According to AARP, baby boomers expected to take four to five trips during 2019. 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 to 30-year retirement, that’s an awful lot of beaches, resorts, and 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 four popular trends in retirement travel, as well as some things you should think about before booking your next adventure!
1. Solo Travel
No matter how good your marriage is, it’s important for each spouse to have space for themselves at home and 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 going overseas as you are, consider flying solo.
If you don’t want to hit the road alone, 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. Be sure you’re booking with a reputable company and able to take care of yourself without a spouse’s constant supervision.
2. Slow Travel
A European tour would 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.
That’s the appeal of slow travel, which is becoming more popular as services like Airbnb and Vrbo 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 path frequented by tourists and really soak up the local culture.
This kind of vacation can 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. 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. An African safari, a trek through Patagonia, or kayaking on the mightly Colorado River will definitely get you out of your comfort zone!
Adventure travel can 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 favorite cause that becomes part of their everyday retirement routine.
If you think you have a retirement adventure in you, consider scheduling them earlier in your retirement when you’re likely to be healthier and more mobile. 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 hike the Grand Canyon for a couple of hours every day on a trip.
4. Holiday Travel
Even if retirement allows you more time to plan for hosting your family for the holidays, do you still want to? Consider traveling during the holidays but NOT to a family member’s house. Have everyone meet at your destination whether it’s the beach or someplace snowy during Thanksgiving or Christmas. It takes the pressure off your shoulders and encourages new traditions to be born!
For many, retirement is the ideal life stage to travel, because it means having more free time. Even with a fixed income, that extra time allows you to spread out your spending and travel in the most budget-friendly manner.
Find inspiration by letting your imagination run wild and kick start your wanderlust. It’s a good time to explore ideas that may not be on your travel radar but should be. Get ready to add some adventure to that retirement of yours!