For most Americans, having fun in Retirement means budgeting for travel so you can afford to live like every day is a Saturday.
A trip away is supposed to be fun, not another financial hassle. Just because your friends post beautiful photos of their voyages on Facebook doesn’t mean they paid huge sums to travel. You, too, can become a savvy, budget-friendly traveler by following these tips.
Travel in the Off-Season
At certain times of year, such as in December around the holidays, it's possible to score major deals on vacations that might have cost double or even triple in the summer. For instance, in the wintertime, everyone wants to escape the cold and hit the beach. If you want to travel somewhere chilly, like Canada, you can probably do it for much less.
Find Hotel Alternatives
Hotels are luxurious and all-inclusive, but they also often cost hundreds of dollars a night. The longer your trip, the more you’re spending on lodging.
Luckily, there are so many more options available. You can use Airbnb or a similar services to rent a spare room at someone’s home for the duration of your trip.
Make Your Own Meals
If you’re staying in someone’s home, you might have access to a full kitchen. That makes it all the easier for you to cook for yourself. You can still go out to dinner, but save that for special occasions on your trip.
Visit a local grocery store and pick up some new, interesting ingredients. This way, you get the flavors of your vacation destination, but without the huge price tag that often comes with dining out every night.
Shop Around for Flights
Rather than heading directly to each airline's website and doing your search, use flight comparison sites like Kayak.com or Google.com/flights. These sites compile offerings from all the major and discount airlines, allowing you to compare flight times, legs of the trip, and cost all in one place. Shop around and compare quotes, keeping in mind that Tuesday is generally seen as the best day to book airline travel, and you can often score better deals if you wait until closer to your trip rather than booking many months in advance. Many travel experts agree you should book 25 days in advance, but not further out than 150 days to score the best deals.
Setup Alerts to Get the Best Travel Deals
When shopping around for flights, hotels, and other packages, most travel sites will allow you to setup "travel alerts". Simply search the flight you are looking for (New York to Rome for instance) and add in your dates. Then ask to be "alerted" when the price drops. Airfarewatchdog, Google.com/flights, Orbitz, Travelocity, and most other major travel search engines all have this feature, making it much easier to score the best deal with little to know effort on your part.
If you really want to ensure that your retirement feels like every day is a Saturday, make sure you've placed a line item in your budget for travel and follow the steps above. You'll be surprised how often you can travel, just by preparing for the cost of fun. Our Wealth Advisors have helped many pre-retirees plan for the "Cost of Fun", all it takes is a complimentary consultation to review your goals and your financial situation. Click below today to schedule a phone call or Zoom meeting with us.
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