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Making working remotely workable

New career stage? New company? New role? Chances are you will work (or continue to work) remotely (aka Telecommuting) in the next decade. Following a few A/B/Cs of working remotely will allow you to both succeed and capture all the benefits including no commute, working when you are most productive, and flexibility in your work week.

I have worked for 30+ years for Fortune 50 companies in cubicles and in corner offices. I have worked at appliance manufacturing plants and in Wall Street towers. I have had offices with closed doors, as well as worked in an open floor plan environment. Then, I worked remotely for 13+ years and have learned how to make it work. Guess what? I’m never going back! (Viva independence! Viva lifestyle flexibility! Viva no wasted time in the car!) I simply love owning my own time. I want to share how you can make telecommuting work for you….

First, let’s look at the trends:

52% of employees around the world work from home at least once per week. (Owl Labs)

3.9 million Americans reported working from home sometimes or working remotely full-time in 2018. (FlexJobs)

“Telecommuting, one of many forms of work-life flexibility, should no longer be viewed as a nice-to-have, optional perk mostly used by working moms. These common stereotypes don’t match reality — allowing employees to work remotely is a core business strategy today… We need to de-parent, de-gender, and de-age the perception of the flexible worker.” — Cali Williams Yost, CEO and Founder of Flex+Strategy Group and Work+Life Fit

Make no mistake ~ while working from home may mean working in a casual environment you must still maintain formal work ties, goal setting processes, accountability structures, etc. in order for remote work to work.

Follow these ABCs for making remote work a success  A. Active Anchors

Pro-actively determine and discuss with your employer (which might be you if you are a solopreneur!) all the details, definitions and expectations each of you are anchored on vis a vis the Telecommuting arrangement.

Here is a starter list:

  • What are your business goals and how will they be measured?
  • To what degree do you need to travel or come into the home office to be productive, effective and meet those goals?
  • What can your employer expect of you regarding your accessibility and availability?
  • What will be your preferred means of 2-way communication? And are these modalities aligned with the intent / importance of what you want to communicate? (In Person? Video? Phone? Email? Text? etc.?)
  • What can you expect of your employer regarding tools to be productive? Access to Slack? A premier Zoom account? A formal travel budget?
  • When should you have a formal discussion about the work arrangement, and what adjustments should be made? Hint – ‘soon’ and calendar it!
  • To what degree does your boss need to see you in person to feel comfortable with the arrangement?

Remember, your traditional casual in-office touch points / drop-in discussions will no longer be available. You need to think in advance about the items that may trip up the remote work arrangement ~ solving for items before they surface.

B. Bold Boundary-setting

Because managers, team members and peers don’t see you day-to-day, they can lose sight of your workload. One unintended consequence of working remotely is that there is a tendency to over-work and over-commit in order to prove you are ‘all in’.

I vividly remember one summer of ‘overwhelm.’  My kids were at sleep-away camp and I had a vision of completing my committed work and then basking in “reflection / me time” during the week which was sorely lacking while kids were home. What happened? My employer knew I had some additional flex hours available and sent more work my way. Instead of working with my boss on revised deadlines and priorities to get the work done in a reasonable time horizon, I simply accepted it and worked harder! What was the net? I found myself working very late on several days not having left the house, being angry at my work, frustrated with myself, and demotivated. This was MY self-imposed problem as I did not set down and communicate my boundaries and expectations in real time.

Working from home makes it is easy to fall into the trap of never being ‘off.’ There is always something to do and you do not have the ‘built-in trigger that the work day is ending’ derived from going to and from the office while commuting. You need to put this trigger in place! (ex. 7 pm and the computer is turned off; 2-hour media free time through dinner time and beyond; Sundays 100% blocked from any work activity).

The key point – you must be intentional setting and disciplined following these boundaries for fear that your work and personal lives become too intertwined.

>READ: SETTING BOUNDARIES IS SELF-CARE

C. Choreographed Connectedness

Working from home can be lonely. It is ‘on you’ to make sure this does not happen. Here are a few ways to avoid isolation:

  • Have a standing meeting with your boss via Zoom video (or Skype, WebEx etc.) so that you can see one another. The calls can be weekly, bi-weekly or whatever cadence makes the most sense.
  • Have at least 1 video meeting daily with your work peers, team mates, vendors, clients. (Every Sunday I look at my calendar for the week to take inventory of calls or meetings I have set up which ‘scratch the itch’ of needing and wanting to see others).
  • Form an informal alliance of other local folks who work virtually and meet them in person 1x per month to exchange ideas and build a support system.
  • Join a local non-work-related live group where you have to ‘show up’ and are expected to carry a load. Join an exercise class, a book club or volunteer group where you will see many of the same people on-going who expect you to be there!

Working from home…. Liberating or lonely? Successful or stress-inducing? Energizing or enervating? Follow the A/B/Cs around making working remotely do-able to set yourself up for success!

>READ: OFFICE NOMADS: 7 TIPS TO WORK REMOTELY

>READ: DO’S AND DON’TS OF WORKING FROM HOME

>READ: SECOND ACT CAREERS: WORK IS NOT A PLACE

The post Does Remote Work Remotely Work? appeared first on Prime Women | An Online Magazine.

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Vacation to actively transition into retirement

Boredom is a common fear of women approaching retirement along with a nagging feeling that they won’t know what to do after leaving the workplace. As appealing as lounging in bed after the usual workday alarm sounds most days, doing only that is terrifying. Working in our current career until we die isn’t the answer but we also don’t want to be bored. Some have accumulated so much vacation, they won’t be able to use it before their set retirement date. Most people dream of traveling but not necessarily floating around on a cruise ship and going to buffets. Seek out one of these active vacations for seniors to keep your blood flowing and spark your adventurous side.

Five Active Vacations for Seniors (Prime Women as we preferred to be called) 1. Adult Adventure Camps

Remember camp as a kid? Now there are camps for adults. Dude ranch style camps let you act as ranch hands and experience ranch living. Health and wellness camps give you a chance to pamper yourself. Actual adventure camps involve one or multiple activities such as hiking, biking or even surfing. Some theme camps target niches like foodie camps, nerd camp, and escape from tech retreats. There are even band camps for adults. The common goal through all the camps to focus on yourself and fun.

2. Backpacking / Hiking

Something most people think about doing but don’t actually go. Maybe there previously wasn’t time to spend a day in the mountains and or you didn’t have trails right outside the door. With this newly found time, step out a little further to explore these possibilities. The great thing about hiking is that there are all levels, lengths and intensities. Hiking alone in the right place is ok, but it’s better to go with someone. Plenty of joinable groups explore the great outdoors. REI offers classes for every level of hiker and backpacker.

READ: A MOTHER-DAUGHTER BACKPACKING TRIP REVEAL UNEXPLORED TERRITORY

Once you get your boots on and get walking it’s easier to process the idea of spending the night either on a backpacking or camping trip. Spending the night allows you to explore places you can’t go in a day. Camping trips can involve tents or the luxury of a camper. Backpacking takes you to places you would never see from the road and enables you to experience the outdoors in new ways. Don’t be put off by age limits. Last week I hiked with a lady who celebrated her 70th birthday by backpacking from one side of the Sierra to the other.

