South of the border: Raleigh/Chapel Hill

By: Martha Steger

Despite — or perhaps because of — our rivalry with Tar Heels, Virginians love our neighboring state to the south. Unlike our own capital city, North Carolina’s Raleigh, 175 miles southwest of Richmond via I-95, or 155 miles on I-85, received little damage in the Civil War. My husband, Tom, and I — fans of Richmond’s architecture — enjoyed seeing the well-preserved... READ MORE

Exploring Sicily’s wide range of pleasures

By: Victor Block

“You can steal my money, but not my food.” “If lunch or dinner doesn’t have at least five courses, it’s just a snack.” “If you want things to go exactly as planned, don’t come here.” These words spoken by Alessio, our tour guide in Sicily from Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), say a lot about the island. Because Alessio dearly loves his homeland, his comments also... READ MORE

Share your skills on volunteer vacations

By: Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior: My husband and I are approaching retirement and are interested in learning more about volunteer vacations. Can you give us some information on this travel option, and refer us to some good organizations that offer these types of trips? — Love to Travel Dear Love: If you’re looking to do more on your next vacation than relax in the sun or go sightseeing,... READ MORE

A look at new ships and trends in cruising

By: Beth J. Harpaz

What’s new in cruising this year? As usual, there’s lots of razzle-dazzle — laser tag, water slides, zip lines and massive LED screens — along with a continued emphasis on healthy lifestyle options, from dining to fitness. But there are also changes underway in ship design, itineraries and who’s cruising. New ships are offering more outdoor spaces and views of the sea —... READ MORE

Taking it easy at three historic Virginia inns

By: Martha Steger

Now is a good time to get out after being cooped up at home during a winter that blasted through the end of March. Virginia’s upper Shenandoah Valley provides not only entry to Shenandoah National Park but also to the 105-mile-long Skyline Drive and, connecting to it further south at Waynesboro, the Blue Ridge Parkway. By mid-to-late May in the valley, the brilliant blossoms of... READ MORE

Look at ratings to avoid the worst airports

By: Ed Perkins

With airport ratings, checking out the “best” list doesn’t really matter much. After all, if you want to go to Albuquerque, the fact that Orlando Airport earns better scores doesn’t help much. At the other end of the scale, however, looking at the “worst” airport lists can sometimes help you decrease your risk of problems and hassles: At a multi-airport city, you might... READ MORE