Planning a vacation is often a balancing act between quality and quantity. But retirees who opt for slow travel may not have to make that choice. Rather than rushing from one attraction to the next, slow travel lets you really immerse yourself in your destination and get the most from two valuable retirement resources: your money and your time.
Here are three reasons retirees should consider adding some extra days, or even weeks, to your next travel itinerary.
1. Optimize your annual travel budget.
While the idea of vacationing longer might sound more expensive, slow travel is really about settling in and exploring at your own pace. Instead of juggling multiple flights and checking in and out of multiple hotels, slow travelers generally pick one spot and stay put. If you have some flexibility at either end of your trip, you can book flights on days when demand and prices are low. You might end up staying longer at a hotel or rental house, but with some pre-planning and comparison shopping you might also end up spending less per night. You can also spend less on meals versus a traditional vacation if you limit your trips to restaurants, shop at local markets, and cook for yourself.
All these savings add up! You might even have enough cash left over from this trip’s budget to schedule an extra vacation or weekend getaway later in the year.
2. Live like a local and support the economy.
Slow travel lends itself to more slice-of-life experiences. Just by stepping off the tour bus and walking around someplace new, you might find places you never would have thought to visit, customs that will expand your worldview, and people who might make your trip a little more friendly. And since you’re not in a rush to get somewhere else tomorrow, you can wait for long lines at popular tourist attractions to dip and see the sights on your own time.
Many conscientious travelers also like that longer trips that use less transportation can reduce your vacation’s carbon footprint. If you’re shopping on Main Street rather than at the shops inside a resort, your money is going directly to local small business owners, artisans, and service industry pros. Slow travel can also be a great option for folks who are interested in “voluntourism,” which pairs travel with a volunteer mission.
3. Have a healthier, happier trip.
Slow travel can minimize the most stressful part of any vacation: the actual travelling! Getting to and from your destination and squeezing in everything you can around delayed flights and bus schedules can make anyone’s heart race. Seniors don’t need that extra stress, especially when they’re spending hard-earned money on an experience that’s supposed to be enjoyable.
The more relaxed atmosphere of a slow travel vacation can have other health benefits as well. Cook some of your meals and you won’t spend a week gorging on fast food and heavy restaurant fare. You could also build some exercise into your daily schedule, like morning walks or taking a yoga class at a local studio. Seniors also won’t feel as much pressure to push themselves from one thing to the next or cram too much into too little time. If your knees start aching or you need a quick cat nap, recharging your batteries for an hour isn’t going to throw off your whole trip. Those little moments of “you time” might help you enjoy the rest of your trip even more.
When you’re not in a rush, your whole trip can slow down. You’ll have more time to linger on the big things, like museums, parks, and entertainment. But you’ll also be able to appreciate the smaller things, like a beautiful view from a park bench or the café owner who recommends a local treat you can’t get anywhere else. You might even come home with a new perspective on how to live more “in the moment” that could improve your daily retirement routine.
Whether you want to try slow travel or see as many places as you can this year, it’s important for retirees to think about their annual travel budget as part of their comprehensive financial plan. Call up my team at Keen Wealth and let’s talk about where you want to go in 2023 and how we can help you get there.
Bill Keen is a financial advisor with nearly 30 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he focuses on 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 Forbes, 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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