How to travel with friends; 5 tips for a really great time

At its best traveling with friends, a best pal or a small group enriches the shared life experiences and the compatibility that brought you together in the first place.  Whether it’s an organized tour or your own planning with an agreed upon itinerary, accommodations, as you head out the big decisions are made.  But  living together 24/7 even in the short term can reveal surprises and stresses not evident in day-to-day interactions with your nearest and dearest. Following are some tips to help set expectations and ensure that the trip is indeed the wonderful memory your friendship deserves. Continue reading “How to travel with friends; 5 tips for a really great time”

First time in Buenos Aires? 5 Things I loved!

Magnificent corner building in Buenos Aires

Ah, Buenos Aires. The first time you visit any city,  you can’t do it all. Sometimes budget constraints limit options, or the allotted time slips away. Thanks to a great itinerary put together by Yampu Tours, I experienced some of the best of Buenos Aires in a way that made me want to return.  I’m sure I’ll go back for more…. Continue reading “First time in Buenos Aires? 5 Things I loved!”

How to celebrate a milestone birthday

 

There are all sorts of ways to celebrate a milestone birthday: A blow-out party, cozy family event, festivities in all configurations. And of course travel… my favorite way to celebrate anything. 

It was an honor to join a friend’s milestone birthday celebration in Barbados.  A brilliant way to acknowledge gratitude for years past and anticipate the years to come with a gathering of friends and a smattering of spouses who joined for the last few days. 

Here’s how it went down…along with some practical how to’s for your own milestone celebration. Continue reading “How to celebrate a milestone birthday”

Pom Pom Passion

Fashion and style expert Lee Sable has contributed to this blog from the beginning – her Twinkle Toes piece remains one of 3 Score’s best-read posts. Her unimpeachable eye, flair, and whimsy are informed by a lifelong career in international fashion.   Pom poms are now on her radar… 

Lee found the pom-pom bag, above, at Linda’s@Bergdorf Goodman.  

Otherwise, options galore…

Continue reading “Pom Pom Passion”

5 reasons why you should see Umbria’s amazing spring

Spring is a sign of regeneration and nowhere is that more evident than in Italy’s central province of Umbria. The wisteria’s vibrancy sends the bees into a frenzy of activity, the iris’ delicate white blossoms bump up against the woody grape vines and trees ripe with spring growth; the season’s unfolding is something to behold.

Umbria is beautiful all year round, but spring may just its peak. The following photo essay was drawn from the area around Civitella del Lago, a small village above a ‘lake’ formed by a dam on the river Tiber.  The town is located in between Todi and Perugia, in central Umbria.

Here are some reasons to see Umbria in the spring….

Continue reading “5 reasons why you should see Umbria’s amazing spring”

Why you will love a day at Argentina’s amazing Iguazu Falls

Say “Argentina” and wine – especially Malbec – comes to mind. But the world’s largest waterfall system, the dramatic Iguazú Falls, lies along Argentina’s border with Brazil. “Amazing” doesn’t really do them justice.

The Iguazú National Park (Parques Nacionales Iguazú (AR) y do lguaçu (Br)) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  After a few days in the sun-parched wine country of Mendoza, seeing – and occasionally feeling – water drop 270 feet (82 meters) is, well, refreshing.

Yampu Tours booked the day’s tour to Iguazú Falls, as part of a larger trip to Argentina. A high point was an unforgettable boat trip to get up close and personal with water flowing at a rate of 62,ooo cubic feet (approximately 1800 square meters) per second.

Yes, it’s humbling. Take look….
Continue reading “Why you will love a day at Argentina’s amazing Iguazu Falls”

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© 2017 3 Score & More

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3 reasons why intergenerational travel is the best gift

Intergenerational travel is a bonding experience, the stuff of family lore.  It’s an opportunity to pass along core values, skills, and interests, embedding them in the context of experiential travel. Whether a grandparent-grandchild experience or inclusive of parents as well, it is something unique.  It has never been done exactly as you will do it and it will never be exactly replicated.  You own it along with your children, grandchildren or whoever makes up the family tribe on this adventure.  Intergenerational travel is about gifting an experience, not a physical, shiny thing.  If you are not yet convinced it is the best gift you can offer your family, read on… 

You’re making that ‘remember when’ moment  happen

There are a lot of ways to make ‘remember when’ happen – big trip or small, expensive or budget-minded, a weekend or longer time commitment.  With young children you’ll want to include the parents. Somebody is always crying (or enjoying dessert) and you just don’t want to manage that on your own.  

