Many people look forward to their retirement years so they have more time to travel. Working generally limits the amount of vacation time, so it’s natural for people who enjoy traveling to look forward to their golden years, when they’re not limited to two weeks a year for vacationing. Unfortunately, many people reach retirement only to discover they can’t fulfill their travel dreams due to a lack of available money to do so. Here are some tips for traveling in retirement, from budgeting to medical and packing:
Include Budget Airlines in Your Search
The most popular travel search engines for flights will only include the largest airlines. Use travel search engines to compare prices of various flights that include all the budget airlines, as well. You may overpay for flights simply because you didn’t check the budget airlines.
Skip Airfare Completely
Better yet, take your time and travel slowly rather than booking flight after flight. Often, we’re all in a race to get from one place to another and see as much as we can in our limited vacation time. When traveling in retirement, you have the luxury of traveling more slowly. Visit one or two destinations at a time, and take some time to really explore every place you visit. You can get to know the people who live there, you can learn a new language, you can live as a local for a month or more, and avoid paying airfare from one destination to another as often.
If there are domestic destinations you want to explore in your travels, consider buying an RV. Taking your accommodations with you when you travel opens the door to thousands of dollars in savings over hotels.
Consider Your Medical Needs
As people age, there is often an increase in medical needs. If you are traveling, make sure you have enough medication to last your entire trip – and even a few extra doses in case you are delayed in your travels. If possible, research where you can get additional prescriptions while on the road. Keep in mind not all American health insurance will be accepted outside of the US, so if traveling abroad you’ll need to know what is covered and what to do if you become ill or injured outside the country. It’s also a good idea to travel with your electronic medical records in case of an emergency. There are companies that allow you to securely store your medical information online or you can carry a USB flash drive with all your medical data.This information can easily be accessed by medical professionals with a computer and an Internet connection.
You want to figure out the fine line between being prepared and overpacking! You certainly don’t want to be dragging heavy luggage around, only to discover you didn’t wear half of what you brought with you! Research the climate for where you’re going and pack clothes that match the expected temperatures. Bring along one outfit for unseasonably warm or cooler weather than expected, but don’t try to bring your entire wardrobe in an effort to be prepared for anything!
Be on the Look Out for Bargains
If you plan ahead, you can safe money in all aspects of travel from transportation to food to entertainment. If you like to visit local attractions when you’ve arrived to your travel destination, keep in mind that all attractions that allow children will tend to be busier on weekends and school holidays, so you will often get a discount on school days and you’ll avoid the major crowds, too. Always ask for senior discounts – even if they are not advertised, many locations offer discounts or specials for seniors.