One of the biggest goals people have for their retirement is travelling more. You finally have more time to explore the world and you should definitely seize the moment. However, travelling doesn’t necessarily become any cheaper just because you’re retired – so how to ensure you can travel without breaking the budget? Here are our top tips and tricks for retirement travel.
Consider house swapping
If you have a lovely house or apartment, you could put it to good use during your travels. House swapping programs like HomeExchange.com are a great way to enjoy a cheaper holiday – you often don’t need to pay any extra for your accommodation, you simply open the doors to your house during the vacation. The available options vary from city condominiums to stunning beach bungalows.
Staying in private accommodation, even if you don’t house swap, is also great for your budget because it can cut down the food costs. The ability to cook some of your meals, such as breakfast or lunch, can be cheaper than eating out every single day.
Use different resources
Sometimes we want simplicity, but shortcuts are not often the easiest on our budget. When it comes to travel, proper research can help cut down the cost of travel. The mistake is to just rely on one source: either a travel agency or an online travel portal. If you want to find the most savings check first with a portal such as Travelocity and Expedia and pick hotel and flight deals that sound attractive. After you’ve narrowed your options, check directly with the hotel and airline whether you can find a better deal! This way you can book the cheapest alternative and find discounts portals might not have or avoid spending a lot of money on the direct website.
Be proud of your age
Age is not just a number – it can help you travel cheaper. When you reach retirement age it can seem easier to just stop thinking about it and perhaps even avoid bringing it up. Yet, you could travel a lot further and enjoy more luxurious if you forget the vanity of knocking off years off your birth date. Senior discounts are available across the world and they can be a great way to ensure your budget goes further. In the US, AAA and AARP offer discounts to a variety of things like cruises, vacation packages and even car rentals. Other countries have similar discounts and sometimes just a proof of your age (such as passport or driver’s licence) is enough to back you a discount. So, don’t be afraid to shout your age from the rooftops!
Consider group travel
Group travel can help cut the cost of travel – not to mention it’s much nicer to travel with other people! If you can get a good group of people together and you book a group travel deal, you can enjoy discounts on anything from flights to restaurants. You can either join a group by checking with your travel agent for available group holidays or simply gather a large group of friends and ask a travel agency to quote you their best price on a holiday.
Retirement does offer you a lot more options in terms of choosing when and where you travel. You definitely want to be a flexible traveller and pick your holidays with your budget limitations in mind. There are two crucial ways to save by being more flexible. First, you should consider off-peak travel seasons and select destinations that are either closing in on their peak season or have just finished it. Avoid school holiday periods and off-term seasons, for example.
The other trick is to consider booking last minute deals. Don’t be afraid to pack your bags in an instant and jet off to Mallorca if the deal looks right – even if the flight leaves in two days! Keep your passports up-to-date, get a running insurance cover and be open-minded for quick trips. Find deals from sites like Last Minute and cut up to 40% off the travel package.
See more at once
If the idea of a cruise doesn’t sound too bad, you should definitely consider it. Cruises are organised across the world and they often offer you the option to explore more destinations at once – this can be more affordable and stress-free. The ability to explore the Mediterranean, for instance, can guarantee you don’t need to make separate trips and the cruises often come with all-inclusive deals. These can cut the cost a lot since you can eat tasty meals without having to keep budgeting how much you are able to spend. You’ll know almost all of your costs in advance – it makes saving for the dream trip a lot easier.
The above tricks and tips are worth keeping in mind when you’re planning your next trip as a retired person. Don’t be afraid to use your retirement to your benefit and make sure you always plan your trips well.