June 2013

eiffel tower

Trisha and John Parker


Tips For Seniors Traveling Abroad

Having recently returned from an incredible travel adventure to Italy and France, I thought it might be beneficial to share a few travel tips for those considering such a trip.

1. If you plan on driving while in a foreign country, make sure you check in with your insurance agent. In most cases they will advise you to purchase additional coverage from the rental car company in the country you are visiting. This is important because when renting a car in the U. S., if your coverage is like mine, the rental car’s coverage is typically not necessary.

2. When possible, book a hotel in the middle of the cities you want to visit. Most foreign countries have rapid transit much better than ours and you can travel easily through most of them. Often, the entire country is connected by efficient rail systems. On our recent trip to Italy, we became very familiar with the Milan train station as we traveled through it several times. Of course, the way most foreign cities have been centrally designed, once there, you can walk to most of your destinations.

3. Because we are all connected to our smart phones, don’t feel you have to get expensive extended coverage while abroad. Most hotels, restaurants, coffee houses, etc., have free Wifi. To stay in communication back home, we simply sign up for a $10 universal texting plan. It gives you peace of mind in case you need to contact a family member or friend. Otherwise, forget you have a phone and enjoy your trip.

4. As a senior, there is a registration program the U. S. government offers that will also provide an extra sense of security while abroad. Here is the link for registration. This will give your family members an extra way to communicate with you in case of emergency. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

5. Take your personal safety and security seriously. In most countries you will visit, you probably won’t have to worry about major crime. The fact is, petty crime such as pick pockets, etc., exists in all cities. Keep your passport, credit cards, cash, travel tickets, and I.D. in a hidden travel belt. I have always resisted this suggestion, but during our long recent trip, I decided to wear one and found it quite convenient.

6. If you have any other questions about your health and safety in a country you plan to visit, here are two more links that will keep you informed:

Current Travel Warnings and Current Travel Alerts

Bon Voyage


Father’s Day Suggestion

Father’s Day is right around the corner. As seniors, many of us no longer have our fathers to celebrate. But I do have a great money saving tip for any family member or friend going out to dinner on this special day or any other time. Simply go to Restaurants.com, register, and put in a zip code for a city you are considering. At that point you will see participating restaurants and be given the opportunity to purchase gift certificates at great discounts. Typically, you must spend a minimum amount, but it’s very reasonable. My wife Trisha and I use this all the time and find it especially useful while traveling. We have discovered some wonderful eateries and often can’t believe the savings. Give it a try and have a great day.

On a completely different note:

Family, friends, and others may remember my writing about a horrible crime committed against my family nearly 30 years ago. My mother’s sister and her husband were murdered in their home by a demonic serial killer. The state of California spent millions of dollars protecting this monster from execution by feathering the nest of his attorneys who routinely filed appeal after appeal throughout the years. They also allowed him to thumb his nose at his victims and their families by allowing him to get married while in prison. Yesterday, this human scum died of natural causes. Good riddance. My condolences to his attorneys who may actually have to go to work rather than simply walk to their mailboxes for their government checks.