Senior Travel on a Budget

Retirement is the time for seniors to think about travel.  We put off some trips during the career phase of our lives, because we either did not have time for them or we lacked resources to go where we wanted.  Now we have the time!  But some of us may lack the resources to do every kind of trip and travel our hearts desire.  Here are some tips for traveling on a budget:

  • Use the Internet to find special deals for hotels, motels, car rentals and flights.  The search term ‘cheap travel’ yields 63 million results!  If you have not chosen a particular destination, the possibilities for traveling inexpensively are unlimited if you peruse the Internet.  If your destination is already decided, simply add that city/state or country to the search term, and the results will be geared to your choice.  For example, ‘cheap travel Paris’ will offer amazing options for traveling inexpensively to Paris.
  • Sign up on the Internet to get travel notifications from major web sites regarding travel offers.  Some of the big ones are Travelocity and Orbitz for travel in general; all major airlines have weekly travel offers that include discounts; Amtrak has regular discount offers for train travel; car rental sites provide weekly destination specific options; most of these sites offer travel combinations such as flight+car rental with significant discounts.  In addition, sites such as Gate1Travel and Travelzoo offer specials on travel that includes escorted tours world-wide, and frequently combine flight and room for destination travel at incredibly low cost.
  • If you want to travel to a specific city or state for an event or to see a tourist attraction, find their discount days.  Be sure to check the web site for  a schedule of those days.
  • If you are traveling in your own vehicle, pack your own food in a cooler to save on eating out in restaurants.  Roadside picnic areas and visitor rest stops across the United States, Canada and Europe have picnic tables in shaded spots that many travelers find attractive and restful for eating. 
  • Go to www.elderhostel.com to find travel that includes learning adventures, generally on a budget most can afford.  This is not luxury travel.  It is an exciting opportunity to learn while you travel, without a huge price tag.
  • Talk with friends who are also senior citizens, and who travel a lot. Ask their advice (and secrets!) for traveling inexpensively.  There is nothing like learning from someone who has good experience.

Planning your travel in advance will likely afford you the opportunity to find less expensive means for getting where you want to go and seeing/experiencing what piques your interest.  Don’t let lack of funds limit your options when the deals are out there just waiting for you to find them.