According to AARP, baby boomers expected to take 4-5 trips during 2019 (1). Retired boomers who plan to travel more might even exceed that pace once they’re no longer working. Over the course of a typical 20-30-year retirement, that’s an awful lot of beaches, an awful lot of resorts, and an awful lot of bucket list landmarks getting crossed off.
Many retirees are exploring new types of travel to keep their itineraries fresh and their experiences invigorating. Here are three popular trends in retirement travel, as well as some things you should think about before clicking BOOK NOW!
1. Solo travel
No matter how good your marriage is, couples who don’t take the occasional break from each other often end up driving each other crazy. Both people need to have space for themselves at home. And both people also need space to pursue passions and interests that their spouse does not share.
If you feel like you’re dragging your spouse along on a golf trip, or if your spouse just isn’t as interested in venturing beyond Europe as you are, consider flying solo. You don’t REALLY have to hit the road alone if you don’t want to. Group travel packages will give you a chance to mingle with new people while also providing you with the security and structure of a set itinerary. Just make sure you’re booking with a reputable company and able to take care of yourself without a spouse’s constant supervision.
Also double-check your annual holiday budget before you book a solo trip. Make sure that doing something separately isn’t going to make it harder for you and your spouse to do something together.
2. Slow travel
A European tour might let you see Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sistine Chapel in a week or two. But renting an apartment in Paris for a month will give you a very different and much more immersive experience. We’ve one client who has just returned from four months in Poland and another who spent 6 weeks in Lithuania.
That’s the appeal of slow travel, which is becoming more popular as services like Airbnb make it easier to find long-term lodging at affordable prices. Living like a local creates an entirely different daily routine. You’ll be more likely to venture off the beaten tourist path and really soak up local culture.
This kind of a holiday might require a little extra planning. Lean on any friends or family who’ve spent time in your slow travel destination to make sure you’re picking a suitable neighborhood for your stay. And while some people end up spending less on slow travel because they buy groceries instead of eating out every night, the longer you’re going to be away from home, the more money you should probably budget.
3. Adventure travel
Anyone who equates vacation with R&R probably should steer clear of adventure travel. But an African safari or a trek through Patagonia will definitely get you out of your comfort zone.
Adventure travel can also be as spiritually and emotionally rewarding as it is physically rewarding. Connecting with nature while you’re on a long canoe trip or observing exotic wildlife can clear your head and make you rethink your place in the world. Many adventure travelers come home with a new favourite cause that becomes part of their everyday retirement routine. Lynda and I spent a life changing month in Nepal in 2010. We did realise among other things that a month without any luxuries leaves you rather tired!
If you think you have a couple retirement adventures in you, consider scheduling them earlier in your retirement, when you’re likely to be healthier and more mobile. Also, be realistic about what an “adventure” really means to you, and what you’re really capable of doing. You might have missed your whitewater rafting window. But that doesn’t mean you can’t camp near the Mournes and hike for a couple hours every day.
Are you planning on racking up frequent flier miles once you retire? Are you already shopping for a camper van? Come in and talk to us about your travel plans. We can help you make sure your retirement plan is as ready for adventure as you are.