“Baby boomers consider travel a necessity,” according to George Bauer in his 13-part guidebook companion for the television series, The Seasoned Traveler -- A Guide for Baby-boomers and Beyond. In this edifying and in-depth guide, Bauer reflects upon the growing travel industry of “mature adventurers” over 50 years old. His book makes even those new to the traveling world feel at ease while being thoroughly informed, with sections on air, auto, RV and train travel; solo travel; cruises; various discounts; travel agents; adventure providers; traveling to National Parks; and choosing new destinations.
Among the resources for baby boomer travelers are “elder hostels,” geared towards the older crowd, and the New England-based Interhostel, providing international educational travel for ages 50+. Semester at Sea programs are now geared for mature adults, instead of just a student resource for university language immersion. Ecotouring has also served as a valuable resource for elder travelers. As Bauer writes, the purpose is “to give those in the developed world the opportunity to see what’s left of the undeveloped world.” Along the same theme, Bauer talks about nature based experiences, reflecting on specific trips to Mongolia, Japan, Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Belize, Ecuador and South Africa. An additional option for older travelers are the popular garden tours in New Zealand, England, Scotland, Asia, and Latin America.
The majority of the ‘50-and-older crowd are most likely retired, and are therefore more apt to get involved in what Bauer refers to as “volunteer vacations” as a way of meeting others and contributing to society. Bauer lists several volunteer vacation organizations all geared for individual causes, including: Earthwatch Institute, Global Ventures, Habitat for Humanity, Sierra Club, American Hiking Society, Lifeline Center, Volunteers for Peace, Archaeological Institute of America, Orphanage Outreach program, Global Citizens network, Oceanic Society, and RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program).
The Seasoned Traveler’s “travel journal” section reflects on key attributes that Bauer picks out during his journey to all 50 states, remarking on each of his favorite, or “special spots.” These highlights are clearly geared towards the older crowd, as certain areas may not stand out as being “special” to younger travelers. For instance, the town of Chanhassen in Minnesota was marked as the “special spot” for its well-known dinner theater. Bauer’s sightseeing notes throughout the entire country are detailed and inspiring.
In the television series The Seasoned Traveler, George Bauer brings this book alive while visiting destinations across North America and beyond. Following the same key points that are covered in the book, the programs range from: “Bermuda for a Bargain”; “RV-Right for You?”; “Gulf Coast”; “Four Corners-hikers and Divers Dream” “Copper Canyon”; “Mexico’s Heritage”; “Toronto -- A City that Sparkles”; “The Canadian”; “Vancouver Island”; “Cruising Europe”; “German Gems”; “Liechtenstein and Other Little Lands”; and “Christmas Markets (in Austria and Germany).”
In the 2nd season of the series, he will be covering the United States, one of the Canadian provinces, Puerto Rico, Eastern and Western Europe, and South America. For those who have traveled the world enough to call themselves “seasoned travelers” or those who want to travel in their future, George Bauer helps you prepare with guidance from his extensive journeys.
©Sasha Keeler Didier