Everyone wants to travel somewhere. Whether it’s a short trip to the beach for a weekend vacation or globetrotting for weeks at a time, we all have places we want to go.
Many people save their travel dreams for retirement, hoping to take advantage of all their free time with incredible vacations. But there’s a catch—retirement living is expensive, even if you stay at home and stick to your budget.
And the only thing more expensive than that? Traveling!
Travel adds the cost of a place to stay and meals that are probably a bit more pricey than usual.
Not to mention paying for excursion and experiences. Then there are souvenirs, taxi rides, surprise costs…you name it. Plus there’s the biggest cost to consider: the actual travel.
Flights these days range from $200 to $2,000 depending on where you go, and other methods of travel can be just as expensive. In some cases, just the cost of getting to your destination can cost more than the actual trip!
No matter how you spin it, vacation is an added expense, which unfortunately adds stress as well.
But that doesn’t mean we should give up on our travel dreams. Especially in your golden years, you deserve to see the world and enjoy it!
Today I’m going to share some tips with you that will allow you to do just that without worrying about breaking the budget.
As I said, chief amongst your travel costs will probably be the actual cost of traveling. Even if you’re just flying two or three states over, it can cost you $500 round trip for a single seat!
And don’t even get me started on traveling internationally. Tickets to Europe can go for $2,500 and up for an economy seat! And a lot of them aren’t even direct!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to pay 2 grand for an uncomfortable seat, a bag of peanuts, and a four hour layover in a foreign airport.
But the good news is, I have a trick to help you avoid travel pains without making your ticket prices skyrocket.
Part of why traveling during retirement is so incredible is because you are flexible in a way that you never have been. And that means that your travel dates can be flexible, which is HUGE.
Airlines choose prices based on demand, and that means that over school breaks, around holidays, and during other choice tourist seasons in certain destinations, prices go through the roof.
But if that happens, you can just pick another date!
On off travel weeks, prices can drop hundreds of dollars.
For example, if I wanted to fly from my hometown of Orlando to visit the beautiful city of London during my work vacation at Thanksgiving, a ticket with two layovers would cost me $816! And that’s without luggage or seat upgrades, and no meals included.
But, if I was open to travel earlier in the month, I could drop that price to $389 and have only one short layover in Dublin along the way.
Just by having flexible travel dates, you can save $427 on airfare!
Another travel tip to save you money if you are vacationing domestically is to avoid the airlines all together. It may come as a surprise, but travel by train can be an economic and enjoyable experience.
It may take you an hour or two longer to get to where you’re going, but trains today can be nearly as fast as a flight, and the seats are guaranteed to be much more comfortable than an economy airline, where you feel like a human sardine for several long hours.
Plus, trains give you a view that can make your travel time a part of the vacation.
For a lot of people, travel is a necessary evil to reach the destination, but with train travel, you save several hundred dollars, and you get a view of the country from your cozy seat. (And just as a tip from one traveler to another, train food is a lot better than plane food).
No matter how you travel though, one of the most important ways to save is through memberships, point systems, coupons, and other discounts and deals that travel companies offer.
Some airlines offer companion ticket benefits, where your travel points can be converted to a free ticket for the person of your choosing. If you sign up for this and take a few vacations full price, soon enough you and your spouse can get two vacations for the price of one!
There are also travel card benefits that are more than worth your time—you just have to know to look for them!
Several banks, Chase principle among them, offer a variety of travel credit cards that earn you points towards eliminating travel expenses.
This is a really incredible option because even when you aren’t traveling, your living expenses are actually helping you save to travel more!
In addition to this, you can earn travel credit with good old-fashioned frequent flyer miles by signing up with the airlines you fly on, and eventually your travel costs can be eliminated altogether.
The important thing with these memberships and discounts is to ask!
Many times, airlines and other travel companies won’t broadcast the discounts that they have available, but if you ask, you might find that there are HUGE savings opportunities available to you.
And if you find those opportunities and take advantage of them, you won’t have to worry about the cost of the traveling part of your vacations anymore!
Instead, you can focus on enjoying your time at your destination, and if you shop bargains and save wisely, you can afford even more luxury during your vacation!