Monday, August 6, 2018


Want to learn more about Independent Travel from Dr. Travelbest. Here's a short video on the topic of why you should GO!

To pre-order the book, you can GO to this website: for a limited time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What to do in Washington and Oregon?

Are you travelling in the great Northwest this year? If you are, what is your favorite activity to do on the road? We just returned from a 4500 mile car trip, the ultimate road trip, really. We went north through all of the US through to Canada and even up into Banff and Jasper National Parks, before going west to Vancouver, then down through Washington and Oregon before returning to San Diego, California.
This image includes some of the activities in Oregon (top two) and Washington (bottom two). The top left is on the beach in Brookings, Mill Beach. A residential area with only about 5 parking spots, so I doubt this will ever be a busy beach. Brookings is just north of the California border on Highway 5. The top right photo, also Brookings, shows a man on a boat called Lady Louise who sells crabs. These are the freshest crabs that I ever tasted. He catches them using traps during the morning, sells them all that day. He offers a fair price and then steams them for you. You will find him in the harbor.

The bottom left is when we were in Shelton, Washington. At the other end of this lake is the State Capital, in Olympia. From this photo, it's a 20 minute boat ride and 40 minutes if you drove. We had a very low tide at this point, so we walked in big boots all the way out to the shore and found some oysters. We put them whole on the barbeque and steamed them. The shells just fell open for us after a few minutes. The best oysters are the freshest from Shelton. We also toured a factory that sells wholesale crab. So if you own a restaurant, perhaps you will call Salish Seafoods, on Sqaxin Island. They are in Shelton. Ask for Rod and call 360 426-4933. They only sell to wholesalers. Who knows, you may get some great deals. This is NOT a sponsored post, by any means.
The bottom right image is from the Olympic Peninsula. This area is a National Forest/Park. This is a fish hatchery, run by the US Fish and Wildlife. Here, we see where 600,000 baby salmon are now living. They will be released in May to the river. And, 18 months later, they return to the place they came, if they are still alive. You will find the Skokomish River and some Indian Reservations (including casinos) in this region. One is called the "Lucky Dog." What do you think of that name?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The World's First Guide to Independent Travel for Active Senior Women

Learn about the newest guide from Dr. Mary Travelbest, for active senior women. We hope you enjoy this free sample of Book Chapters in the link. Below you see some original images and a description of the newest version, and pre-order. We are grateful for your comments, too.

You say you want to go, but don’t take the steps you need. Why not? Because you aren’t yet ready. This Independent Travel Guide, the original title, with hundreds of thousands of satisfied readers, will take you where you need to go, down the path to Independent Travel as an active senior.
What trips are on your Bucket List? We want to inspire and guide you toward finding your journey and making the most of it.
25 years ago, we identified the Independent Traveler and published the first-ever guide, and now we want to guide the Active Senior Traveler, who wants to travel, but maybe doesn’t have anyone to go with them. That should not stop you from going! Our website was created with the independent traveler in mind, and we’ve been blogging about you since 2007. We have thousands of social media followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogspot, YouTube, Google and other platforms, who love to travel like you. We’re listening to you and now that’s part of the conversation of travel.
Travel is a trillion dollar industry, with financial and sustainable impacts across all sectors. France and the USA lead the world in popular destinations, and thanks to technology, you can be connected while you go, wherever you like. We have a chapter on this, helping the active senior stay connected on the road.
Destinations, like Costa Rica, with lovely beaches, volcanoes, spider monkeys, alligators and zip lining are all awaiting the Active Senior traveler. Yes, you can do it alone, or with a friend. We will guide you in how to make this happen, and enjoy it so much, so you will be planning your next trip on the way home.
This mother and daughter team of authors will delight and inspire you to get up and go. We’ve crossed the globe solo and travelled together and can’t wait to share our stories and advice with our readers.
Dr. Mary and Tina Travelbest
The Golden Years are not always golden for many. This book can change the trajectory of seniors lives from being wishful to being active. I wrote the First Guide to Independent Travel to help launch my own business, in 1993, and then married, had four children and grew the business while still travelling. This perspective allows "Dr. Travelbest" as a trusted icon, to help you, instead of allowing a stranger to ​direct your trip. You take charge of your trip and your life by following your personal goals for travel.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Travel Blues

Are you on the road this weekend? If it's a holiday, you'll think about it.
How many people will be travelling with you this season?
Three out of five flights are delayed leaving San Diego now. Three different airlines. It's one of the busiest travel days of the year. Sunday after Thanksgiving Holiday. Funny, we have every holiday named except for today. We could call it "Delayed Sunday".

If you're travelling, you're like the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who are going somewhere, or returning from somewhere. Then there are the rest of us who are happy to be stationary and just wait for the next best time to travel. Next week, for example, is an off-week for busy travellers, so a good time to get a discounted ticket on any airline and probably less highway traffic to experience.
However, if you have school age children, then this may not be the ideal trip time, as that was last week, right? So you need to be considerate of the needs of your educational support as well as you travel needs. And it your entire family was meeting for Thanksgiving, that may have been the only time you could have seen the gang. Act accordingly.
What's the worst traffic hotspot this time of year? Due to the cloud and great data on traffic, we can pinpoint that to Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Top three places to avoid if possible.

