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Visited 106 Countries
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Wayne and Pat Dunlap  Plan Your Escape UnhookNow Unhook Now
Wayne & Pat Dunlap
Plan Your Escape®

We have visited 106 countries and 48 U.S. states in our lifetime.

Learn How to Travel for 
Half the Cost 
for All Types of Travel
We show people what is worth seeing and unique strategies how to travel for half the cost for all types of travel from budget to luxury and 100's of other unique travel tips.
We make no money at this... just a Retirement Giveback to help people travel and enjoy it more.

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We are proud our popular travel blog has won other awards including: 
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• Best Boomer Travel Blogger to Follow
• Top Couple Travel Blogger

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From a former Economics professor with thousands of interested social media followers, we want to make your travel dreams a reality by sharing great travel values, powerful tips, unique bargain-finding strategies, interesting tours & designations, and the latest travel trends.

Wayne Dunlap  Selected Top 25 Travel Blog in the World by TripAdvisor
Selected Top 25 Travel Blog
in the World by TripAdvisor!
Please use these posts for easy-to use trip planning ideas and tips, interesting things to do & what is worth seeing, history, and more. Also, for many free and unique travel bargain-finding strategies, visit our page: Travel Bargains, Strategies, Tips, & Resources
Visited 106 Countries
We are experienced travelers
Featured Speaker
at Large Travel Shows
(106 countries), award-winning travel photojournalists & bloggers,
top travel influencers, featured travel speakers at large travel shows, author of 5-star travel book Plan Your Escape®, and travel TV hosts (Plan Your Escape® TV) aired on the CW networkClick here to learn more about us and our travels.

Pat says: “Choosing to run away with my husband and best friend has been the most rewarding lifestyle change one can make. It's brought us closer together.”

   Honored as Top Travel Blogger

Travel Segment on the
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Dunlaps' 5-Star Groundbreaking and Comprehensive How-to World Travel Book - Ebook for Only $9.99!

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Travel for half the cost for all levels of travel from budget to luxury and 100's of other unique travel tips for all trips from weekend getaways to longer vacations, trips, or living somewhere for awhile!

From a former Economics professor, experienced traveler (106 countries), award-winning photojournalist/blogger, featured speaker at large travel shows, and travel TV host (Plan Your Escape® TV), turn your travel dreams into reality with this acclaimed, groundbreaking, and inspiring how-to travel better book.

Available as paperback or as Ebook for $9.99 on Amazon, you will learn to safely realize and afford your travel dreams with comprehensive planning tools and checklists. You deserve this 5-star rated book! It also makes for a great gift that keeps on giving.

Former Economics professor and experienced world traveler (106 countries) tells 100′s of powerful cost-saving tips revealing proven secrets the travel industry does not want you to know! Learn to get the best deals on airfare, hotels, tours, cruises, tours, car rentals, restaurants, and more.

Experienced and occasional travelers say Plan Your Escape®, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home is an inspiring and comprehensive how-to travel book: “It gets people exploring possibilities they never thought of.” – see Book Reviews and 5-Star Customer Ratings on Amazon.com! Give yourself, friends, and family the gift of affordable travel.

Plan Your Escape® shatters common misconceptions about traveling the world or living elsewhere. It shows you how travel can be safer, easier, and more affordable than you think giving you the practical resources, and tips missing in other travel guide books. 

Buy this popular book now on Amazon.com (also available as e-book for $9.99), click here: Plan Your Escape®: Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home

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How to HELP PEOPLE and Save on Travel with AMAZING TRAVEL BARGAINS During the COVID Crisis


The COVID crisis has been very unfortunate for many people. People all around the world are struggling to support their families. TRAVELERS CAN HELP!

When this crisis subsides and when it is safe to travel again, travelers can help those who work in hospitality to support their families. Many people in the affected areas make their living with tourism and when it is hurt with an unexpected occurrence, they suffer. Your business is greatly needed and appreciated. You can be a travel hero while benefiting from good travel bargains - a WIN-WIN experience!

Travelers Can Be a HERO Helping Others
Because many travel experiences will be offering travel bargains to get things going again, travel bargains can be had on tours, cruises, hotels, airlines, etc. This is a WIN-WIN situation for everyone. Hospitality workers will be receiving assistance supporting their families after great worry having their income disappear... and travelers can experience more travel to their dream destinations at more affordable prices.

