When retired or approaching retirement, our minds often turn to the way we might spend all the extra free time. One aspect that is often part of a retirement plan is to do some travelling. However, travelling can be expensive, especially if we would like to visit exotic locations around the world.
A little bit of planning can go a long way to enable you to achieve some of those goals, whilst staying within your budget. So here are some tips that might help you in planning your next holiday… without forcing you to put the house on the line!
1. Travelling locally
This is probably the easiest way to save on a holiday. This great country of ours offers some fantastic destinations and has something for everyone’s tastes. Whether it’s caravanning, campervanning or staying in a country farmhouse, there are many options that don’t have to cost an arm or a leg.
However, if it’s something a bit more upmarket or exotic you’re after, then some of Australia’s destinations can be quite expensive and going overseas can be just as viable an option.
2. High Australian Dollar
Overseas travellers are fortunate at the moment in being able to take advantage of our currency. If the Australian dollar is high when you travel, then your holiday will cost you less overall. And because our Australian dollar is relatively high at present, it means that your budget will take you a lot further when overseas. It may be an opportune time to make travel plans. But, be wary as currency can move quite quickly. Another thing that can add up is to shop around for the best currency rates as there can be a big difference between the different agencies.
3. Look out for Travel Expos
These events can be a great opportunity to snap up some of the best deals going around. From discounted airfares, train tickets and car hire, to deals on tours and cruises. Even if you don’t take up any of the offers, entry is free and you’ll be sure to get some great ideas from the many presentations by travel experts. The next major travel expo inMelbourneis scheduled for 18-19 February 2013 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (Jeff’s Shed!).
4. Coach Tours
Coach Tours can be a great way to take a lot of the hassle out of a trip in a foreign country. There are many levels of tours to choose from, which means you can find the right option to fit your budget. One of the nice things about tours is that you can often meet other people, whilst still having some flexibility to ‘do your own thing’.
5. Long-term Apartment Stays
For the independent traveller, one option to reduce the usually high cost of accommodation is to consider arranging a longer term stay in an apartment. If your cost per night is lower, then you’ll have more room in your budget to spend on other things.
6. Deals on Cruises
If you have sea legs, then there are often some good deals going around for cruises. Keeping an eye on the cruise companies will help you get the timing right so you can get the best deals. Sometimes this means booking early. But more often, if you are willing to be ‘ready to go at anytime’, the best deals can be found on cruises due to depart at short notice. Often they will offer tickets on a 2 for 1 basis. Other companies offer free airfares. And if you’re really lucky you might even get both!
7. Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is a must! This is probably an area in which you should not try and save too much money. Some are lucky enough to have free travel insurance on their credit cards, but make sure you understand the terms and conditions, because something is free is often worth what you pay for it! Most importantly, make sure that the insurance covers medical expenses that may be incurred whilst overseas, as this can be the most costly part of a trip if something goes wrong.
8. Bank Security
Make sure you inform your banks and credit card companies that you are going to be travelling when going overseas. The last thing you want is for your international transactions to raise suspicion and your cards to be cancelled. If they know where you are going, they can keep an eye on this and also make sure any unusual transactions are checked with you.
9. Mobile Phone
Be careful of having International Roaming on your mobile phone, unless your phone plan includes these costs. Otherwise you may return home to a bill that is more than the cost of your entire holiday!
10. Regular Savings for Holiday
A smart way to save for your holiday is to put aside a small mount each week towards your holiday in a separate bank account. This way you are less likely to feel a big hit on the hip-pocket. And you probably won’t even miss the small weekly amount.
Overall, there are plenty of opportunities to fit the cost of travel within your retirement budget without compromising too much. However, sometimes it means being a bit more flexible and thinking outside the box. The internet is a wonderful place to do a lot of research and compare options.
With a bit of planning, we can enjoy some travel as part of our retirement, without jeopardising our financial retirement plan.