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How to Make Traveling Affordable in a Low-Budget Retirement

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Date : September 05,2013
By : Austin Crowley

Leading up to our retirement, we usually have quite a bucket list of things that we’d like to accomplish. Nearly everyone’s list will likely include travel to far-off lands in order to experiences places and cultures that are completely foreign to us. Many people spend their entire retirement traveling the world. While this kind of free-spirited retirement can seem very attractive, the harsh reality is that travel is becoming increasingly implausible in recent years.

On average, retirement savings are at an all-time low in many developed countries. In the United States, senior citizens are the second fastest growing demographic in the workforce next to young adults. Many elders work part-time during their retirements in order to bolster their retirement funds and retain benefits, such as health (which can be very expensive in old age.) With these financial and employment limitations, who can afford to travel in these days?

Despite these issues, many elders can take steps towards making travel plausible again in retirement by following these few tips:

1. Safeguard you and your family’s livelihood with travel insurance

There is always a certain degree of risk when traveling abroad. Accidents, injuries, illnesses, delayed flights, and lost baggage are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what can go wrong while abroad. Many of these issues are pronounced in elders, when physical limitations and weakened immunities come into play.

To reduce the likelihood of causing a financial disaster, investing in travel insurance is a cost-efficient approach to safe travel that every senior traveler should seriously consider. However, remember to invest in a provider who specializes in your region; when traveling to the southern states, getting coverage from a Charlotte, NC insurance agency is far wiser than seeking coverage from a provider from Munich or Sydney.

2. Book early, book smart

As fun as spontaneity can be in traveling, the traveler who plans is the one who spends less. Simply booking a ticket a month in advance during off-holiday seasons can save anyone hundreds of dollars. Booking lodging and dining in advance can ensure a smoother, healthier, and more affordable trip. Try creating flexible itineraries in advance for your trips which allow a certain element of spontaneity, but never rely on the luck of the draw when it comes to your financial security during traveling.

However, take care to not book too early in advance in the case that something arises which can inhibit your traveling plans. A few hours of flexibility can help account for missed or late flights and other such scheduling conflicts. This goes doubly true for anyone with serious physical or mental limitations, since missing reservations might mean losing a large chunk of non-refundable change. This is especially true for plane tickets and hotel reservations – these people will typically not hesitate to point to fine print when your plans fall through.

3. Take the road less often travelled

Most of us dream big when it comes to travelling abroad, and nothing is wrong with ambition. But consider the price tag associated with some more popular tourist destinations compared to alternatives, and reconsider when you decide to take your trip. A Christmastime foray to Paris might cost several dozen times more expensive than a more spontaneous trip to Greece or Egypt during less popular times of the year for travel. By keeping a careful eye on international exchange rates, you can pluck up a ticket to somewhere exotic and adventurous at the fraction of the cost of somewhere obvious and touristy.

In fact, there are many more benefits in choosing less popular travel destinations. Many argue that avoiding the main roads when choosing to travel will lead to a more culturally authentic experience, free from tourist traps and overpopulated streets. Many consider taking these less often travel destinations safer in addition to being more inexpensive, since many opportunistic crooks and con-artists roam more popular locations. If safer, cheaper, and more culturally authentic is your preference when traveling abroad, then your aspirations to travel during retirement just became a lot more likely.

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