AARP Travel Advice — Leave Time to Explore

Slow Down — Mary K. Jensen — World Traveler and Author

For a richer travel experience, whether in the small town next to yours or half way around the globe, here are two words of advice — Look up. The people and their city or the farmers and their market are in front of you. Taking time out from cellphones, selfies and TripAdvisor can leave you open to discovering the tiny café not listed in any guidebook, the classical concert in a neighborhood park, the little town bookstore, the park bench perfect for a nap. And speaking of naps, carve out time each day for yourself — time to rest and reflect upon the serendipities of the day, perhaps time even to get pleasantly lost. Slow down.

Don’t Feel Compelled to Join a Tour — Bob and Ellie Tupper — Beer Geeks

Bob and Ellie are almost 140 years old. They are Beer Geeks. They still go to Europe every summer and still find places they’ve never seen. Here is some advice they give other boomers who may be changing less of the world than they used to but are seeing more of it.

House-sit to Travel the World — Kelly Hayes-Raitt — HouseSit Diva

Kelly Hayes-Raitt is a world-expert in house-sitting. She is the HouseSit Diva.

Pack Light in Italy — Francesca Montillo — Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures

Francesca Montillo is the Founder of the Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures. She advises us to eat more and carry less — admirable advice.

Go Slow — Stephanie Montague — PoppinSmoke

Stephanie Montague of PoppinSmoke has been traveling the world, slowly.

  1. Don’t over-schedule your days. Leave time for wandering, people-watching, and exploring side streets. In many cities, you couldn’t “see everything” if you stayed there for a month, let alone a few days. Pick a few tourist sites that are most important to you and leave the rest of your time for discovering gems.
  2. Find out where the locals hang out and make yourself a regular. If you spend all your time at major tourist sites or TripAdvisor’s top-10 recommended restaurants, you will only get the tourist experience. Try a few hole-in-the-wall bars and ask for recommendations for a restaurant frequented by natives.

Thoughts from AARDY

We love that these widely experienced travelers all seem to conclude something similar: you gain richer experiences by taking time to be curious. We share the belief that it is often better to immerse oneself in a culture by moving at a local pace, rather than a tour-guide pace. Less is often more.

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