Colder weather is moving in quickly, and if you haven't made plans for that winter getaway or a holiday trip you were hoping for, time is getting short.
Don't know where to go this year? Liz Dahl, founder of the over-50 travel website boomertravelpatrol.com, says one destination to consider is Jamaica, even though the Caribbean island may have fallen off the radar for older adults. "It's a place people have avoided," Dahl says. "It kind of had a little bit of a bad reputation." But Dahl says the island has been "cleaned up," and there are some spectacular new resorts on the beach. Dahl recommends the Royalton White Sands on Montego Bay (royaltonwhitesandsresort.com), which is offering some all-inclusive specials.
Dahl also likes Bermuda, another destination many people forget about. "Bermuda is only two hours away" from Long Island, she says. Dahl says the rates at hotels actually go down in the late fall and winter, because, unlike some other winter destinations, the weather is more springlike than summerlike. "If you don't need the super-hot weather, it's a great place for golf, for tennis, for just strolling around," she says. She likes the Grotto Bay resort (grottobay.com).
For those looking to take their grandkids on a memorable holiday experience, Dahl recommends the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, Mass. (lasalette-shrine.org). This is not a resort or a hotel; it is a Roman Catholic monastery, and each year it holds a spectacular "Festival of Lights." This year's festival, which runs Nov. 28-Jan. 5, will feature 350,000 lights. Be forewarned: The roads to the shrine often get clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic at peak times. Dahl says there are many good hotels and motels in the area if you want to stay overnight.
And before you get to your hotel, wherever it may be, it's a good idea to pack lots of sanitizer wipes to clean TV remotes and telephones, Dahl says. Do you cast a suspicious eye at the bedding, wondering if the staff regularly cleans the comforter or duvet? "They don't," Dahl says. "Even in the finest hotels."
You also should be wary about the glassware in the bathroom. Don't let that little paper cap on the glass give you false confidence. Dahl says you don't know if the glass was sanitized. Even if it was cleaned, you don't know what was used. "Sometimes, they use a [spray] glass cleaner to clean it," she says. "I mean, yuck!"
For a list of Dahl's hotel tips, go to bit.ly/hotel-donts.