James and Nancy are semi-retired at 50 years old. They have changed careers and are now travel bloggers that travel the USA and abroad.. Seeing and sharing new and exciting experiences is their passion. Be certain to check out their blog Life Of The Empty Nesters to learn new tips and tricks to make travel less expensive and easier.
James and Nancy spent time with us to answer the questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
James and Nancy: We have been traveling for 25 years together. Once we started traveling we wanted to experience more. It is so exciting to see new places and to share our experiences with everyone. Every time something comes off the bucket list something new is added. We have a barrel list!!!
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
James and Nancy: We don't have a specialty. We travel with our grown children sometimes. We stay in hotels or condos but we also camp. I think I love cruising the best though.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
James and Nancy: This is hard. We have been to so many amazing places. I think right now it would be our cruise to Hawaii.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
James and Nancy: We have always wanted to visit Greece. I think will be on the list for 2020 or 2021. We will spend at least a week in Italy and then venture over to Greece. We are thinking a Greek Isle cruise.
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
James and Nancy: The camera is always with us. James is the camera man and is always ready for a photo opportunity to present itself. There are many times that I am socked at what he gets.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
James and Nancy: Enjoy the journey as well as the destination!
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
James and Nancy: We first make a list of places that we would like to go. Then I research the destination online looking at the destinations homepage or info that the search engine pops up. I look at trip advisor for more information on specific things to do and places to stay. Next would be the airfare. Sometimes that is the determining factor of our stay or length of stay. If the airfare is high I may try a different time of year. We like to travel a lot during the shoulder seasons. especially now that the children are grown. For airfare I look at the airlines website directly that I want to travel. Next I go to www.skiplagged.com. That has been my favorite so far for airfare. I use the Hopper app to monitor airfares. Also, www.scottscheapflights.com has a free and premium service. Scotts will notify you when an airline has made a mistake in their fare that they will honor and great sale prices.
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
James and Nancy: We like to fly out of the small airport close to us as often as possible. Sometimes the bigger airport that is an hour and a half away has better airfares and times. Then we look at parking. Is it cheaper to stay at a hotel and leave your car there or at a secured lot? Is the cheaper flight still cheaper when you add in the parking at a larger airport? Convenience is worth a lot.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you've ever been given?
James and Nancy: The best piece of travel advise I was given was to enjoy the journey. Try to live in the moment. Sometimes the journey is the best part. We to many times are in such a rush to get to a destination that we miss a lot along the way. Stop and smell the roses. Live in the moment! All great expressions to live by.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
James and Nancy: The unknown is always scary. If you do your research and educate yourself on were you are going it will ease a lot of the worry.
TA: What was the most romantic place you ever visited with a partner?
James and Nancy: We went to a luau on our Hawaiian cruise. It was so much fun. The food and entertainment was great. The sunset was spectacular! Walking the beach on Maui at sunset with my spouse was very memorable. The sand between your toes, the beautiful colors in the sky walking hand in hand.
TA: What's one way people can get the most out of their cruise experience?
James and Nancy: Research the ships layout especially from your stateroom. This makes getting around a little easier. Also, make a note what decks the things you are interested in are on. What deck is the pool, is the adult pool aft or front. What deck is the spa, casino, or walking track. We also do a lot of research on the ports of call and the excursions. We check the reviews and make choices well in advance so we get the excursions that we want. We have also done some excursions that were not offered by the ship, but that can be risky, the ship will not wait for you if you don't make it back in time for departure.
TA: Have you ever met someone while traveling who changed your life? Who were they?
James and Nancy: We were getting ready to do our first zip line and I (Nancy) was very nervous. We were still in my early thirties and adventurous, I thought. But this couple in there mid sixties just got right to the zip line like it was nothing. No nervousness just excitement. I was very impressed how they lived the adventure in their life, without hesitation. Mind you I did my research on the zip line company before we went. I didn't need to be so scared but I knew then that I wanted to live more in the moment not the future.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
James and Nancy: I can be a very patient person but rude people drive me crazy. When everyone is waiting in line and someone thinks it is ok to jump in-front of everyone else that would be my biggest pet peeve.