The Personal Travel Experience of Gary Steiger

 
   I have traveled to a very large places in the world, including most of Western Europe, Latin America, and North America. My favorites places include Vietnam, Thailand, Columbia, Bolivia, Patagonia (Chile and Argentina), Peru (both Machu Picchu and the Amazon River) Guatemala, Costa Rica, hiking in Switzerland Bavaria (Southern Germany), New Zeland, Northwestern U.S, and Western Canada.

Some of my trips were done independently, and some on organized tours or cruises on very small ships. My favorite independent trips were to New Zeland, Costa Rica, and hiking in Switzerland and Bavaria. My favorite tour companies:

  • Overseas Adventure Travel. I have taken 9 tours with this company, and plan to take more. Their itineraries are excellent, as are their guides. They limit the size of their groups to 16 for land tours, and 24 for groups involving a small ship. The cater to active people over 55 years of age.

    They get you to the most interesting places and specialize in opportunities to meet local people. Guide often have us do some shopping it local markets (fun), and most trips have us dining as the guests of local people (with our group split up into several homes). They discuss everything about where you are, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. I leave their trip feeling that I have been immersed in a a foreign culture. Yet, the trips are always quite comfortable. I imagine, for example, leaving a walk through the hot Amazon jungle, only to board a comfortable air conditioned river boat.

    Lodging is usually quite charming and always very comfortable - but no Hiltons, Marriots, or the like here. Guides are always well trained people, natives of the area in which you are traveling, who speak excellent English. Sometimes local guides specializing in specific cities or areas are hired.

    Adventures are of the mind, body, and spirit. So while you should be in reasonable health to fully enjoy your trip, you needn’t be an athlete or rugged outdoorsperson. The standard of fitness is usually that you must be able to walk 3 miles unassisted, often over rough cobblestone or over trails, and participate in 6-8 hours of physical activities each day.

    You can get a discount by mentioning my name, Gary Steiger, and my customer number, 686610.

  • Un-Cruise provided the very best organized tour I have ever taken on its Alaska Ultimate Adventure. Read Below.

  • Explore! Explore are specialists in Adventure Travel offering Cultural, Walking, Cycling & Trekking adventures in over 120 countries worldwide. Choose from a wide range of adventure travel options including walks and treks, cultural adventures, cycling tours, family adventures and much more. I traveled them when I was young, because the offered interesting trips at very low prices. This is a British company. Guides and most of the trip members are British. Sometimes local guides are hired.
I believe that guide books do a much better job of describing interesting places in the world that can I - I use the Lonely Planet series, plus extensive research on the internet. But I wrote up information on a few of my earlier trips, which I post below. Note the dates on these write-ups. They are all out of date, but still possibly useful, and perhaps entertaining. I do not intend to update them, so be sure to do your own research.

 

 

 

 

Europe

 

Russia

Russia cruise, St. Petersburg to Moscow, June 1998
   
 

Latin America

 

Costa Rica 12/26/2000 to 1/11/2001

Observations, surprises, and recommendations on what to see and do, and some places to stay in this beautiful country.

 

 

Peru 2001 and 2003

The Andes, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, Cuzco, and amazing Machupichu, September, 2001. The Upper Amazon Region, September 2003. And, unfortunately, Lima both times.

 

 
 

U.S.A.

 

Alaska

On September 7, 2013, I returned from Alaska. I love the outdoors. This was the trip of a lifetime, exploring raw, wild, wonderful beauty from the comfort of a small ship, the Wilderness Discoverer (176 feet, 76 passengers max).
 

Northwest U.S.A.

Vancouver, B.C, Washington, and Oregon are some of my favorite places. Here are some known and little known ways to enjoy the area, and some nifty places to stay.

 

 
   

Glacier National Park

A beautiful loop driving route to Glacier National Park, and returned through lovely Priest Lake, Idaho.

 

 

Southern Louisiana

Swamps, plantations, and jazz. Nice for a week in the Spring.

 

 
   

Las Vegas, Nevada

I have spent more than my share of time in this glitzy city. I can tell you about my favorite things to do there that do not involve gambling, and some inexpensive places to stay. And, when you get tired of the city stuff, there are some very beautiful places to visit within driving distance of the city. But for gambling, except for a little tiny bit of advice, you are on your own.
 
 

Cheap Travel

 

Free Frequent Flyer Miles on the Internet

One of my passions is to fly for free. I have been very successful at doing so. All of my international tickets and most of my domestic flights are paid for by miles I acquired for free from means other that actually flying. Any overnight trips are always in business class. It is really quite easy. There are many, many free deals on the internet that give thousands of frequent flyer miles for doing almost nothing. Here is a guide to my favorites. I spend a great deal of my time keeping it updates. My object is to provide the most up to date and complete resource for obtaining free and cheap airline miles and hotel points from U.S. based airlines and from major lodging chains with points progams.

 

 

Cheap Lodging

Here are a set of links that will find you hostels and other cheap lodging most anywhere in the world.
 
   

Cheap Fares

Here is some brief but useful information on how to get the cheapest fares for travel. It's ugly, and not very well formatted, but it's full of good information. Worth a look.