Travel Tips

Traveling Through the Empty Nest: Embracing Adventure in This New Chapter of Life

In this post our frequent guest writer, Jesse Clark, provides travel tips for those who are in a new phase of life. As I prepare to retire soon, and with our children now living on their own, this is a topic that I think about often. Check out the links included, they contain useful resources. Jesse’s bio sketch is below. 

Empty nesters are parents whose children have grown and are now facing an empty home. While this can be a challenging time, it can also be an opportunity to go on new adventures and experiences that were not possible before. One of the best ways to embrace this new phase of your life is through travel. Here are some tips on enjoying your newfound freedom from The Independent Tourist.

Take Weekend Road Trips

Weekend road trips are a great way to explore nearby destinations without taking too much time off work or spending too much money. Depending on where you live, there may be plenty of options within a few hours’ drive. Consider renting an RV or booking a cabin in the woods for a unique experience. Renting an RV for a few days can be a great way to learn if that lifestyle suits you.

Go on an Overseas Adventure

If you’ve always dreamed of traveling overseas, now is the perfect time to do so. With no kids to worry about, you can plan more adventurous trips without worrying about schedules or school breaks. “Shoulder seasons” are a perfect time to travel – the weather is still good but most families have headed back home for the school year. Whether you want to explore Europe’s historic cities or relax on a tropical beach in Southeast Asia, the possibilities are endless.

Visit Friends and Family

Now that your children have left the house, you may find that you have more time and energy to visit friends and family members who live far away. If driving, you can explore interesting places along the way. You can also use this time to meet new people and make connections in different parts of the world.

Explore New Cities You’ve Never Seen

There are probably plenty of cities and states in your own country that you’ve never had the chance to explore. Take the opportunity to do some research and choose a few destinations that you’d like to check out. Make sure to plan ahead so you get the most out of your trip and have plenty of time for sightseeing and other activities. Take advantage of this new phase of life by planning trips to places like New York City or San Francisco or even national parks like Yellowstone or Yosemite. You can even head out to one of the many Disney parks scattered throughout the country. Check out Mouse Life Today to learn all about the Disney Vacation Club.

Escape to Somewhere Peaceful

If you’re looking for a more relaxing vacation experience, consider escaping somewhere peaceful like a spa resort or secluded beach town. These are perfect for recharging your batteries and reconnecting with yourself. Make sure to plan some time for meditation, yoga, and other activities that will help you relax and unwind. No matter where you choose to go on your empty nest adventures, make sure that it’s something that feels right for you.

Pack Light

When traveling as an empty nester, it’s essential (and easier) to pack light and stay organized. Avoid overpacking by making a list beforehand and sticking only with essentials. Packing cubes can keep everything organized in your luggage.

Organize Travel Documents

It’s important to keep your travel documents organized digitally for easy access during your trip. Storing travel information and medical records as PDFs make them easy to access. Additionally, you can split a large file into several smaller ones using this free tool, so you can securely store and access them from any device, making them a convenient solution for traveling empty nesters.

In conclusion, becoming empty nesters does not mean that life has come to an end — it’s just the beginning of another chapter full of opportunities for adventure and exploration through travel. Whether it’s taking weekend road trips, going on overseas adventures, or escaping to somewhere peaceful, there is a place out there waiting for you to enjoy.

Jesse Clark is a traveler, so she’s no stranger to experiencing wanderlust and that strong desire to travel. She’s already had enough experiences to last a lifetime, but she’s not stopping anytime soon. Find out more and contact her through

Note: Featured images from Pexels.

Post-Pandemic Travel: 3 Mistakes To Avoid

In this post our guest writer, Jesse Clark, provides some excellent tips and links to great advice for post-pandemic travel. Excellent suggestions for those getting ready to hit the road again! See her other posts here. More about Jesse below. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, people have been spending most of their time in or near their homes. Travel of any kind, especially nonessential, recreational travel like sightseeing and vacationing, was heavily frowned upon or outright prohibited until very recently when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a major policy change. Even if you were able to travel a bit, you likely found many attractions and accommodations either closed completely or operating at a nearly unrecognizable level.

As the nation’s vaccination figures rise and the number of new COVID-19 cases declines, travel is making its comeback. However, don’t expect everything to bounce back to the way it was immediately — or, in some cases, ever. The pandemic has inflicted some permanent changes on the way businesses and travelers operate, and some of those changes may be here to stay.

Go ahead and strap on that fanny pack. But before hitting the road or taking to the skies, The Independent Tourist gives you these three common mistakes to watch out for.

Mistake No. 1: Thinking There’s Only One Safe Way To Travel

Condé Nast Traveler points out that health experts and travel industry leaders alike have been debating for some time about which mode of transportation has the lowest COVID-19 risk for travelers. As it turns out, the safest travel method may depend on how far you’re traveling.

For a shorter trip of fewer than 500 miles, car travel is likely your best bet. On a road trip, most of your time is spent in a vehicle with just a few other people whose vaccination records are easy to verify. You’ll avoid spending hours at the airport being in close contact with hundreds or thousands of strangers who may or may not be vaccinated, and you won’t be seated inches away from a stranger who will share your airspace for the entire flight.

