Together, Mike and Carol Ivey are the Curious Gypsies: long-time travelers, freelance writers, and travel photographers. As an adventurous baby boomer couple they enjoy sharing travel stories, photos, and travel advice. They hope to encourage their readers to get out and experience the world!
Mike and Carol were kind enough to answer our questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Mike and Carol: We have traveled together for over 35 years. One trip in particular to Costa Rica when most of the country was undeveloped really inspired our sense of adventure and desire to travel. We adjusted our lifestyle several times over the years to feed our travel need. We've lived aboard a yacht and traveled the Caribbean and now are embarking on our newest adventure living in an RV to travel the country.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Mike and Carol: Baby Boomer Couples Adventure Travel.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Mike and Carol: We've had so many great trips, it's hard to pick just one! Our trip to South Africa to dive with Great White Sharks is one of our top favorites. There are so many diverse things to do there. South Africa is a beautiful country and in addition to the diving, we had a wonderful time enjoying wine tastings, going on a safari, and visiting the stunningly beautiful Kirstenbosch Natural Botanical Gardens.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Mike and Carol: Australia
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Mike and Carol: We always have the tech gadgets with us including the iPad and digital camera, but I make sure to always have my iPhone X everywhere we go. It shoots great quality pictures and makes it easy to document our travels.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Mike and Carol: In general, I think one of the most important things to remember is to be friendly and courteous to everyone you meet. Ask questions and engage! We love meeting new people and have learned about lots of cool off the beaten path places by just starting conversations and asking questions. The old saying, "a stranger is just a friend I haven't met yet" will serve you well.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
Mike and Carol: For those that travel out of the U.S., definitely get a U.S. Global Entry Card. In addition to getting the TSA Pre-Check status, it makes getting through Customs a breeze eliminating long lines and possible missed flights.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you've ever been given?
Mike and Carol: Don't be afraid to travel; the world is a pretty safe place if you use some common sense.
TA: What's a travel scam travelers should be wary of?
Mike and Carol: Hotel Internet Scams -- this has happened to us twice where the property photos look great and we got there and the properties looked nothing like the photos. Be very careful of the no refund policies. Even if the property is in terrible shape when you arrive, chances of getting a refund are not good.
TA: What was the most romantic place you ever visited with a partner?
Mike and Carol: The top of Table Mountain in Cape Town South Africa at sunset.
TA: What is the most beautiful and affordable city you've ever visited?
Mike and Carol: Cape Town South Africa is beautiful, affordable, and offers a wide variety of experiences.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Mike and Carol: Being impatient and rude. Sometimes travel requires waiting in lines and whining and complaining about it doesn't do anything positive for the rest of us waiting!