According to recent surveys, 71% of Americans say that travel during retirement is an important goal. It’s worth saving to cover these expenses and see the world, yet only 18% of Americans are financially preparing for travel during retirement. Some say they’ll travel during this time only if they’re healthy enough to do so. However, it may be worthwhile to do so regardless; traveling in retirement drives healthier lifestyles.
Travel: It’s Good for Your Health
Travel promotes healthy aging by boosting physical, cognitive, and social activity. Immersing yourself in a different place or culture affects all aspects of your life, and travel has been shown to reduce stress. Stress is linked to illnesses such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes, and it also affects several parts of the body – such as the brain, intestines, and bowels. Since travelers are more active, they’re at a lower risk of developing these conditions.
Traveling is also beneficial for your mental health. Not only does it reduce stress, but it helps improve your general outlook on life. New sights, constant stimulation, and exposure to new walks of life all help keep your mind engaged and wits sharp. Immersion in other cultures challenges and stimulates your brain, provides social interaction with new people, and can improve your relationship with your spouse. If you’ve spent years of your life with your partner, seeing the world is an incredible way to spend your retirement years together.
Save Your Money
Many people are mainly concerned that they won’t have enough for retirement and will outlive their money. When looking at retirement savings, first consider creating a specific travel budget. The cumulative funds spent on annual travel in retirement can total well into six-digit figures. One way to have a specific budget is to list all the places you want to go, budget your expenses (add 20% for inflation), and average the sum over your traveling years for a target amount.
You Don’t Have to Be Filthy Rich
It’s a common misconception that you’ll need a large stack of cash squirrelled away to fully enjoy your retirement. While travel can be expensive, we’ve gathered a few tips to help you budget:
● Travel during the off-season. Many places have an “off-season” when they have fewer tourists and travelers. To make up the difference, resorts and travel destinations may have amazing discounts during non-peak seasons.
● Road Scholars. This is a non-profit organization that offers 5,500 educational tours in all 50 states and in 150 countries. They also have “budget friendly” programs and award scholarships based on financial need.
● Senior discounts. Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts! Many places either have senior, military, or veteran discounts. Having an AAA or AARP membership also gives you discounts for many events, trips, and programs.
● Volunteer vacations. New trends in travel include volunteer vacations. While not entirely free, these vacations allow you to see new places and give back to others.
● Parks. Many remarkable places in America are completely free to visit. Various parks host mountain ranges, majestic lakes, and some even hold a volcano or two.
There are so many elements that go into your traveling budget. You have to think of transportation, airfare, meals, activities, and shopping. However, there are ways to reduce this budget to one low price. While you still need to book airfare to the port, cruises are a wonderful way to travel while reducing out-of-pocket spending. Cruises can go to many destinations, allowing you to see different parts of the world. On board, your fare includes meals, drinks, entertainment, and activities (like tours of interesting destinations).
Resorts are another option. Again, you still have to budget for transportation. However, once you arrive, fees are usually limited. Many resorts have meals, spa services, and recreational activities included in the booking price. Some of the highest-rated, all-inclusive resorts are found in places such as:
● Hermitage Bay Resort: Antigua Island
● Beaches: Turks and Caicos
● Hayman Island Resort: Great Barrier Reef, Australia
● Howie’s Homestay: Chiang Mai, Thailand
● Mii Amo Spa: Sedona, Arizona
● NIZCU Resort and Spa: Cancun, Mexico
● Travaasa Hana: Maui, Hawaii
● Grand Resort and Spa: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
● ME Cancun: Cancun, Mexico
● Sandals: Grande, Antigua Island
If you’re looking for a more hands-on or inspiring trip, there are definitely adventures out there. In India, you’ll find the Deccan Odyssey train. It’s a luxurious train you can travel throughout the entire country of India. Kayak in Baja, California, off of Magdalena Bay with gray whales, sea lions, and dolphins in the company of a marine biologist. In North Africa, you can retrace the caravan routes of the world’s first merchants along the silk roads.
Retirement affords you the time to finally see places you’ve never been before. It improves your health by reducing stress, increasing cognitive stimulation, enhancing your mood, providing social interactions, and improving your outlook on life. No matter where in the world you desire to go, the key is to get started. Begin by making a travel budget and saving for these expenses before retiring.
The team at Retire On Purpose wants you to have a fulfilling retirement with the ability to travel to your heart’s content. We have many resources on our website to help you get started, and we also have consultants to assist you along your journey.
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