When planning to travel during the golden years, it’ll pay to know some helpful safe travel hacks! After all, 65% of workers in the country consider travel as the top dream to pursue during retirement, according to a Transamerica survey (Perspectives on Retirement: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials) conducted last year. But with health care costs and other retirement expenses on the rise, retirees need all the help they can get to secure enough funds for their trips.
As such, we at FreeMedSuppquotes have compiled a list of several travel hacks that’ll not only help you save money but assure you of a fun and safe travel experience as well. We hope we’ll be able to quench your wanderlust with these tips!
Travel Hack #1: Discounts and Insurance
We’d like to put this first on the list – purchasing insurance will make your trips worthwhile. Aside from travel insurance, consider learning more about Medicare Supplemental Plans (Medigap) as well. Depending on the chosen policy (among ten standardized Medigap plans to choose from), additional benefits, such as foreign travel coverage, may be included. This benefit allows coverage of emergency health services in foreign soil, should a policyholder need it. Please make sure to discuss your Medicare Supplements options with an insurance agent today.
Another important travel hack to consider is searching for discounts. Senior discounts are often offered by airline companies or hotels. If you are a member of the AARP, ask if you are eligible for cheaper options as well.
Travel Hack #2: Safety Should Always be a Priority
Of course, your trips wouldn’t be fun without placing safety as a prime priority. Here are a few ways for you to keep your travels a safe experience:
Only bring the essentials when traveling. It’s luggage you want to think about, not some baggage of stress! Organize the way you pack things to save time and trouble. Doing your own laundry means bringing fewer clothes. Instead of folding, rolling your clothes will open up more space for other travel essentials, such as toiletries, gadgets, and pens (you never know when you’ll need one!). Also, don’t underestimate the fanny bag – a fashion faux pas for some, yet this handy bag will give you the peace of mind that your cash and important documents are with you all throughout the trip!
Make Multiple Copies of Your Important Documents
Before heading out, scan copies of important documents, such as your passport and identification cards. Doing so will help you prevent the hassle of replacing items, in case of theft or loss. Also, do not bring all of your credit cards! Designate only cards you are sure you’ll use on your trip.
Research the Location First
Find out more about the place you plan to visit. You can do this by checking and comparing online reviews and travel guides. If possible, try to find friends who’ve been to those locations to get a first-hand view of what to expect during your trip. Additionally, make a list of local emergency numbers on your phone or a notebook. Have this information with you at all times, in case you need to contact help.
Ask Your Doctor
Visit your doctor to find out if you’re ready to travel. Find out if you need to pack medication, or if you need to be wary of any potential allergies or diseases at the place you’re visiting. After all, you’d want to be your best self to enjoy traveling!
Travel Hack #3: Booking the Perfect Trip
The booking process is a crucial step in defining the travel experience that you deserve. Aside from making sure that you’ll get to your destination just the way you want to, you may just be able to get an affordable alternative as well.
Again, we’re emphasizing the need for retirement savings: as mentioned by the Insured Retirement Institute’s study conducted last year, more than half (60%) of the baby boomer respondents believe their retirement income, aside from covering basic expenses, may pay for some travel and leisure activities as well. But with only 45% of the boomer respondents able to set aside funds for retirement, there is a high chance that all these travel plans will just end up as a dream.
According to Lifebuzz.com, enabling private browsing when booking a flight or hotel accommodations will give you better price rates. This is because travel sites would raise the price based on the number of visits you make.
Don’t stick to one site or travel company. Always shop around for the best price in the market. If applicable, meeting travel agents to discuss trip options may give you better rates or discounts.
Make the most out of all the free time that retirement has to offer by scheduling your trips during off-peak seasons. Not only can this mean a cheaper alternative compared to peak-season trips, but a more enjoyable experience as well, with fewer tourists to travel with.
Price Alerts and Email Subscriptions
Subscribing to airline and hotel email subscriptions may give you access to cheaper travel options and discounts. Also, set up price alerts to learn of the best time to book a trip.
Travel Hack #4: Making the Most out of In-Transit Time
What you do in-between Point A and Point B in your trips should also be planned. From waiting for the next flight to staying in place in-transit, you definitely need to do something to make time fly be. Here are a few suggestions:
Particularly for long flights (think of six and more hours), make sure that you have access to the Internet. This works best for people having trouble sleeping in-flight – better to surf than stare at clouds!
Nothing Beats a Good Book
Pack a book or two when traveling. You never know when you’d want to dive into some fantastic pages. As an alternative, having a book related to the place you’re visiting should make you learn more about the culture you’ll soon be exploring.
Download a game on your phone, or if you have one, bring a mobile console for you to play. What better way to pass the time than beating your high score or completing an engaging game, right?
Travel Hack #5: Go Local, Not Loco
When in Rome, do as the Romans do! Enjoy your trip through a different set of eyes. Not only will you be able to notice the small yet wonderful details of a place – you just may get more practical deals out of this as well!
Learn the Local Lingo
Read up on local dialects and common conversational topics beforehand. From “how much is this” to “where is the restroom” will come in handy.
Aside from what’s offered in hotels, make sure to experience local food as well. You’ve gone a long way from home – why eat fast food, anyway? Aside from having a gastronomical experience, you may be able to embrace a place’s culture by having what the locals eat. Bon appétit!
Airbnb and House Swap, Anyone?
Ditch hotel accommodations for local homes instead. This approach may not only be exciting, but may also be friendly to one’s budget as well. Airbnb gives you a selection of places to stay at a given location. And often, what you pay for rent at an Airbnb home is significantly cheaper than what is offered by hotels. Home swapping allows you and a resident over at the place you plan to visit to exchange homes for a given period of time. This potentially gives you total immersion on how a local lives out a typical day. If you’re interested in home swaps, please make sure to discuss terms and conditions with a resident over at legitimate sites such as Homeexchange.com.
Get Lost – Get out of your Comfort Zone!
As much as itineraries are valuable in exploring a travel destination, make sure also to set aside time to explore your surroundings too. There is a certain sort of bliss exploring the great unknown, whether at urban landscapes or natural wonders. Think of it as a short escape from what you usually do – you’ll be surprised on how a different culture can create an impact in your life. Just please make sure to stay safe and inform your hotel and loved ones on where you are.
Travel Hack #6: To Be Safe, You Must Be Happy
On one of our previous articles, “These New Year Resolutions Will Make Retirement Even More Wonderful this 2017,” we’ve mentioned that positivity is important for one to truly enjoy the golden years. The same idea applies when traveling. A positive mindset will allow you to plan more efficiently. Checking and comparing prices on online sites can be seen as a fun activity, not as a stressful one. Visiting a new place with a happy outlook on life may also mean better engagement – locals will be more than happy to help you out if you’re beaming a smile. Be happy, boomer traveler!
We hope that these travel hacks will help you enjoy your retirement trips. Do you have other tips to add? Please let us know below. Safe travels, everyone!