For many individuals, the retired years are the years in which they start making big plans. At this point, children are grown and have started families of their own, debts are paid and finances are relatively stable. This makes retirement the perfect time to begin planning for the things you’ve always wanted to do.
To many retirees, this presents the perfect time to travel.
Travel is an excellent way to spend your retirement years. But, it may be difficult to fit it into your retirement budget. If traveling is how you want to spend your retired years, it is possible to do so, even on a tight budget. We’ve listed some tips and tricks to help you stretch your retirement fund and to make travel easier.
Have a Plan
This is the first step toward living a nomadic retired life. Chances are, if you’ve always wanted to travel, you didn’t wake up one day after retirement and decide on a whim to go somewhere new. You most likely created a plan for these years.
This plan should include the countries and cities in which you are interested in visiting and how much to save to cover the cost of visiting these countries.
Part two of having a plan is drawing a map – and reassessing where you’d like to visit. For example, Paris is a beautiful city, but because it is so expensive it may not be viable for a retiree’s budget. There are plenty of great countries and cities out there in which you can stretch a dollar. Try looking at Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and South America. Countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Honduras and India all offer beautiful scenery and rich culture for budget-savvy individuals. Remember: the further you go off the beaten path, the less expensive your travels will be.
Sell Sell Sell
If long-term travel is what you’re after, then you might want to consider selling your possessions. If you plan on living a nomadic life, selling your car, house and anything you don’t need is the first step. Not only will this save you money, but it will earn you money that could be put toward your travels.
This option isn’t for everyone, however. You may be planning on taking shorter trips here and there or simply going on a vacation, in which case selling all of your worldly possessions isn’t necessary. Instead of selling, you may want to consider renting your home while you travel. Listing your house or condo on AirBnB.com or taking on a sublet while your gone will save you money.
If you plan on buying an RV and traveling within the United States, selling extra clothes, books and items you do not need offer excellent opportunities to make extra cash and to downsize.
Join A Tour
There are plenty of tours for retirees that offer wonderful travel opportunities for a good price! Additionally, tours offered on Groupon and LivingSocial can offer discounted airfare, hotels and meals. With a little bit of research, you can travel in style on a shoestring budget.
Stay Longer, Stay Cheaper
You could save yourself hundreds of dollars in lodging if you skip the hotels and hostels. Websites like AirBnB rent apartments in cities all over the world and the best part is that you can haggle with the apartment owner. If you offer to stay longer, say, a month in a city, you can know a couple of hundred off the price of the rental.
Additionally, the longer you stay, the less you need to spend on meals out. You can get an authentic local experience by going grocery shopping and trying your hand at cooking the local cuisine.
You can also stay for free if you utilize even more off-the-grid housing options, such as Caretaker.org. This website lists individuals from all over the world looking for someone to housesit or take care of their homes. Occasionally, you may even find a paying gig! You can also call small bed and breakfasts and see if they need help gardening or cooking for guests in exchange for lodging or discounted rooms. When it comes to saving on housing, a little bit of creativity can save hundreds of dollars and might even provide you with some interesting travel stories.
Another way to save money when you travel is to join a volunteer organization. GoAbroad.com, Habitat.org, coolworks.com and crossculturalsolutions.org are all excellent resources for finding volunteer opportunities abroad and across the United States.
A lot of times, these volunteer opportunities will offer free lodging and discounted airfare. Plus, you’ll be giving back while getting to see another part of the country or city!
Create A Passive Income
You can stretch your retirement savings by creating an income opportunity while you travel. This can be passive, such as building a profitable website, or active, such as finding online freelance work. The more money you generate, the longer you will be able to sustain your travels.
There are many creative ways in which you can make your retirement budget work toward your travel dreams! If you’re planning on traveling after you retire, you should speak to a financial planner and ensure that your debts are paid and that you are on the right track with your savings plan.