How to plan a trip of a lifetime in retirement

Trip of a lifetime retirement

Most of us are already missing those bright, sunny days of this year’s hot and balmy summer, and some are already making holiday plans for next year. But are you one of many who are planning a trip of a lifetime for your retirement? We share some bucket-list destinations and useful planning tips to help you make the most of your adventure.

You don’t have to retire fully

Firstly, and depending on your job or situation, you might be able to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime holiday while you’re still working. If you can do your job remotely and online, you could take your laptop and work while on a round-the-world trip. You will need to consider the strength and reliability of internet connections and the impact of different time zones. If you find yourself in New Zealand, this could result in late-night work video calls!

Many people are opting for semi-retirement, scaling back their day-to-day work activities, and this trend has increased since the pandemic. If you’re over 55 and in a position to access a personal or private pension, this could open up new opportunities. And you don’t have to travel with someone else. ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents) reported that over-55s are the most likely age group to go on holiday alone.

Deciding where to go

The big question for many people! If you’re planning to travel as a couple or even as a group, sit down and talk through your ideas. It’s important that everyone’s aligned to avoid any conflicts arising once your trip has started. Agree on a budget that everyone can afford; this will help to determine the areas of the world you could visit. For example, train travel in Europe and South America can be a cheaper way to cover multiple countries.

Exotic overseas locations

“Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly.” Van Morrison

Whether it’s a short luxury trip or a backpacking adventure, there is an abundance of exotic overseas locations to choose from. However, before we share some ideas for destinations, it’s important to plan carefully to make sure your trip of a lifetime goes smoothly.

  • Use the Home Office website to review every country you wish to visit. This ensures you’re fully aware of any issues or dangers that might hinder your travel plans.
  • Check your passport is in date. A simple but costly mistake; many airline providers and countries will require six months on a passport before issuing travel documents or visas.
  • Make sure you have enough money to cover your trip and access to funds. Wise is a type of travel bank account where you can hold money and convert this into different currencies — allowing you to draw cash from ATMs in different countries without having to pay costly bank and transaction charges.

Here are several exotic destinations that offer cultural experiences without a language barrier due to tourism:

  • Thailand – sunbathe on hundreds of islands in the south, go on jungle treks in the north, and visit temples galore.
  • Cambodia and Vietnam – explore the impressive Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, staying at Siem Reap. Then, enjoy a river cruise around the stunning limestone formations in Ha Long Bay and relax in Hoi An with its eclectic colonial architecture.
  • Indonesia and Bali – visit active volcanoes and coffee plantations on Java. Then, relax on the white-sand beaches of Bali and hop across to the surrounding Gili islands.
  • India – a sensory overload; this vast country has every type of landscape, from tropical beaches to deserts and the towering Himalayas. Board the 5-star Maharaja Express to see beautiful Rajasthan and Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.

Look for senior discounts

Whether you’re a solo traveller or going as a couple, a variety of travel companies offer holidays for older people, such as Saga. But also take a look at discounts available in the country you are visiting. In New Zealand, for example, older people from the UK can enjoy discounted bus fares for easy travel around cities.

North Coast 500 in a motorhome

“Scotland’s Route 66”

According to ABTA, 43% of those aged over 65 in the UK reported wanting to stay in the UK. If you prefer to travel closer to home, then why not consider the North Coast 500? This trip involves driving along a 500-mile route across Scotland, ideally in a motorhome. You don’t have to buy a motorhome for this purpose; hire one from a reputable company.

On this once-in-a-lifetime trip, you will pass ancient castles, famous whisky distilleries, beautiful landscapes, and coastal scenery. Although you can make this trip in a couple of weeks, allow at least a month to experience everything the Scottish Highlands has to offer fully. According to European Commission statistics, the over 65s are more likely to go on longer trips – 6.6 nights, compared to 5.8 nights for those aged between 15 and 64 years.

Whether you stay local or go on a long adventure, make sure you plan every aspect of your trip well in advance. Using a spreadsheet, create an itinerary and include all important information. Take copies of important documents and share travel information with family and friends. And most importantly of all, check that your financial plan will support your trip.

Are you planning a trip of a lifetime for your retirement? If you’d like a financial review to help you achieve your travel plans, get in touch with our team.