We have had some wonderful trips costing us half the normal cost by using our ‘Follow the Disaster’ travel-planning model. This idea takes some careful explanation. When an unexpected negative experience happens, people cancel their planned trips. For months, sometimes years, tourism will be significantly reduced and people in the hospitality industry are suffering.

Wayne and Pat Dunlap
Wayne & Pat Dunlap
We have benefited from many examples of this. For example, years ago, when China experienced the SARS outbreak, people were rightfully concerned about traveling there. Fortunately for us they stayed concerned long after the outbreak was over. Years later, for about half of what you would normally expect to pay, we took a terrific trip to China visiting the Great Wall, Forbidden City, & Tiananmen Square in Beijing; the Terracotta Soldiers in Xian; the beautiful canal city of Suzhou; and the incredible modern city of Shanghai. And people greatly appreciated us treating us like Heros helping them.

Achieve Your Travel Dreams While Helping Others
This concept also applies to an economic recession like after the Cororavirus crisis. When we retired during the Global economic downturn starting in 2009, we took a 3-year travel adventure around the world. We were able to negotiate much lower prices for accommodations even in peak times for hotels that were only 40% occupied when a couple years previously required a year in advance to get a reservation. Tours, cruises, flights, car rentals, and meals were all significantly more affordable. We have been so fortunate to have visited 100 countries because we now travel for about half what other do for all levels of travel from budget to luxury.

A word of caution is more than appropriate when considering the ‘follow the disaster’ travel-planning model. First, ‘follow’ is the key word. Be sure conditions are safe where you are planning to visit. Usually you will have time to do so because people are overly concerned for a period of time after any disaster. Do your research, be aware of travel warnings, and talk to travel experts knowledgeable of the country you are planning to visit.


Profile for Wayne Dunlap

Wayne Dunlap Speaker at Large Travel Shows
Speaker at Large Travel Shows
• Experienced world traveler (106 countries on 6 continents as well as 48 U.S. states).
Featured speaker at large travel shows.
Award-winning travel blogger with thousands of social media followers.
Author of 5-star rated travel book Plan Your Escape®, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home.

Wayne Dunlap Appeared on Numerous TV and Radio Shows
Appeared on Numerous TV & Radio Shows
Chosen by TripAdvisor: Top 25 Travel Blogger to Follow. Also, Top Couple Travel Blogger & Best Boomer Travel Blogger to Follow. Travel articles in Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, Christian Science Monitor, Entrepreneur Magazine, and many others. Wayne has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows.

Visited 100 Countries
Retired now, Wayne Dunlap was a business owner, executive of high-tech companies, and an Economic professor after his PhD program at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

For more information about us and our travels, please visit our award-winning travel blog - Plan Your Escape® World Travel Adventures – Unhook Now... for Life! at www.UnhookNow.com. You can read about over 250 wonderful places in the world including photos, interesting things to do, history, and travel tips. We make no money doing this - just a retirement give back to help people travel and enjoy it more.

Asheville & Biltmore Estate, North Carolina

Asheville & Biltmore Estate, North Carolina (October 18-22, 2022)

Asheville North Carolina
Located in a valley of mountains, Asheville (see photo) is a wonderful upscale mountain town with an excellent food and art culture and easily walkable districts. It still maintains a quirky charm ‘bohemian' feel in many of its neighborhoods. The Victorian and Art Deco architecture gives Asheville a distinctive character.

Amazing Hikes around Asheville
Asheville is a foodie mecca and has become a beer capital with about 50 quality breweries. Asheville’s close proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway provides outstanding outdoor recreation and hikes (see photo). The people of Asheville are friendly and kind making our trip delightful. 

See below for more wonderful things to do in Asheville but first here is a overview of the amazing Biltmore Estate…

Biltmore Estate

Grandiose Biltmore House
A visit to Asheville should include a tour of the grandiose Biltmore Estate. George Vanderbilt’s enormous Biltmore House (see photo) is a French Renaissance-style chateau opened in 1895 and considered America's largest private home with 250 rooms, 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.The 8,000 acres of lush forests and gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted - the same landscape architect responsible for New York’s Central Park.

