“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” – Eugene Fodor
Traveling is the numero uno goal for retirees. According to a study conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies:
71% are of the opinion that traveling in retirement is an important life goal worth saving for
47% consider travel more as a necessity rather than as a luxury
15% put saving for travel on their high priority list
Let’s also not forget the fact that traveling is also an expensive activity, especially when it comes to traveling to locations outside of the country. So, why exactly should retirees, especially seniors add traveling to their list of activities?
- It gives them a refreshing break from everyday monotony.
- It provides them with unique perspective on life.
- It helps them exercise their cognitive skills and stay focused.
- It gives them the chance to explore a completely different side of them, which they might have never discovered otherwise.
- It also helps them stay healthy.
With all these benefits and more, it is a given that retirees need to take off on the journey of a lifetime alone or with their partner or friends.
Here are some quick tips that will help you plan your retirement travel without breaking your bank.
1. Stay in a retirement community
The first tip on the list is to save money for your travel from the beginning and one of the steps in this direction is to stay in a retirement community of your choice.
In stark contrast to traditional homeownership, staying in a retirement community such as Foremost Retirement Resort can prove to be a big time money-saver. This is because there is no maintenance cost or other expenses that living in your own home brings to the forefront that includes but are not limited to yard cleaning, refurbishments, tile or roof repairs and any other kind of maintenance in general.
Apart from saving money, living in a retirement community also helps you save your time and you can utilize this time and money, to explore any corner of the world at your own pace!
2. Ask for discounts
There are special senior discounts and deals when it comes to travel. More often than not, these deals are not advertised blatantly but are very much out there for you to explore. This is the reason why, before embarking on your trip, find out where you can get the best discounts on accommodation, food and transport (public or private).
Instead of relying on travel websites, you can just call up the hotel or the travel agencies and ask them about any special senior citizen deals. Alternatively, you can even ask your friends who are in the same age-group to recommend discounts and deals from which they might have benefited from.
Basically, don’t shy away from asking for any unadvertised deals and discounts or for a free upgrade irrespective of where you are traveling.
3. Travel off-season
Visiting a location in the off-season is a rule of the thumb followed by all budget-travelers and quite rightly so. This should not be a problem as being a retiree, you can always schedule your travel off-season as there are no workplace commitments and you can take off whenever and wherever you want!
By traveling off-season, you will be able to avail certain discounts, which you are unlikely to get during peak tourist season(s). Also, with fewer bookings taking place during the off-season, you are bound to get more choices, especially when it comes to transport and accommodation.
Another added advantage of taking this step is the opportunity to explore a new place at your own pace by avoiding the mad rush of tourists, especially during sightseeing.
The caveat: While traveling off-season, you need to check the current weather condition of the location you are planning to travel to as it might limit some of the places you would like to visit and keep you indoors.
4. Get travel insurance
Travel medical insurance can go a long way in protecting your interests, irrespective of the place you are traveling to. To begin with, you can benefit from financial recovery for medical expenses abroad, especially in destinations where medical expenses are sky high! Apart from reimbursement for all your medical expenses, you can also get medical evacuation wherein you needn’t pay for medical emergency transportation expenses.
Apart from medical help, you can even buy travel insurance and get protection against any sort of trip cancellation, which causes much distress to traveling seniors. This way, even if there are any unforeseen circumstances that lead to the cancellation of your trip, you will not lose out on a major chunk of the money invested. It also covers loss of personal belongings and baggage and so, you can travel without stress.
All you have to do is contact trusted insurance agents in your locality and ask them to guide you to purchase the right kind of insurance depending on various factors.
5. Plan in advance
One of the best ways to travel cheap is to do tons of research about the place you are going to visit in advance. This includes research about:
Know which are the cheapest accommodations in the place you are going to travel, which also offer the best amenities and are in close proximity to sightseeing places. This will help you save on your transportation costs as you might be able to go sightseeing to some of the nearby places simply by walking.
Flying on a weekend or during holidays can be an expensive deal. Avoid such situations by booking a flight during weekdays. Additionally, make it a point to use public transport system as it will also help you cut down on the expenses.
Those of you, who have no issues with eating anything that comes their way, try exploring local fare. Save money by eating at local cafes, bistros or even settle for street food. For this purpose, research about inexpensive local eating joints and you will be astonished at the amount you save even after eating to your heart’s content!
Nothing can beat the experience of traveling and adding to life’s little adventures and experiences. So, what are you waiting for? It is time to add traveling to your post-retirement goals and tick-off all those wonderful places on your bucket list but without burning a hole in your pocket! Do share your views with us on the topic.
Earl Reser is a freelance writer & blogger by profession and also an avid traveler by passion. She loves to share her authentic experiences with other writers and travelers.In spare time, she loves to hang out with friends and take long walks by the seashore.