Whether you save all you can and opt for early financial independence, or you do things on a more traditional timeline, retirement is the perfect stage of your life to travel the world, and visit all those definitions that are on your bucket list. Of course, there are some things that you will need to give particular consideration to if you want to travel far and wide during this time of your life. Happily, you can find the most important ones, along with some useful advice described below.
Play to your advantages
There are a lot of advantages the retired have when it comes to travel. The first is that they can choose to plan their trips for off-peak times. Something that means they won't only be cheaper, but the destinations they choose should be less crowded with tourists as well!
Happily, you will find that just about every part of your holiday is cheaper from the accommodation to the flights, if you avoid the school holidays, and other peak seasonal time such as Christmas. Something that means you can get far more bang for your buck and go on many more adventures without having to overstretch your budget.
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Also, remember that as a retired person, you may be eligible for some serious savings, especially if you go through travel providers like SAGA that cater this to that market in particular. To that end, it is well worth keeping an eye on what is on offer, even signing up for last-minute deals and notifications, as they can genuinely save you a fortune, and ensure you can cross as many places off your list as possible, without breaking the bank.
Watch out for retirement-specific disadvantages and plan for them.
There are, of course, downsides to travelling at any time in your life. However, there are a few that relate specifically to retired persons, that it is best to be aware and get ahead of if you want to keep travelling.
Probably the most annoying of these is that travel insurance can be higher, especially if you are over 70 or have a medical condition. The good news is that there are specialist insurers that deal mainly with people that fall in this category and so can offer you the best deal.
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Another is the increased risk of travel-related injury or illness, especially deep vein thrombosis, the cause of which is often sitting in the same position for long swathes of time. (On an aeroplane or coach for example). Fortunately, it is possible to minimise the risk of this by following the advice here. Something it's better to know about and do that not know and suffer the consequences.
Finally, for some folks, a disadvantage of travelling widely in the retirement years is that it makes it harder to keep a pet like a cat or a dog. The reason being that they are not at home enough to take care of it. Of course, for some people, this is a trade-off that they are willing to make to be able to fulfil their lifelong dream to see the world. Although, there are ways around this issue, such as asking family to pet-sit, or finding a suitable kennel if having a pet is also a priority.
Another wonderful thing about travelling during your retirement is that you will probably have a much more flexible living situation. You could try downsizing before you move to see what belongings you really need, and what is just taking up space. In particular, this is good for two key reasons. The first is that if you choose to downsize your property, you can free up more money to spend on exploring the world. While the second is that by having a less demanding property to look after, you won't be so tied to it, and can travel freely without worrying about your home while you are away.
You may even want to opt for an apartment like the ones available at this Enterprise Retirement Living Complex. The reason being that with plenty of friends, neighbours and staff around you will know that your home will be safe while you are away. Not to mention that you can jump straight back into the social side of things as soon as you return because it is all there for you on your doorstep!
It may seem as if everyone is obsessed with getting to their destination as quickly as possible, these days. However, once you are retired, you can take a little more time to get to where you are going.
The great thing about this is that the journey itself can also become a part of the experience you can enjoy. For example, why not opt for an ocean or river cruise where you will have dining, activities and entertainment all laid on for you, interspersed with visits to amazing locations?
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You can also choose a trip that incorporates the travel as part of the experience, such as a sleep train carriage—something common when travelling over larger landmasses such as India, or Canada. Then the journey itself becomes a part of the adventure!
Of course, there are plenty of other travel integrated options to consider as well from travelling the UK's waterways in a canal boat to coach tours that take you from door to door and point out all the areas of interest along the way!
Make travel your primary retirement activity.
Finally, if you want to make sure that you carry your wanderlust through to retirement, you need to make it a priority in your life.
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Fortunately, there are lots of fun ways of doing this, including creating a bucket list of all the most important places, and sites that you want to see. Additionally, investing in travel guides, magazines, and checking out blogs online can help you maintain your verve and enthusiasm even in between trips.
In particular, look for sites like Atlas Obscura that detail the often-overlooked experiences in a place. The reason being that visiting those can give you a much more authentic experience, and also some genuinely extraordinary stories with which to share with your friends and family on your return.