For many, retirement can be an exciting time to do things you’ve always wanted to do, like spending more time with your family, learning new hobbies, and traveling. And now that you are retired, the world is your oyster—on a retirement budget of course. If you plan to travel throughout your retirement, you’re probably wondering how to do so on a low budget. We’ve got you covered with our top five tips for retirement travel.
1. Create your travel-friendly bucket list.
Every single one of us has probably said at some point “I want to visit there someday.” Well, now that you’re retired, you have the opportunity to turn “someday” into today. Consider writing down the top ten places you’d love to visit. Then from there, narrow it down to the top five places you’d like to see in the next three years. And then choose the one you’d like to see first. No matter what travel sights you have your heart set on, now is the time to make it happen (on a budget of course).
2. Start saving.
Now that you’ve chosen your destination, it’s time to do some quick research. Check out airfare, rental cars (or public transportation), how much you’ll need for food, and places to stay. Once you have a good estimate, it’s time to start saving. A sinking fund is a great way to save.1 You’ll take your estimated trip cost and divide it by how many months you have until you leave. That number will be how much you’ll need to save each month for your vacation. Remember, retired travelers are often traveling on their retirement budget, so you’ll want to save as long as you can without digging into your normal day-to-day expenses.
3. Book your accommodations early.
The early bird always gets the worm. When you plan and book your trip early, you’re going to save yourself money in the long run—especially if you’re flying. The earlier you can book your flights, the better! A study by CheapAir found that the recommended booking window to score the cheapest airfare is 46 to 164 days before you depart.2 But on average, you’ll want to at least shoot for 70 days out.3 And since you’re getting your flights early, you might want to consider the travel insurance so you can change your flights or get your money back—just in case the unexpected happens.
Sites like Going (previously known as Scott’s Cheap Flights) and Airfare Watchdog have flight trackers that will alert you when prices drop so you can get more favorable rates.
4. Flexibility is key.
The more flexible you are, the better—especially when you’re traveling on a budget. You can often get great deals when you’re willing to be flexible on airfare, nightly stays, and departure months. Airbnb has a search button titled “I’m Flexible,” which allows them to help you find the coolest vacation spots at the lowest rates.
Flexibility isn’t just for flying or securing your hotel or homestay. It’s also key for keeping your expectations in check when something goes array (and things often do when you travel). Keep an open mind and be willing to change your plans if needed.
5. Pack light.
You can save money on baggage fees, transportation, and more when you choose to pack light. Instead of packing an outfit for every single day of vacation, try to pack a few articles of clothing that you can mix and match. Another great way to save space is by packing the necessities and visiting a local thrift shop when you reach your destination. Buy clothing for cheap and donate it when you leave so you can leave more room for souvenirs. Plus, traveling is a lot easier when you don’t have to keep track of large suitcases.
Traveling on a budget during retirement can be done. Contact a SageSpring Wealth Partner to help you reach your retirement goals. We can help you set your retirement budget and work toward the retirement of your dreams!
The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of SageSpring Wealth Partners and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.