3. Travel to Play Sports

For those over 50, this is growing. Senior sports leagues, teams and players exist in every state and many countries. People of every level of fitness find opportunities. Plenty of stories posted on senior sports sites show people over 50, 60, 70, 80 and even over 90 finding their place in the athletic world. Find satisfaction both in competing and the camaraderie with others seeking active fulfillment.

READ: WHAT IS PICKLEBALL? THIS NEW FITNESS CRAZE CAN SPARK JOY

4. Walking Vacations

Everything is about walking now. Walking for exercise. Walking to work. Walking to calm your mind. Incorporate this new freedom with our feet into a vacation or getaway. It’s called a walkabout. Find these walking adventures all over the world. Probably the most famous is the Camino de Santiago. I walked the most famous route, the Camino Francés, with my daughter when I was 51. Many of the people we met were well into their 60s and we met a few people who were in their 80s.

Camino de Santiago de Compostela

The Camino’s many routes cover much of Europe. You can go the whole original Camino starting in St Jean Pied de Port and ending in Santiago de Compostela. Or if you don’t have enough time for a 35-day walk, choose one of the shorter Caminos such as the Camino Portugués. There are others in Scotland, notably the West Highland Way. England’s most famous walk is the Coast-to-Coast, although there are beautiful walks in the Lake District and the Cotswolds. Italy has a number as well. In the US I found some walkabouts listed in New Mexico.

5. Golfing

So many people take up golf as they age. It’s a sport almost anyone can do and it’s an activity that you can do alone or with a partner. It’s a way to share time with grandkids, too. Turn this into an active vacation by picking golf courses in several areas, travel to play the course and then set out for some sightseeing. It’s an opportunity to get a little exercise, especially if you don’t take the cart, and to meet others enjoying a similar interest. Pick a few destinations and get going!

Ease your fears of retirement boredom by dreaming up one of these active vacations for seniors. Then, research both the activity and where you want to experience it.  Meet others out there seeking the same adventure. Active vacations are a great way to transition from one passion in life to another.

>READ NEXT: KEEP MOVING-21 TIPS FOR STAYING ACTIVE AFTER 50

>READ NEXT: TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY-DELAY AGING BY STAYING ACTIVE…

>READ NEXT: BUDGET TRAVEL-CENTRAL EUROPE

The post Five Active Vacations for Prime Women appeared first on Prime Women | An Online Magazine.

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50 ways to Leave your 40s: Experience 28 – Les Miserables

Ok, ok, I know I’m very late to the party with this one but all the best things are worth waiting for, right? Jobs, friends, relationships, marriage…. surely the longer you wait, the sweeter the outcome. Well, I certainly believe in that anyway…probably answers why I’m single and never married, although not through lack of trying, I hasten to add. Anyway, I digress….

When I first started writing my ’50 things’ list, seeing Les Mis in London was right up at the top. Having seen the film a few years ago and loving it, then becoming totally obsessed with the soundtrack, I knew it was just a matter of time until I saw it on stage and imagining I was the slightly love-struck Eponine, belting out ‘On my Own’ without a care in the world. There’s been many a long car journey where I have found the Les Mis soundtrack on my playlist, ramped up the volume and wailed my way through 2 1/2 hours up the M40, lost in the French Revolution and all its sadness.

So, as I made my annual trip to Wimbledon last week, I decided to finally make an effort and go and see the show. Rather than spend another night in a hotel room, I hopped on the train and popped back above ground in the very busy Piccadilly Circus. Ahh…the lights, the noise, the crowds, the smells of our fine capital. Wandering along like the stereotypical country bumpkin, I took in the sights, the street names and the vibe of London on a Friday evening in summer. And then as I meandered through China Town, I saw it; The Queens Theatre. I took a sharp intake of breath as I got closer, not quite believing I was finally here; finally seeing this masterpiece on stage.

After a quick gin in the bar (pleasantly surprised it wasn’t ridiculously expensive!), I made my way to my seat and instantly realised my first schoolgirl error. As I’d only booked my ticket two days before, the only available ones were ‘Up in the Gods’ – also known as the cheap seats. And as I booked an end of row, my view was unfortunately not the best – well, if I wanted to see anything happening stage left, that is. Still, I would not be put off. I was too excited to care if I missed a tiny bit.

From the moment it started, the moment the first note was sung, the moment Jean Valjean waked on stage, I was mesmerised. I hung on to every word, watched enthralled as each character came onstage, bringing the story to life. I found my heart beating a little faster as ‘One Day More’ rang across the theatre and had to stop myself jumping up and joining in. To say I was moved would be an understatement.

READ: 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR 40S: #20 DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA

The second half of the show was as wonderful as the first; although so much sadder. From my restricted view, I couldn’t see poor Eponine meet her maker, but I closed my eyes and remembered the film scene. As the story moved through all of its separate parts – the love story of Marius and Cosette; the fatherly protection from Valjean; the cat and mouse game with Javert and of course the French Revolution – I just knew I didn’t want it to end.

And even though I knew the ending, I knew what to expect, it still slapped me across the face and caught me off guard. Now, this isn’t a spoiler if you’ve not seen Les Mis, but as you can probably guess, not many people make it out alive. But that’s not the sad part, well not the really sad part anyway. Seeing Valjean as an old dying man was the tipping point for me; the point where the tears I’d been holding back came flooding out – along with the snot, the snot bubbles and the rivers of mascara. Oh, my goodness, I sobbed. Proper heaving sobs as well. It wasn’t a pleasant sight and I can only be grateful I was (A) on my own and (B) not the only one crying in the audience!

READ: 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR 40S – LONDON LANDMARKS

It is of no surprise whatsoever that this show has been running for over 30 years. It is outstanding. Fact. If you have never seen it, just go – you won’t regret it. Les Mis is touring next year and when it comes to Birmingham, I can assure each and every one of you I will be there at least once.

Next time though, I am booking better seats, not wearing any mascara and taking a lot more tissues!

>READ NEXT: 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR 40S – #24 RICK STEIN’S CAFE

>READ ALL OF JO HOWELL’S 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR 40s EXPERIENCES

The post Too Late to the Les Mis Party? appeared first on Prime Women | An Online Magazine.

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Everyone needs to be organized when they begin their travel experience. There is too much chaos in the travel itself (airport delays, security checks, etc.). The only way to bring some sanity and calmness to the time before arriving at your destination is to have all your travel essentials in your suitcase (which is under the weight limit and has room to spare). Unfortunately, this requires planning. These travel accessories for women will help you organize your travel needs and make the first part of your trip hassle-free.

