5 Tips for Travelling on a Budget after You Retire
Travelling to brand new locations and experiencing new cultures, customs, landscapes, and delicacies is extremely rewarding, but can be difficult to plan on a retirement income. Whether you’d like to head on a road trip or a plane ride to your favorite holiday destination, keeping track of your spending is a good idea. Here are five tips on planning a budget to maximize every penny during your travels.
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An obvious but oft-forgotten tip is to keep your expenses on track. A great way to do this is to keep a notebook and decide roughly how much you will spend during your time away. Section your notebook into separate categories; food, transportation, accommodation and attractions. This planning will make spontaneous spending decisions much easier when you are away!
It’s always a good idea to keep a budget, and also to bring along some ‘unassigned’ spending money. You may very well be able to convince yourself that you don’t need that extra trinket, piece of clothing, or souvenir; but it’s best to make sure you have enough money to spare in case you come across an unexpected detour or opportunity to explore. You don’t want to return from your trip merely wishing you had been able to take that jet boat tour, or visit that exotic bird park, or try out the exciting local buffet restaurant that had been too new to find on the internet…
If you have a specific holiday time and destination in mind, try to lock in your travel dates as early as possible or look for sales. A large part of your spending usually goes to booking flights and accommodation, so taking advantage of the best rates will help you save quite a bit. Make sure you check out travel websites for special deals as well!
Once you’ve made your reservation, do your research. Take time to write a list of everything you need, and take time carefully packing each item in a suitable place. This way you won’t have to shop for necessities while you’re away, saving you time and money.
Always remember to check weather forecasts, and no matter where you’re headed, pack some long trousers and a rain jacket. Weather-appropriate clothing can help prevent illness, saving you money during your travels. If you have more than one bag and are bringing cash or credit cards, it might be wise to store these separately, so that you won’t be stranded without money in case one of your bags is lost or delayed.
While it’s important to plan early, being flexible with your schedule could save you a lot of money. Look out for sales on destinations, accommodations and attractions. Prices tend to hike up during school and public holidays, to take advantage of families who can only travel during these periods.
Travelling out of season can save you a lot of money. Research the most popular times to visit your intended destination, but also check to see if there is any difference in pricing when you book just outside these dates. Flights and accommodation tend to be cheaper when you travel just before or after the peak season – which is perfect if you don’t mind the weather perhaps being a little colder or some of the family-oriented attractions being closed.
Check with your local travel agency for any travel discounts available. Look online for deals on flights, cruises and hotels. Travelling with a tour group is a great option to bundle costs!
Be sure to research how you will get to and from places during your holiday. Look at public transport options and compare them to car rentals. Some large cities will sell daily, weekly and monthly passes that could offer a more affordable option.
Choose restaurants, accommodation and attractions that offer senior discounts. One of the best things about travelling after you retire is the senior discounts available, especially lower fares on public transport and attractions such as theatre shows. Remember to check at each of your attractions
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Use Travel Rewards
Consider a travel rewards credit card to enjoy benefits like travel services and discounts. Use this to book your flights, accommodation and attractions to earn points. Be sure to redeem these points for travel-related benefits.
Sign up for travel-related loyalty programs to earn free flights and cheap hotel stays. These are great ways to save money, enjoy club discounts, and earn loyalty points to put towards your travel. If you don’t travel frequently, make sure to keep an eye out for when your points may expire.
Plan Your Retirement
It is important to understand the significance of retirement planning. This is especially if you’re thinking about travelling after retirement.
To ensure you have a strategic financial plan for your retirement, identify your sources of income and expenses. Determining exactly how much money regularly comes in and is spent each week will make your retirement budget much clearer. Make clear travel plans, and enjoy preparing for your holiday!
Cloe Matheson resides in the lovely South Island city of Dunedin, New Zealand. As a freelance writer, she has penned articles for various sites and blogs, including local businesses such as Poynters. Discover more of Cloe’s work on her blog.