Let’s face it…the good old days of sitting in your local travel agency while your agent searched for the best deals available are all but gone. Today, travelers are left to their own devices.
Few inventions have changed the way people live and experience the world as the invention of the airplane. Did you know that the world’s first scheduled passenger airline service took place between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida, on January 1st, 1914?
As the managing editor of International Living's Daily Postcards, I hear from our editors and correspondents on the ground in the world’s top retirement havens on a daily basis about what makes these countries perfect…their affordability, the great weather, good-value real estate…the friendly people.
International Living editors and correspondents are constantly on the road seeking out the best-value retirement havens. All that travel means they’re pretty savvy when it comes to getting the best deals and saving money while on the road.
“I’m going to write a book about living in Arenal,” Christine Baskin told me. “And I’m going to call it 50 Shades of Green. I mean, just look at all those colors,” she exclaimed as we drove around the huge Lake Arenal.
It’s been a busy year here at International Living. Hundreds of thousands of air miles have been clocked up…lots of ground has been covered…and dozens of the world’s best retirement havens have been scouted by our far-flung team of editors and correspondents.
It's late afternoon on a warm, sunny Panama day and I'm strolling on one of the most mesmerizing stretches of sand I've ever seen. But it's not your typical powder-white sand beneath my toes…instead it's midnight black sand, with swirls of lighter tan mixed throughout. And it almost glistens, like it's covered in tiny twinkling stars.
Cosmopolitan cities, glorious sunshine, delicious cuisine, and low costs—as a retirement or second-home destination, Spain is hard to beat. The southern province of Andalucia, particularly the area around the Costa del Sol, is the epitome of good-value, romantic Spanish living. It has everything: long sandy beaches perfect for strolling on…romantic, white-washed hill towns cling to the Andalusian hillsides...
“When you get here, I’ll pick you up from your hotel and show you my favorite parts of the city”…this was a message I got from IL Panama Editor Jessica Ramesch when I told her I’d be visiting Panama City last week. I’m off the plane having spent 10 days exploring all that Panama has to offer. And it offers so much…the cost of living is affordable; I know couples who are enjoying life on $1,600 a month. Good-value real estate abounds…you can pick up a three-bedroom house, with a swimming pool, in a Pacific coast beach town less than an hour from Panama City, for $150,000. And then there’s the stunning beaches, picturesque mountain towns, and the best retiree benefits program in the world…all reasons why we picked Panama as the world’s number one retirement destination for 2016. And the reason I came here.
Towering sand dunes, an expansive, golden-sand beach that goes on for miles, kite-surfers battling the strong, but warm, Atlantic wind…although Spain’s tourist hub of Marbella is just 63 miles to the east, here at Punta Paloma it feels a world away. It’s a sunny Saturday in early September as I stroll along this beautiful beach, looking for a spot to lay down my beach towel. But I’m not pushing my way through thronging crowds of sun worshippers to claim my little piece of sand.