Travelling for less in retirement


Travelling for less in retirement

When we’re not in lockdown, travelling is a great way to explore exciting locations, try new things and connect with different people and cultures. It’s a high priority for many retirees seeking to take advantage of their free time and financial independence and also allows them to challenge themselves, have fun and unwind.

Travel for less

Travelling regularly can be an expensive hobby, but with a little forward planning you can stretch your travel budget and retirement savings further than you might think, especially as we’re currently restricted to domestic travel (and potentially travel bubbles in the near future).

There are a variety of ways to save when travelling depending on your method of travel and where you want to go. Below are a few tips that may be helpful.

Tip 1: Flights

Saving money on travel usually involves taking advantage of one of the fundamentals of economics – supply and demand. If you are willing to be flexible with your travel plans, you may be able to save a considerable amount of money.

  • Book in advance. According to Skyscanner1, the cheapest months to travel are October and November. The most expensive is December. The best times to book are 5-6 months in advance for international destinations, 3 months for domestic flights to destinations such as Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Gold Coast and 5 months in advance for Perth and Adelaide.
  • Travel during the shoulder, low or off season. A general rule of thumb is to avoid school holidays and the Christmas/New Year period.
  • Travel mid-week. Book your flights so that you arrive and depart in the middle of the week instead of weekends.

Tip 2: Accommodation

  • Book in advance. Just like with flights, it pays to book accommodation early as well. A rough guide for the best times to book is 3 months in advance for domestic and at least 5 months in advance for international.
  • Book accommodation outside the city. Hotels and motels in the inner city are often more expensive than those further out. If you can find something that's close to public transport, you can save a lot of money.
  • Choose accommodation with a kitchenette. Eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day can add up quickly. By getting a room with a kitchenette and shopping at a grocery store, you can reduce your food costs by preparing some of your own meals.
  • Consider alternative accommodation to hotels and motels, such as Homestays, motor homes and caravan parks. When considering these options, weigh up the potential cost savings with your level of comfort and expectations.

Tip 3: Transport

Getting to and from places while travelling can be costly, so below are a couple of alternative options.

  • Take public transport instead of taxis when it is safe to do so.
  • Consider using ride share services like Uber where you feel comfortable being a passenger in someone’s personal car.

Travelling within your financial situation

One of the most important things to consider before planning any travel in retirement is how you’re going to pay for it.

Consider whether you can cover your travel from your regular income (account-based pension payments and other sources of income like the Age Pension) or if it will mean making an additional withdrawal from your retirement savings. If you need to withdraw from your retirement savings, you should consider what impact this could have on your long-term standard of living.

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