Travel Advisories (updated 1/10/2018

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Making Memories by Claudia

"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams..." 
(Oprah Winfrey)

Hi!   It's Claudia checking in with you!

Do you like to read?   about far away lands?  watch documentaries about them?

Me too!

History...culture and travel have always fascinated me.  I want to see what is...over the hill..across the ocean.

I want to gather and knit my adventures into beautiful, unforgettable memories I can wrap that comfortable memory shawl around me one day.

Bill and I are planning and saving our money...looking forward to an amazing budget travel experience.   Instead of spending money on restaurant lunches...we will buy French bread..some fruit..a wedge of cheese..some water or juice and picnic near the Eiffel Tower in Paris....  we will browse for amazing finds at the Paris Flea Market.

It's about making memories

Till next time...have a wonderful day.


What's Your Travel Dream? What's Your Passion?

What's Your Travel Dream?  What's Your Passion?

If you are on a fixed limited retirement income, can you afford to travel to Europe? Surprisingly, Claudia and I are doing just that! We are not much different than you really. We just have a dream to travel and the passionate desire to just do it!

This video was produced to encourage you to motivate yourself by looking at your passion and to see if there is a way to use your passion to make a travel dream come true! This video is peppered with images of the places we will be traveling to in September. I take a walk down memory lane of my time in Lugano Switzerland many years ago.  I discuss our passions and how we intend to use that passion while traveling!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

6 Safety Tips for Seniors Traveling to Europe

6 Safety Tips for Seniors Traveling to Europe

All of us travel for the pleasure and adventure of exploring new and different cultures and sometimes in our enthusiasm we underestimate the potential risks involved with civil unrest being at the top of our lists. So this video is not about discouraging you from traveling Europe, but to put into perspective the reality of such risks.

Millions of Americans travel to Europe annually and have extraordinary experiences and never once have a this is about perspective. Keep the safety threats in the back of your mind, be aware, but not let them rule your every move and make you afraid to go out of your hotel room and explore.

#1 Get the lay of the Land – Check the current security level the State Department has assigned to every county. Locate a few current articles and Youtube videos that discuss personal safety to get oriented. Such warning levels are a “low-resolution image” of the potential safety risk. You will want to increase your resolution and dig a bit deeper to understand the places, in particular, you will explore.

#2 Enroll in the State Department Smart Traveler program. If anything does happen while overseas, the local embassy can locate you or alert you to any changes in threat status, or can notify your family back home.

#3 Practice “Situational Awareness”. Stay aware of your surroundings, especially in big metropolitan cities. Notice the intersecting street you are about to pass. Just take a quick glance. Notice the storefronts...anything out of the usual catch your eye?

Red flags should go up if you are walking down a sidewalk and a group of vocal men are coming toward you. Now, they may be quite harmless, but notice their demeanor, are they getting aggressive with each other or with strangers around them? If their presence make you uncomfortable, look for a way to quietly get out of their way. Head for a nearby shop and enter it, cross the street, or just turn around and look for a detour. You do not need to play superhero and get into a confrontation with them.

This is where a bit of understanding about group dynamics comes into play. One person alone is usually not a problem, but the demeanor of this person can quickly change once his is under the influence of a group. But the threat is not just roving gangs; in Europe, the greater threat is from people who look quite nice and normal. They are not about doing you bodily harm...they just want your stuff.

#4 Pickpockets. Let's face it...tourists become targets for all kinds of scams and pickpocket schemes. Visit our blog and (give a special reference here) and watch a few videos on this topic. I'll give one example. A young mother may be pregnant or is leaning over her baby carrier or child in a stroller. You think it's a cute scene so you stop and start a little chit chat with the woman and gush over her child. You are unaware that you have been set up and her companion comes up behind you and slashes your day pack and takes whatever comes out...within seconds and disappears.