Organizational Travel Tools 1. Packing Cubes

I love my packing cubes. These are a must for your stuffable items (socks, accessories, scarves and underwear). I am always amazed by how many pairs of underwear I can shove into one small cube that fits neatly in my suitcase. You can use them for other items, too (shirts, pants, etc.) although other alternatives may save more space. Unpacking is also a breeze. Just unzip the bag and put the items in the drawer.

Here are some of my favorites (all of these are very light):

eBags, Hyper-Lite Packing Cubes 7pc Set, $65

Eagle Creek Translucent Specter Pack-It Cubes, $40

If you are packing shirts, consider getting a set that also includes an envelope. It is amazing how many shirts you can fit into one envelope.

Eagle Creek Travel Gear Luggage Pack-it Garment Folder, $29

>READ: BEFORE YOU FLY, BUY THE BEST BAG FOR YOUR TRIP

2. Space Savers

If you are concerned about packing space or are taking lots of sweaters or other heavy or bulky items, you should consider using compression bags. These come in different sizes depending on how many items you have and their bulkiness. These aren’t the best for avoiding wrinkles, but they sure save space in your suitcase. Also, I have found that it is difficult to remove all the air from the bags (and get the same effect) after they have been used more than once. So, you may need to replace them frequently.

Some I have used in my travels:

Compression Travel Storage Bags 12 Pack, $17

Samsonite Compression Bags 12-Piece Kit, $20

3. Jewelry Case

Finding a great jewelry case that keeps your necklaces untangled and your earrings organized is difficult. I tend to use two different containers for each. For my earrings, I like this cube because it allows me to make my earring choice without having to take all of them out of the case. I often just keep my earrings in the cube even following a trip. I just place the container in my jewelry drawer for storing some of my earrings. Plus, it fits easily in a carry on and in the safe in your hotel room.

Stackers Taupe Folding Travel Jewelry Storage Tray, $8

And for your necklaces, I think this is the best choice. It fits in your carry on and has individual compartments for your necklaces.

Vlando Viaggio Small Jewelry Case, $14

4. Make-Up Case

I think a make-up case must be large enough for all your makeup and brushes, but also be structured so that it is easy to find what you need, when you need it. Plus, I have never understood the need to have a case that hangs, since I generally am sitting down when applying my makeup. The hanging gear actually gets in my way. I really like this one (it has a separate space for your brushes and will easily fit into your suitcase):

Rownyeon Travel Makeup Bag, $18

And if you want to be fashionable, look at this one. It costs a lot more, but it has a separate place for brushes and several pouches that nest into the larger case. Plus, you will feel joy when you use it.

Tory Burch, Tilda Cosmetic Bag Set, $258

5. Tech Organizer

Everyone needs an easy and compact way to organize their chargers, adapters, air pods and other tech accessories in their travel. Plus, it needs to be small enough to fit in your purse or carry-on, so they are available when you need them.

Mark & Graham Tech Bag, $40

And if you have lots of tech needs, this one (although not as compact) is a good alternative:

Bagsmart, Electronic Organizer, $18

>SEE: TRAVEL MUST-HAVES ON THE PRIME WOMEN MARKETPLACE

Optional but Recommended Travel Accessories for Women: 6. Travel Steamer

I never think that I am going to need a steamer to get the wrinkles out of my clothes, but I have to say that if you have room in your suitcase, this is something that will come in handy. It’s amazing how it gets the wrinkles out and makes every outfit look neat and pressed:

Masteam Portable Travel Garment Steamer, $25

7. Travel Hairdryer

How often have you gotten to your room, washed your hair and found out that the hairdryer the hotel provides is noisy and doesn’t really dry your hair? It is worth investing in a great travel hair dryer. This one’s quiet, compact, foldable, very powerful and lightweight. Plus, it has dual voltage, so you can use it in foreign locations.

Compact Travel Blow Dryer, $25

8. Travel Bottles

Don’t forget that your liquids will have to be stored separately from your other makeup when you are not checking. Consider using this clear plastic bag and all of bottles and containers to carry your liquids. It is TSA approved, includes an assortment of containers and bottles that can be easily be filled without using a funnel, and even includes labels for the bottles:

Magigo Leak Proof Travel Bottle Set-16 Pack, $15

9. The Perfect Wrap

I never travel on long trips without my White and Warren cashmere travel wrap. It fits easily in my carry-on bag and is perfect for snuggling on the plane. It can be used as a scarf, pillow or blanket. Plus, it comes in multiple colors. There are even videos on line demonstrating how it can be tied and worn when you get to your destination.

Mer-Sea, Classic Pocket Travel Wrap, $60 (was $120)

10. Compression Socks

I know. They are not attractive. But they do serve a purpose when traveling. Remember: don’t get them so tight that they hurt or make you itch. I like the medium strength ones that seem to be lighter and less constrictive (and perhaps less effective). My favorite even comes in a shorter sock version for summer travel:

Physix Gear Compression Socks, $30

There may be a number of other items that you may want to include as you organize for your trip: a travel mirror, a travel pillow or even perhaps a travel wallet. But, I find these to be the most useful travel accessories for women.  I know that they will alleviate some of the stress you may feel as you embark on your vacation.

>READ: CLEVER CAPSULE WARDROBE: STYLISH TRAVEL CLOTHES FOR WOMEN OVER 50

>READ: BEFORE YOU FLY, BUY THE BEST BAG FOR YOUR TRIP

>READ: THE MOST COMFORTABLE SHOES FOR SEEING THE WORLD

The post The 10 Best Travel Accessories for Women appeared first on Prime Women | An Online Magazine.

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Watch Tricia’s Rose Reviews

Premium Rosé Wine in the USA with Tricia Conover - YouTube

Dry rosé wines are produced all around the world in many wine regions using countless varieties of red grapes. Rosé wines have been the fastest growing category of wine consumption in the last few years. Rosé wine brands in the USA are a rapids growing trend.

What is not to like? Savoring the flavors and aromas of red grapes in a chilled glass on a beautiful patio is my idea of a great happy hour.

And these are not your Grandmother’s White Zinfandels!

The most well-known rosé wine brands come from Provence in the South of France. Provence rosé history goes back to Roman occupation of the region in the days of Julius Caesar. Some of the wines were called “claret” for being such a clear red/pink color.

In the 19th century tourists started to flock to the Cote d’Azur to go swimming in the Mediterranean sea on those beautiful beaches and would relax afterwards with a chilled glass of rosé. These local wines became a symbol of glamour, leisure, and summer.

But, rosé is now a year-round wine and pairs so well with many foods ranging from light cheeses and seafood to grilled meats. And, it hails from many winemaking regions of the globe.

Chateau D’Esclans, Provence, France

Wines like Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel is an example against which many people measure the rosé wine brands. Whispering Angel is the #1 selling imported wine from France with a production of 3.2M bottles annually. It is probably the greatest wine brand to come out of France in 20 years. The pale color comes from just a touch of red grape skin contact.

