So what do you do with yourself once that fateful day arrives and you hang up your work boots, or badge, for the very last time?
For some people, retirement is a word that fills them with dread – all that spare time to fill, what on earth will I do? But for others, they look forward to it as a genuine golden age, a time when they can finally experience real freedom to do as they please and fulfill their dreams.
These are often the people with clear ambitions in mind. And travel frequently features high on the list.
Retirement is the perfect time to start taking travel seriously. Not only is your time your own, but children are grown up too, easing the burden of responsibilities that keep you at home. What better excuse to turn your autumn years into an Indian summer?
So what do you need to know before you set off on a silver-lined life of adventure? Avanti Travel Insurance specialises in policies for the over-50’s. Here are their top tips for travelling more in retirement.
Recapture the spirit of adventure
Often the main barriers to jetting off into the sunset are all in our heads. Over time, we get used to being sensible, making practical decisions based on work, family and finances. Unlearning that kind of mindset can be tricky. But if you are not going to indulge yourself in retirement, when are you?
Avanti say single retirees can find it especially difficult to make that leap, even if travelling the world is their biggest dream. “There is an understandable fear of setting off into the unknown on your own,” Avanti’s spokesperson said. “But in truth, there are dozens of specialist agents and travel clubs that specialise in group trips for older people. The whole aim is to let people socialise and make new friends while they enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.”
Make a bucket list
Whatever the psychology behind it, lists help get things done. Even if it is just a to-do list for household chores, writing it down somehow makes it seem more real, and you end up getting through much more.
“Making travel plans turn into something more than a pipedream is much the same,” say Avanti. “If you actually write down all the places you would like to visit, you have something to aim at. Challenge yourself to tick off as many as you can, make it into a competition with yourself. You’ll probably end up adding more as you go.”
Take advantage of discounts
One of the great things about having all of your time to yourself is that you are not restricted as to when you can travel. That means you can take advantage of off-peak discounts and special offers, which can make travelling so affordable, you can keep jetting off again and again.
“Many tour operators, hotel companies and airlines will also offer special pensioner discounts on certain products at certain times,” say Avanti. “It makes sense to do your research and take full advantage of these.”
Protect yourself flexibly
Another money-saving tip if you aim to travel frequently is to take out annual multi-trip insurance. This will cover you for as many trips as you wish to make in a 12-month period. Not only does it work out cheaper than taking out fixed insurance for each holiday, it also gives you the flexibility to go on another trip as and when you like.
Avanti advises older travellers not to rely on the annual multi-trip insurance that is often bundled in with bank accounts and credit cards. “This is a very generic, basic type of policy that may not cover your specific circumstances,” the spokesperson said. “For example, if you have a medical condition, any treatment you may need is unlikely to be covered and may actually invalidate your policy.”