On the other hand, you’re the built-in babysitter so the parents get out for a well-deserved evening out.  See? Everybody wins.

Personally, my experience is with toddler – and under 10 – families. I treated one family in my tribe, with a toddler and new-born, for a long weekend in a rented cottage. We went berry picking…

 

and visited a petting farm to feed young goats.

For me, the ” I’ll remember this” moment was clamoring through the grounds…hiking sticks in hand…

And ending up in “Gran’s House”, my very own twig lean-to.

Sure, I’ll remember with greater clarity than my two-year-old grandson companion but in the moment, it was high adventure.  Somebody invites you into their imaginary world with “sit here”, believe me, you sit.  Happily.

More sophisticated travel, one-on-one, that they WILL remember lies in the future.

I was surprised recently when my 30-something son reminisced fondly about an Alaska cruise with his grandparents when he was 12 or so, his brother slightly older. Upon return, of course, it was “great!” —  the highlight being a side trip to the Mendenhall Glacier with his grandfather.  Yet twenty-plus years later, to hear the retrospective memory of glacier-chasing was touching. I made a silent pledge to follow suit, starting now.  

2. It’s not technology; it’s warm, personal and YOU. 

Skip the temptation of playing the holiday hero with a tech gift. Let somebody else get the iPad. picture of mac, ipad, iphone  Insert yourself into the equation;  your focused attention is the secret sauce.  Whether you see your family weekly or if distance makes visits infrequent, your initiative and commitment to making this happen won’t be lost on the next generation. And the younger ones will be simply thrilled.

Concerned there won’t be “anything” under the tree?

Of course there will – a big (or small) box to announce your intention. Include some brochures if you have a destination in mind (e.g. “beach house weekend”) but you know what will work best for your gang. This is about your gift, and if there are some loose ends, well, you are excused for not having all the detail in a time period divisible by nano-seconds.

Besides, a good part of the fun – and much of the anticipation – is in the planning.  Engage them, at least on big picture stuff.   I reckon you’ll pick up some valuable tips from the digital jockey in your family, probably the pre-teen. Sometimes the best memories begin with a Google search.

3. Start young – and it needn’t break the bank

I hope you’re getting the drift that this is a habit for a lifetime, and it’s never too early to start. In fact it’s easier to accomplish before demands on the older kids’ time overwhelm scheduling.

The price range is all over the map but there is a whole lot less stress with keeping it simple. Choose a destination that is easy to reach and a time period that doesn’t require all the parents’ vacation days.  I mean, they love you, but…..

For example, a weekend intergenerational ski getaway with young ones can fit the bill just as well as a more exotic destination.  

Last winter I witnessed my 2-year-old granddaughter make her awkward debut on the slopes with her dad…  

while her brother wobbled down the hill in his season opener.

I was there to record for posterity and savor the time together.  

Believe me, no one cared it was Pennsylvania rather than St. Moritz. It was close by, an hour away, and easy to organize – an important factor for busy young families. 

And did I say how much fun it was to be part of it all?  With an après ski orange juice? 

What are your favorite intergenerational travel memories?

Happy trails,

Jane

© 2017 3 Score & More

 

 

 

5 Things not to miss in Budapest

Budapest straddles the Danube in a proud manner,  a foot on each side, like a regal grande dame.   For those of us coming of age during the height of the Communist domination of Central and Eastern Europe, Budapest was not a welcoming place to visit, even if possible.  At a distance, we learned of its political and cultural significance at the height of the 19th C. Austro-Hungarian empire and of its drab existence behind the Iron Curtain.  But today Budapest sparkles and beckons, rivaling London or Paris as amongst the grand destination cities of Europe.  If you have only a few days in  Budapest, here’s what should be on every 3 Score traveler’s bucket list… Continue reading “5 Things not to miss in Budapest”

The 5 travel necessities every 60+ traveler should carry

palm of hand with suitcase and plane image

There are some travel necessities that are simply no-brainers; some evolve from trial and error. Others come to us via the advice of friends based on their experiences.  Consider this post in that last category; items I now consider indispensable when I pack the bag.  They are not ‘live or die’ necessities but they do offer practical convenience and in some cases a touch of luxury.  Please be aware following contains some affiliate links, which are identified as such.  Continue reading “The 5 travel necessities every 60+ traveler should carry”

Want the real low-down on REAL ID? It’s here…

picture of New York State REAL ID driver's license

This updates an earlier post on the topic….