Find this wine:

Whispering Angel is made from the grapes of Rolle (Vermentino) along with Grenache and Cinsault, all well-known grapes in the South of France. Since Rolle (or Vermentino) is a white grapes this rosé can also be classified as being a blend of red and white grapes. The Rolle give Whispering Angel a nice touch of floral pizazz. Whispering Angel has an even more expensive, prestigious sister, Garrus. This wine is made of Grenache grapes and then is aged 12 months in French oak barrels. It is an ultra-premium wine selling for $100, and may be the most expensive dry rosé in the world.

USA Rosé Wine Brands

The USA is making world-class rosé wines now, too. USA winemaking is distinctive in the fact that each of the wine regions has the freedom to make the rosé wine they prefer. They also can select the combination of any grapes they want to use. The “Old World” winemaking in Europe does not always have this choice, as laws regulating the best wine regions are explicit in the style and blend required. We make wines in the US by any of the “The 4 Ways to Make Rosé Wine.” See Below.

I requested rosé wine brands from some of my favorite wineries across California, Texas, Oregon, Washington State, and New York. These represent 5 of the top 6 states for winemaking and grape growing in the USA. I received 10 very special bottles.

Let’s explore what the USA can do compared to the typical French rosé. For the tasting I’ll start with the lightest in color and end with the darkest, most extracted and richly-colored rosé wines, but I describe the wines by region and state. 

Washington State Rosés

Kyle MacLachlan, Pursued by Bear, Washington State

You may remember Kyle MacLachlan as the dentist next door in the television show “Desperate Housewives” among his many acting accomplishments. He also owns the winery, Pursued by Bear, located in the Columbia Valley AVA (American Viticulture Area) of Washington State.

This wine is similar to a Provence-style rosé. It has the same pale pink color as Whispering Angel yet the grapes are grown in Columbia Valley, Washington. And, the wine is made with the “Direct Press” method. The grape blend consists of 50% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, and 20% Cinsault. Nectarine and pink grapefruit come through distinctly in both aroma and flavor. This is a really well made wine that retails for $30, and was recently highly rated at 90-point by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

When traveling to Washington State near Seattle, try to visit the town of Woodinville that features 130 tasting rooms and wine bars. This town is located a convenient 26 miles from Seattle and offers an opportunity to sample many Washington wines made in far-flung areas of the state without extensive travel required.

Find this wine:

Texas Rosés

Texas American Viticultural Area’s or AVA’s are scattered throughout the state of Texas. Note that 85% of the grapes grown in Texas are grown in the High Plains AVA near Lubbock, Texas, an optimal area for wine grape growing. The Llano Estacado plateau’s altitude ranges from 3300 to 3700 feet covering about 8 Million acres. Sunlight prevails during the day at this elevation, promoting very efficient photosynthesis. This elevation allows the grapes to rest and cool off better at night than other areas of Texas. The dry conditions prevent fungal disease, which is always a viticultural issue in virtually every winery appellation and AVA in the world.

A Tex-Med (Texas-Mediterranean) grape selection strategy has evolved in the last 20 years in Texas. Texas viticulturists have discovered that traditional Mediterranean grapes originating from Southern France, Italy, and Spain, for instance, do well in the Texas climate.

Brennan Winery, Comanche, Texas

Brennan Winery is located in Comanche in central Texas. While visiting this winery I have been impressed with the incredible awards they have amassed for many of their wines. Brennan’s very broad portfolio consists of whites, reds, and rosé wine styles. Brennan is part of the consortia of 5 wineries called Texas Fine Wine,  from which com some of the most celebrated Texas wines.

Brennan’s rosé is made from 85% Mourvedre grapes, a grape most typically grown in Southern France, and 15% Muscat of Alexandra grapes, which together give the rosé its wonderful floral aroma. Granny Smith apples and the floral/rose notes dominate this rosé’s aroma and flavor. This wine retails for $20, and I’ve given it my personal endorsement.

Find this wine:

Pedernales Cellars patio

The husband and wife team of Julie Kuhlken and Frederick Osterberg craft award-winning wines. Pedernales Cellars is considered among the Top 10 wineries in the state of Texas, and is located in the Texas Hill Country near Fredericksburg and Austin. It is a great place to go to sample a rosé on their wide patio. The Pedernales rosé is made from tradition Provence grapes that also grow well in Texas: 67% Cinsault, 28% Mourvedre, and 5% Carignan. Strawberries, candied watermelon, red apples, and cherry aromas dominate this wine made by the both the Saignée and Direct Press methods. I love this wine, and have enjoyed Pedernales rosé over several recent vintages.

Find this wine:

Duchman Family Winery

Duchman Family Winery is recognized for making Italian varietal wines in Texas, and this rosé is no exception. Duchman is also one of the prettiest Texas wineries for staging weddings and special events. It is located in Driftwood, Texas, just 31 miles from Austin.

The Duchman rosé is made from 100% Aglianico grapes – a grape which traditionally comes from the Basilicata and Campania regions of Italy.

I adore this rosé and give it high marks. It has spiced plum and cola aromas and flavors, which would pair wonderfully with the barbeque famous in the Texas Hill Country. At $18-20 retail this is a food-friendly, good value rosé wine.

Find this wine:

Bending Branch Winery, Outdoor tasting patio

Dr. Bob Young, owner at Bending Branch Winery and a physician, has one of the most technologically advanced wineries in the Texas Hill Country. He and his winemakers, Greg and Deb, have put together a 100% Tannat grape-based rosé wine brand. They make a dark, dense Tannat red wine, too. This grape flourishes in the Southwest of France, is common in Uruguay, but is also making a splash in Texas.

Bending Branch Winery’s 2018 Rosé retails for $24. Red grapefruit and tart peach are the predominant aromas in this highly-rated wine.

Visit Bending Branch, Duchman, and Pedernales on your next trip to the Texas Hill Country where rosé wine and barbeque are a perfect pairing.

Find this wine:

Napa Valley, California Rosés

Napa Valley, photo courtesy of Linda Spina

The Napa Valley is the USA’s most famous wine region. The billboard in front of the Robert Mondavi vineyards declares “Welcome to this world famous wine growing region – Napa Valley.” “And the wine is bottled poetry,” quotes Robert Lewis Stevenson, who spent his honeymoon in the Napa Valley. 3.85 million annual tourists see this sign as they travel north on Napa Valley’s busy Highway 29 seeking their next wine-tasting location.

Michelle Baggett, Alpha Omega Winery patio, courtesy of Alpha Omega

Alpha Omega Winery has the perfect setting for wine tasting. The fountains near the outside tasting area offer a lovely venue to sit and watch the sun set over the Mayacamas Mountains on the Valley’s west side. In this picture co-owner Michelle Baggett sits sipping the Alpha Omega rosé in front of their iconic fountains. Don’t miss a chance to taste Alpha Omega Winery’s wonderful reserve Chardonnay and highly acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon wines while you are there.