That said, car travel requires more frequent stops than air travel, and each stop means interacting with new people. Beyond a one-day trip — roughly 500 miles — the COVID-19 risks of all those necessary road trip stops begin to outweigh the risks of airport crowds. For longer trips, air travel is likely the safest choice.

Mistake No. 2: Choosing the Wrong Destinations

You may be itching to get back to your favorite beach or shopping mecca, but so are thousands of other people. Avoiding crowds is still critical to staying safe on your travels. Outdoor destinations, such as parks and campgrounds, are a safer choice than crowded resorts and hotels.

A surprising silver lining to the COVID-19 cloud is that, with international travel bans still in effect, there has never been a better time to visit some of the country’s most stunning national parks. These destinations are seeing smaller-than-normal crowds due to the absence of international tourists.

Mistake No. 3: Not Updating Your Tech Gear

In a post-pandemic world, expect to have your smartphone always glued to your hand. From navigating trails in the great outdoors to taking advantage of contact-free reservations and check-ins, your phone is more important than ever. If you need an upgrade, now’s the time. Because your smartphone will be everywhere you’re venturing, the risk of damage from the elements — rain, dirt, the sun — as well as drops increases, so you’ll want to invest in a rugged, durable screen protector to protect your lifeline. Many of today’s screen protectors go through extensive testing for things like scratches and impacts.

Also look into a good phone sanitizer to keep germs at bay. Noise-isolating headphones may help you remember to practice safe distancing, and a backup battery or power bank will keep you connected on the go.

While you’re no doubt excited to start traveling again, it’s important to prioritize your health and make smart choices to keep you and your travel companions safe on your adventures.

The Independent Tourist is your source for worldwide independent travel, a blog and guide written by an independent tourism enthusiast for independent tourists. Check us out today!

Jesse Clark is a traveler, so she’s no stranger to experiencing wanderlust and that strong desire to travel. She’s already had enough experiences to last a lifetime, but she’s not stopping anytime soon.

How to Save Money on Your Next Vacation

In this post our guest writer, Jesse Clark, provides some excellent tips and links to great money-saving resources for travel. Saving a bit here and there can really add up and allow you to visit even more great destinations! Her bio information is below. 

We all love going on vacation, but few of us actually love the effort that goes into organizing one. Planning for a trip can be a constant headache when you’re trying to scour for the best deals possible and save money across the board. You want to hit everything on your to-do list in your destination city, but you don’t want to break the bank to get there. If you’re planning a trip on a budget, we’ve done some of the work for you! Here are some of our favorite ways to cut costs when arranging your next vacation.

Book a Room with a Kitchenette

An easy way to save money when traveling is to forgo eating out for every meal and instead cook at home. Book a hotel room or vacation rental that offers a refrigerator, microwave, and maybe even a stovetop. You’ll be able to save plenty of money by cooking your own food instead of going to restaurants or ordering room service. Carry snacks with you when you’re out and about so you can eat a little throughout the day. Not only will you be less hungry overall, but you’ll also have the energy you need to enjoy all the activities. A win-win for everyone.

Consider an AirBnB

Hotel rooms are great for single travelers or for couples, but when traveling as a family or with small children, it’s often more economical to look to rentals through sites like Airbnb or HomeAway. With these websites, you can rent an entire house, apartment, cabin, or vacation home complete with a full kitchen, separate bedrooms, and an outdoor space. You’ll usually have more room for a cheaper price than a standard hotel room. Be sure to read the reviews under each listing to get an idea of what the space is like and how easy the host is to communicate with, in case you encounter any problems during your stay.

Be Flexible with Flying

Plane ticket prices eat into a huge chunk of anyone’s vacation budget, but there are only so many ways you can save money there. One of the best ways is to just be flexible with your travel dates. Tickets are cheaper during the week than on the weekends, so if you plan your trip to avoid flying on Saturday or Sunday, you could save a few hundred dollars. Likewise, being open to flying at less opportune times of the day, like early in the morning or late at night, can save you in the long run, as well.

Look for Deals with Enterprise

If you need a rental car on your next trip, look no further than Enterprise. This agency is the largest rental car company in the world, with thousands of cars in circulation and more than 7,000 locations around the world. Chances are good you’ll be able to find an Enterprise location near wherever you’re heading, and it’s highly probable you can find an excellent deal on a rental. Search online for Enterprise coupons and promotional codes for an even better deal!

Avoid the Tourist Traps

It’s easy to stick with touristy activities when you’re on vacation, but try to stray off the beaten path so have a chance to see more and maybe save some money. Many restaurants and attractions geared toward tourists are overpriced on purpose. Check out a few of these sites, but don’t be afraid to ask around for places the locals recommend. This gives you a better feel for the area and could even point you toward an incredible experience.

Traveling is all about immersing yourself in new experiences, cultures and opportunities. Getting hung up on your budget can be a drag. By digging around for deals and taking a different approach with your vacation, you could save money and still have the time of your life.

Jesse Clark is a traveler, so she’s no stranger to experiencing wanderlust and that strong desire to travel. She’s already had enough experiences to last a lifetime, but she’s not stopping anytime soon. Find out more and contact her through