Most people dream of traveling during retirement. You spend most of your life chained to the day-to-day grind and finally, you’ve found yourself with some freedom. Traveling is expensive, so how do you fund retirement travel?
Hopefully, you’ve been working on a retirement plan for many years. But perhaps that plan doesn’t involve all of the trips on your bucket list. You may need to be a little more creative when it comes to retirement travel and saving money where you can.
One way to help fund your traveling is to travel smart. Keeping your trips on a reasonable budget will allow your funds to go a lot further.
Traveling when you’re retired looks different than past trips. You don’t have to talk to your boss to get permission. Or plan your vacation around a child’s summer break. You have more time and fewer responsibilities so your trips can be much longer. Longer trips provide you with more options to save money.
Now that you aren’t tied down to a 9 to 5, you can be flexible with when you leave and return when booking flights. Tuesday is one of the cheapest days to fly. Instead of waiting for the end of the week to head out on your trip, book a flight for Tuesday. That way you avoid the busy travel days for business.
Hotel stays can also be cheaper during the week compared to the weekend. Even campsites are much easier to book during the week compared to the weekend. Use your flexible schedule to your advantage!
AirBnBs are usually cheaper than hotels. They also give you the option of cooking in a kitchen. This can save a lot of money on food when you’re on a long trip. Buying from the grocery store and preparing food yourself is perfect for retirement travel on a budget.
Many destinations have foods that are specific to that culture or location.
For example, in Hawaii, you’re going to want to try some purple sweet potatoes in the grocery store. You’ll want to pick up some papayas from a stand on the side of the road. Don’t think that you can only embrace the cuisine of your destination at restaurants. You may even get lucky and run into some farmers’ markets with lots of fresh local produce.
House swaps are when two families switch houses so they can visit a new place. There are different communities online that create this opportunity, but if you know someone who might be interested in a house swap vacation that’s an option too.
A hotel in Park City, Utah may be out of budget in the winter, but in the summer it might be the perfect destination. You may not be interested in skiing anyway and you just want a date with the mountains.
Beach houses work the same way. The cost of renting a beach house is much less in the winter than in the summer. However, they’re still in warm destinations. If you’re not looking to go surfing in retirement, a walk on the beach might be just what you’re looking for.
Visiting these places in the off-season lets you enjoy them without the crowds and you’ll spend less time waiting in lines.
Not every exciting vacation needs to break the bank. You would be surprised how much you can do for free or with very little money. If you want to visit a certain city do your research to find all of the free activities you can fill your trip with.
For example in St. Louis, there’s an Art Museum, Science Center, and Zoo that all have free admission. There are free tourist attractions in every state.
Permanent residents of the U.S. who are 62 or older can get the yearly Senior Pass for only $20. The lifetime pass is available for $80. These passes give you access to all of the National Parks as well as other recreation areas. Additionally, they can give you discounts on other amenities such as camping and guided tours.
The National Parks are perfect for retirement travel on a budget. You get to see some of the most beautiful parts of the country and you get away from the pricier destinations in big cities.
The temptation to buy souvenirs from our favorite places is strong. But if you’re retired and traveling fairly regularly, you’re going to want to get used to taking pictures rather than things. Pictures will capture all the memories better than souvenirs anyways.
There are a lot of credit cards that offer travel rewards. These cards reward you for making travel-related purchases or everyday purchases with points or miles. You then use the points or miles to buy flights and hotels either free or discounted with the rewards.
There are some advantages to getting older with many travel-related senior discounts to take advantage of.
United Airlines offers senior fares for certain destinations, definitely something to look into when booking flights.
Hotel chains usually offer senior discounts for AARP members or guests 55 or over.
Carnival and other cruise lines have senior fares for 55 and older.
One asset you may not have considered exchanging for cash is your life insurance policy. Many people have used the cash from a life settlement to add to their retirement fund allowing them to cross more off their basket list.
Ted Muller used his life settlement to put away some money for medical expenses but he also was able to buy his dream car. He received a larger-than-predicted life settlement after using Windsor to help him secure a high offer.
You may be eligible if you are:
Now that you’re older you likely don’t have the dependents that you once had who would need financial help without you. You may be ready to trade your death benefit for cash to use while you’re still alive.
You can get a better idea of whether or not your policy can qualify for a life settlement with a life settlement calculator. Reach out for a free consultation to discuss your options and whether or not a life settlement is right for you.
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