If you ask most people what they look forward to about retirement, the ability to travel would probably be high on the list. Retirees are seen as people with endless amounts of free time and few attachments to keep them from spending months away from home. If you have the money to travel and the desire, why not go for it?
Being a senior citizen has its perks. There are typically discounts available for hotels, airfare (although this has declined) and rental cars to be had, all because you're a senior citizen. If you don't see one listed, ask. If you're a member of AAA or the AARP, there are almost always discounts available. Many retirees enjoy structured trips such as cruises or tour groups, or all-inclusive destinations like resorts. You typically pay one price and then you don't have to worry about food, accommodations or entertainment. There are travel companies that cater exclusively to senior citizens, which can help you get the best rates and find the best activities.
Some retirees prefer to bring their accommodations with them and either rent or buy an RV.
You could also combine work and play. There are several companies that organize volunteer vacations -- you travel to a destination and spend part of your time helping to build homes in impoverished areas or clean up national parks. Some retirees teach English or other subjects in foreign countries to offset the cost of traveling and living there.
We've given you a lot to think about when you're trying to adjust to retirement. If you're still looking for ideas, check out the next page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Appleby, Denise. “Stretch Your Retirement Budget.” Investopedia, A Forbes Digital Company. 2007. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/07/stretch_retirement_budget.asp
- Brandon, Emily. “Tips on Paying for College as a Retiree.” U.S. News & World Report. October 26, 2006. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/061026/26retireescollege.htm
- Egan, Matt. “Not Your Everyday Tourist...Retirees Feed Travel Industry.” Fox Business. February 22, 2008. http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/economy/everyday-touristretirees-feed-travel-industry/
- Greengard, Samuel. “Work @50+ 2008: Find the Work You Love.” AARP Magazine, November/December 2008. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/money/find_the_work_you_love.html
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. “Back to College.” AARP Magazine. July/August 2006. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/lifestyle/back_to_college.html
- Said, Carolyn. “Seniors get help downsizing.” San Francisco Chronicle. September 6, 2005. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/09/06/BUGULEGN2Q1.DTL
- Senior Corpshttp://www.seniorcorps.org
- Social Security Administration. “Plan Your Retirement.” SSA Retirement Planner. January 5, 2009. http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/index.htm
- Trejos, Nancy. “As costs rise, seniors ‘rewiring,’ not retiring.” Atlanta Journal Constitution. October 19, 2008. http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/printedition/2008/10/19/retire.html?cxntlid=inform_sr
- United Wayhttp://www.unitedway.org
- Volunteer Matchhttp://www.volunteermatch.org
- Wheeler, Judith A., et al. “The beneficial effects of volunteering for older volunteers and the people they serve.” International Journal of Aging and Human Development. 1998. Vol 47, Issue 1. pgs 69-79.
- Wollston, Chris. “Seniors and Volunteering: A Whole New Life.” A Healthy Me, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. August 4, 2008. http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/volunteer
Jimmy Buffet has the right idea with his line of Latitude Margaritaville communities. HowStuffWorks looks at other innovative retirement communities.