Are you looking to get a little more summer out of your summer before September rolls around?
Well, if you’re retired and you stick to a travel spending plan, what’s stopping you?
Your time is yours! You’re free to travel where you want, when you want, for as long as you want. An extended vacation could give you a chance to immerse yourself in a new place at a slower, more enjoyable pace.
Here are five reasons you should consider adding a few extra days to your next trip.
1. Audition vacation spots for something more permanent.
Is your annual week-long trip to Florida the highlight of your year? Maybe your favorite vacation spot would be a good place to relocate in retirement. Extending your vacation could help you move beyond your usual travel radius and try new restaurants, beaches, and other attractions. Instead of staying at your usual resort, housesit for a friend or rent an Airbnb so that you can live like a local. Shopping at farmer's markets and strolling through new neighborhoods might make your vacation destination feel like home.
2. Sample the good life in a new place.
If you’ve already crossed popular tourist spots like Paris, Rome, and London off your bucket list, try approaching travel from a slightly different angle.
The Economist Intelligence Unit publishes an annual Global Liveability Index that ranks the best places in the world to live based on Stability, Healthcare, Culture & Entertainment, Education, and Infrastructure. The 2022 list includes some cities that might not spring to mind when you’re thinking about travel destinations, including three in Canada. Spending a week or two in one of these cities might give you a new perspective on how the rest of the world lives and spark some new ideas for your next long trip.
3. Shake up your routine by taking your time.
After a few years, the typical rhythms of retirement get boring for some people, even regular travelers. The hustle and bustle of getting to and from your destination can start to feel like another part of a routine that's just not as fulfilling as it used to be.
An extended vacation could help to steer you out of your rut. The extra days away can give you time to see more sights and do more things without feeling like you have to cram too much into too little time.
You might also feel free to schedule a couple days where you aren't doing very much at all. Walk through town. Spend a day by the pool. Take a book to a cafe. Catch up on your favorite podcasts. Remind yourself that a vacation doesn't have to be all action all the time. There should also be time to take everything in, reflect, relax, and enjoy some solitude.
When you go home, hopefully you'll be able to incorporate some of these slower things into a happier retirement routine as well.
4. Earn extra cash and make a difference.
In addition to helping you pay for your trip, working a few shifts at a place that needs short-term help could give you a chance to interact with new people and learn some new skills. If you're thinking about starting a new company in retirement, you could work the conference circuit, investigate new test markets, or offer your services to local companies as a consultant.
"Voluntourism" trips are another great option for seniors who want to do more with their vacation than just see the sights. Use your extended stay in a new place to help a community in need or a cause that's important to you.
5. Get more from your money.
A common misconception about extended travel is that it's too expensive. But as with most money issues, that's really a question of personal preference, perspective, and planning.
True, you'll have to pay for more room and board. But if you look beyond hotels, renting a vacation house or Airbnb by the week might be cheaper on a per-night basis. Hit up the grocery store for the bulk of your meals and you might not spend more on food than you would at home. Once you've seen all the sights you would have seen on a week-long trip, your entertainment costs might drop to zero while you're still having fun hiking, swimming, or chatting with new friends. And if you're flexible about your return trip you might be able to save on airfare by booking on days when demand is lowest.
But with travel costs and airline delays being so unpredictable, you don’t want to fly by the seat of your pants. Make sure you double-check your extended vacation against your travel spending plan for the year. And if you’re thinking about making some tweaks to those numbers, give us a call at Keen Wealth so that we can keep this year’s travel plans synced to your long-term retirement goals.
Bill Keen is a CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR℠ and independent financial advisor with more than 25 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he specializes in providing personalized retirement planning designed to help people thrive before and during their retirement years. With a passion for educating others, Bill regularly blogs about retirement planning, hosts the podcast Keen on Retirement, and has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, Yahoo Finance, and other publications. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bill and his team work with clients throughout the greater Kansas City area and across the nation. To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.keenwealthadvisors.com.
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