Budget Traveling: 8 Best Tips for Retirees

…Are you looking for great ways to travel everywhere you want to, but still be on a budget?

It is possible to travel on a budget without the need to sacrifice your comfort, even if you’re a retiree. As you age, your traveling preferences might change and there’s a slight possibility that you might want to experiment with new things, such as exotic destinations or fancy food, so the costs will add up.

But if you want to save some money while also having a great time, there are some easy ways you can enjoy all of your favorite things and also be on a budget.

If traveling is one of your biggest retirement wishes, but you don’t want to break the bank, you’re in luck, because here are our best 8 tips on how to travel on a budget as a retiree.

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1. Book your flight and room in advance

We’re sure that this first tip is not brand new information for you, but it’s really good, especially if you plan on going to an international destination and the flight or hotel room prices are not the cheapest ones.

According to experts, you can save up to 61% on your flight and $6 to $21 on hotels if you book them in advance. Some people even say that Tuesdays are the best days to buy flight tickets because some airline companies usually have discounts during that time, so it’s worth a try.

But if you have no idea when the best time to start making your reservation is, here’s what you should take into consideration:

  • short flights – experts say that you should get your tickets 64 days prior to your departure date, so you’ll stay on a budget;
  • long-haul flights – these are usually more expensive, so you should aim to purchase them approximately 115 days out from your travel date;
  • accommodation –  you can find housing even two days prior to your traveling date, but if you want to stay on a budget, it’s best to book it at least one month before;
  • cruise – this is different compared to the other ones, so you should book it as soon as possible, even if that means one or two years in advance.

2. Don’t overpack 

Packing a lot of things won’t just make your luggage very difficult to carry, but it will also make you overwhelm your budget. Pack only the things you absolutely need, especially if you’re traveling by plane.

There are excess baggage fees that can cost you a lot of money, from $20 to $200, so you better pack travel-size products, two pairs of shoes, and a few clothes you can wear in different ways and styles.

Apart from helping you stick to your budget, traveling with a carry-on means that you won’t have to wait in line at the baggage claim, there’s no stress regarding lost baggage, you know where everything is, you don’t have to carry a lot of things around, and you won’t waste time packing when it’s time to go home.

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3. Bring your own snacks

If we’re being honest, food is quite expensive, so if you have a tight budget, the best thing you can do is to bring your own snacks and avoid buying a lot of things while you’re gone.

According to experts, when traveling, Americans spend more than $300 on food when they go to restaurants, compared to roughly $40 or $50 on the food they prepared themselves.

This is a great trick to do especially if you take a road trip. You can cook and bring your own healthy snacks, such as nuts, fruits, hummus, bars, vegetables, and yogurt, and avoid extra spending.

But if you choose to travel by plane, then you can go to a grocery store when you arrive at your destination and save eating at restaurants just one time a day, so you’ll stay on a budget.

4. Visit free attractions 

There are a lot of free attractions and activities you can take advantage of and that will make your experience more memorable, fun, adventurous, and also affordable.

Let’s look at an example. If you visit Washington, D.C., there are more than 20 free things you can do, including paying a visit to the National Air & Space Museum or taking a trip to the National Gallery of Art.

There are plenty of free things you can choose from, ranging from parks and trails, museums, zoos, historic sites, and other things.

5. Transportation 

If you plan on traveling on a budget in retirement, you should do a bit of research before picking your destination, so you can have a general idea regarding transportation. Of course, you can take an Uber or a taxi, but they are not cheap, so you better think about other types of transportation, such as:

  • walking – it’s free and you’ll have the opportunity to explore more areas, while also getting your steps in;
  • public transportation – trains, buses, and metros are cheap and will take you to your destination in no time;
  • bike renting – this is another affordable option you can use to save money, explore different places, and be active throughout the day;
  • carpooling services – if you want to go to a long-distance destination, you can use apps such as Moovit and BlaBlaCar, which will help you keep your costs low.

6. Visit your friends and family 

If you’re a retiree and also want to travel but don’t have a big budget, you can always ask your friends and family to give you accommodation for a few days.

Experts actually say that seniors are more likely to visit their siblings and friends rather than younger generations. So why not spend some quality time with your favorite people, save some money, and also travel to great places?

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7. Out-of-season traveling 

The best way to travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to while also being on a budget is to choose a time that is off-peak season. Try as much as possible to avoid religious festivities and local school breaks, because those are times when everything is crowded and prices tend to go up.

If you travel to California, for instance, it will be a lot cheaper to go there during the winter, rather than the summertime. The same rule applies to other travel expenses once you get to your destination.

Booking a vacation off-season means that you will save a lot of money on accommodation, flight tickets, and even food, which will help you stay on a budget.

8. Payment methods 

If you pick a destination that is outside of the country, notify your bank to avoid any freezes and alerts that might appear along the way. Besides that, you should investigate what additional expenses you might receive for paying by card or withdrawing cash.

In addition to that, another way to escape paying added fees is to plan your currency exchanges before your trip. In order to be on a budget while also having fun and enjoying your trip, do your research ahead of time, so that you can be prepared for any situation that might occur.


To sum up this post, we can assure you that in order to save money and travel everywhere you want as a retiree, you should do a few things: pack light, bring your own snacks, book flights and accommodation ahead of time, travel out of season, visit your friends and family so that you can save some extra money, and use public transportation as much as possible.

…If you liked reading this article and you want to know more tips on how to make the best out of your retirement life, check this article out: 13 Best Places on the West Coast for Couples To Live on ONLY a Social Security Check! 


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