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What Happens In Vegas...

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Tips & Advice for the Seasoned and Armchair Traveler Alike! 

March. 25, 2008 

Do you remember flying on Peoples Express?
If you do, you have officially reached the age where many 
things are lower than they used to be - the volume control 
on your CD player, the jeans beneath your belt buckle, your 
tolerance for MTV and the amount you spend on a night on 
the town before getting sleepy - to name a few.
Welcome to middle age. At least.
Contrary to popular belief, the iconic "mid-life crisis" 
portrayed in popular culture does not just happen to men. 
My experience is, it crosses the gender line for all 40-
and 50-somethings.
And it can lead to some bad travel decisions.
This week's topics include:



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I was 22 when I declared to my friends that - in case I 
should die young - I wanted to get my mid-life crisis out 
of the way immediately. Great, like any 22-year-old needs 
ANOTHER excuse for acting impulsively.

I'm 44 now and, much to my own surprise, I'm still around. 

I've got a steady job with good health benefits that almost 
pays all the bills. I've got a wonderful wife, three 
magnificent children, a house in the suburbs and about a 
billion channels of cable television.
Still, like so many of my peers, I stand at this halfway 
point and wonder, "Is this it?"
From there, dear readers, it's a slippery slope into 
irrational, mid-life thought. 
Here's my prophecy for all middle-aged male and female 
readers of this news: There will come a time when you 
will look at your spouse over your morning cup of coffee 
and say, in all seriousness, "Honey, let's go to Fiji...
You will be lightly dismissed. Hopefully, you'll come to 
realize that's a good thing.
If you don't, here is some advice to help you avoid the 
pitfalls associated with the mid-life crisis travel bug:
* Plan for spontaneity
Last-minute travelers usually get the worst airline, hotel, 
car rental - you name it - deals. Business travelers with 
sudden, inflexible needs and leisure travelers who don't 
plan ahead are the customers the travel industry makes its 
money on. 
If you forge ahead anyway, use one of the Websites 
specializing in last-minute deals for airfare or hotels. 
Airlines are getting a lot better at minimizing the number 
of unsold seats on their flights, but you may be able to 
find something through a consolidator.
If there's someplace that you've always wanted to visit - 
Easter Island, Egypt's Great Pyramids, your grandmother’s 
old village in Europe - make a decision to do it, set a 
rough date, etch it in stone, and begin to prepare for it. 
Make it a great adventure.
* Maui or Milwaukee?
You might have to modify your crises destination to fit 
your budget. 
Always dreamed of a South Pacific Island or a romantic 
Parisian cafe, but can't afford the air fare? Maybe you 
should look for a similar destination closer to home. 
Some of the Caribbean Islands offer a comparable tropical 
paradise. Cities like Montreal offer the flavor of Europe 
without the trans-Atlantic flight or the punishing exchange 

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* Middle-aged travel debt

The urge to do something new and different - immediately - 
can turn normally thrifty adults into spendthrifts. Do NOT 
take on debt to take a vacation. 

Debt is for capital investments like home improvements and 
repairs, appliances or automobiles. It’s for your kids 
college education or a financial crisis that gives you no 
other choice.

Vacations are something you save for, or something you blow 
a bonus or a big income tax rebate on. Use a credit card 
for convenience, but make sure you don't max it out or 
charge more than you can pay off in a few months.

* Sailing by your moral compass

For some people, this metaphorical device starts wobbling, 
even spinning, for a time during middle age. 

Places like Las Vegas, with the marketing slogan, "what 
happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", can be enticing for mid-
lifers in crisis, but keep in mind one thing: The slogan is 

Doing something wild and crazy that you wouldn't normally 
do is fine. If you normally wouldn't go hang-gliding, sing 
karaoke or eat dead animals you don't recognize, but do so 
on vacation - more power to you.

But if you cheat on your spouse, use illegal substances or 
do anything else that could ruin the life you've built up 
to this point, don't do it. Sexually transmitted diseases 
don't "stay" anywhere once you come home. Criminal records 
don't remain a secret from your employer. 

The thing about a mid-life crisis is, eventually, it will 
pass. Maybe you'll change your lifestyle or reconcile your-
self with the life you've got. Either way, you will always 
carry the guilt of having done something you feel is 
morally wrong. And that sucks. 

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* Shopping

This is the time of life when people may come home with 
sports cars, computers and painful shoes they can't afford.

That's fine. After a few days, if reason returns, these 
things can usually be brought back and the financial damage 

Unless, of course, you make an extravagant, emotion-based 
purchase on the other side of the planet.
You can't rush back to the showroom to return that thousand
-dollar piece of art you got from that old man in the stall 
in that little Hungarian village. At the time, you were sure 
it would look amazing in the living room. But now that it's 
actually in there, you realize it doesn't work at all. 


Maybe you can re-gift it for somebody's wedding.

* Kids

For some folks, mid-life angst is simply a reaction to the 
routine needs of being a father or mother, breadwinner, 
housekeeper, amateur psycho-therapist, coach, financial 
planner, taxi driver, health care provider and all the 
other roles they - and they alone - must play.
May I suggest getting away without the children? 
Yes, they are wonderful and you love them,  but they may 
also be driving you nuts. A week or weekend away with your 
spouse, your friends or just by yourself, may be just what 
you need to get things back in perspective.

Well, that's it for this week, group. Thanks again for 
reading, and please keep those comments, complaints and 
questions coming in. 

You can send me an e-mail message at: Email Pierce

Until next week, thanks for reading.   

Your Tipmeister,   



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