Let’s face it. Anytime you take a trip, your schedule changes; and, old people love schedules.
With family, you need something everyone can concentrate on and do together; without controversy.
Thus, I suggest a puzzle. In addition to the puzzle, you need a grandchild who will be an expert at identifying pieces and patterns.
The practicalities. Get your puzzle at a thrift store. It is better to pay a dollar, than $30. Check the bookcase. People frequently leave puzzles.
You need a place to put the puzzle together. Most vacation rentals don’t have puzzle space; and, if you use the dining table you run into meal problems – which will stress some out.
The solution is simple. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and look for a sheet of plywood or styrofoam a bit larger than the puzzle. Look on the cover of the puzzle box for final dimensions.
Then you can put the puzzle together on the sheet on a coffee table, dining table, or two chairs, etc. You can move it for meals or other events.
Remember to tell your grandchild that he/she can not stay up all night working on the puzzle.
Leave the puzzle and the board for the next renter.
I am addicted to restaurants while travelling and since we spend a lot of time in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, I have three favorite restaurants, and a grocery store.
Crabby Bills: Every morning I walk a mile and a half down the beach to Crabby Bill’s, which has been family owned since its founding in 1983. The morning crowd consists of older patrons who are vacationing. or living, near the beach. It is a sports bar, restaurant and hang-out for the under 30 crowd the rest of the day and until 2:00 AM.
The All-American Breakfast is my choice, with 2 eggs, potatoes, crisp bacon and toast for $6. Then it is a mile and a half walk back to the rented condo. In the evening, you can get the menu to go.
Guppy’s: A short walk and excellent food with daily specials; indoors or out. Great fish. The Grouper is expensive as it is over-fished. Small plates and you can share. I get three sides; grilled octopus, spinach and Caesar Salad. Octopus is available thanks to the large Greek community. New Mexico restaurants tend not to serve octopus, so it is always a treat.
A small French restaurant in the edge of Belair and next to Largo and Indian Rocks Beach. Run by a French couple, it is always good and one of our favorite stopping places each time we come.
The desert is great, especially if you can try three at once. Eat desert first, life is short.
The lamb shanks can’t be beat. Not always available but when they are, well worth ordering.
If you want to do your own thing with food prepared for you, take a look at Publix Grocery Stores which now have prepared meals that you cook. There is salmon, meatballs, etc. We tried chicken breasts with feta cheese and spinach and it was great. Cheaper than a restaurant meal and it can be eaten with a glass of wine on your rented condo balcony. The sunset over the Gulf of Mexico is better than any restaurant; and quieter.
American Air Lines has introduced its Basic Economy Fare. Other airlines, except Southwest, are charging for checking, carry-on, and for anything that you can’t stick under the seat.
This is great. I am cheap. Now I am forced to travel as a minimalist, which is better for me. I can enjoy the journey; and, not worry about dealing with luggage.
Have you ever seen an old person trying to hoist their bag into an overhead bin? Not a pretty sight. Have you seen an old person dragging a large suitcase through the airport? Do old people really need to dress up when traveling?
I have written on this before. But now, I am forced to take a new look.
I like Rick Steves and have taken 4 trips with his organization. He sells the Euro Flight Bag (14 x 13 x 8) and it fits under the American Airlines seat with room to spare. I don’t need as much seat room since I have lost an inch or two in the last few years, and expect to lose a bit more as my pending osteoporosis develops. This bag should fit under any airline seat.
For any length of trip:
The jeans that I wear. Acceptable anywhere I might go, if clean and neat. Better than the checkered pants with the zipper that didn’t work of previous generations.
7 black t-shirts
7 pair of socks
Shoes that I wear
Light weight travel pants.
Light weight pants that I can sleep in, or use informally.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, aspirin, ibuprofen
Tai Chi slippers
I-pad with over 500 books, NY Times, Albuquerque Journal and magazine subscriptions’
Pack-It Jacket with internal pockets.
Emergency rain jacket -ScotteVest
Notebook and pens
Glasses and hearing aid
3 shirts – long-sleeved or short-sleeved depending on weather.
Cell phone with camera and Google Maps
Questions to ask:
- Can I wash my clothes for the cost of checking or the carry-on fee?
- Can I lift a bag into overhead by myself?
- Do I have to pack anything different from what I wear at home?
- Will anyone laugh at me? Do I care?
- Can i wear this on a cruise ship?
- Will this work in winter? What do I need to add, besides a heavier jacket and gloves?
- Am I going to a place with stores?
- Do I need anything else?
Airline baggage limits are a positive. Like a lot of parameters they benefit you in unintended ways. There is a lot to be said for not traveling with a lot of stuff that you don’t need when you are over 75. Keep moving, but reduce your load.
Old and going on a beach vacation doesn’t require much. I am a minimalist senior. I can’t tote heavy bags, much less lift them into the overhead airplane compartment. I don’t want to sort things. I am in an “elder rut” and only wear certain easy things I like. I usually leave my checkered pants with the zipper that doesn’t work at home.
In fact, as you can see from the picture, this does not just apply to beach vacations, but to any trip you take after 75, or some other arbitrary date.
I am not going to impress anyone if I don’t wear the latest styles. I won’t be denied admission to any beach restaurant as long as I have the required “shirt and shoes.” I have thought about not wearing pants, but…..
You also have what you wear from home to the beach; and, which can serve in an emergency as extra clothing. It might include an umbrella, raincoat, watch, cell-phone, wallet, travel bag and a light jacket. When you arrive, you take it off: when you leave, you put it back on. No washing necessary.
The following is all that you need for a week, a month or a year. You can wash it all in the sink. During rainy season, you might add an umbrella, or just stay inside.
The following is all you need for a week, a month or a year.
- Shorts with pockets that don’t lose change and wallet.
- 5 t-shirts
- 5 underpants
- Toilet kit with meds
- Laptop, i-pad, case and chargers. You download all your books on the Kindle App., and net flex and perhaps some streaming.
It all fits in a small carry-on bag, including the lap-top or i-pad and cords.