The Alpha Omega Reserve Rosé is made from a red grape blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Malbec, and 2% Merlot grapes, giving this wine the signature aromas of bright cherries, strawberries, rose petals, and vanilla. It is made by the traditional Saignée method. This rosé is only available if you are a member of the Alpha Omega wine club. It normally sells for around $40. Alpha Omega rosé has garnered my highest ratings. I have enjoyed the Alpha Omega Rosé wine brand over many vintages for many years.

Find this wine:

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Life Mistakes Often Made By Women over 50

We all know growing older does not necessarily mean being old. Many older people are leading active lives and proving that age is just a number. However, women tend to hold onto certain ideas and it’s harder for us to shake them. Let’s look at some common life mistakes women over 50 tend to make in different aspects.

Health:

1. Ignoring our heart health.

We often associate heart issues with men, but in fact, heart-related issues are the #1 killer among women. In 2015 the CDC put out a statement stating a woman’s heart age is typically five years older than her chronological age. So, see your doctor and make certain your heart is healthy.

>READ: 9 HEART HEALTHY FOODS THAT PROTECT AGAINST HEART DISEASE

2. Menopause miseries

They are something we must live with. Many women think we must just endure the misery of menopause and make the best of it. This is not true. Today there are so many options to help minimize the menopause miseries. Options range from prescriptions, certain diets and exercise to homeopathic treatments.

>READ: WHAT YOUR OB/GYN WANTS YOU TO KNOW ABOUT MENOPAUSE

3. Assuming Weight Gain is Inevitable

Don’t think we can’t do anything about gaining weight as we get older. It is true that a certain amount of weight gain will happen as we age. This is due to our body’s metabolism and other issues changing. See your doctor and find out what is a healthy weight for you. Once this is established then work to keep off any extra pounds that may occur. The important thing is to accept some weight gain is natural, but gaining a lot is not a given.

>READ: DON’T LET THE DOWNSIDE OF MENOPAUSE “WEIGH” ON YOU

>DISCOVER: PLATE WEIGHT MANAGEMENT FOR WOMEN OVER 50

Dating:

4. Date to find our perfect mate

We are taught the result of dating is to find your mate. I mean, why else date, right? Wrong. Certainly, we all want to find someone to share our life with (even a second, third time around), but dating can also be just for fun. Some women may be looking for a future spouse and some may only want a companion. Either way, date and have fun!

>READ: DATING TO DATE OR MATE – DATING RELATIONSHIPS AFTER 50

5. True love is over

Opposite of above … you could think you’ve had your one true love and there is no one else out there. Women are conditioned to believe we only have one fairytale prince and once we lose him, we have to be alone. We believe no one else can take his place. If our love passed away, women often feel guilty if they find someone new and deny themselves the chance at another love. It is ok to love again. Loving someone else does not mean you love your first spouse any less.

>READ: FINDING LOVE IN YOUR PRIME

Sex: 6. Our sex life is over at a certain age

As we age, the frequency of sex may change, but doesn’t mean our sex life has to end altogether. A recent study showed that people in the 60s, 70s and 80s are leading active sex lives. Some are having sex several times a week.

>READ: EXPECT A BETTER SEX LIFE ONCE YOU GET OLDER

7. Sex will be uncomfortable

Uncomfortable sex due to menopause changes can be helped. Consult with your doctor. Many options are now available that can allow a continued healthy and enjoyable sex life.

>READ: COULD YOUR SEX LIFE IMPROVE WITH A FRACTIONAL CO2 LASER TREATMENT?

Hair, Make-up and Fashion:

8. Hairstyles must be short

Why think the older we get, the shorter our hair must be? Often, we associate older age with short hair. When determining the appropriate length of your hair for your age, consider these two things:

A) if your hair is thinning then a shorter hairstyle with layers and depth is a better choice

B) if your hair is long, the longer the length the older we may look. Stylists state that a length longer than about 2” below the shoulder may make us look older than we really are.

>READ: THE BEST HAIRSTYLES FOR WOMEN OVER 50

9. Grey must be covered

This is so far from the truth. Take a browse at any website for women over 50 (like this one!) and you will see just how beautiful women are with their natural grey hair.

>READ: GOING GREY GRACEFULLY

10. Dressing younger

Many women make the mistake of trying to appear or feel younger by dressing younger. Today the fashion options for older women are wonderful so there is no need to dress like a 30-year-old.

>READ FASHION OVER 50: IT’S A FINE LINE

Work: 11. Turning down jobs in new areas

Older job seekers often pass on great jobs because it isn’t exactly what they did before. Do not limit yourself. Look at the possibilities this new job may bring. View your skills as transferable and try something new.

>READ: HOW TO TRANSITION TO A NEW CAREER

12. Rejecting social media

A lack of social presence can hinder your job search or possibilities. Most job recruiters and companies use social media avenues such as LinkedIn, Monster and other tools to find candidates. So, go get a digital presence!

>READ: GOING SOCIAL WITH YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING

Misperceptions of What Older Means

As a sociologist, I teach my students that we are not only socialized as young children but throughout our entire life span. As we move through the stages in life, we learn new social norms or what is supposed to be good, bad, right or wrong for that stage or place in time. However, society often dictates some misconceptions of what is expected of us as we get older especially for women. As society grows with new knowledge, technology and capabilities, our lives have greatly improved. However, society’s mentality of what life is like for an older person hasn’t quite caught up with the advancements it’s made. This is known as culture lag. Culture lag is that time in which the nonmaterial culture (ideas, beliefs, etc.) have not caught up with the material conditions of society. But you don’t need to let their limited beliefs lead you to make life mistakes which hold you back.

Don’t Limit Yourself

Ladies let go of the “old” ways of thinking. Don’t be limited by making these and other life mistakes which we have been conditioned to think. We are what we think so think yourself bold, courageous, beautiful and worthy!

>READ: OLD WIVES TALES: THE MANY MYTHS ABOUT WOMEN OVER FIFTY

>READ: WHAT (REALLY) GOES INTO LIFE OVER 50 THAT WORKS: SETTING BOUNDARIES IS SELF-CARE

The post 12 Common Life Mistakes Women Over 50 Make appeared first on Prime Women | An Online Magazine.

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Everyone needs to be organized when they begin their travel experience. There is too much chaos in the travel itself (airport delays, security checks, etc.). The only way to bring some sanity and calmness to the time before arriving at your destination is to have all your travel essentials in your suitcase (which is under the weight limit and has room to spare). Unfortunately, this requires planning. These travel accessories for women will help you organize your travel needs and make the first part of your trip hassle-free.

Organizational Travel Tools Packing Cubes

I love my packing cubes. These are a must for your stuffable items (socks, accessories, scarves and underwear). I am always amazed by how many pairs of underwear I can shove into one small cube that fits neatly in my suitcase. You can use them for other items, too (shirts, pants, etc.) although other alternatives may save more space. Unpacking is also a breeze. Just unzip the bag and put the items in the drawer.

Here are some of my favorites (all of these are very light):

eBags, Hyper-Lite Packing Cubes 7pc Set, $65

Eagle Creek Translucent Specter Pack-It Cubes, $40

If you are packing shirts, consider getting a set that also includes an envelope. It is amazing how many shirts you can fit into one envelope.

