Retirement Travel: Exploring the World, on Your Own Terms

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Sep 07, 2014 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Retirement is great – you’re on your own clock, on your own schedule, with plenty of free time. Wait – what? What free time? Yes, retirement seems to be a code word for extra busy, since you now have time to pursue your passions.

If you’ve always longed to travel more, but were too busy in your career and raising a family, retirement is the perfect time to do so. Make time in your even more busy life to travel – it’s worth it.

Wondering how retirement travel differs from your previous travel? For one, it’s more fun!

Here’s a list on why retirement travel is a great time to explore the world:

 

Retirement Travel: Exploring the World, on Your Own Terms! Photo: Rynek Główny w Krakowie - Main Square - Stare Miasto - Old City - Krakow, Poland - Cracow, Polska by David Berkowitz

Rynek Główny w Krakowie - Main Square - Stare Miasto - Old City - Krakow, Poland - Cracow, Polska by David Berkowitz, on Flickr creative commons

 

You save money. This is the biggest benefit of retirement travel – you can flash your ID card and save money on just about everything, from hotels to a cup of coffee to travel insurance – an over 65s travel insurance policy can save you money, while providing you with peace of mind (look into multitrip policies to save even more). Join AARP or your country-specific seniors group to learn more about special discounts for seniors. You can also travel during the shoulder or off seasons, when prices (and crowds) are less. Please note that hours may be limited for attractions in low season.

 

Summer Visitors, 1897. Maurice Prendergast. From Retirement Travel: Exploring the World, on Your Own Terms

Summer Visitors, 1897. Maurice Prendergast. Photo Wikimedia Commons

 

Slow Travel is possible. I am a huge proponent of slow travel; immersion is a great way to experience a culture. You’re not due back in a week – you can take your time! While you are traveling, stay a while in each place. Take classes (especially cooking classes!), shop the local markets, go to the library, find local musicians you love and listen as much as possible, make friends. Call it your own Grand Tour.

 

Retirement Travel: Exploring the World, on Your Own Terms. Photo: Goethe in the Roman Campagna. Rome, 1787, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, oil on canvas.

Goethe in the Roman Campagna. Rome, 1787, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, oil on canvas. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

 

You can use what you have. Maybe you have a house – are you up for a house swap? Many of my friends do this – and saving money on accommodations (and transportation, if you include your cars) can really help your travel budget. Maybe you and your house-swappers will make this an annual tradition – so you’ll, in effect, have a second community where you feel comfortable, have friends, and live like locals.

 

Retirement Travel: Exploring the World, on Your Own Terms.

Having a break by Sabrina M, on Flickr creative commons

 

You can go with a group. Road Scholar (formerly known as Elderhostel) and other organizations offer educational group tours, or take a writers cruise. You can learn while you go, feeding your mind and your travel bug.

 

Retirement Travel: Exploring the World, on Your Own Terms. Photo: Oldsaksgranskeren. 1865, Vincent Stoltenberg Lerche, oil.

Oldsaksgranskeren. 1865, Vincent Stoltenberg Lerche, oil. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

 

It's easy to stay connected with family. With the internet and skype, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with your family. However, if you’ve decided to travel the world and give up your home, as this couple did, then be sure to come home and spend time with your family. Your grandkids are growing fast – be part of their lives as much as possible. Schedule regular skype calls, send postcards and care packages from where you are, and bring local treasures when you come home. Nothing shares the joy of travel like authentic Mexican hot chocolate, picked up at the market in Lake Chapala, and made with your grandkids. They will proudly wear their Athens tshirt, or replace their backpacks with the handwoven bags you bought in Peru. Pretty soon they’ll be asking to come along with you – what a joy this can be!

 

Bring home the tshirt for the grandkids! From Retirement Travel: Exploring the World, on Your Own Terms

 

What’s in it for you? By expanding your mind, learning and experiencing other cultures, interacting with new people, and going on new adventures, you become young again – at least in the playful, life-giving sense.

 

Here is a great resource that was shared with us regarding the benefits of burial insurance: seniorlifeinsuranceplans.com/burial-insurance/

 

Young again! From Retirement Travel: Exploring the World, on Your Own Terms
Young Again by Matt Ming, via Flickr creative commons

 

 

 

 

Why retirement travel is a great time to explore the world

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