Making Your Travel Bucket List
In her 40-plus years as a doctor with a full roster of patients, this client kept most of her vacations relatively short. So, in 2019, when she retired and sold her practice, she and her husband began dreaming about the types of extended trips they could finally take without work standing in their way. Today, their retirement bucket list includes Churchill, Manitoba (the polar bear capital of the world), Tahiti, an African Safari, a family vacation in Spain with their children and grandchildren, and Argentina & Brazil.
They are eager to make the most of their golden years, starting with the most active trips on their list. The operative words I hear are ‘Do it now’ from clients. Do it now while you’re younger and healthier because, frankly, everyone has an expiration date.
They are not alone. Many people aspire to travel more, once they stop working, but all of that freedom and extra time can be overwhelming. Here’s how to curate the perfect travel bucket list in retirement, according to experts and a few things to consider along the way.
1. Assess your health, fitness, and ability levels
Keep in mind that age is just a number—many retirees are fit, sharp, and active. Still, unexpected health and mobility issues may arise that can make some trips more challenging than others. When plotting your travels, we recommend organizing trips based on how strenuous they’ll be. Take the most taxing, adventurous trips early in retirement, then scale back to more leisurely, easy-going travels as you age. There are certain trips that could easily be on your bucket list, but are really tougher than you think. Seeing the Great Wall of China is spectacular, but climbing the wall is a whole other issue.
Parameters will vary from retiree to retiree, but consider factors like time zone changes, layovers, flight time, stairs, time on your feet, elevation gain, walking requirements, and accessibility. Be honest with yourself—and your travel advisor—about your physical fitness and cognitive abilities as you plan trips.
The important thing is to always be realistic about your own abilities. There are 80-year-olds who may have no problem climbing a flight of 100 stairs that might be too challenging for a 65-year-old.
2. Research age limits
As you strategize which trips to take first in retirement, research and prepare for travel-related age restrictions (or hire a travel advisor to do so for you). For example: Some companies require travelers to be under the age of 65 to trek out onto the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. Some countries also set a maximum age for renting a car—in Portugal, travelers must be between the ages of 18 and 80.
These types of restrictions are relatively rare, but they could disrupt—or even derail—your dream trip. And if you realize your age will be prohibitive, don’t give up—get creative with Plan B, like hiring a driver and car instead of renting a car, for example. It’s best to understand the rules ahead of time, before having false expectations.
3. Budget accordingly
Just as you budget for living expenses and medical costs, you should also incorporate travel into your long-term saving and spending plan. In addition to budgeting for big-ticket vacations, also account for road trips and shorter excursions to visit family or friends, which can add up.
And with medical innovations improving our health and longevity all the time, give yourself a little extra cushion, too. The go-go years of retirement could last longer than you might expect. Budget for your travel years to last at least five years more than you think. You don’t want to have to forego a trip while you’ve still got lots of energy left.
Your budget can also include credit card rewards. Saving miles for first-class tickets allows you to spend on other luxuries, like drivers, high-end guides, and private tours, all to move at your own pace–which is what luxury travel is all about!
Photo; Donna Salerno Travel
4. Organize multi-generational trips
Traveling with your children and grandchildren is a great way to make memories, especially for little ones. Younger family members can also help support you while you travel—and vice versa. Grandparents can spend time with the kids at night while the parents steal away for a date. Just as importantly, the middle generation can help retirees with health and fitness considerations while traveling.
Lean into the expertise of your travel advisor for activities that everyone can enjoy together. Many soft adventure companies now offer e-bikes, so that multi-generational groups can ride together in destinations worldwide!
5. Don’t wait
No matter where you decide to travel first or how many destinations are on your list, the important thing is to get out there and start traveling. It may feel like you have all the time in the world now that you’re not working, but as any retiree will tell you, it goes by quickly. If travel is a top priority, you won’t regret taking a trip, even if it’s just a quick weekend getaway. Start today; since tomorrow is already here, in parts of the world.
Do you want help in securing your own Travel Bucket List? Donna Salerno Travel is here to help. Contact us today for ideas of putting your top destinations in order, best value destinations or let us answer any travel questions you may have. We’re here to help you receive the best value for your time, experience and travel memories when planning your holidays. www.DonnaSalernoTravel You’ll love where we take you!
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Donna Salerno Travel