Eagle Creek Travel Gear Luggage Pack-it Garment Folder, $29

>READ: BEFORE YOU FLY, BUY THE BEST BAG FOR YOUR TRIP

Space Savers

If you are concerned about packing space or are taking lots of sweaters or other heavy or bulky items, you should consider using compression bags. These come in different sizes depending on how many items you have and their bulkiness. These aren’t the best for avoiding wrinkles, but they sure save space in your suitcase. Also, I have found that it is difficult to remove all the air from the bags (and get the same effect) after they have been used more than once. So, you may need to replace them frequently.

Some I have used in my travels:

Compression Travel Storage Bags 12 Pack, $17

Samsonite Compression Bags 12-Piece Kit, $20

Jewelry Case

Finding a great jewelry case that keeps your necklaces untangled and your earrings organized is difficult. I tend to use two different containers for each. For my earrings, I like this cube because it allows me to make my earring choice without having to take all of them out of the case. I often just keep my earrings in the cube even following a trip. I just place the container in my jewelry drawer for storing some of my earrings. Plus, it fits easily in a carry on and in the safe in your hotel room.

Stackers Taupe Folding Travel Jewelry Storage Tray, $8

And for your necklaces, I think this is the best choice. It fits in your carry on and has individual compartments for your necklaces.

Vlando Viaggio Small Jewelry Case, $14

Make-Up Case

I think a make-up case must be large enough for all your makeup and brushes, but also be structured so that it is easy to find what you need, when you need it. Plus, I have never understood the need to have a case that hangs, since I generally am sitting down when applying my makeup. The hanging gear actually gets in my way. I really like this one (it has a separate space for your brushes and will easily fit into your suitcase):

Rownyeon Travel Makeup Bag, $18

And if you want to be fashionable, look at this one. It costs a lot more, but it has a separate place for brushes and several pouches that nest into the larger case. Plus, you will feel joy when you use it.

Tory Burch, Tilda Cosmetic Bag Set, $258

Tech Organizer

Everyone needs an easy and compact way to organize their chargers, adapters, air pods and other tech accessories in their travel. Plus, it needs to be small enough to fit in your purse or carry-on, so they are available when you need them.

Mark & Graham Tech Bag, $40

And if you have lots of tech needs, this one (although not as compact) is a good alternative:

Bagsmart, Electronic Organizer, $18

>SEE: TRAVEL MUST-HAVES ON THE PRIME WOMEN MARKETPLACE

Optional but Recommended Travel Accessories for Women: Travel Steamer

I never think that I am going to need a steamer to get the wrinkles out of my clothes, but I have to say that if you have room in your suitcase, this is something that will come in handy. It’s amazing how it gets the wrinkles out and makes every outfit look neat and pressed:

Masteam Portable Travel Garment Steamer, $25

Travel Hairdryer

How often have you gotten to your room, washed your hair and found out that the hairdryer the hotel provides is noisy and doesn’t really dry your hair? It is worth investing in a great travel hair dryer. This one’s quiet, compact, foldable, very powerful and lightweight. Plus, it has dual voltage, so you can use it in foreign locations.

Compact Travel Blow Dryer, $25

Travel Bottles

Don’t forget that your liquids will have to be stored separately from your other makeup when you are not checking. Consider using this clear plastic bag and all of bottles and containers to carry your liquids. It is TSA approved, includes an assortment of containers and bottles that can be easily be filled without using a funnel, and even includes labels for the bottles:

Magigo Leak Proof Travel Bottle Set-16 Pack, $15

The Perfect Wrap

I never travel on long trips without my White and Warren cashmere travel wrap. It fits easily in my carry-on bag and is perfect for snuggling on the plane. It can be used as a scarf, pillow or blanket. Plus, it comes in multiple colors. There are even videos on line demonstrating how it can be tied and worn when you get to your destination.

Mer-Sea, Classic Pocket Travel Wrap, $60 (was $120)

Compression Socks

I know. They are not attractive. But they do serve a purpose when traveling. Remember: don’t get them so tight that they hurt or make you itch. I like the medium strength ones that seem to be lighter and less constrictive (and perhaps less effective). My favorite even comes in a shorter sock version for summer travel:

Physix Gear Compression Socks, $30

There may be a number of other items that you may want to include as you organize for your trip: a travel mirror, a travel pillow or even perhaps a travel wallet. But, I find these to be the most useful travel accessories for women.  I know that they will alleviate some of the stress you may feel as you embark on your vacation.

>READ: CLEVER CAPSULE WARDROBE: STYLISH TRAVEL CLOTHES FOR WOMEN OVER 50

>READ: BEFORE YOU FLY, BUY THE BEST BAG FOR YOUR TRIP

>READ: THE MOST COMFORTABLE SHOES FOR SEEING THE WORLD

The post The Ten Best Travel Accessories for Women appeared first on Prime Women | An Online Magazine.

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Prime Women by Anne-sophie Blin - 5d ago

Seeking budget travel to Europe? Not only will you save money, but you’ll connect with the local population on a whole new level. Several countries haven’t yet been touched by en-masse tourism and are still affordable for budget travelers.

When planning a trip with a budget in mind, consider regions and sites that are not yet popular, and think about alternative accommodations. Some Central European countries, especially their countrysides, offer unspoiled landscapes, and varied scenery which enhances the experience. The three countries mentioned below use the Euro and are easy to travel to. They are safe and slowly opening to foreign tourism. 

Budget travel: Slovakia

While Bratislava, the charmingly small capital of Slovakia, is well worth a visit, let’s focus on the pastoral charm of the countryside. 

Hiking in the National Parks of Northern Slovakia

The High Tatras Mountains welcome more and more tourists every year, both in winter and summer for winter sports, hiking, horse riding and cycling. Trails are well marked everywhere and easy to follow. A ski vacation here is a lot cheaper than in Western Europe and Slovakia has more than 30 resorts to accommodate skiers.

The countryside during the summer months.

Some of the national parks have magnificent and diverse landscapes, and hiking isn’t necessarily long or difficult. Waterfalls, forests, quaint villages, canyons await visitors in beautiful Prosiecka Valley. Farther to the East in the Tatra Biosphere Reserve, verdant trails of various lengths and difficulties lead hikers to clear lakes and views of the mountains, which now appear like vertical walls of rock. 

>NEARBY HOTELS: SAVE AN EXTRA 10% WITH ORBITZ

Spa Resorts

Spas at Piešt’any, Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad), Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad), Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) have been welcoming visitors for centuries. Don’t expect modern facilities everywhere as some places have kept the rustic authenticity of their Soviet past, mixed with neoclassical architecture. Other facilities offer modern accommodations, like Aqua Park Tatralandia.

