Travel Wisely

From insuring your trip to ensuring you arrive home with good stories

As jubilados (Spanish for retirees) our elemental travel years are declining—we’ve got to use them wisely


At our age, we’ve got a lot of baggage; I mean luggage. Big and small. Two-wheeled and four. Heavy and light. Burgundy and rusty orange. And black, lots of black.

You might be surprised to see what our favourite piece of luggage is now.

A small cooler!

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Peso to USD

“Change your money on the black market,” friends who’d been to Argentina advised, “You’ll get 25 percent more than at the banks.”

I was all for it, but Magellan was skeptical. “I don’t want to get robbed in some back alley,” he protested.

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We have many friends who plan their trips on the fly. They book their first night’s accommodation and then get the advice of locals on the best side trips and places to stay and eat. They return with stories of many pleasant surprises from their random walk.

Spice tends to be a bit more (okay, a lot more!) structured in her planning. I follow her lead and as Magellan, try to plot the possibilities. On her bucket list was hiking in the Picos de Europa in northwestern Spain, an area I’d never heard of. Let me share our process in how we started with that kernel and built a road map for our trip to Portugal and Spain last fall.

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Camp Cooking

This week after reading “Upscale Food and Gear is Bringing Campsite Cooking Out of the Wild” in The Globe and Mail, Magellan said, “We did that—and more.”

I don’t know Canada’s stats but the article, originally published in The New York Times, says interest in camp cooking in the US is heating up.

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A traveller’s nightmare. 1990. Bari, Italy. A guy with a knife slits the strap on my “man-purse.” Jumps onto the back of a motorbike. Disappears into a maze of alleys. I’ve just lost my passport, driver’s license, credit cards, money and airline tickets. If it had happened today, I’d also have lost my iPhone.

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Backpacking, car camping, RVing or motelling? Why did we choose a rooftop tent as our base to explore North America?

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