Confused about exactly when  REAL ID kicks in?  Confused about the acceptability of your state’s driver’s license by the TSA for domestic air travel after January 22, 2018?

Don’t panic. 

You won’t be turned away at security with your long-standing  license or ID in hand.  If you live in one of the 20-odd states  just now issuing REAL ID driver’s licenses (New York is one of them), the Department of Homeland Security has granted extensions until the strict, we-mean-business deadline of October 1, 2020. Therefore you have a bit of time. 

Here is what you need to know about REAL ID… Continue reading “Want the real low-down on REAL ID? It’s here…”

REAL ID UPDATE: What you need to know

  • NOTE:  A more recent post on REAL ID can be found here.

The updated top line: your current driver’s license will remain valid as TSA-approved ID for boarding aircraft on domestic flights for a while.  The DHS  compliance deadline for states to provide REAL ID driver’s licenses is expected to be extended to October 2018.

Here’s the background and what you should know about REAL ID and the TSA security protocol.

Continue reading “REAL ID UPDATE: What you need to know”

Trip insurance: When is it the right choice?

palm of hand with suitcase and plane image

It’s often a toss-up when booking flight: economize on the non-cancelable/refundable ticket or buy the more expensive cancellable/changeable option, within the airline’s “terms and conditions”.   For big trips, whether under the wing of tour companies or self-organized, the question of trip insurance looms larger; there’s more money at stake and more circumstances beyond one’s control that could give rise to a host of (expensive) travel nightmares. So, trip insurance? Here’s what to consider to make the right choice.

Continue reading “Trip insurance: When is it the right choice?”

Why I love to blog: 5 hopefully good reasons

Today is Labor Day in the United States, and my labor is this blog. The holiday honors those whose labor enabled a pretty nice life for many and, for the country, enormous economic advantage.  The day got me thinking about my own current labor. For the last sixteen months, during what otherwise would be described as “retirement”, I have labored at creating content for this travel-focused blog, 3 Score & More, the one that you’re reading now.  It’s unpaid labor; I’ve made nary a dime. It is sometimes very frustrating.  In the end, it is definitely a labor of love and here’s why….

Continue reading “Why I love to blog: 5 hopefully good reasons”

Magical Mendoza: How to catch the best of it

Mendoza is often associated with the other Argentinian M-word: Malbec. The region is indeed the heart of Argentina’s  prodigious wine production and the focus of many a trip. The wine tasting was certainly high on my list and I did plenty of it.

But there is more to explore: Mendoza is sophisticated yet laid-back; beautiful parks reflect the regions’ rich history and Spanish heritage. Culinary expertise pairs nicely with the renown wine. Traveling with the expertise of Yampu Tours, here’s how two friends and I caught the best of Mendoza, from Malbec to aflajores.

Continue reading “Magical Mendoza: How to catch the best of it”

The solar eclipse through a colander: 3 amazing photos

Those of us in the U.S. expecting a partial solar eclipse on August 21st were duly warned:  looking directly at this phenomenon without special viewing glasses would result in certain damage to our eyes. Alternatively, we could use the “pinhole” method and track the sun and moon pas de deux through a small opening harmlessly casting the shadow play on to a flat surface.

Enter the lowly kitchen colander – repurposed to serve as a  “pinhole” device creating a repeated pattern of celestial beauty. Who knew?  Continue reading “The solar eclipse through a colander: 3 amazing photos”

How to experience the eclipse without the hassle

Solar eclipse 101: this is hysterical.

How will you experience this cosmic phenomenon?  Some tips follow… Continue reading “How to experience the eclipse without the hassle”