Planning to Hit the Road in Retirement

One of the great benefits of retirement is having the time and freedom to pursue interests that didn’t fit into your schedule when you worked 40 or more hours a week. If extensive travel is on your bucket list, you’ll want to account for the cost of it as you’re planning for retirement. Here are five tips to help you prepare to hit the road when you’re ready to retire:

1. Include travel as a line item in your retirement plan

Without the funds to pursue travel, you likely won’t get too far. As you plan for your living expenses in retirement, you need to account for the impact that travel costs will have on your budget. Depending on the extent of your travel plans, it could add up to a significant sum. Take a hard look at what you might be spending on an annual basis, and if necessary explore some less expensive options to get the most out of travel in retirement.

2. Aim to stay in good health

To be able to handle the rigors of travel, it helps to be in good physical shape. Just as you need to plan ahead to have your finances in order, it’s also important to maintain your physical health. In the years leading up to retirement, focus on healthy eating and regular exercise so you’ll be prepared for what could be a more active lifestyle in retirement.

3. Don’t delay your plans

Once you reach retirement age, you have the time to travel, but you don’t want to wait too long to get going. Most retirees try to plan their biggest travel excursions in the early years of retirement. They are in better condition and have more stamina to manage the physical challenges that go with major travel. As a result, some people choose to spend more money in the early years of retirement, and then trim lifestyle expenses later in life when travel has subsided.

4. Determine your travel priorities

Where do you want to go in retirement? If you are married, are you and your spouse interested in the same destinations? Do you hope to join up with tour groups or do you prefer traveling on your own? Start making a list of where you want to go and try to determine what the budget may be to help you make an accurate financial estimate.

5. Be organized and ready

If you are planning to spend time overseas, make sure you have a current passport ready to go well in advance. If countries you are visiting require a visa for entry, make sure you know what needs to be done to make that happen. If you plan to travel across the country in an RV, do your research ahead of time to see what type of rig will work best for your needs. In short, don’t let the first day of retirement arrive without having a plan so you can begin traveling right away.

The key point for anybody with serious travel ambitions in retirement is to go beyond dreaming and do some significant preparation in advance. That includes saving money, taking care of your health and researching potential trips so you make the most of your travel in retirement.