Vacation Destinations

beach Today is Thursday, May 16, 2013.

The weather is finally summery, and school will be out next week in Brandon.  People are starting to thinking about summer vacations, if they haven’t made plans already.  On a whim, I did a little research on different travel destinations.

All the destinations touted for families were within the United States, and almost all were places of scenic beauty.  Several national parks were listed:  Yellowstone National Park, which is shared by eight different states, Acadia National Park in Maine, Carlsbad National Park in New Mexico, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, on the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, Yosemite National Park in California, and Glacier Park, (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Montana.  Also listed for families was the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii and Disney’s Magic KIngdom in Florida.  The common thread is that kids are expected to love camping outdoors.  Either that, or they like spending Dad’s money at theme parks as fast as water shooting out of a garden hose.  It seems they don’t even bother advertising any foreign destinations for families, as it would be prohibitively expensive.

Destinations touted for singles were urban areas, with a generous portion of them located outside the United States.  Besides the usual tourist attractions, all the locations featured “nightlife” and places to meet a prospective romantic partner.  In the United States, Austin, Texas, Juneau, Alaska, Las Vegas, Nevada, Miami, Florida, New York, New York, and Tucson, Arizona.   Tucson has one added feature – an abundance of spas, a destination of choice for single women.

The list of foreign countries touted for singles include Ireland, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia,  Iceland, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Fiji.  I guess places like Tahiti, the Bahamas, and Hawaii are no longer “in”places for singles.   Specific cities touted were Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Mexico City, Mexico, Istanbul, Turkey, Melbourne, Australia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tokyo, Japan, Rome, Italy, Bangkok, Thailand, Moscow, Russia, Stockholm, Sweden, Talinn, Estonia, Montreal, Canada, and Helsinki, Finland.

The only travel destination for singles that was not a place was a cruise.  It doesn’t even matter where you go, because the cruise, itself, is the destination.  However, with several cruise mishaps recently, that might not necessarily be a destination of choice these days.

For retirees, the list of particularly good destinations is long, because – assuming they have the money to travel – they have as much time as they like, and they can go to places off-season.  The main consideration is affordability.  Destinations tended to be in the southern US or along the coasts, with Chicago, Illinois, Denver, Colorado, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as notable exceptions.

In Canada, Toronto and Quebec City were featured.  (Interestingly enough, Montreal was touted for singles.)  In Mexico, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit were listed.   In South America, Lima, Peru was touted.   In Europe, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Florence, Venice, Naples, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, London, Paris, Reykjavik, Stockholm, and Zurich were noted as good tourist destinations.   In Africa, Cairo and Cape Town were touted.  In Asia, Seoul, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Aukland were listed.

Interestingly, I saw Antigua and Bermuda on the list for retirees.  Apparently, they now cater more to the older crowd than to younger singles. Other islands mentioned as destinations for retirees included the Bahamas, Mykonos, San Cristobal, San Juan, Virgin Islands, Bora Bora, Easter Islands, French Polynesial, Capri, St. Kitts and Tahiti.   As you can see by the photo I uploaded, which is not mine, by the way, I would love to travel to an island paradise someday.

My actual travel plans are rather nebulous at the moment, but I’d love to take a long road trip to visit as many of my friends as possible.  We’ll see how that plays out.  🙂

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