One of the great benefits of retirement is the freedom and flexibility to travel. And an added bonus? Traveling has been shown to improve health, both physical and mental, in seniors!
For example, walking, snorkelling, swimming, and biking are great ways to boost physical health when you’re on vacation. And sightseeing, consulting maps, attempting a foreign language, and just being somewhere different are very effective for boosting mental health.
With a giant world out there to explore, there are endless possibilities when it comes to where you can go and what you can do. Of course, it’s important to consider safety and cost anytime you travel, so here are some tips to help you stay a savvy traveler and not break the bank.
Where to Start?
Figuring out where to go and how to get there are the first steps in planning your adventure.
And, unless you are a well-seasoned traveler, it’s always a good idea to travel with another person.
You’ll want to be sure to keep in mind any limitations you have or the limitations of your traveling companion(s). For example, a vacation that involves a lot of walking isn’t ideal if you have a bad knee.
Your method of travel will obviously dictate some of your plans. A weekend getaway might be more cost-effective by car, but a cruise could mean flying into a port. And vacationing overseas will always mean traveling by plane. These methods of transportation will determine part of the cost of your trip, so keep this in mind when plotting your vacation.
If you do plan to travel out of the country, make a point to get your passport (or have it updated) as soon as possible.
Great Resources, Discounts
One of the best resources out there for seniors wanting to travel is AARP.org. They have a page specifically devoted to travel, in addition to offering tips, discounts, and access to senior-related travel information.
While there are plenty of online travel sites at your disposal, consider using a travel agent when booking a cruise or an overseas trip. An agent can help you with particulars, and having a pro assist you will help smooth out any difficult details, plus travel agents tend to have a lot of insider information.
A lot of places offer discounts for seniors, but age can be a factor. AARP affords benefits to people as young as 50, but a lot of businesses have different criteria based on age. Usually age 65 is when you are officially considered a senior citizen. If you are willing to be candid about your age, there are plenty of discounts out there to be had.
If you have a smartphone, traveling is a great time to put it to use. (Not to mention that it can help cut down on packing!) Smartphones have cameras, so there’s not necessarily a need to pack an extra one. A wealth of apps can help you organize your reservations, locate restaurants and museums, or even help you find transportation quickly. Having a smartphone can also come in handy for emergency situation situations, should the need arise.
When traveling overseas, you can choose to switch your plan to an international one for the duration of your trip, and most cell phone providers offer this service.
During your golden years, traveling is a rewarding and fulfilling way to spend your time. And with so many ways to make it affordable and accessible, you have nothing standing in your way.
So good luck, and bon voyage!