Sunday, July 14, 2013

3 Tips Retirees Can Use to Budget for a Vacation

You've looked forward to traveling once you retired, and now you're there. Unfortunately, while retirement may free up time, it might also restrict certain expenses. This doesn't mean you can't see the world; it just means you're going to have to carefully plan to make it happen.

1. Consider Travel Options


When it comes to travel, there are some forgotten options that are budget friendlier, and in some ways, a nicer way to go. For example, consider Amtrack, the national rail company here in the United States. The travel itself could be the vacation. But, if trains aren't your thing, there are some very comfortable Greyhound busses that can get you just about anywhere you want to go in the United States.

If you decide to take the great American highway, you can save some money by packing your meals. Too many stops at McDonalds add up quickly. But if flying is your thing, consider internet sites like Travelocity or Expedia. Also, if you travel at odd flying times you can save money. 

2. Plan in Advance


Say you want to enjoy one of the many Caribbean cruises that leave port this fall. Plan ahead and break the cost down — then decide how much you need to set aside each month so that, come vacation time, you're more worried about running out of margaritas than the cash in your pocket.

There are computer programs you can use, not to mention special accounts you can open at your bank, to help you budget and save money. Some people put the change in their pockets into a jar. But it's just a simple budgeting principle to put a bit aside. You probably did something similar when kids were still in the house. During retirement, it will still work the same way.

You might also check on any senior discounts offered at places you visit. It couldn't hurt and it just might save on your overall expenses. But do this in advance, don't take off hoping to find these offers en route.

3. Remember: Where You Stay Affects Eating Options


One of the best parts of the vacation is eating out. Once again, advanced planning can help you meet your budget goals. First of all, decide how much money you will need to eat out during your trip, and save up accordingly. If done right, you can eat out every night if you want to.

Another option has to do with where you stay. If you have access to a time-share condo, they come with kitchens. You can generally buy food cheaper than it costs to eat out, you'll just have to make them yourself and clean up after. This is not as convenient, but could be even nicer and a bit more intimate.

There are really many ways to save on the costs of a trip, or to save up for a great get away. Remember to plan ahead and understand how your planning relates to every step of the trip. The more consolidated ideas you can come up with, the more money you can save.


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