So, if you are travelling anytime soon, be sure to mind the Waze, GoogleMaps, and any other devices that can guide you to the place you need to go. And, above all, take a smile with you, because this will take you much further. 
Let's make sure you get there and have a great trip back! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Seychelles or bust....

Barb Ayers talked me into this in 1989. I have no regrets. What a great location.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Guest Post: Lizandra Jimenez Rodriguez

I want to travel independently, does that makes sense?
Written by: Lizandra Jimenez Rodriguez

When traveling becomes a great passion, you usually keep a bucket list framed at your desk or in the lock screen of your phone. You never stop planning or deciding when, where, and how to get to the next place. There are tons of ways to travel, however, independent travel has been always a popular one for those seeking adventure, exploring on their own, or simply trying to get away from the traditional and superficial (for some) tourist routine. A myth we need to forget is that independent travel is not all about backpacking in Europe or climbing the Everest; in fact, it can be done in many ways including different levels of budget and luxury. Also, independent travel can be done solo or with an affinity group with a particularly crafted itinerary. This makes it very different from escorted traveling of course. Companies have understood how escorted traveling is not for everyone and today we see the promotion of flexible itineraries, where the traveler can customize it almost entirely and still have the best from both worlds: hand-holding in a foreign place but total freedom to do things at your own pace. Travel companies are becoming quite creative with showing travelers the multitude of options out there for “organized” independent travel, and how they can help. As part of their campaign A Better Way To Travel, Monograms (part of Globus family of brands) is one great example of how companies approach this on social media with original content marketing.

There are perks for traveling alone though, and it has nothing to do with you being an experienced traveler or new to this amazing hobby. Here are a couple worthy of mention:

You can focus on what your real interests are.
You choose your own distractions, your own pace, and your own level of interaction with the destination. This reduces friction when you decide to open to others, or try exotic culinary delights. Since you are escaping from your daily routine and do not plan to have a trip based on a daily routine, traveling solo reduces stress and helps you to connect with your inner self. Your itinerary becomes an on-and-off the beaten path journey seeking and finding the extraordinary. In essence, it means you will unobtrusively dive into your plans and enjoy a silence or a crowd.

You can have a budget as flexible or strict as you would like it to be.
Some destinations are more expensive than others, but I personally think it’s all about the type of experience and how pampered you want to be. Furthermore, those two factors will influence your budget the most. There is a lot to say about creating a budget such as choosing the best season, scheduling a super detail-oriented budget like an accountant, or just having the essentials and a ballpark figure to spend until it is all gone. I usually start with a checklist of the “must have-see-do” and I put the “maybes” on a separate column. All this, of course, after you can pragmatically calculate pre-departure expenses, air fare, accommodation and meals. Finally, it is always safe to leave some room for odds and ends that include all those miscellaneous things we travelers collect for ourselves or to share (postcards, souvenirs, extra toiletries, etc.).

However, independent travel takes a great amount of research to decide where and when to go somewhere. The Internet is inundated with travel blogs that are usually very helpful for finding information from fellow travelers that help prepare you in a way of what to expect or how to start planning. I have found a few of them to be particularly resourceful and helpful: Independent Traveler, Across and Abroad, Adventurous Kate, Bunch of Backpackers, among others.

One of the most common questions we ask ourselves lately is if we really need to see a travel agent for this, and the answer is … it depends. Yes, the Internet has lots of information and one-click online agencies to buy your packages or make tour reservations. But brick-and-mortar travel agencies still exist for the mere reason that talking to a specialist can make a difference. It does not mean you need to book from beginning to end, but a consultation session could help you organize ideas, learn about how to structure your itinerary, or simply realize there are some lightning or seasonal deals you can get. In addition, there are remote destinations in places like Africa, for example, where coordinating activities or accommodations over the internet might be a bit difficult. Instead, travel agencies usually work with wholesalers that can confirm these services ahead of time using their destination management team.

Cons about independent travel usually have to do with language barriers, interacting with local customs, finding your own way if you get lost, or planning ahead for contingencies in case something goes wrong. Yes, some things will go wrong sometimes and you need to be prepared. That would be one of the greatest pitfalls because if you did not organize using a backup person/company to call or you didn’t have travel insurance your trip could become pretty scary and/or end abruptly. Sometimes intuition, resources, or caution will not be enough while traveling independently. This is why I mentioned travel insurance. Notably outside your country you do not usually get covered by your health insurance provider. You are on an adventure after all, but you want to keep it safe at the same time. Be sure to choose an insurance company that covers reasons you feel might prevent you to start, continue or finish your travel once you are booked and ready to go.

On a final note, remember that traveling is not always about risks, budget, or the ordinary. Open your horizons, be safe and have fun. Learn where to indulge and how to save as well as where to jump and where to retreat. Who knows? You might end up choosing the life of travel where you can work, volunteer, and make your main income as a travel blogger or a photographer. Make each part of the world your home, literally.

Editor's Note: I'm going to Japan very soon. I plan to visit the cities below. I'll make an update after the trip. Happy Independent Travels!