l issue of The CONNECTION


News from your YMCA Alumni Travel Club

March 2023

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Here's what's new -- FOR YOU

Gems of the Danube and Prague

October 15-25, 2023

Your Travel Club works hard to book trips for all budgets. This is a luxurious river voyage aboard a Scenic Space-Ship and your cost includes everything. It’s hardly surprising that one of Europe’s longest waterways is home to so many wonderful attractions. Start with a three night hotel stay in Prague to experience the wonder of this magnificent city, then travel to Nuremberg to embark on your 5-star luxury river cruise. Explore Vienna, with its remarkable array of elegant buildings, and the beautiful city of Budapest. Our trip will be hosted by Bob Cook of GoTravel, our Travel Club Committee consultant.

Book this trip by March 28, 2023 and receive either $1,000 savings per person, or free air (value up to $1400).

Danube Details

Atlantic Crossing: Florida to Italy

April 21 - May 3, 2024

Less than a century ago, ocean liners were the only way to travel between the United States and Europe. Today, you’ll relax and play your way traversing the entire Atlantic Ocean from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Rome, Italy on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, the most awarded ship in the world. Here's an option: You'll arrive in Italy in time to seamlessly join our YMCA Alumni "Italy by Rail" tours including Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre.

Book this trip before June 1, 2023 and you will receive a $150 per cabin shipboard credit that can used for anything on board.

Visit our Website

Italy By Rail

May 6-12, 2024

A unique visit to Italy...Your Way. For its sheer breathtaking beauty and tempting, mouth-watering cuisine, Italy is hard to beat. Iconic, instantly recognizable monuments, medieval towers and palazzos, and pastel-colored villages clinging to cliff sides are just some of the images this enticing country conjures up.

Join YMCA Alumni on this affordable tour as we visit Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre for 8 nights by Trenitalia, Italy's national rail carrier, via high-speed train into the heart of the destination.

Italy by Rail

Adventures at a glance

Sept. 20-28, 2023 Mackinac Island & Grand Hotel

Oct. 15-25, 2023: Gems of the Danube & Prague

Jan. 27-Feb. 4, 2024: Winter Warm-up in Caribbean

April 21-May 3, 2024: Atlantic Crossing

May 6-12, 2024: Italy by Rail

Sept. 27 - Oct. 4, 2024: America's Music Cities

Jan. 27-Feb. 2: 2025: Alumni Reunion at Sea Cruise

Travel and our health: Lasting benefits

Terry Randolph, a licensed professional counselor and chief program officer at a health agency in Tucson, Ariz., wrote about the “numerous lasting benefits travel can have on your mental state.” Here are some excerpts from her story in Afar Daily Wander.

“Traveling contributes to a happier and more fulfilled life, and it does more for our minds than simply giving us a break,” she says.

  • Lowered stress and anxiety: Travel provides a mental reset, which reduces your overall stress and anxiety levels.
  • Better relationships and connectedness: If you are lonely, traveling is a great way to form closer connections and stronger bonds with both your travel companions and new people you meet along your journey.
  • More creativity: Experiencing new cultures, food, and arts can broaden your perspective and open your mind to fresh ideas and ways of thinking, which can be applied to your work and home life.
  • Improved physical health: Often people are outdoors more when they travel and walk around new places to explore, which can improve their overall physical well-being.

And more...Don't delay

Mackinac Island & The Grand Hotel

September 20-28, 2023

From the excitement of the big city of Chicago to the hushed silence of lakeside dunes and the gentle elegance of the Grand Hotel, explore Michigan's unique wonders, Canada’s scenic rail and journey to the heart of Henry Ford country. Conducted by Mayflower Tours, who led our excellent railroad trip last summer. Your YMCA Alumni host: Jean Carmichael, YMCA Alumni National President.

Mackinac Details

America's Music Cities

September 27-October 4, 2024

Join us on an unforgettable musical motor coach journey to America’s Music Cities. From Nashville, the Home of Country Music, to Memphis, the Birthplace of the Blues, and on to New Orleans with its deep Jazz Roots, you will be entertained and energized every step of the way. Led by Mayflower Tours. Your YMCA Alumni Hosts: Peggi Simmons and Craig Altschul, YMCA Alumni Communications, and Grand Canyon Chapter.

Music Cities Details

YMCA Alumni Reunion at Sea

January 26 – February 2, 2025

Plan right NOW to be part of YMCA Alumni’s Reunion at Sea aboard the fabulous Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas Jan. 26-Feb.2, 2025 for a 7-night cruise into the beautiful Western Caribbean. We’ll sail from the brand new and stunning Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal in Galveston, Texas with port stops in Roatan, Honduras, Costa Maya and Cozumel. The Harmony of the Seas set a new standard with deck-defying stunts at the AquaTheater, the robot-helmed Bionic Bar, dazzling Broadway performances and globetrotting dining experiences that go from Asia to the Mediterranean, and beyond. 

All this plus re-connecting with friends and former colleagues at special YMCA Alumni ship-board workshops, speakers, events and fun. Great prices, too, on all staterooms now. The reunion is hosted by the West Region YMCA Alumni Chapters and chaired by Carmelita Gallo, YMCA Alumni Vice President/West. We understand it seems a long way off, but if you want to be sure of a stateroom of your choice at today's pricing, don't wait. You may cancel if necessary up until October 2024.

Reunion at Sea Details

New Trips, Flash Sales and More

Don't miss a single issue of GOING PLACES. We will be posting new Travel Club trips as soon as they are available AND GoTravel will be posting very special ACT NOW FLASH SALES of tours and cruises with a few spaces available.

Here's the first one: Book the Gems of the Danube river cruise by March 28, 2023 and receive an additional $200 per person savings.

YMCA Alumni Travel Club Committee

Chair: Bill Hooson

Craig Altschul * Bill Ching 

Chuck Dandridge * Shayna Ellovich

Margaret Fogarty * Don Macher * Patrick Murphy

Craig Schaefer * Charlotte Waters

Bob Cook, GoTravel, consultant

GOING PLACES is written, edited and produced by

craig altschul + associates (ca+a).

Next issue of GOING PLACES: May 15, 2023