Those who choose to spread their wings and travel in their senior years are an increasingly common breed. After all those years tied to a job or family, the prospect of some ‘me time,’ spending the days doing exactly how they please, is all too difficult to resist.
And why not? Who doesn’t deserve some rest and relaxation after a long working life? And what better way to fill the days with satisfying and stimulating activities, than to see what’s out there in the world?(Image by Delia Maria)
As a senior, there are some tricks and tips to be aware of to make sure the most is squeezed out of the budget. Most do not have access to unlimited funds, so it is always good practice to strive for the best deals possible – sometimes this might take some extra research and sleuthing, but it is always worth it when the bill arrives.
Decide upon an itinerary that includes all those dream destinations that have always been tempting but were not feasible when young. Be open-minded about travel options. Remember that vacation days are no longer limited, so arriving at a far-flung destination in a more sedate and slow style will not impact the length of stay. If it’s cheaper to have a stop over in Hong Kong on the way to New Zealand, turn it into an adventure and simply add Hong Kong’s delights to the itinerary.
When devising a route plan and selecting hotels or accommodations along the way, it is best to contact the providers directly. This way, cheaper rates can often be secured, rather than booking via big aggregate sites. Yes, retirement may have arrived, but now there are new responsibilities to take up as a travel agent, securing the most competitive deals in a crowded market. Hustle hard and play the age card if it helps!
If road tripping around the US, don’t be shy about sharing age details. Seniors attract many discounts from different organizations, including those such as AAA and AARP. Make savings on car rentals, accommodations, cruises, attractions, and vacation packages by broadcasting senior credentials loud and clear! Other areas where senior discounts may be available include airlines and hotel chains – it is always a good idea to ask, because sometimes such benefits are not widely promoted.
Traveling abroad to foreign countries may be better in a group of like-minded seniors. Often there are savings to be gained from larger groups, and safety in numbers is also an issue if traveling to more risky destinations. Travel insurance for older people is sometimes more costly if there are existing health conditions. Discuss such issues with insurers and medical professionals and research the medical facilities in the area of travel to ascertain the level of health coverage available to foreign travelers.
Celebrate the freedom of retirement by selecting out-of-season travel destinations. Why pay a premium for traveling at peak times when it isn’t necessary? Flying mid-week or at the beginning or end of holiday seasons will impact favorably on ticket prices.(Image by Felix van de Gein)
A vacation is supposed to be fun, but a little preparation in the fitness department is recommended by seasoned senior travelers. It is likely that walking and exploring will take up a lot of time, and those unused to such levels of activity may find this a shock to the system. Get in training mode by building in more walking to a daily routine before the trip. If one is envisioning a long, multi-stop tour, be sure to travel light – heavy, unwieldy suitcases can become quite a burden over a long period.
Seniors who are restricted by health issues can still travel, although depending on their medical state, they may have to stay closer to home. However, traveling within the country to another region is viable, and even settling permanently in a new area is perfectly possible with many wonderful retirement communities available to help support and assist seniors. If the dream of living near the ocean or closer to family has always been strong, don’t give up on it – a senior care home in just the right place could be the answer.
One’s senior years are one’s golden years, and if it is possible, one should strive to pack in as much fun, laughter, and travel as one can. Use these tips and suggestions to help get started on planning the trips and travels of a lifetime – remember that fresh horizons and new discoveries are what keep an individual young and engaged with that beautiful world out there. Don’t wait a moment longer, get out the maps and start planning!
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Feature image by Moyan Brenn