Les and Vee are self confessed travel addicts with well stamped passports. Their lifelong enthusiasm for galavanting has taken them to more than 70 countries on 6 continents, plus 42 US states – and there’s no sign of shelving their passports just yet. In 2011 they set off on a belated gap year — eight years later, they’re still traveling. In an unexpected twist, keeping in touch on their journey developed into sharing their adventures on their own website, Boomerland Travel Tips.
Les and Vee spent some time with us to answer our questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Les: I was 10 years old when I got a giant birthday gift — a book of the worlds top ancient monuments. From that moment on I was hooked. I spent hours flicking through the glossy pictures and couldn’t wait to be old enough to travel and see the classics up close and personal for myself.
Vee: I was lucky enough to come from a long line of curious travellers. Visiting ancient sites in Les’s birthday book sounded like a perfect plan. Back in the day, our first trip as Mr & Mrs was, surprise, surprise, to Egypt.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Les & Vee: Our travel website is aimed at readers of our own age, technically baby boomers, but we cover tons of active adventures and unique experiences, creating a strong following of 30 somethings to living lively after 60.
We also write for a wide range of titles — from lifestyle and retirement magazines to expat publications. Offering advise to travel insurance companies and appraisals to Tourist Authorities; our travel reviews are frequently used by PR companies to promote events and attractions.
Having travelled together for more than 45 years we have a stash of amusing travel tales — stretching from China to Oman — they turn out to be a popular read with active retirees. We are currently working on a book of travel tips and tales from our life of happy travels.
TA: What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Les & Vee: Ooh, that could be a long list! Our current location is often our new favorite. Although heading off the beaten track in Northern Thailand, exploring the temples of Tamil Nadu, India, and fond memories of Andalusia, Spain spring to mind.
TA: What’s one place you’ve always wanted to visit?
Les & Vee: The Rose City of Petra, Jordan. We’ll get there eventually. And if not, Greece is still on our list too.
TA: What’s one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Les & Vee: Travelling constantly, it’s all about comfort. We pack contoured pillows into compression bags – they usually assure us of a good nights sleep. And, with a nod to our baby boomer status, the occasional Paracetamol keeps our wheels rolling.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Les & Vee: Don’t try and do too much. Concentrate on quality experiences that create lifelong memories rather than ticking popular sites off a to-do list.
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Les & Vee: Long haul: For variety, culture, color, spirituality, and sheer mayhem — India is hard to beat.
Closer to home: Europe: Rome is always a good idea. USA: California — North or South. With plenty to entertain — we like the high energy levels and good vibrations.
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
Les & Vee: Ticking one place from our wish list usually involves adding another location, so we keep an eye on hotel websites. Hotel loyalty cards have showered us with upgrades, private events, spa treats, and a host of other benefits. For city locations IHG.com often comes up with good offers at good properties and IHG point breaker offers are brilliant for long road trips. Snagging a centrally located InterContinental property for 10,000 reward points per night is enough to make most travellers smile.
Offering a wide range of brands from basic to luxury Marriott.com is a website worth bookmarking.
For one of a kind boutique hotels and hidden gems with sparkling spa facilities, check out the recommendations on our website Boomerland Travel Tips.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you’ve ever been given?
Les & Vee: Life changes fast: visit while you can and be present when you get there.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Les & Vee: Sharing the moment. We advocate enjoying the experience first and then sharing on social media.
TA: Which country has surprisingly good food?
Les & Vee: Sicily. A wealth of fresh produce from olives to tomatoes, grapes to goats milk — the rich volcanic soil of Mount Etna, and centuries of Arab influence, make the tiny Italian island an irresistible taste treat. And who could say no to a fresh Cannoli — apparently not us!
Kerala. For depth of flavor with a spicy kick, the coastal state of southern India delivers. Chicken Biryani and Kerala beef curry maybe famous, but the wide range of vegetarian dishes make it a delight for veggie lovers — we highly recommend giving a delicious mango curry a shot.
TA: What was the most romantic place you ever visited with a partner?
Les & Vee: When you’ve been married for over 40 years, there are plenty of candidates for this list. A trip down the Mekong River, stargazing in the desert, or champagne breakfast on an African safari. Whatever captures the moment, often captures our heart.
TA: What’s one way people can get the most out of their cruise experience?
Les & Vee: It’s true. We’ve been a lot of places and seen a lot of things, including a long list of winding river trips in far flung places. But so far — we have never been on a cruise vacation.
TA: Have you ever met someone while traveling who changed your life? Who were they?
Les & Vee: We have met countless fascinating and inspirational people. We should put our hands together for the monks in Northern Thailand who taught us the art of meditation. Namaste.
TA: What’s something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Les & Vee: Disrespecting local customs. The whole point of travel is to experience something different, so there’s little point trying to make places that you visit fit a mould that is familiar to you.
Learn more about Les and Vee:
Visit their website Boomerland Travel Tips.