Perhaps one of the greatest anticipations in retirement is the opportunity to travel more. With all the free time you plan to have in retirement, seeing the world at a more leisurely pace can be immensely rewarding.
Though you’ll have much more time in retirement, you may not have an unlimited amount of money. However, whether you’ve got a large budget in retirement or a small one, it’s still a good idea to save in areas like travel.
There are many ways to travel on a budget if you are willing to take some time and effort, research affordable travel options. After all, maximizing your travel budget can mean more travel or give you more wiggle room in other budgeting categories.
Look for Inexpensive Travel Destinations
There are places where you can get more bang for your travel buck. If you don’t mind doing some research, planning travel to these destinations can be fruitful. When it comes to inexpensive places to go, everything is fair game and you’d be surprised at what you’ll find.
Places to consider include:
- National and state parks
- Countries with a lower cost of living
- Countries where the exchange rate is favorable
- Local destinations in close proximity to your own city or town (save on airfare)
Use Credit Card Rewards
If you use credit cards anyway, it’s worth getting cards that offer cash back, travel rewards, or both. Many times, when you opt for cards that offer travel rewards, those travel rewards can be redeemed at a higher ratio than the cash back equivalent. So booking a hotel with your rewards card may actually be more economical than redeeming your points for cash.
In addition to redeeming rewards for travel, there are some cards that have portals where you can access special travel deals, packages, and experiences at someone discounted rates.
The key to using credit rewards is that you want to be careful not to keep balances that accrue interest. Otherwise, you are paying high interest and negating your savings from your rewards. If you choose to save on travel with credit cards, use your credit cards responsibly and pay your balance in full each month.
Consider Alternative Travel Arrangements
You don’t always have to travel the conventional way. You can do things like housesitting to pay for accommodations. There are websites like House Sitters America and Mind My House that match people with house sitting opportunities.
Another option is to travel as a volunteer where you may be offered discount accommodations. Websites like Workaway, allow you to stay at someone’s home for free in exchange for help with small tasks.
Check for Discounts
There are many discounted ways of travel that you may not be aware of. For example, you can check into packages and tours that offer senior discounts. You can look for repositioning cruise routes and for “mistake fares” on websites like Secret Flying or The Flight Deal for discounted pricing.
You can also do comparison shopping on popular travel search engines like Orbitz or Expedia. Also, it can’t hurt to check discount sites like Groupon or Living Social for discounted travel packages and inexpensive things to do at your destination.
Get a Reverse Mortgage
Finally, if none of these options are possible because you really don’t have it in your budget to travel, you may want to consider getting a reverse mortgage.
A reverse mortgage, or home equity conversion mortgage, allows you to use your home’s equity for cash that you can use however you like. Just make sure you use your proceeds to take care of financial and other immediate needs first and use your remaining proceeds wisely.
Check out One Reverse Mortgage’s resource page to learn more about this option to see if it might help you with travel or other expenses.
When it comes to making financial decisions, such as getting a reverse mortgage, saving for a vacation, or spending wisely, we recommend consulting a financial advisor.
Aja McClanahan is a freelance writer and owner of www.principlesofincrease.com/.