posted on 04/13/2011 via
BabyBoomerTrips.com: We would like to take you back to a time when you were first starting to think about traveling independently? Can you relay some personal travel experiences from when you were just starting to travel solo? Were your travel experiences very simple, such as going to "the lake," or the nearest "big city," or was it something more exotic like backpacking through Europe, hiking through Nepal, or taking a VW van cross-country? How much planning was involved back then, and what were your information sources?
Anita Dunham-Potter: I am not quite a baby boomer; okay, I am one year removed. I just celebrated my 39th birthday...again! Seriously, I have been a travel enthusiast since the age of five when I accompanied my dad on his weekly business lobster delivery runs from Maine to Atlantic City. After my parents divorced I was a very frequent flier between Boston and Philadelphia on Allegheny Airlines. To satisfy my wanderlust I became a flight attendant for USAir (ironically the former Allegheny Airlines). After that, traveling alone came quite easy since I had free flying privileges, which meant I could go anywhere I wanted. On my off days I would often go to places for just one day: like a "tanning trip" to Ft. Lauderdale or to New York City or Boston to visit museums. On extended time off I would head out of the country; my first jaunts were usually solo to Mexico. I spent weeks down there just wandering around. I've been to every island in the Caribbean. Eventually, I started meandering around Europe. I have to say back then there wasn't too much planning; places to stay and visit were "word of mouth" from other airline vagabonds like myself.
BabyBoomerTrips.com: In your early travel days, how did you view the idea of flying to some distant country or a third world country? How does this compare to now?
Anita Dunham-Potter: I never hesitated as it was so much easier back then. I could get on a plane and usually have an open seat next to me and there weren't all these security hassles. Sadly, flying is no longer fun. The good news is some travel components are less expensive, like air travel, and choices are abundant. The Internet has been a boon to travel by taking the mystery out of pricing and by offering more real time information on travel destinations.
BabyBoomerTrips.com: A fair amount of time has elapsed since you first started to travel independently. How has the travel industry changed since that time? How have your personal travel habits changed?
Anita Dunham-Potter: There are just so many more people traveling now. Airlines are just starting to get back on their feet; the cruise industry is changing rapidly. Unfortunately, this has led to less spontaneity on my part to just wander off via plane. Besides, I have more luggage these days with two children. Last minute vacations usually end up being road trips to Amish country or following the Steelers to an away game if I can get tickets...
BabyBoomerTrips.com: Do you still have a "Dream Vacation"? If so, where/what would that be?
Anita Dunham-Potter: Australia and New Zealand. I am doing my other dream vacation in October: Egypt and Jordan. I cannot wait to see the pyramids and Petra – I have my Indiana Jones hat packed!
BabyBoomerTrips.com: List your top 5 favorite travel destinations.
Anita Dunham-Potter: This is a hard one and I am sure some of my choices will change. However, for now they are:
BabyBoomerTrips.com: In your opinion, what do you think some of the hottest travel destinations for baby boomers will be in the near future?
Anita Dunham-Potter:Anywhere cruise ships are going. Cruises are a great and convenient way to see the world.
About Anita: Anita's columns and articles on travel have appeared in print in Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Aviation Lifestyles, and USAir Magazine. She is also a contributor to Fodor's "Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises 2006." Currently, she is the cruise columnist for Tripso.com, whose content is available on MSNBC.