By Sharon Wagner
When you’re planning a post-retirement vacation, you want to make the most of your time. However, if you’re on a budget like most seniors, you want to make the most of your savings. Luckily, fitting your holiday plans into a limited budget can be quite easy. With these easy tips, you can plan some brilliant holidays without going over budget.
Make Sure Your Home Is Secure Pre-Holiday
One expense that travellers never expect to pay for are damages to their home. But according to former thieves, the majority of burglars will purposely look for properties that seem vacant, so take some steps to secure your home before you leave on holiday. If you have any scheduled deliveries, put them on pause for a bit. For example, if you subscribe to a meal delivery service, make sure you put your account on hold before leaving. There’s no sense in paying for items you won’t be using! Plus, thieves look for stacks of mail and packages that signal you’re away.
Additionally, there are ways to prepare your home to ensure you don’t come home to an expensive repair or surprise. For instance, since many seniors plan holidays in colder months, it makes sense to inspect your roof for any leaks that could lead to serious issues. But you should also take care to prepare the inside of your flat as well. Donate or get rid of food that will expire and try to limit buying perishable items before you go on holiday.
Reach Out to Airlines and Lodging Directly
Sometimes, travel sites can save you a bit of money on your expenses. Before you book, be sure to check directly with campsites, hotels, and airlines to make sure you are getting the absolute lowest rates. Many travellers are surprised to know that those discount travel sites can often charge excessive fees and make cancellations difficult should your plans change. So, make some time to call around to see if you can snag their cheapest lodging or tickets. Inquire about any senior travel discounts they may offer. For flights, if you’re savvy with your smartphone, you can download apps like Skyscanner to make getting your money’s worth much easier. Do a search, set an alert, then relax while the app tracks the best deals for you.
Save When You Need to Rent a Car
Whether you’re going on holiday around the U.S. or need transport in another country, chances are you will need to rent a car at some point during your travels. The easiest way for seniors to save money on car rentals is to check around with various websites. But you should also be on the lookout for those sneaky extra fees. Car rental companies hide these costs on sites and may even try to push them on you when you pick your car up. Keep a copy of your rental confirmation with you and stay firm about the original costs. Of course, you may also consider planning a holiday to a destination where a car is not needed. Car-less camping is possible, though you may need to rely on a taxi or a ride-share service to get you to a campsite or trailhead. If you’re travelling in the U.S., stick to larger cities like New York or Washington, D.C. so you can walk about or use alternate, inexpensive modes of transportation to get around, such as the subway or train.
Look for Discounts Offered to Seniors
Being a traveller over the age of 60 definitely has some perks. Travelling during retirement means freedom from work commitments and really enjoying yourself during these golden years. It also means being able to take advantage of some pretty great senior discounts. With these discounts, you can visit historic sites and museums for a much lower rate than other travellers. You can also use senior discounts to save money on dining out, shopping, and finding entertainment when you’re travelling. If you want to take a trip outside the country, you can also look for senior savings on travel arrangements to help you stick to your retirement budget. Whether it’s saving on airfare or simply having the freedom to do as you like, travelling during retirement is definitely a smart move.
Saving on your next holiday can be a lot simpler if you follow some basic travel tips. By taking the time to research and prepare in every way possible, you can plan a trip that saves you time, money, and stress.