A part of a satisfying retirement for many of us is an active travel schedule. Depending upon our budget and personal desires, that could mean cruises, trips to Europe, and a few weeks in Hawaii. It might mean a long weekend in Durango, The Olympic National Forest, The Shenandoah Valley, or a B&B in Bar Harbor, Maine. It might mean checking into a hotel in a small town like Patagonia, three hours away from the dog, responsibilities, and routine.
A few comments left on an earlier post asked me to investigate some travel options for us to ponder. I've located a few lists of places to visit and explore, some more expense than others, and the majority are within the continental U.S. so potentially doable by the bulk of the readers of this blog.
I know there are a lot of readers of this blog live in other countries: England, India, Canada, and Australia lead the list. For you folks, I'd ask a favor: leave a comment below with some of the most interesting and out-of-the way spots to visit in your country. Other readers who live there might find a great weekend getaway idea, or a longer excursion.
So, are you ready to hit the road (or the skies, the seas, or the rails)?
This first site is from a fellow who collects vacation ideas. Some people collect stamps, quilts, antique radios, old movie posters, or even tea spoons. peter Shannon collects ideas for trips. His lists are extensive and fascinating. The first section includes 10 trips, some of which are overseas. He describes what makes each such a memorable experience.
Just below that is a seemingly endless list of vacation ideas grouped by location or type. Romantic vacations, those for the adventurous among us, unique places, seasonal trips, trips grouped by states or regions...the choices are all there. This link is one you should bookmark for all those times when the urge to explore hits: 1001 Vacation Ideas.
Another idea is to put together your own trip based around a theme. My wife and I like to drive portions of old Route 66. The famous "Mother Road" is still quite accessible in several places along its route from Chicago to Los Angeles. Old style motels, cafés, and general stores that once bustled with travelers remain open for those who like to visit an important part of our past. Books that allow you to trace the route and provide specific, mile-by-mile recaps of what used to be there are loads of fun.
Betty and I have plans to visit all the National Parks, by region. Besides being a tremendous road trip, it will feed her photographic need for years. You can specialize on national monuments, state parks, or anything that can be labeled. How about all the places with picnic facilities that overlook a lake or stream within 150 miles of your home? Do you like to read? How about a trip that visits the best independent bookstores in your home state or region of the country? Any hobby or passion can form the basis of a trip that you will remember forever.
The web sites above are fabulous resources. But, the best idea generator lies between your ears. Take anything you like and build a vacation around that idea, hobby, or passion. And, of course, planning that trip is at least half the fun!