idea: to travel more cost effectively, to experience new and exciting places, or just to become a more interesting person. You will go places few of your friends have gone and you will have unique experiences to share. This alone makes you interesting.
An added benefit is what happens to you while you are in transit to these new and different places. Transit stories are sometimes more interesting than destination stories.
The process of finding the best destination to fit your budget and that you’re willing to explore begins with some research. There are several websites that will assist you in determining where to go, there are techniques that will help you get the most travel for the least amount of money, and there are out-of-the-box, over-the-top, insane ways to manipulate existing promotions to get free or nearly free hotels, rental cars, and flights.
If it sounds like I’m promising you the world, well, in a way, I am. But I won’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself or, for that matter, anything the rest of our Travel For Boomers contributors wouldn’t do.
Stay tuned for “How To See The World In A Weekend, Part 2” tomorrow to learn more about travel the way it should be.
Let the good times roll!
Happy Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday!