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A Guide to Budget Traveling for Seniors


A GTFO guest post by Sharon Wagner on budget traveling for Seniors.

One of the best things about retirement is the freedom it provides. Now that you are free of a regular work schedule, you have more time to do the things you have always wanted to do.  One of the most popular activities for newly retired seniors is to travel the world. However, travel can be expensive if you do not plan in advance. The expenses of hotels, meals, and transportation gradually stack up, particularly when combined with things such as an operational cell phone. Here are some ways seniors can travel the world without spending too much money.

Before You Leave

Believe it or not, there are ways you can cut costs before you set foot outside your home. Although you won’t reap the rewards right away, you can save money on utility bills by unplugging appliances, turning off video game consoles and computers, and turning down your thermostat. It’s also a good idea to avoid buying a lot of groceries before you leave; chances are, you’ll just have to throw everything out when you return from your trip.

Carefully Select Your Transportation

There are a number of ways you can save money while traveling if you prepare in advance. The first way is by carefully choosing what kind of transportation to use. Flying is the fastest way to travel, but it can also be fairly expensive, depending on the time of year. You can find deals by scheduling your trips in the offseason, which usually means the colder months for beach destinations and the warmer months for skiing locales. However, you will still have to deal with the cost of checked baggage, so do research ahead of time and prepare for any extra costs.

If you aren’t going far and aren’t necessarily concerned about your own comfort, you could find public transportation, such as a bus — bus cards can be a relatively cheap way of getting around town, and they have the bonus of being environmentally friendly. Trains are also good for travel on the mainland — while they may not be as fast as planes, they are generally much more comfortable. However, one of the best ways to make the most of your budget while getting to see the countryside is by renting a car.

Choose from a Variety of Accommodation Styles

Your accommodations are another way you can save money. Whether you prefer resorts that provide large amounts of amenities and home comforts, hotels that provide the basics, or hostel-type situations where you provide your own sheets, you can find cheaper prices if you book your room ahead of time. Depending on your level of comfort with online apps, you can also look into apps like Airbnb, which are similar to Uber and other ridesharing platforms, in that they provide travelers in search of a place to stay with locals who have been thoroughly vetted and have opened up their spare rooms or couches for a nominal fee. Whatever your preference, book online to take advantage of temporary sales.

Package Your Needs for Additional Savings

Finally, you can also save money by finding package deals instead of trying to piece together your travel plans yourself.  If you do end up needing a car, a full-service hotel, and a flight to get overseas, grouping them together as a package can save you a good percent of the total cost. For instance, you can often find good vacation packages through websites such as Priceline, which can bundle all of these items together to help you save a little cash.

Traveling as a senior can be a great experience, particularly if you plan ahead of time to save as much money as possible.  Remember, never take the first opportunity you see — always research and look around for a better offer before making your final decision.
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