You’ve saved your pennies and dimes and now it’s time to head out on your lifetime adventure, either by yourself or with your significant other.
With the financial landscape in a constant state of flux, it can be intimidating to try and plan your grand trip (or trips). Let’s look into costs that may affect your retirement travel plans.
Fly or drive?
Plane, train, or automobile…whatever you choose, you want to make sure that you are saving the most that you can.
Planes are great for fast, easy trips, but it can get very pricey if you don’t by at the right time. Buying tickets months in advance will be better for lower rates. Different apps, such as Expedia or Travelocity, can help you to compare deals. Bundling both flights and hotels can also help you get more bang for your buck.
Trains are great for city-to-city travel and can be cheaper than flying place to place.
Traveling by car or that long-awaited RV is the quickest thing to come to mind when you think of traveling. Unfortunately, gas costs and maintenance can cost a pretty penny.
To save on gas consider opening accounts with national gas chains, such as Chevron or Sinclair, to get discounts. Also smartphone using apps can compare gas station prices on the fly.
Consider renting a vehicle to avoid wear and tear to your own car. You may have to do some deal hunting, but rental cars, like hotels and planes, can be part of a bundle.
Where to stay
Airbnb offers cheap prices for places to stay, especially if you’re willing to rent a room in someone’s home. If hotels are more your style, travel companies offer great discounts.
Again, consider bundling for your trips to help you save some serious coin.
Eating out for just one person can vary anywhere from a few dollars to enough money to fill the gas tank. Eat out multiple times a day and you blow through hundreds of dollars in a week.
Don’t forgo meal planning just because you’re out on the road. Buy a few groceries, or, when considering your hotels, look for ones that offer free breakfasts to help skirt those expenditures.
Souvenirs, pictures and fun
Mementos are something you shouldn’t forget to budget for. Local shops and stands are always fun to visit, but they can quickly drain your wallet if you don’t set a limit on how many things you can buy or how much you can spend.
Not all mementos are little knick-knacks from your local tourist trap. Make sure that you consider the costs for taking pictures and printing, so you can have memories from your trip to treasure forever, or to spring on unsuspecting relatives when they come by for a visit.
If you’re planning fun activities, whether it’s floating a river or visiting a local hot springs, look for different discounts that could be available to you. If you do thorough research on an area before you visit, you’ll be able to plan your budget accordingly and save money.
Be aware of discounts. You could end up overpaying anywhere if you don’t belong to AARP or AAA. Restaurants, some hotels and even flight chains offer discounts for seniors. Whether booking a flight or a hotel, make sure you inquire to these possible discounts.
One last thing: Travel insurance, while it may seem costly, could actually be a huge benefit to you, especially with plans constantly changing thanks to COVID-19.
Last-minute injuries or illnesses are always something you should take into account, especially if you are trying to go on an expensive vacation. Consider shopping around to find different rates. If an unexpected sickness pops up, you’ll be glad that you had those expenses covered.