A lot of these attacks occur in crowds, so be aware of the crowd you may be walking in. Congested areas like airport lines, entering and exiting city buses or trains or subways are points of contact with the pickpocket. So practice situational awareness, as you would any other city at home. Grip you shoulder bag a bit tighter, maybe even carry your daypack in front of you.

This list goes on and can change in a new study up on the tricks typically pulled.

#5 Don't look like a tourist and decrease your chances of becoming a target. Easier said than done. We have included in our Youtube playlist a discussion on this topic created by a channel named Wolters World. Personally, Claudia and I decided we are going to wear what we want to wear be it sneakers, ball caps or whatever makes our trip comfortable. One exception might be wearing any politically oriented shirts or caps. Just be forceful with the scammers. Just don't say anything and keep on not stop and be polite...chances are that is what they are wanting you to do. Don't fall for the technique.

#6 Nightime, ATM's and Ticket Kiosks. Explore the nightlights and nightlife in a group. Never go to an ATM after dark and have someone with you during the day if possible. Do not accept the help of a “friendly” local to help you get your money or help you at an automated ticket machine for a subway, bus, or train ticket. He or she could have a companion waiting for the opportunity to distract you and steal your stuff.

Okay, these are our top 6 things you can do to protect your safety. Again, remember, just keep your wits about you, practice situational awareness, and most of all enjoy your adventure!

Enjoy your tour regardless!

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Sources Referenced in this video:
State Department  Travel Advisory Levels by country
State Department Smart Traveler Program (go to the Trip Tips page and click the drop-down menu bar regarding the State Department. You will find it there):
Pickpockets video by Wolters World Youtube Channel: 13 Ways Pickpockets try to rob you:
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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Greetings From Claudia!

Hi everyone!
This is Claudia....Travel Buddy with

I'm so excited about our upcoming trip to Europe this Fall!   14 days/7 countries
This is a primo bucket list item for me

I love the idea of an escorted tour....not having to worry about how to get somewhere...where to go.

I am an adventurer and seeker of knowledge and new experiences.  I have an art background so viewing and visiting these amazing countries and the rich history they offer will be a dream come true for me.  I will be creating art pieces during our trip using mixed media and doing rubbings of famous buildings.

I am looking forward to traveling with Bill.  He is a super savvy..street smart and practical.

Please follow us on YouTube and a part of our 'excellent adventure'!

Until next time.....have a. wonderful day!


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Thursday, April 12, 2018

5 Things to consider as a Senior taking an escorted Budget Tour on a limited income

If a video window does not appear above, please follow this link

NOTE: Our package price tour includes airfare as well as the bus tour.
Addresses 5 things to consider for a senior traveling on an Escorted Tour on a limited budget. Topics addressed include: Matching your physical limitations to an appropriate tour; Saving for your tour before you sign your contract; Hidden costs including extra meals, admission fees to sites; What is really covered by your tour package, how to read your tentative itinerary, How to calculate the total cost of your tour, including the tour package.

Bill and Claudia, the Travel Buddies!

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Monday, April 2, 2018

My friend is a Senior and is traveling with his son and finds himself stranded. I am concerned he is not thinking clearly nor managing his affairs appropriately.  What can I do to help?

                 Stranded in Paris and Scared: A Case Study 

The discussion that follows is based on a real-world situation. Claudia was and still is dealing with a long time friend who found himself and his 19-year-old son “stranded in Paris” beginning Christmas of 2017. This issue has not yet been resolved as of April 2018, so there are no pat answers we can provide; we can only elaborate on the issue and reflect on these events and provide some suggestions that may help all of us to avoid similar circumstances to the degree possible. After reading this, if you have a possible solution to this nightmare, please let us know. 

The Challenge as it presented itself: A 57 year old highly trained professional found himself stranded in Paris. His 19-year-old son was over for a Christmas holiday. They had tickets for a flight back to the US, but the father became ill and they missed their flight. The father was robbed and beaten on the streets of Paris sometime following the missed flight. 

(Please follow this link to the Emergency page. This a lengthy article and will be found under a question identical to the title heading this post.)

 Bill and Claudia

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