Tourist Statistic: Mouse takes Manhattan

According to USAToday, Orlando has surpassed New York City as America’s top tourist destination. The Florida city reports 51.5 million visitors last year, while poor little old New York had only 48.7 million.

Of course, both cities are equally great for all kinds of vacations in the coming season, whether for just a weekend or longer stay.

Q: Tired Of Hotel Prices … Should We Try Private Homes? PDF Print E-mail

We enjoy travel, but every time we book a hotel room, the price goes up, plus new sneaky extra charges. Why pay $300 to spend just eight hours in bed in a little room? We’ve heard that Airbnb and other private home rental services charge much less, and you often get an apartment or entire house. What’s your opinion? RBF, Sherman Oaks CA

A: To start, consider definite advantages of a hotel room. There’s security, daily cleaning, in-house restaurants and convenient city location. True, you’ll find them pricey and getting more so. Airbnb types get more attractive. Do some homework with websites that offer private homes and apartments at reasonable prices. Also, with such sites as TrustedHousesitters, you may get lower rates or free stays because it includes caring for owners’ pets

April In Paris May Not Be As Peaceful As The Song Lyrics PDF Print E-mail

Dinah Shore sang about the usually enjoyable springtime visit to the beautiful capital of France. However, if your plans take you there this season, be aware of potential dangers to tourists.

There have been recent street riots by people angered about various problems in immigration, taxes and growing inflation. Visitors could be confronted suddenly by unruly mobs, the homeless and/or armed soldiers.

If you see unrest happening, get away from it as soon as you can. Be extra cautious when near or at popular Paris landmarks, such as the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre.

As with US immigration problems with Mexico, France is experiencing a significant influx of illegals from North Africa. Many, including children, are living on city streets in poverty and desperation. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, and keep valuables, purses and wallets secure in zipped or buttoned pockets.

Grand Canyon AZ: Two Fatal Visitor Falls In A Week PDF Print E-mail

Of course, for the victims and families, the recent deaths are tragic, but they’re preventable. Many of us who’ve visited the Grand Canyon and walked around the rim have seen some needless close calls. Selfies, video and other photo opportunities are inspiring at the site, but add to potential danger.

Also, seniors are extra vulnerable because many are physically challenged by the required walking and climbing. The most dangerous can be the one-mile mule ride that twists its way from the rim down to the Arizona desert floor. Before you book that adventure, be sure you’re in good physical shape.

Q: How Can We Be Safer In Our Hotel Room? PDF Print E-mail

On a recent trip to Vegas we were sleeping at 7 am when the door suddenly opened. It scared the hell out of us. Fortunately it was just an elderly couple. Their key card worked because the front desk had wrongly recorded us as checked out. Are there ways to prevent such intrusions or worse? PPR, Long Branch NJ

A: We had a similar experience recently when we opened the door to our just checked-in hotel room one morning to find a shocked couple still in bed. Embarrassing! You can’t prevent such intrusions or worse in busy hotels, but there are simple remedies.

When you’re in for the night, be sure to double lock the door and set the inside latch. For more security, carry a small, sturdy plastic wedge with you. DoorJammer costs about $25 and is effectively set in the door bottom space against unwanted attempts to enter.

TripAdvisor Readers Name Best U.S. Restaurants PDF Print E-mail

Top five in their rank order are Pane & Vino, Miami Beach; Mon Ami Gabs, Las Vegas; Hog Island Oysters, San Francisco; Phil’s BBQ, San Diego and Spice Symphony, NYC.

My top five, none of the above and not necessarily in rank order: Union Oyster House, Boston; Antoine’s, New Orleans; McGillin’s Olde Ale House, Philadelphia;  Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington DC and Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills Hotel. Hey, senior traveler …. what are your faves?


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