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

We have visited 100 countries and 46 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 100 Countries
We are experienced travelers
Featured Speaker
at Large Travel Shows
(100 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 $7.96!

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 (100 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 $7.96 on Amazon or $8.35 as B&N Nook Book, 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 (100 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 and Barnes & Noble! 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. 

For additional information, click on: Groundbreaking & Comprehensive How- to World Travel Book - "Plan Your Escape®"

Buy this popular book now on Amazon.com (also available as e-book for $7.96), 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 (100 countries on 6 continents as well as 46 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.

Carmel-by-the-Sea & Big Sur, California, USA

Carmel-by-the-Sea & Big Sur, California, USA (6/8-11/2021)


Beautiful Charming Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of the loveliest seaside towns in America with its storybook cottage-style homes, quaint Bed and Breakfasts, unique boutique stores and good restaurants with warm decor, Victorian buildings and tree-shaded streets, and stunning gardens everywhere. Joy for the soul!

Charming Fairytale Architecture

Located about 150 miles south of San Francisco along California’s Central Coast, picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea radiates charm and sophistication with causal elegance. Beautiful architecture with flowers and gardens everywhere makes Carmel one of the most romantic towns we have visited (see photos). One thing Carmel is not is a party town – come here to relax in causal romantic elegance.

42 Beautiful Courtyards - Camel-by-the-Sea

Downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea and Carmel Beach are all very walkable. Ocean Avenue is Carmel’s main street and any visit should also include wandering around the streets that radiate out from it – from East to West the streets are: Junipero, Mission, San Carlos, Dolores, Lincoln, Monte Verde, Casanova, and then down to Carmel Beach. Along the way, do not miss the joyful experience of exploring Carmel’s 42 courtyards – one more beautiful after another (see photo). Causal attire is appropriate everywhere in Carmel. Parking in Carmel-by-the-Sea can become difficult during peak times so check out the nearby public parking at San Carlos and 8th Avenue.

Stunning Carmel Beach
For beach lovers, a visit to Carmel Beach is delightful - a long stretch of beautiful soft sandy beach in a 1-mile crescent bay (see photo). Ocean water temperature at Carmel Beach is chilly year round although surfers in wet suits enjoy the waves. Modest parking is available at the end of Ocean Avenue and along Scenic Road that parallels Carmel Beach. Just above Carmel Beach, the Scenic Bluff Path is a well-maintained gravel pathway that parallels Scenic Road – a wonderful walk. A drive along Scenic Road south of Ocean Avenue is a must when visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea – so beautiful!

Highly Recommended Casanova Restaurant
Carmel-by-the-Sea has outstanding restaurants – reservations should be made at popular ones. Some we enjoy include Dametra Cafe (Ocean & Lincoln) for the good healthy Mediterranean food and the staff gets up and plays lively music providing a special dining experience. Casanova (Mission - see photo) is highly recommended by locals with good reason - wonderful menu with fantastic wine list – sit in the lovely back courtyard. Hog’s Breath (San Carlos) is former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood’s bar/restaurant with a nice relaxed setting. Bruno’s Market & Deli (Junipero) is a great place to pick up good sandwiches and other items for picnics or affordable lunch. 

Tuck Box

Do check out the unique Tuck Box (Dolores) and maybe try breakfast or lunch (see photo). Don’t miss Anton and Michel in the Court of the Fountains (Mission) for the great food in a beautiful setting – nice for lunch.




Delightful Garden Homes

Fairytale houses and home gardens also make Carmel-by-the-Sea a uniquely delightful city. To view some beautiful examples you can drive south on Lincoln from Ocean Avenue (see photo). Plenty more are located on other streets for those who want to see more. Carmel-by-the-Sea has 18 wine tasting rooms open for indoor and outside wine tastings as well as for retail purchases. For wine lovers, experiencing different wines of the region can be highlight of your time in Carmel!


