Scottish Dream

including the world-famous

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

August 2-8, 2024



News from your YMCA Alumni Travel Club

May 2023

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Act now to join us on a 'Scottish Dream' --


Our Scottish Dream, August 2-8, 2024, has a wake-up call for you. There are only a very few spots left before it is sold out!

Our tour in prime summer season including the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Castle Esplanade is a very special offering. But, as they say, "Snooze, you lose."

Click the button below for all the details. Then, click to GoTravel right away to register.

We will travel on a deluxe motor coach for the second trip with C.I.E. Tours. The first was our very successful - and highly rated - British & Irish Grandeur trip in 2019.

Highlights of Scottish Dream:

Glasgow and its red sandstone Victorian buildings * Cruise on Loch Lomand and tour Ivararay Castle of "Downton Abby" fame * Ferry to the isle of Skye * Travel the shores of Loch Ness and see if you can spot the infamous Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster * Visit Cullondon Battlefield where the British Army defeated the army of Bonnie Prince Charles * View the Highlands majesty and visit a local farm for a sheep herding demonstration with amazing dogs * Learn about Mary, Queen of Scots at Blair Castle * Enjoy a dram (or two) of Scottish Whisky at Blair Atoll Distillery and see how it is made * Tour the Royal and Ancient Clubhouses and visit the Old Course at St. Andrews, the "Home of Golf" * Tour Edinburgh Castle and conclude our trip with a performance of the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

We will create a waiting list. And, should you have to cancel, you may do so with a full refund (except small deposit) up to 70 days prior to departure. Join us for a dream come true.

Dream Details

A 'Going Places' Editorial:

'Snooze, You Lose"

By Craig Altschul, Editor

How many times have you seen those words: “Don’t delay?” And, how many times have you just said, “Yeah, yeah,” and ignored them.


You will indeed see them here, sometimes often, sometimes not. But, when you do see them and you are interested in the trip, use the form and get in touch with a Go Travel representative. Do it right from the trip’s page on our Travel Club website. And do it NOW.


Here’s the deal:


Our YMCA alumni Travel Club does not book our own exclusive trips. We simply don’t have the numbers, nor staff, nor funds to do all that’s necessary to do that. Instead, we work with Go Travel, one of the best travel and tour agencies in the country to find the best tours and cruises suggested by our Travel Club Committee. They understand our members’ travel needs and desires and book accordingly.


We join in on trips and cruises already scheduled by the top land operators and cruise lines, holding as many motor coach seats or cruise cabins as possible for as long as possible.


There are some trips that require fast action. They are truly, “snooze, you lose” You were left out, for example, in you didn’t act fast for three different trips in 2022: The President’s Cruise in Alaska via Royal Caribbean; Colorado’s Historic Railroads motor coach tour with Mayflower Tours and the re-scheduled Trade Routes of the Middle Ages Viking Ocean Cruise.


CASE IN POINT: Go Travel was able to reserve 30 spots on our recently announced “Scottish Dream” motor coach tour with C.I.E. including the immensely popular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August 2024. As of today: There are only a very few spots remaining (the full motor coach holds 44). This is peak summer travel time and C.I.E. will want them back if we do not fill those seats quickly,


There are other trips, such as those on the larger cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, where it’s generally OK to wait a bit, though the early bird gets the best pricing and choice of cabins. But, any Viking Ocean Cruise (smaller ships) fills very quickly several years out.


We understand booking early might be worrisome as we age. However, there is a cut-off date (usually between 60-90 days before a trip departs) where you can get a full refund (except for your deposit).


But, just to set the record straight. If you see those “Don’t Delay” words, it’s not marketing hype with your travel club. We mean it.

--Craig Altschul and Peggi Simmons of the Grand Canyon Chapter have hosted four YMCA Alumni trips.

Travel Advisory...

Check your passport

It is now taking 10-13 weeks for non expedited passport applications and renewals. Expedited: 7-9 weeks and an extra $60.


Mailing times are not included in processing times. Processing times only include the time your application is at one of our passport agencies or centers. The total time to get your passport includes both processing and mailing times. It may take up to 2 weeks for applications to arrive by mail at a passport agency or center, and up to 2 weeks for you to receive a completed passport in the mail after it is printed. Consider the total time it will take to receive your passport when you are booking travel.