Franzensbad

Escapade in Southern Slovakia

The soft hills rolling along the Danube and the border with Hungary offer a green and quiet vacation. Here, cultivated fields share the countryside with beech and pine forests. Farms are clustered in small villages. Some ancient farms have been tastefully restored and now welcome guests. One really steps back in time when renting a simple cottage house in the cute village of Dolné Strháre: fruits and vegetables grow in the yard, a few hens peck at seeds and insects on the ground around the old farm buildings. Sharing the “Friendship Glass” with our hosts was the beginning of a glorious stay indeed! Lodging here for 7 guests is really cheap: the entire cottage rents for 50 euros.

>READ: EASY SUMMER TRAVEL FITNESS

Food and Drink

Hearty dishes characterize Central European cuisine. Small restaurants and pastry shops serve typical food. Why not do like the Slovaks and order two or three slices of cake for dessert? Indeed, it is the best way to try as many delicious pies and puddings as possible, along with a cup of sweetbrier tea.

Slovakia has a long wine tradition, thanks to vineyards in the Lesser Carpathian Mountains, around Nitra and around Košice. In the mountains, locals produce hard alcohols from juniper and plum. 

>YOU”LL NEED A CAR FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE – STARTING AT $133 wk

Budget Travel: Enjoying Ex-Yugoslavia

It’s already too late to enjoy the Adriatic Coast resorts quietly. While Kotor and Dubrovnik rightfully attract many visitors, for budget travel to Europe, the treasures of the mountainous interior are undeniably worth a visit. Neither Montenegro nor Slovenia suffered war that engulfed ex-Yugoslavian nations trying to free themselves from Serbian influence. While communist architecture is present in some cities (especially in Montenegro), cultural heritage has been preserved in many places. Cetinje, Kotor, Ljubljana and Ptuj reveal the rich heritage of both countries.

Montenegro, Land of Adventures

The river Tara, Montenegro.

Adventurers may rent rafts to go down pristine rivers surrounded by deep canyons in the North of Montenegro. Others dare try the cold and blue waters of high altitude lakes. Mountain peaks soar high around quiet villages, where sheep graze peacefully alongside the meandering roads. Here, the air is pure; landscapes invite to fun activities such as horse-back riding, bicycling and hiking. 

>BOOK ON ORBITZ: FLIGHTS TO MONTENEGRO IN OCTOBER RUN AROUND $760RT

Slovenia, a Slavic and Mediterranean Blend

While the Adriatic coast has been influenced by Venetian commerce for centuries near the coast and by the Habsburgs in the North, the rest of the country has deep rural roots where traditions are still alive. Many festivals, especially Shrovetide Carnival, enliven the entire country.

Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, Europe. Long exposure. Time lapse.

Gruesome legends haunt medieval castles, recounting sad love stories or chivalrous tales. A few dragons still sit on a bridge in Ljubljana reminding visitors that Jason killed one of these fearsome creatures here on his way back from the Golden Fleece quest. Strolling through small cities like Ptuj or Maribor, tourists can enjoy various architectural styles that reflect the history of the country: from Roman ruins (Ptuj), 18th-century plague columns (Maribor), to baroque churches and buildings (Ljubljana). 

Food in Slovenia

Because of the complicated history of the country, Slovenian food has been influenced by many cuisines: Austrian and Hungarian in the North, Italian in the South, Croatian in the East, with a few Turkish additions here and there. Hearty soups, boiled potatoes served with cottage cheese and grilled meats will satisfy any appetite. Keep room for dessert of course: prekmurska Gibanica is a must. It can differ from one shop to another, as the fillings vary from poppy seed to apple, walnut or cottage cheese.   

For more details on Slovenia, read: Detour through Slovenia.

For more tips on accommodations, restaurants and transportation, please refer to Read: Travel on a Budget Like a Pro

Budget travel to Europe sets you up for a fantastic adventure and you will gain a new sense of freedom. While everyone knows Western European countries and their famous landmarks, many gorgeous places are left to explore and enjoy before the crowds arrive. In Central Europe, it’s still possible to visit new places, taste new flavors, learn about new cultures and meet new people. The experience will undeniably enrich the trip. To make things better, most accommodations are still cheap, as are restaurants. 

>SHOP: FLIGHTS TO SLOVENIA, STARTING AT $709 RT

>READ NEXT: GETTING SICK WHILE TRAVELING ABROAD

>READ NEXT:EXPLORE NATIONAL PARKS : AMERICA ON A BUDGET

 

The post Budget Travel : Central Europe appeared first on Prime Women | An Online Magazine.

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We’ve just discovered a jewelry brand in London, named Lark & Berry. What sets them apart are their cruelty-free, tree-planting, lab-grown and therefore beyond ethically sourced diamonds. Yes! In a lab! The future is so now.

I know what you’re thinking, “so, how do they actually grow diamonds in a lab, when it takes a zillion years on Earth for the science by which diamonds naturally form?” We were curious, too, so we sat down and did some homework, with a little guidance from the brand. We’ll discuss the hows and whys below, but first: take a look at these sparkly fantastics!

If we HAD to pick our favorites, these are our Top 3:

(Left to Right. Click to see even more product info and to purchase over on larkandberry.com)

Veto Open Stackable Ring, $575
Pretty precious is this Veto Open Ring! Oozing dashes of elegance, the band is laced with pave-set shimmering diamonds complemented by pretty marquise-cut white sapphires. For a truly modern edge, stack with the other rings in the Veto collection.

Dark Halo Earrings, $995
Lace your look with elegance wearing these delicately frosted pale pink sapphires. Accentuated by an organic halo of pave set diamonds, the blackened gold highlights the sparkle of the stones for a contemporary reworking of the classic drop. 14K Rose Gold, with pink sapphire and diamond.

Halo Diamond Pavé Trio Necklace, $1,495
Run rings around your love with this exquisite trio of diamond-set halos. Positioned playfully across your décolletage, this 14K rose gold pendant will glisten like it’s having a ball.

Fabulous, right? So, here’s the skinny on how they mastered lab-grown gemstones which will answer any questions about the ‘realness’ of a cultured diamond that you may have:
  • Cultured, or ‘lab-grown’ diamonds, are still diamonds. 100% authentic diamonds—to the naked eye, or even with the strongest loupe, gemologists can’t tell cultured from mined because quite simply, there’s nothing to tell apart!
  • Cultured diamonds are comprised of the same chemical crystal compound as their mined counterparts. Lark & Berry diamonds are made in a controlled environment and process which mimics how mined diamonds naturally form in nature, deep inside the Earth’s mantle. The cultured process is far quicker and cleaner and forms the purest category of diamond – the Type IIa – which is so rare in nature that only 2% of mined diamonds found are of this superior quality.
  • Cultured diamonds are truly the way forward and choosing Lark & Berry means you really can have luxury for less: these diamonds produce less waste, use less water and have less environmental impact than mined stones as no land or wildlife is ever displaced, and no need to search and dig up mines, that may or may not have gem-quality diamonds,
Best of all, cultured diamonds go BEYOND conflict-free, ethically sourced diamonds. No mining or exploitation of local communities ever takes place.

They’ve even penned an open letter to the industry, stating, “We recently received a letter signed by two of the biggest diamond and jewellery organizations wishing us well, while simultaneously trying to intimidate us (passive-aggressive much?)”

“Instead of hiding, shredding or ignoring this letter we thought it would be best to respond openly and share these organizations’ issues of contention here with you. This is a great opportunity to further educate on cultured diamond disruption. This criticism proves to us, at Lark & Berry, that we’re doing something right.”

>READ: INVESTMENT GEMSTONES: ARE DIAMONDS STILL A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND?

The post Prime Pick: The Future of Diamonds Is Here & Now appeared first on Prime Women | An Online Magazine.

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Women of all ages look at their bodies and wish for change, but that feeling quadruples when you reach the golden age of menopause. Each year cosmetic surgeons in this country perform almost 17,000 breast lifts, around 102,000 eyelid surgeries and 82,000 facelifts all for individuals over the age of 55, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The average tummy tuck runs almost $6,000 and a butt lift $4,300 in the United States. Women looking retirement in the face have to ask themselves if having a flat stomach is worth making a dent in their savings.

What are the alternatives if you decide cosmetic surgery is for you, though? If you are paying attention to the world around you then the words medical tourism popped immediately into your mind.

What is Medical Tourism?

It’s an umbrella term for going to another country to get a medical treatment that usually includes surgery. People go abroad for heart surgeries, organ transplants, fertility treatments and, yes, cosmetic procedures.

Typically, these treatments are available in less-developed countries at a better price. When it comes to plastic surgery, traveling would allow you to get more work done for less money.

Thailand is one of the top destinations for medical tourism. It currently has 64 accredited hospitals and something simple like a facelift might cost as little as $2,000 U.S. dollars in one of them. The same procedure at home will run you over $7,000. Sixty percent of the surgeries done in Thailand are for patients from another country.

Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico offer good prices and less travel time. Columbia, in particular, has a growing medical tourism industry. A liposuction procedure will cost you anywhere from $4,000 to 8,000 in Miami but just over 1.300 nautical miles away in Columbia, it’s an $800-$2,500 surgery. You are most likely to encounter English speaking staff in South America compared to someplace like Thailand, too.

What are the Other Top Cosmetic Surgery Locations?

Medical tourism is a fluid industry. More and more countries are seeing the monetary value of investing in it. Thailand has worked hard to improve its health development and it is paying off for them in many ways including bringing revenue into the country.

When you break it down, you see it’s not just about the surgery for these countries. More people coming into the country enhances all service sectors from hotels, to restaurants and to entertainment.

In 2017, the top countries for cosmetic surgery were:

  • Malaysia
  • Brazil
  • Thailand
  • Mexico

Some up and comers to watch include:

  • The Czech Republic – Known for its Czech Spas where you get pampered and fixed at the same time.
  • Hungary – Primarily known for dental procedures like costly implants
  • Poland – One of the least expensive options. Average cosmetic procedures cost 80 percent less with a standard price of 910 U.S. dollars for one surgery.

Countries to avoid include the Dominican Republic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports at least 52 patients developed serious infections from virulent bacteria after their cosmetic procedures on this tropic island.

The Pros of Medical Tourism

There are benefits beyond just cost, although pricing is at the top of the list of perks. On average, going to another country can save you from 30 to 80 percent. That’s big because most health insurance policies will not cover cosmetic procedures.

Listed second on the list is privacy. A woman can brag about her upcoming vacation to Thailand then come back looking and feeling 20 years younger and no one is the wiser. Often recovery is done at a posh hotel, too. No worries about family and friends dropping by out of curiosity more than concern.

Many surgeons that work in accredited hospitals in countries like Thailand train in the U.S. or another developed country. The only difference is they live and work abroad and charge less for their expertise.

The Cons of Medical Tourism

There are many benefits to foreign cosmetic surgery, especially for older women who don’t necessarily want to advertise that they are having work done. There are some concerns about this approach, as well.

The CDC offers a list of risks to consider:

  • Difficult communication
  • Counterfeit or poor quality medication
  • Higher risk of antibiotic-resistant infection
  • Risk of blood clots when flying home
  • Potentially limited access to blood or safe blood
  • Limited follow-up care options
  • Potential of hidden costs

Add to this list the lack of recourse should something go wrong. It’s not practical to think you can sue a doctor from Thailand for malpractice. There is also no one to call if you don’t like what you see.

An older woman who wants to look and feel her best might not consider potential complications from surgery abroad. What happens if you develop an infection, for example? You can get treatment here in the U.S. but there is a possibility that your health insurance company will not pay for it.

It’s a question you should ask your insurance provider before planning the trip. Some mainstream companies like Blue Cross offer incentives for medical tourism on covered procedures. They will not likely recommend it for cosmetic surgery, though, and you may be liable if something goes wrong.

Tips for Safe and Effective Foreign Surgery

If you are considering a trip abroad for cosmetic surgery, there are some things you need to think about first. Start with your health. Eighty percent of adults develop at least one chronic illness as they grow older including heart disease, diabetes, cancer or stroke. Talk to your doctor about traveling and whether you are healthy enough to consider plastic surgery. If you have diabetes or heart disease, the answer will likely be no.

At the same time, ask yourself if you really want it done. You look in the mirror one morning and see a different body than you had 20 or 30 years ago. Is cosmetic surgery really going to fix that or look realistic for your age?

>READ: 5 METHODS TO LOOK YOUTHFUL WITHOUT SURGERY

If you can honestly answer yes then the next step is to find an accredited facility and provider. Places to check include:

Do a Google search on the hospital and provider, as well, to read online reviews.

Consider some other critical tips for planning your surgery:

  • Get quotes from a travel medicine provider — kind of like a travel agency. Ask plenty of questions about the quote like what does it cover? Make sure it includes everything including anesthesia, medication, nursing and supplies.
  • Get travel and lodging quotes, too. Compare them to a quote from a local surgeon to make sure you are really saving money. It’s possible that by the time you add up all the expenses, traveling is not that much cheaper.
  • Work out the details at least four weeks in advance, too. That will give you plenty of time to cover making plans and to change your mind, too.
  • Call the providers office and the hospital to see how many people there speak English.
  • Gather up all the documentation you’ll need such as medical history, primary doctor contact information and list of prescription meds. Keep those documents on you when you travel both ways.

It’s an exciting idea — going to some exotic land to do something for yourself like plastic surgery abroad. Women of all ages want to feel confident and beautiful, especially when signs of aging began to pop up. If you are dead set that you need surgery to feel that way, medical tourism might get you there for less money.

>READ: AM I VAIN TO WANT COSMETIC SURGERY?

>READ: AGING GRACEFULLY: NON-INVASIVE, ANTI-AGING SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGHS

>READ: BOTOX INJECTIONS. WORTH GETTING OVER THE FEAR?

The post Foreign Cosmetic Surgery: Is It the Right Choice for You? appeared first on Prime Women | An Online Magazine.

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