Travelling in retirement for less

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.

Travelling regularly can be an expensive hobby, but with a little forward planning you can stretch your travel budget further than you might think.

Savings tips

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


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.

  1. Book in advance. According to Skyscanner’s research on the prices of over 250 million flights departing from Sydney during the last three years: The cheapest months to travel are May and November. The most expensive is December. The best times to book are 5 months in advance for international destinations such as Auckland and Bangkok or 6 months and more for destinations such as Bali, Los Angeles, London and Singapore. For domestic flights to destinations such as Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Perth 3 months in advance is sufficient, whereas 6 months and more is recommended for Adelaide.
  2. Travel during the shoulder, low or off season. A general rule of thumb is to avoid school holidays and the Christmas/New Year period.
  3. Book your flights so that you arrive and depart in the middle of the week instead of weekends.
  1. The same as 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Getting to and from places while travelling can be costly.

  1. Take public transport instead of taxis when it is safe to do so.
  2. 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.

If you’re unsure, one of our Financial Planners can help you calculate the impact a withdrawal could have on your future and discuss alternative ways to cover your travel expenses. To make an appointment call 02 9046 1920 or email [email protected]