Here’s How to Plan Your First Big Post-Retirement Trip

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Travel is a popular pastime for many retired people. Some may have been lifelong travelers who have no intentions of slowing down as they age while others may have spent their lifetime putting off adventures and are finally fulfilling their dreams. You can marry travel with a busy career, but at this stage in your life, you are fortunate to not have to multitask your adventures. If you’re considering your first big post-retirement trip and you’re not a very experienced traveler, the tips below can help you get started.

Your Budget

The good news about traveling is that unless you require five-star hotels and Michelin dining every night, you can almost certainly travel for less than you expect. This will vary a lot depending on your approach and where you go, but to start with, do a financial assessment. You don’t want to endanger your retirement savings, but the money is also there to be spent. If you have a life insurance policy, you might want to find out if you can sell it through a life settlement. This can be a great way to gain extra money if you are no longer worried about providing for dependents, and you can review a guide about the process. Once you have a sense of how travel will fit into your overall budget, you can dig deeper into your planning.

Your Profile

What kind of a traveler are you? While there may be a stereotype that retired people only go on group tours or cruises, there are just as many different options available to you as there are to travelers of other ages. Both tours and cruises can be great, especially if you don’t want to do much of the planning yourself, and some are aimed specifically at older adults. However, if you’ve got more of an independent mindset, you’ll find other seniors who do as well. 

In addition to taking trips, they’ll be volunteering and working around the world, attending language schools, and maybe even running tours themselves. Other things to consider are how active you want or are able to be, whether you want to travel domestically or internationally and how you’ll get where you’re going, whether that’s driving an RV around the country, flying between exciting capitals or finally taking your sailboat out island hopping.

The Details

Now, it’s time to get down to the details of planning your first trip. You can find more information in guidebooks and online. There are social media groups and blogs specifically devoted to travel for older adults. If you’re going to another country, you might want to download a language app and learn at least a few words and phrases. Look into the availability of senior discounts. 

Figure out whether you want to go solo or with a friend or family member. Do some research on travel safety tips and, if you’re going to be in a different culture, basic points of etiquette. With any luck, your family will be enthusiastic about your plan, but if they are worried about you, you might need to reassure them. Show them all the research and planning you’ve done, and remind them that they can contact you instantly by phone anytime they’re worried. Then head off into the sunset (or maybe the sunrise) for the first of many adventures.