Retiring, retired, or hoping to soon be moving to this exciting new stage in life? Would you like to hear that there are travel jobs for retirees? Do you need to keep working but want a change from the old job routine? How about having adventures that will bring back your youthful vitality? After asking some senior citizens a few questions, many of the number one answers to what they'd like to do after retirement was to travel and see the world.
One of the biggest draws of retirement is the free time one has to explore new places. Retirement and travel seem to go hand-in-hand for many new retirees. However, a lot of people who are excited to travel don't fully realize that spending on a retirement budget is much different than spending while working, and therefore affects their travel budget.
Retirement spending is a completely different mindset than you've had for your entire working life. Retirement and traveling can work -- you just need to know how to travel on a retirement budget. To get the most out of your trip, remember to budget correctly by following these tips during your travels.
These 5 Tips Will Help You Spend Wisely When You Travel In Retirement
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In addition to remembering that your muscles and joints need some TLC and stretching when you're in a plane or car, you also need to remember certain transportation needs when you're retired. Cities around the world have subway systems, but there are usually huge stairwells that can hurt your joints. Make sure you plan ahead and know what kind of transportation the city you are at has and make a budget for it in your spending.
Finding a nice place to stay on a budget is not as hard as it sounds. If you're going to Europe, there are plenty of resources for you, including Tripping.com, where you can compare the most affordable hotels and apartment rentals. There are plenty of hotels (stateside and abroad) that offer amenities to seniors for no charge, as long as you call ahead. If you need an elevator or extra big numbers on your alarm clock, just ask! Hotels are happy to accommodate their retirement traveling patrons.
3) Foreign Transactions
In your retirement travel, make sure you know what kind of currency you need to use and make sure it is accessible. A lot of the times when traveling abroad, people think it is easiest to convert currency at the airports. However, these places usually have high interest rates. It is much easier to take money directly out of an ATM, or from your American bank's overseas partner bank. Before you go, find out how much your bank charges you to withdraw cash from a foreign ATM: these fees can add up quickly, and you can end up losing hundreds of dollars in fees that you could have spent on something nice for yourself.
Also, only bring the bare minimum of your wallet; your license, insurance card, and one credit card instead of all of them. Before you go, make sure that you know the right number to call in case your cards are lost or stolen.
4) Health and Medicine
U.S. medical insurance is not usually honored outside the states, so definitely review your policy to find out details. Make sure to bring enough medication for the entire trip, as well as a few extra doses to be safe. Over the counter medicines for everyday aches and pains can be found cheap in airports, but it is always more financially savvy to bring those kinds of meds from home.
It is also a very good idea to purchase a health plan while traveling abroad. GeoBlue is an example of an inexpensive service that helps you arrange doctor visits wherever you are - often with a $0 deductible, depending on which plan you choose.
A little research can go a long way. Retirement traveling is perfect because you can travel during off-peak times and save money. Also, by traveling during the week you can help economize your retirement spending while also avoiding crowds. Win!
Some Extra Encouragement
Don't be overwhelmed by the planning that goes into a frugal travel plan. Here are a few reminders of why it is such a great idea to plan a trip:
- Travel, and the anticipation of travel, recaptures your enthusiasm. You look ahead with excitement instead of experiencing the dulled-over feeling that comes from repetition and routine.
- Travel challenges you to be at your most effective and focused level. Comfort zones may be comfortable. But it is good for you to be taken out of your comfort zones regularly. Otherwise, your social skills can begin to decline, and your ability to think on your feet and solve problems may decrease.
- Travel gives you a reason to stay healthy. And it keeps you sharp longer! The challenges of travel test your acuity on a daily basis. Travel can be demanding, especially if you are not being "led around by the nose" on a group trip. You will need to walk extensively, including up and down hills and stairs, and be aware of your surroundings.
- If is most often the case that by the time you return home from a trip, you will be in better shape than you have been for months, or even years! And if you begin immediately to anticipate another trip, you will have a genuine incentive to keep up these improvements and be ready for the next one.
This article was written by Henry Kingston.