Biltmore House Stable Courtyard
The Biltmore Estate was an incredible 125,000 acres at its peak. In 1914, 87,000 acres were sold after Vanderbilt's death to form what is now the Pisgah National Forest, America’s first National Forest. More recently a winery was added followed by the ‘Inn on Biltmore’ and the ‘Village Hotel’ where visitors can stay. 

Beautiful Biltmore House Interior
Today, you can explore the architecture, priceless artwork, antiques, and history of the estate and gardens via various tours (see photo). The property features different events each season, including the Biltmore Blooms in spring, a summer concert series, and the grand Christmas displays that include more than 100 opulently decorated trees.

Travel Tips for your visit to the Biltmore Estate: A good way to fully enjoy your visit to the Biltmore Estate is to book a Biltmore House tour, including the audio, ahead for the day you plan to visit. You should consider arriving about 3 hours before your tour is scheduled to begin or stay later (allow more time if you want to enjoy lunch at one of the several good restaurants).

Antler Hill Village & Winery
Start or end your visit at the Antler Hill Village & Winery (located about 5 miles from the Biltmore House - see photo). The Biltmore Legacy museum here is an interesting place to start and learn about the Vanderbilts. The ‘Bistro’ in the Village Hotel and ‘Cedric’s Tavern’ are good places to have lunch and the ‘Creamery’ has good ice cream. The Farm is interesting and wine tasting is offered at the Winery. Restaurants and wine tasting should also be reserved ahead.

Biltmore Estate Map
Be sure to watch your time because it is a pretty 5-mile drive over to the Biltmore House where your tour begins. Also parking is about a mile away from the Biltmore House but there is a shuttle provided. 45 minutes should be allotted to just traveling around the Biltmore Estate or if you plan to start with your Biltmore House tour. 

Biltmore Estate Conservatory
Pretty Conservatory
Before or after your tour a visit to the beautiful gardens and Conservatory (easy walk from the Biltmore House - see photo) should be on your agenda. 

Also, the next door Stable Courtyard has some nice shops worth visiting as well as the ‘Stable Cafe’ restaurant. Remember there are no restrooms available on your 1 1/2 hour tour of the Biltmore House so do make a stop at the Sable Courtyard restrooms before your tour.

Biltmore Village
Biltmore Village
Located just outside the entrance to the Biltmore Estate is the pretty Biltmore Village with 40 upscale boutiques and shops that women will enjoy.



Downtown Asheville
Asheville North Carolina

Asheville is a great place to visit during all seasons. We greatly enjoyed Asheville and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains during the Fall leaves foliage. The weather usually is nice this time of year making it one of the most popular times to visit… but well worth it.

Beautiful Fall Foliage Drives & Hikes
The best time to enjoy the Fall leaves foliage is late September through October (see photo). The peak varies year to year - on the average it is approximately the third week of October. We visited Asheville during the Fall leaves foliage peak and were completely awed by the brilliant reds, yellows, oranges along the scenic drives and on the mountain slopes. We loved the ‘raining’ leaves while we drove the scenic highways.

Breathtaking Fall Leaves Foliage Asheville Blue Ridge Mountains
Breathtaking Fall Leaves Foliage
In the late 1890’s, Asheville became famous for its healing air for victims of lung diseases like tuberculosis. A higher level of oxygen and possibly other elements come from the unique process the trees have in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. They emit the same haze that the close by Smokey Mountains are named for. Visitors to Asheville today can enjoy this natural ‘high’.

Asheville has Great Restaurants!
Food lovers will absolutely love Asheville, a foodie haven of great distinct cuisine allowing you to travel the world through your taste buds. Some favorite restaurants locals told us about include Biscuit Head, Early Girl Eatery, and Sunny Point Cafe for breakfast and White Duck Taco Shop and Twisted Laurel for lunch. Highly rated for dinner include Vinnie’s, Chai Pani, 12 Bones Smokehouse, Bouchon, Rhubarb, Nine Mile, Curate, Zamba, Tupelo Honey, Knob Hill Cafe, and Red Ginger. Advanced reservations, if available, are highly recommended. There are so many other good restaurants to choose from.

