Americans over age 50 are a crucial part of the overall economy. Baby boomers account for 77 percent of all financial assets in the U.S., 77 percent of all prescription drug purchases and 80 percent of all luxury travel expenditures, according to data compiled by Statistic Brain. While the first two statistics will likely remain steady, the latter is becoming more difficult, as boomers are feeling the financial crunch just like everyone else. But with the proper planning, travel can remain a major part of your retirement. Consider the following three ideas to see the world on a budget:
Discount Travel Websites
Register with the following websites to get email and text alerts regarding the best bargains and packages for vacations.
- HotelCoupons.com will help you find the best possible rates on same-day hotel stays at thousands of hotels nationwide. Download their free mobile app to find hotels nearby when you’re on-the-go.
- Travelzoo receives information from more than 2,000 travel-related companies including cruise lines, airlines and hotel chains. Subscribers receive emails when a travel deal matches their ideal vacation criteria.
- Vacations To Go specializes in last-minute discounts on cruises with cruise lines that slash the price of unsold rooms as the departure date gets closer.
- SmarterTravel is another option for travel news, deals and advice on finding the lowest prices possible.
House Swap Vacations
Those who live in a sought-after locale, be it a temperate winter spot or a loft in a big city, have the opportunity to trade houses with someone else for a given period of time. Home swapping dates back to the 1950s and used to be reserved for affluent families who were members of exclusive clubs. The Internet has made home swapping a mainstream phenomenon available to anyone who can locate another family or individual wanting to visit their city for cheap.
Love Home Swap enables users to list their home for free to see if anyone is interested in swapping. The latest listings on Digsville.com include homes in Los Angeles, Montreal, Budapest and the Florida Keys. ExchangeZone.com and Intervac should also be considered if you cannot find your dream destination on the previous two.
The Simple RV Life
Retirement should be a time to reflect on life and eliminate the daily burdens of working 9-5. There’s a growing trend of baby boomers who buy an RV and perpetually live on the road. To afford a move like this, consider selling your home or cashing out a 401(k). If you receive regular payments from an annuity, you may be able to sell your future payments to J.G. Wentworth for a lump sum of cash now. Invest the money into a quality RV and hit the road.
There is an infrastructure of travel stops on interstate highways that were originally meant for truck drivers. Retirees can live the gypsy life by driving their RVs to different locales every week, month or day. Most truck stops have facilities where you can empty gray water (sewage) tanks and refill your reservoir for as little as $5. They also have clean shower facilities if you want to preserve your own resources. Love’s Travel Stops and Pilot Flying J’s typically allow RVs to park overnight for days at a time without issue. Most Walmarts in interstate towns also allow overnight parking.
Retirement travel is possible for anyone regardless of finances. The more flexible, creative and adventurous you are, the more options there are available.