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Thursday, November 3, 2011

How you can ease into world travels






You know how we all say that we’ll travel the world after we retire. Well, why wait until retirement. Once you are an empty nester, as my wife and I are, you can begin easing into your world travels. I am going to tell you how we got started and, hopefully, you can do the same. 

Since we are talking about the world travel, let’s start by looking at a world map. 

Until about 2008, we mostly traveled within United States and at most Canada, Mexico, and, perhaps cruises in the Caribbean. Since then, we have already been to a number of destinations in Asia and Europe, including China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala, Hungary, Netherlands, Spain, Italy. It's not exactly world travel, but we got started.


We were initially apprehensive about traveling to far off places, but, after much searching on the Internet, we decided to sign up for an 11-day guided tour to China from a company called chinafocustravel.com That turned out well, so we went on an 8-day India tour offered by another online travel company smartours.com and a 6-day Guatemala trip, booked with gate1travel.com. This is a good way to start getting your feet wet.


Next, we decided to take some trips where we either booked the air and hotel from the travel company or booked  air and hotel ourselves AND explored the city on our own. We went to Amsterdam, Holland and Istanbul, Turkey, this way and it was even more delightful to be able to manage our own itinerary. So this could be your next stepping stone.


Then we found vrbo.com - - through which you can rent apartments in major cities for as little as 3 days to as many more as you need. So we began to book the air, reserve the apartment from VRBO, and then tour selected cities on our own. We went to Budapest, Hungary, Barcelona and Madrid in Spain, and Rome and Florence in Italy, this way. This approach was even better, especially if you travel with more family members because an apartment is more convenient that hotel rooms. This would be our preferred method of travel to European cities.


Finally, as an example of travel to a more exotic location, we recently successfully planned and completed a family trip to Vietnam and Cambodia by working with a tour company in Vietnam to create a personalized itinerary.

So, in a nutshell, start with guided tours from well-reviewed online companies, explore some cities on your own, then use vrbo.com to find your own apartment and visit cities. Finally, consider trips to exotic locales by arranging tours with local tour companies.


In future videos, I’ll provide more details for each of these approaches.

Here are some more things to help you...

For a number of different guided tours to China, consider China Focus. They specialize in tours to China from the U.S. The offerings change and prices vary some depending on the season.


For guided tours to India, we went with Smartour's Incredible India tour, but you have similar options available from Gate1Travel as well.

And some travel guides for China and India... if you cosider one of these countries as your first guided tour destination:





A few photos to entice you :-)

Beijing - Forbidden City

Great Wall

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

Taj Mahal

Jaipur - Amber Fort - Elephant Ride

Jaipur

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1 comment:

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