Retirement ushers in a new stage in life, one in which adults have ample free time to pursue their interests and hobbies.
When eight or more hours per day are no longer allocated for work, those hours can be devoted to other pursuits. Retirees have the time to travel, and such exploration need not break the bank.
A 2014 MassMutual survey found that 72 percent of respondents reported feeling quite happy or extremely happy in retirement. Being able to travel when and where they desire may be a big component of this happiness. A study by Virtuoso found that travel factors significantly into the lives of today’s seniors. They spend more on travel than any other generation — an average of $11,077 a year. Travel spending is at the highest among people between the ages of 75 and 79.
Learning how to get the most bang for your traveling buck can help retirees make travel more affordable.
• Avoid peak travel seasons. Many working families are restricted by school and work schedules, often limiting travel to summer and holiday breaks. The hospitality industry tends to raise their prices during these times of year. Retirees can travel any time they want. Booking trips during less busy times of year for tourism is a great way to save money.
• Consider a rental agreement. Retirees who want to travel for many weeks or even months out of the year may want to think about renting their homes while they are gone. The money earned in rent can help offset the costs of travel.
• Think about alternative living situations. Seeing the country and traveling most of the time may be more doable if retirees forego the house entirely and opt for different residences. Many recreational vehicles are large enough to be full-time homes. Simply park the RV in a new spot each month for a different perspective. House boats can be an option for the marine-minded.
• Try a repositioning cruise. Cruising is a popular form of travel for seniors. Investopedia says cruise lines offer discount repositioning cruise trips when they need to move ships from one port to another, usually during the off-season. Unlike typical cruises where a ship will return to the port of origin, a repositioning cruise stops at several ports on the way and ultimately docks in a new end destination.
• Find an inexpensive destination. For the cost of staying at a popular family resort for a week, you may be able to stay for double or triple the amount of time for about the same amount of money elsewhere. Weigh destinations carefully and compare costs. Think beyond the “popular” destinations around the world.
Travel is a favorite pastime for retirees. Cost-saving strategies can make travel more budget-friendly for seniors who want to spend more time exploring.