Your passport needs to be valid for 6 months to prevent you from overstaying in a foreign country. Suppose your passport expires during your travels, then you are left without a way to return home until you receive an emergency travel document. To avoid this from happening, most countries have imposed the six-month passport validity” rule. You will be denied boarding.

Check your passport now.

Here's what's coming up;

Space is available

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. Don't delay on this one as limited space is available.

Mackinac Details

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 Go Travel, our Travel Club Committee consultant.

Danube Details

A Winter Warm-up...

Caribbean Style

January 27-February 4, 2024

Warm up your winter early in 2024 with an 8-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida into the Southern Caribbean. Visit different, delightful ports of call like Aruba, Curacao and more. Take in all the fun of Royal Caribbean's ultra-popular Symphony of the Seas. The ship is as much the destination as the ports she visits, and is a perfect ship for new cruisers or those looking for lots to do on board. Our Travel Club is offering significant savings off regular Royal Caribbean pricing for this trip.

Caribbean 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

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. Our trip also includes a guided tour of Vicksburg Memorial Military Park, a visit to Graceland and a jazz cruise aboard the Creole Queen.

Music Cities Details

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

August 2-8, 2024: Scottish Dream & Tattoo

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

Jan. 26-Feb. 2: 2025: Alumni Reunion at Sea Cruise

How to stay healthy while traveling

(Editor’s note: The following story is excerpted and abridged from an article in Forbes Magazine.)


Traveling to a new place often goes hand in hand with getting out of your normal routine. These tips will help you stay healthy when you're on the road.

Stay hydrated. While drinking water throughout the day, aim for eight-8 ounce glasses or about 2 liters to avoid dehydration. Certain foods can also help with hydration. Fruits such as mangoes, blueberries, papaya and blackberries are not only hydrating but packed with vitamins and minerals.

Wash your hands. Washing your hands regularly is one of the easiest things you can do to avoid getting sick while traveling. Remember to give them a thorough wash before meals, after using the restroom, and after you’ve touched a lot of different surfaces (like handrails, elevator buttons, and countertops). If getting to a bathroom to scrub up isn’t an option, carry hand sanitizer with you.

Get vaccinated. Being updated on your vaccinations can help protect you from getting sick while traveling. Since different areas of the world have different risks, it's important to check with your doctor or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to see what vaccinations are recommended for the countries you're visiting.

Pack non-perishable snacks. Foods such as nuts, freeze-dried edamame, roasted chickpeas, protein bars and jerky are portable and nutritious. Having a source of protein or a healthy fat on hand will maintain your blood sugar levels, keep you full, alert and ready for traveling.

Eat breakfast. Traveling to a new place often goes hand in hand with getting out of your normal routine. While tasting the local cuisine is part of the experience, start your day off with a balanced breakfast.

Pack OTC medication. It’s always a good idea to keep a few basic medications with you while traveling. Things like ibuprofen, antihistamines, decongestants, and motion sickness meds might come in handy. Keep prescription medications with you at all times in their original containers with the doctor’s prescription written on the label.

Prioritize sleep. Sleep is key to staying healthy while traveling. Sleep helps keep your immune system strong and prevent any illnesses. Lack of sleep hinders your body’s ability to produce infection-fighting cells, increasing risk of illness.

Avoid junk food. Try to avoid foods high in refined carbs or added sugars. A candy bar or chocolate chip cookie may be tempting, but can also lead to glucose spikes.

Exercise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, use the bathroom farthest from you on the plane, do an extra lap before heading to your gate or at a rest stop. And while in the destination, walk, ride a bike, swim—do something active every day.

Avoid risky foods and beverages. When you're traveling, it's important to be cautious about what you eat and drink. Avoid tap water and ice cubes made with tap water. Stick to bottled water, and only drink beverages that have been sealed. Be careful with raw fruits and vegetables, as they may have been washed in contaminated water.

Be prepared for emergencies. No matter how well you plan, there's always a chance you could get sick while traveling. Be sure to have travel insurance in case you need to see a doctor or be hospitalized while on vacation.

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 reconnecting 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
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, Go Travel, consultant

GOING PLACES is written, edited and produced by

craig altschul + associates (ca+a).

Next issue of GOING PLACES: July 15, 2023

Travel Club memories...