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Sunday, July 15, 2012 - Page updated at 07:00 p.m.
Tips for affordable senior travel
By Myscha Theriault
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Journeywoman.com's Evelyn Hannon has been traveling solo for 30 years and has learned a thing or two about senior travel. Hannon, 72, tackles travel adventures many would hesitate to embrace.
In three decades, she has weathered a three-month Semester at Sea voyage with 750 students, performed as a film extra in Hong Kong, interviewed an African chief in Ghana and herded cows in Gruyères, Switzerland.
Here are her top tips for affordable senior travel:
• Discounts: Hannon celebrates her seniority by enjoying all of the discounts it brings her way. A major source of these discounts is her AARP membership.
Hannon leverages the senior savings allowed with her AARP card to receive reduced pricing on everything from trains, hotels and even hostels.
She gets more bang for her buck by selecting shoulder-season vacations and flying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when fares are generally lower.
• Fitness: Pounding the pavement for the perfect travel photo might be frugal, but it's still hard work for any traveler. Hannon gets ready for adventure in advance by increasing her daily walking schedule for several weeks before she departs.
Concerned about lifting that luggage? Packing light is her solution.
• Activities: Rather than using her vacation dollars to stay at expensive resorts only to lounge by the pool and eat huge meals every night, Hannon enjoys putting her talents to use helping others. Many areas of need are in countries where travel costs are quite cheap, enabling you to stay a bit longer.
"An older adult who has practiced medicine, nursing or engineering all of their working life can bring those precious skills to a volunteer organization," Hannon says.
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