Beautiful Carmel Beach

To be able to appreciate Carmel-by-the-Sea even more, we recommend taking a walking tour. Carmel Walks offers a fun and interesting 2-hour nicely paced walking tour showcasing special charms of Carmel through secret pathways, hidden courtyards, beautiful gardens, and enchanting storybook cottages.

Anton and Michel Courtyard of the Fountains

Some quirky things make Carmel-by-the-Sea unique like there are no addresses. Residents wanted everyone to get to know each other so they required mail to be picked up. Also, women need a permit to wear high heel shoes - the city is worried about liability walking around the irregular streets that give Carmel much of its charm.


Big Sur


Pat at Big Sur River Inn

Located just south of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Big Sur is one of the most dramatically beautiful drives in the United States! Exceptionally beautiful rugged ocean coastline, amazing ancient redwood forests, and interesting attractions make for an unforgettable experience. Along the way, you should pull over at the parking areas and enjoy the incredible views.

Map of Carmel, Big Sur, & Monterey

We highly recommend the approximately hour drive south of Carmel-by-the-Sea along Highway 1 to McWay Falls. Of course, you should plan to spend more time to enjoy the views, hikes, and interesting attractions. First stop driving south in Big Sur for lovers of ocean hikes should be Point Lobos State Natural Reserve along the Pacific Ocean coastline. You can see California sea lions at Sea Lion Point and maybe some sea otters. Continue to drive past the first parking lot to enjoy the beautiful coastline along the South Shore Trail (several parking lots along the way). There is a flat 6.7-mile loop with shorter hikes available.

Famous Bixby Bridge - Big Sur

Famous Bixby Bridge is great stop to enjoy Big Sur’s incredible beauty - park on north side in the parking area to witness this beautiful site (see photo). 



We love stopping at the Big Sur River Inn located on a fantastically beautiful river setting where you can sit in the river surrounded by a forest - not to be missed (see photo). Food is served on the patio overlooking the river. 

We enjoyed the Big Sur Coast Gallery & Café (see photo) – an elegant gallery and gift shop with a nice café with a sitting area looking out to the Pacific Ocean – well worth a stop.


McWay Falls
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a great place to enjoy wonderful hikes through amazing Redwood forests. Also, the short hike to beautiful McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a great way to enjoy your Big Sur experience (see photo).





Monterey is a fun jewel just 15 minutes north of Carmel-by-the-Sea.


17-Mile Drive
Better yet take scenic route through the incredible 17-Mile Drive from Carmel-by-the-Sea to Monterey. This famous drive includes Pebble Beach Golf Course and incredible beauty so you will want to take your time driving through this gorgeous area. It should take about three hours depending if you stop for lunch. At the entrance, after you pay a nominal fee, you will get a map with the 17 notable stops mapped out. Definitely stop at the famous Lone Cypress, Ghost Tree, and Bird Rock.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Sitting at the end of Cannery Row, the fascinating family-friendly Monterey Bay Aquarium is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy exhibits including recreations of the Californian ocean kelp forests, stingray touch pools, tanks with black tip reef sharks, and inlets filled with rare sea otters. Just outside you can marvel at the rowdy barking California sea lions. Cannery Row is filled with funky restaurants and hotels.

Old Fisherman's Wharf

Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf is a fun medley of cafes and crab shacks (see photo). Try the clam chowder best served in a sourdough bread bowl. Nearby Lovers Point State Marine Reserve is a small charming cove to explore.

See our other 11 posts on beautiful California:

Laguna Beach, California

Mammoth Lakes, California

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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 (100 countries), award-winning travel photojournalist/blogger, featured speaker at large travel shows, our popular 5-star customer rated groundbreaking and comprehensive how-to world travel book (available as paperback or Ebook for $7.96) 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 and checklists, travel the world for less than $100/day for a couple, and much more! – for additional information and sign up for free travel tips and bargains, go to www.PlanYourEscapeNow.com