Didn’t Another Forbidden Fruit Case Happen Way Back When?

A woman passenger on a Delta flight from Paris put an apple she saved from the in-flight lunch into her bag. When she went through customs, the illegal apple was confiscated and she was fined $500. She had committed the crime of bringing forbidden foreign fruit into the USA.

The lesson for senior travelers, other than suffering the punishment of Adam and Eve, is to make sure you comply with all customs regulations when re-entering the country.

Tips: Make holiday road trips more comfy PDF Print E-mail

Flock of turkeys

Here are a few ideas about making things easier if you’re going over the hills and through the trees to grandmother's house by car.

1. Gasoline prices may no longer be the highway robbery they were last year, but you can still expect your friendly neighborhood gas station owners to jack up the price and gobble greedy profits for the holidays. Check local prices before you fill up, or go online to gasbuddy.com, where daily price changes are noted in your area and along your route. To avoid crowded highways, plan to do your driving between 11 pm and 6 am.

Ready to take the plunge for winter travel? PDF Print E-mail

Polar bear

Personal stuff first: Just as soon as my December retirement party ended, my spouse, I and our packed car hit the highway from snowy, foggy, humid PA and headed 2,000 miles west to always sunny, hot, dry AZ. That winter vacation has lasted every day for nearly 20 years. I’ve no urge to have anything to do with winter except to watch TV scenes of poor slobs slushing and sneezing through snow.

That said, here are some suggestions I have, and have experienced, for nice, warm winter vacations that offer both hot and cold features:

Some family members enjoy winter sports, and I do reluctantly get my snow experience about once every three years. I relax in cozy, warm welcome at Homewood Mountain Resort (skihomewood.com) at the winter wonderland of Lake Tahoe in Northern California.

Beautiful Cabo San Lucas harbor at sunset PDF Print E-mail

Rock formation in Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico

Taken by single-use $5 camera from stateroom balcony

Submitted by Nancy R, San Diego CA

Cruise prices are great, but expect add-ons PDF Print E-mail

Cruise ship with dollar sign

We just returned from an excellent cruise out of San Diego down the Mexican Baja coast to Cabo San Lucas and return. We had a comfy balcony cabin, great food, fun games and Vegas-style entertainment, for about $600 each for the five night trip. All were included in the price. Ya can't beat such a deal!

No real complaints, but if there’s a downside to such bargains, it’s because the cruise extras can be extra expensive. If you’re planning a sailing soon, enjoy the heck out of it, but here are tips for avoiding possible rip-offs:

1. Drinks: You get coffee, tea, juices and lemonade free, but soft drinks and booze are extra expensive. We paid $5 for Cokes and up to $10 for beer and mixed drinks.

2. On our cruise, there were buffet meals, hot dog/burger/pizza stands and the main dining room for sit-down meals, all included. However, if you choose to go to exclusive special dining rooms, an extra fee of $25 per meal is added.

Six smart checks to make before you travel PDF Print E-mail

Einstein at blackboard

1. Especially in winter, keep an hour-by-hour phone check with the cruise ship, tour bus and/or airline to get latest possible delays or cancellations due to weather.

2. Before you leave home, keep getting current info with your travel or insurance agent for understanding your coverage on various possibilities. This could include illness that prevents you from meeting travel schedules, insurance coverage if there’s cancellation by the airline/cruise line because of weather. Also be aware of carrier liability insurance against loss or damage of your checked luggage.

3. If you have ongoing medical conditions that require you to carry prescription drugs, always have a letter from your physician with you detailing medical conditions and specific prescriptions in effect. If your trip is more than a day or two, carry copies of prescriptions in case you need refills along your trip.


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