Retirement is a long-term goal for many people, and with good reason. What better way to reward yourself after years of hard work than to go on that long-awaited vacation? By 2025, people aged 65 and older will account for 11% of the world’s population, and their rate of international travel will more than double. When you retire, you can be a part of this too if you plan accordingly.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just packing your bags as waving goodbye to your neighbors. Take insurance, for example. The CDC’s guide for healthy travel reminds travelers to check if their health insurance covers medical care abroad. Travelers can often incur unexpected medical expenses, and this can take a huge toll on your wallet.
This is just one of the important pieces of advice to remember when traveling in retirement. Intrigued? Keep reading to understand some important information about going on tips during retirement.
Plan in advance
Besides insurance, it is important to plan the logistics out in advance in order to ensure safe travels. Find out more about your destination — what language do they speak, where are the hospitals, what is the weather like, how is the transportation system, and so forth.
In our previous article, we discussed Zanzibar’s cost of living and required expenses. Aside from its pristine beaches, research will inform you that Zanzibar mostly caters to short-term tourists, and this means pricey accommodation and restaurants. Because the island is underdeveloped, finding a hospital might pose a problem to those requiring constant medical care. Planning for things like this can help mitigate any unexpected problems or expenses, and help you enjoy your vacation.
Focus on experiences
Retirement is the best time to accomplish your bucket list of things that you’ve always wanted to try.
Travel writer Allyson Dobberteen suggests living like a local as a great way to make the most out of your experiences. This can be as simple as waking up early and shopping at the local grocery store. Ditch the high-end restaurants and ask locals about their favorite food stop. Because you get to avoid tourist traps, living like a local tends to incur fewer expenses, and this allows travelers to stay in each destination longer.
Get a part-time job
This might seem like a stretch — working again when you’re supposed to be enjoying your retirement? However, part-time jobs don’t have to be stressful, and in fact, can be an enriching and fun experience for retirees.
The key is to find work that is engaging but not strenuous. AskMoney’s list of best part-time jobs for retirees describes how house sitting may offer retirees the chance to travel without having too many expenses. Skills-based part-time jobs are also an option. Retirees who were in the education or financial field can find work as a substitute teacher or consultant on the side.
Getting a part-time job is a great way to integrate into the community and live like a local. Creating an extra source of income in the process doesn’t hurt either. This will provide you self-sustaining travel, and keep your savings in tact, for the most part.
Take advantage of senior discounts
Income and expenses shouldn’t be too much of a worry, however, especially if you plan ahead. You can also take advantage of special perks as a senior, such as senior discounts. Take the US National Park System as an example. For $80, US citizens aged 62 and above can purchase a senior pass that allows for free, unlimited, and lifetime access in more than 2,000 federal recreation sites.
Otherwise, discounts are usually provided in hotel accommodations and even flight travel. This means that making multiple trips a year is actually more feasible for the senior age group and more than for any other demographic.
Senior travel is friendlier than ever, so what are you waiting for? Consider your next great escape today, and don’t forget to lock your door behind you — and maybe you can even hire another retired traveler as a house sitter while you’re gone?
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