We don’t know too many retired folk who aren’t interested in travel. Some are focusing on places they never got to go to when business imperatives dictated their travel--the National Parks, for example. Others are intent on going back and spending more time in places they loved. Still others are looking for new adventures, by themselves or with groups of like-minded people. And some just want to get out of town.
Whatever the focus and passion, the internet is a treasure trove of travel-related information, providing new ideas and virtual realities, competitive rates, and lots of new ways to go. On the other hand, figuring out what is reliable is more difficult than ever. How many of us have been burned by a review of the best food cart in town? How do you know whether that user has anywhere close to the same priorities and proclivities that you do? A tour guide can make or break a trip--but does this highly rated one go too fast or too slow or focus too much on stuff you couldn’t care less about?
We’ve started compiling a list of travel-related websites that we know or that have been recommended by friends and family--beyond Airbnb and One Fine Stay. Please add yours in the comment section and we will periodically publish a revised list. Safe travels!
Peggy Markel. We have heard that her culinary adventures in Italy, Morocco, and India are a superb way to become immersed in those cultures.
Institute of Classical Architecture. Their trips and lecturers go all over the world, visiting homes and gardens and other private places not generally open to the public.
The New York Times Journeys. We have heard spectacular reviews of the NYT trips to exotic places with knowledgeable experts.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met has lots of fabulous guided tours to places with wonderful art (i.e., everyplace).
Secret Dalmatia. A travel agency (Natasha or Mirna) that can help you plan a customized trip to Croatia, depending on your interests, like a cooking class which includes the local markets. Yum.
Tuscany Now and More. Italian villa rental specialists. A magnificent way to experience everything Italian. Their offerings make you drool. Our villa in Impruneta, with acres and acres of grapes and a pool just outside of Florence, was the site of one of our best vacations. Concierge service too.
Wendy Perrin. A great travel blog, with fabulous ideas for travel and connections to superb travel agents all over the world.
Abercrombie & Kent. First class travel, with a group or just yourselves, and first class care if something goes wrong, like an unexpected illness. Expensive, but entirely worth it.
Ann Lipschitz with Worldview Travel. If you want to go to South Africa (and you should) or the game parks in that part of the world, call Ann. She is a beloved celebrity in Africa, and will design the perfect trip for you.
At Home Abroad. It’s been awhile since we used this resource, but when our children were small we loved renting an apartment in London or Paris or Italy with AHA. Every location was well located and provided lots of room for small people to hang out or run around.