Far Horizons

Uluru, aka Ayers Rock, a sandstone monolith in Australia’s Northern Territory, draws many a tour group. Photo by Gail Keck

In these precarious times, many senior ITN readers are finally considering traveling on group tours or are traveling more on these tours than they have in the past. There are many reasons for this trend.

First, the matter of personal safety and security is an increasing concern, especially at certain travel destinations. There is an undeniable element of safety in numbers, particularly on well-organized group tours.

Second, many globetrotting seniors, for a variety of reasons,...

Randy, with his Totto backpack, and his dog, Princess.

It is always a good time to compare travel tips with fellow travelers, so this month I will invite readers to each share their favorite On-the-Road Travel Tip to my email address following this article. 

To try and insure clarity, it seems appropriate to have a few ground rules. On-the-Road Travel Tips apply to anything that makes your travel experience work better for you while actually traveling. Please do not send travel tips related to any aspect of pre-tour planning or...

Within Frogner Park in Oslo, Norway, tour groups are among the many visitors to the sculpture park featuring works by Gustav Vigeland. Photo by Randy Keck

Over the years, I have periodically written about employment and volunteer opportunities in the travel industry. This month, I am focusing on such opportunities for those of retirement age, since the majority of ITN readers fit into that demographic.

For those of us who are addicted to travel, particularly international travel, a major part of the appeal is the chance for continued learning, which is synonymous with continuing personal growth. When we travel, we are primarily in...

Our group enjoyed a picnic under an argan tree in Tafraout, Morocco. Photo by Randy Keck
This is part three of a three part series. Read part one here. Read part two here.

In the second part of this series, I described the first half of my hosted April 2019 journey around Morocco with the small-group adventure-tour operator ElderTreks. This month, I’ll share highlights from the second part of our trek, from the dunes of the Sahara back to Casablanca. First, however, I wish to share a few thoughts about shopping in Morocco.

Morocco shopping mania

On most...

The Roman-era ruins at Volubilis, once a city of 25,000. Photos by Randy Keck
This is part two of a three part series. Read part one here. Read part three here.

On my 18-day, April 2019, hosted group tour to Morocco with the small-group adventure-tour operator (and ITN advertiser) ElderTreks, we simply covered a lot more ground than most shorter itineraries do.

My travel writer/tour leader/tour operator genes compel me to automatically assess a tour in terms of what I thought was good to great and also what might be improved or changed.

What I...

Visitors exploring the colorful medina in Essaouira. Photo by Randy Keck
This is part one of a three part series. Read part two here. Read part three here.

In April 2019 I ventured to exotic Morocco with the hope of finding a balance between discovering its historic, cultural and natural world attractions and finding the on-the-ground pulse of the country today.

I found a land of contradictions, often difficult if not impossible to define. Moroccans today appear to live with a tug-of-war of values between the often polar-opposite, if not...

A colorful pedestrian bridge connects Tavira’s two historic districts — the Algarve, Portugal. Photo by Gail Minoff-Keck

From our 6-night home-base apartment on the Quarteira seafront in the central Algarve of southern Portugal, my wife, Gail, and I planned self-drive day trips to Tavira and Faro.

Both cities are unique in that they are removed from the main tourist grid, positioned on inland estuaries and without easy or immediate access to the Algarve’s famed beaches. Easy beach access is an absolute requirement for the vast majority of visitors who migrate annually to the region for the lengthy...

As in many towns in the Algarve, Lagos features calçadas, or mosaic stone-tiled walkways. Photos by Randy Keck

The 2-night stop that my wife, Gail, and I made in the tiny village of Salema in southernmost Portugal revealed something unexpected: just how closed down certain parts of the Algarve region can be during the winter off-season.

Dinnertime at the only restaurant open on a Tuesday night in Salema in late November 2018 revealed a spattering of British expats who have occupied parts of the Algarve coast as both part-time and full-time residents.

Among the Brits, mostly seniors,...