Although travel is more common now than ever before, most pre-retirement people simply don't have the
time or money to travel to all the places they would like to go. With time on their hands,
retirees are often ready and excited about the opportunity to travel to places they've
never been able to go or to return to places they couldn't go to often enough.
This page discusses the cost of travel and how much travel can be taken on budgets of various sizes.
The idea is to focus the retiree's attention on the cost of travel so that realistic travel expectations
are part of their retirement plan.
Also presented are the travel being considered by the author of this site. Your own plans are likely to be much different
than the list here, but the list should be good enough to get you started on a travel plan of your own.
This page also provides links to various businesses which can help you with your travel plans.
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Sample Travel Plan
The good news is that there are literally thousands of place to go once your retire - places in your
state, in the U.S. and overseas. The bad news is that most retirees will find it difficult to
allocate more than 10%-20% of their budget to travel. The following table shows what the corresponding
travel budgets would be for families of various incomes.
|  Family Income  ||  Travel Expenses
|$30K||$3K - 5K
|$60K||$5K - $10K
|$100K||$10K - $15K
There are 3 basic trip types to consider:
|Short Trips by Car||$300-$700
|U.S. Trips by Plane||$1K-$3K
The actual cost of the trips depend on a lot of variables - length of the trip,
hotel costs, food, entertainment and local travel costs. Some folks have
the knack for doing things at half the price everyone else spends, whereas other
folks won't enjoy themselves if they have to watch every penny.
Comparing possible budgets and trip costs you can see that most families can afford
about 1 major trip and 2-3 minor trips per year. The exact combination depends
on the type of trips the retirees want to take and how good the retirees are at
keeping costs down.
Regardless of your own travel goals you can see from the figures that travelling
to a new location every month is simply not going to happen for most retirees.
For most retirees taking a trip every 3 months is about as good as it is going to get.
The big exception to this rule is where a retiree chooses to take lots of little
trips. Almost any of the budgets above are capable of supporting a short car
trip every month.
Like most things in life, if you plan ahead for them you have a better chance of
making them happen. So creating a travel plan is definitely a good idea, for
The thing to remember is that a travel plan is not a commitment to travel,
just a list of possible destinations. If you and your spouse choose to
travel somewhere else, or not travel at all, then it's simply your call.
- Lets both spouses understand each other's expectations
- Helps clarify budget needed for travel
- Keeps the destination in mind so that you can watch for bargains
With all of that in mind, here the list of destinations that my wife and
I have come up with. It's more places than we will probably be able to
afford, but at least we have a sense of what we'd like to do and can estimate
the expenses associated with the travel plans.
We'll probably change this a lot - and there's definitely nothing sacred about
the order. It's just our shopping list. Rather than trying to create a
continent-by-continent travelogue I decided simply to show you our own plans
to give you someplace to start with your own.
You'll notice that there are several Texas destinations on the list. That's
simply because we live in Texas. If I were from another state my list of
destinations would probably reflect travel local to that area instead.
You'll also notice that some destinations are listed more than one time.
There's no rule that says you have to travel to someplace new each time.
If you find a place you like, then by all means go there again!
And finally, you'll notice that the travel plan ends at age 75. Maybe
we'll travel past that, maybe not. We certainly don't expect to have
any trouble thinking of new destinations if that is the case!
Sample Travel Plan
|Age||Major Trips||Minor #1||Minor #2||Minor #3
|55  ||Austrailia/Barrier Reef||US Open||tennis camp||Big Bend Texas
|56||Japan||Grand Canyon||Film festival      ||New York (Broadway)
|57||Family Cruise||Las Vegas||ski||Washington DC
|58||England||BWCA camping/fishing||Film festival||Peggy's Cabin
|59||Sail Boat Ocean Cruise       ||Mardi Gras||tennis camp||River rafting
|60||Sweden (NE Europe)||US Open||Film festival||Hot Springs
|61||Canada (East Coast)||Horse trail ride Montana||ski||Ocean beach house for a week
|62||Scotland/Ireland||Balloon festival||Film festival||Alaska outback
|63||Jamaica||Biking ride NE||tennis camp||Southern Plantations Tour
|64||Paris||Fall Trees in NE||Film festival||Ocean fishing
|65||Greenland/Iceland||Carlsbad Caverns||ski||Canadian fishing
|66||Hawaii||Canadian outback fishing   ||Film festival||Trout fishing
|68||Mexico Ruins||California Coast drive||Film festival||Peggy's Cabin
|69||Egyptian Pyramids||Maine tourist ||ski||Whale sighting boat trip
|70||Canada (West Coast)||Branson||Film festival||New Mexico tourism
|71||Brazil||San Antonio Riverwalk||ski||Niagra Falls
|72||So. America Ruins||100 mile bike ride||Film festival||Hot air balloon ride over mountains
|73||Antartica||Las Vegas||ski||Mount Rushmore
|74||Italy (SE Europe)||New Braunefel||Film festival||Lake Texhoma cabin + houseboat
|75||Norway/Sweden||Austin Riverwalk||ski||Caribbean Cruise
When you're on a trip during retirement you should consider staying for several extra days. There are a
lot of activities which you might want to do locally that you won't hear or know about until you
get there. Also, some folks enjoy experiencing the same activity in multiple locations - such as
playing golf or tennis in multiple cities. Here are some activities which my wife and I expect to
blend into other trips that we take:
- Live concerts
- Scenic highway tours
- Visit children/grandkids out of state
- Comedy shows
- National Festivals
- Fishing or boating
- National Parks
- Historical Sites
- Horse races
- Visit friends
- Art/music festivals
- Bed & breakfasts
- Conferences (Sci-Fi, VB, ..)
- Factory tours (chocolate, bread, …)
- Historical housing tours
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Transportation and Quarters: Web Sites
There are a lot of sites on the web which can give you travel tips. I've selected the
following sites and grouped them by the type of travel you may want to use, as well as
the type of living options you might have once you get there.
- Rental Car Companies
- Bus Lines
- Travel Trailer Rentals
Each of these companies offer features which they hope will attract you.
Cost or luxury tend to be the two factors which travellers use to start
picking a place to stay.
- Bed & Breakfast:
Try these online directories for listing of bed and breakfast locations throughout the US: