Live Big—Don’t Let Inertia Get in the Way of your Travel Plans
When I ask clients what they want to do when they retire, travel frequently tops the list. But, when I ask my retired clients how they spend their time, travel doesn’t seem to be a high priority. They take vacations, maybe two per year, but more travel than that doesn’t seem to be a priority.
Granted, it is easier, simpler, and cheaper to stay at home, but I would prefer if you lived big. I find travel much less stressful if all you have to do is pack your car and drive to your destination. Significant trips that spring to my mind are three that I took to Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and New York City with my Mom, Barnetta Lange, former Jewish Chronicle columnist, before she died.
Cleveland is a fine destination for a vacation. Washington, D.C. is another fabulous city with a lot to do and it’s a relatively easy drive. New York was the hardest trip because we chose to fly. It was a great trip and after a brief anecdote, I will try to persuade you to consider a trip to NYC.
For my Mom, who was in her nineties at the time, going to New York was a big deal. Sometimes people of a certain age set their minds on something and cannot be dissuaded. My Mom looked forward to Broadway shows, concerts, and museums but she also obsessed about getting a silk scarf at Bloomingdales.
We went to Bloomingdale’s on our last day. Mom found a scarf she liked. Then, she asked the salesperson how much it cost. It was $97. Fearing my Mom’s reaction, I immediately took out my credit card and said, “Great, I’ll take it.” Then, my Mom started complaining that it was way too expensive and how could we justify spending over $100 for a scarf. I said I would be delighted to buy it but she would have none of it. As a matter of principle, that was too much money for a scarf.
We started to walk away. I turned around and said I will be back in one minute, and of course, my Mom knew I was going back to buy the scarf. She made it crystal clear I was not to buy that scarf. I respected her wishes. Yes, my brothers and I inherited an extra $33 each but I assure you that all three of us would have far preferred that she buy that scarf. If you find yourself of a similar mindset, I would encourage you to buy the scarf…or at least let your kids buy it for you. I know I advocate buying experiences over things, but this would have been both.
Back to persuading you to think about visiting NYC. NYC is a fabulous place to visit, and I would encourage you to go sooner rather than later. The city is much easier to navigate if you are willing and able to walk reasonable distances.
Using www.vrbo.com, I found a great place on West 88th Street in a quiet neighborhood one block from Central Park. It had a small kitchen, a bedroom, a den, and an eating area, all for $160/night.
The museums are among the best in the world. You could spend literally days at the Metropolitan. The Natural History Museum is fascinating and a good museum if you have grandchildren. Picking specific exhibits that you want to visit before you go is a really good idea.
The Brooklyn Museum is a world-class museum. It was by far the most progressive in terms of displaying art by and about women. Here is my recommendation: take the subway to the Brooklyn Museum, see the museum and then the Brooklyn Botanical Garden which is right next door. Then, take the subway back to the Brooklyn end of the bridge and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge toward Manhattan. Later in the day, the light will be more interesting, and your view will be of Manhattan’s skyline.
On Broadway, I saw Kinky Boots, Beautiful (Carole King musical), and Summer (Donna Summer musical). My favorite was Beautiful. If you are of a certain age, you will know virtually all the songs for both Beautiful and Summer, even if you didn’t go out of your way to listen to their music. I purchased my tickets at a considerable discount on relatively short notice by using the www.todaytix.com app which I would highly recommend.
For planning, I recommend the Lange travel model. Pick a date, way in the future, book the room and the airline tickets, and put the dates on your calendar. Think later. Then, work your appointments around the trip that is already booked. You won’t regret it.
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