Cambridge Court offers many great amenities and services that residents can enjoy without leaving the community, but sometimes you want a change of scenery beyond Kearney. Travel is a popular pastime for retirees. Learning to travel on a budget can help you stretch your retirement savings and be able to afford more trips. Try these budget-friendly retirement travel tips.
Having a list of destinations you want to visit helps with the planning process. Include a mix of locations, including nearby options and dream trips that are more expensive. This gives you a variety of options to match your changing financial situation when you're ready to travel.
You likely have a general idea of how much the trips on your list will cost — or at least which ones will be more affordable or more expensive. Getting a little more detailed on your estimates helps you plan specific trips. You might find that one destination has really affordable cabins for rent, while hotel rooms are more affordable in another location. Your research helps you get an idea of the average cost of lodging, food, attractions and travel in different places.
Traveling is a great way to beat boredom during retirement. If you know you want to travel frequently, put together a long-term travel budget to plan your trips. Decide how much of your retirement income you want to put toward travel each year. This can help you decide what type of trip you can afford and what activities you can do on the trip. If you're going to save up for a trip, calculate the total cost based on what you want to do and decide how much to set aside each week or month.
When you're retired, you don't have to worry about things like work or school schedules. That means you can travel during slower times when other people have commitments that keep them at home. The off-season varies based on where you're going. A ski resort in Colorado has its busy season during the winter, while many locations in Europe are popular summer destinations.
Find out when your destination sees fewer visitors to find more affordable options. Lodging, rental vehicles and attractions often lower their rates during slower seasons. Consider the weather during that time, which could make some activities difficult or impossible. Some attractions might also close down or limit their hours during the off-season, so make sure everything you want to do is available.
Keeping travel simple can also make it more affordable. If you're flying, take just a few outfits so you can get by with a carry-on and no checked bags. Packing your own snacks can also save money. You might choose a smaller, scaled-back hotel or rental option to save. Being a minimalist when it comes to souvenirs can also help you save money.
Any trip can get pricey quickly if you don't keep things in check. Think about what's important to you on the trip. Maybe you spend a lot of time in your vacation rental, so you want luxury accommodations with plenty of space. You might allocate more money toward lodging and less toward activities. Once you choose a specific destination, review the activity and restaurant options. Choosing a few expensive options and balancing them with more affordable selections can help you have the experience you want and stick with your budget.
Take advantage of senior discounts that are often available at hotels, restaurants and attractions. You can also typically get discounts if you're a member of AAA, AARP and similar organizations. Membership-based warehouse stores often provide travel packages that could be discounted. You can also find discounted gift cards for restaurants and attractions at those stores, which can cut your travel costs.
Pair travel with visiting your loved ones to get even more out of the experience. This is a great way to visit younger loved ones like your grandchildren who live far away. Staying with people you know can save a significant amount on your lodging expenses for the trip. It's also easier to cook meals at home when you're staying with someone.
You might be surprised at how many great spots there are to visit in Nebraska or surrounding states. Take a weekend trip from Kearney to visit Lincoln and check out the Capitol building, or go on to Omaha to stay in the historic Old Market area. These shorter trips that are closer to home still let you experience new things, but they come with a much smaller price tag.
Create a group of traveling friends to save money on your adventures. You can rent a larger cabin or vacation home together and split the costs. These types of accommodations let you cook meals so you don't have to go out to eat for every meal. If you're traveling by car, you can carpool to save on transportation costs. If you have a large enough group, you might qualify for group discounts to various attractions.