Highways Brewery Asheville
Highways Brewery

Asheville has also gained the title of ‘Beer City USA’ with its over 50 craft beer breweries. ‘Highways’ is the original and a nice place to visit (see photo). Large ‘New Belgium’ and ‘Sierra Nevada’ have breweries located in Asheville.


River Arts District - Asheville
Asheville is a mecca for artists. Turn almost any corner and you will encounter a mural, public art, or art gallery. The renovated downtown Woolworth features numerous artists. Over 200 working artists’ studios and galleries are concentrated in the River Arts District across the French Broad River in West Asheville (see photo). Music is big in Asheville with diverse music performances offered throughout the city.

Grey Line Trolly Tours HopOn HopOff
We enjoyed the fully narrated Grey Line Trolly Tours Hop on Hop off trolley (see photo). It offers a fun and informative experience with stops in downtown Asheville, Omni Grove Park Inn, River Arts District, and Biltmore Village. Lovers of the writer Thomas Wolfe can visit his downtown former 29-room home. 

Parking is free at the Asheville Visitor Center (36 Montford Ave) where the tour begins. This excellent information center has lots of information about what to do in Asheville along with well informed locals to offer suggestions or answer any questions you may have about Asheville and the surrounding area.

Montford Victorian Home
We liked viewing Asheville’s historic Victorian homes (see photo) in the Montford District centered around Pearson Street and Montford Avenue as well as in the Grove Park Historic District near the Grove Park Inn.

Beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway
The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains are beautiful! Right outside of Asheville, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a pure joy ride often referred as ‘America’s Favorite Drive’ (see photo). A wonderful drive, especially during Fall Leaves, is north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Craggy Gardens with beautiful hikes at the two-mile Craggy Garden Trail and southeast to Chimney Rock Park’s Hickory Nut Falls Trail hike to a large waterfall.

Looking Glass Falls Asheville
Looking Glass Falls
For waterfall lovers, there are many waterfalls near Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Looking Glass Falls is wonderful and right off the road (see photo). Also close to the road is Sliding Rock, a 60-foot natural water slide with an eight foot pool at the bottom - there’s a $4 admission fee.  Slick Rock Falls can be viewed from the road and closer with a short hike. 

A pretty 2-mile hike from the Graveyard Fields Overlook leads you to Second Falls. Moore Falls can be accessed on an easy 1.2 miles round trip hike. The parking at these sites is very limited so if you want to avoid having to park a distance from the parking lot plan to arrive early morning or late afternoon. We enjoyed our tour from ‘Asheville Hiking Tours’ to three waterfalls guided by a naturalist who gave very interesting commentary on the plants, trees, and history of the area.

WNC Nature Center
Although Asheville will mainly appeal to adults, families and people of all ages may enjoy visiting the WNC Nature Center, home to about 60 wildlife species.


North Lodge on Oakland B&B
Accommodations in Asheville are numerous and cover a large range. Historic Victorian Inns offer charming Bed & Breakfast experiences. We enjoyed our stay at the ‘North Lodge on Oakland Bed and Breakfast’ (see photp). The Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) has direct flights from around the United States.

Thank you Asheville for a wonderful visit!

Click here to see other great places we visited in nearby Tennessee during Fall Leaves:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park,Gatlinburg, & Dollywood, Tennessee USA 

Nashville, Grand Ole Opry, Memphis, Chattanooga, & Franklin, Tennessee

Please enjoy 250+ wonderful places around the world, with award-winning photos, from our BLOG ARCHIVE on the right ----> 

Travel for half the cost for all levels of travel from budget to luxury and 100's of other travel unique tips! From a former Economic professor, experienced traveler (106 countries), award-winning travel photojournalist/blogger, featured speaker at large travel shows, host of the travel TV show Plan Your Escape® TV aired on the CW network, and travel columnist for the Huffington Post, our popular 5-star customer rated groundbreaking and comprehensive how-to world travel book Plan Your Escape, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home reveals secrets how you can travel and see more for half the cost for all trips from weekend getaways to longer vacations and trips, experience more adventure and romance, safely realize your travel dreams with comprehensive planning tools & checklists, travel the world for less than $100/day for a couple, and much more!
Buy this popular book on Amazon.com (also available as Ebook for $9.99), CLICK HERE