20 tips for a happy retirement. #17 – Travel more

The best travel advice I’ve had is ‘do long haul early’ and I’ve found this SO true. As I have aged my ‘bounce-back-ability’ from jet lag and poor sleep as waned hugely and ‘recovery days’ are such a waste if you have limited time. I’m 6’3” so never fared well in cattle class so paying a bit extra or booking bulkhead seats with extra legroom early gives me the opportunity to stretch out a little and avoid the economy seat knee crunch! Maybe it’s time you explored life behind the curtain and got to turn left when entering the aeroplane – you’ve earned it and you’re worth it, right? Or do you prefer to save the money to spend when you get to your destination and go cattle class?!

Many of us dream of an around-the-world cruise, a wine-tasting trip through southern Europe or the Napa Valley or taking a camper van across Australia or New Zealand. Simplicity suits others and a cottage overlooking the sea suits many too, especially if the weather and local cuisine is to our taste!


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. 

Mark Twain

Who says it has to be a long adventure? Mini-Breaks are an instant win and can often be picked up at the last minute especially out of season when the mood and your health suits.

Traveling is of course easier locally, be it the same country or continent, not only distance wise but also for the avoidance of unforeseen issues when in Timbuktu etc. where health care should you need it may be more difficult to arrange with differences in language and facilities.


Travel insurance is also a consideration as it can be prohibitive as we get older and are likely to collect health issues along the way making this even more expensive. Thus, planning travel closer to home when we are much older is a good idea.

Travel insurance premiums will take account of your age. Some insurance companies choose not to insure elders or deter by quote such large premiums that deter. Others will provide cover up to 60 years old for example while others may have an upper limit of 70 or 80. Occasionally a company will provide cover no matter the age and will only block cover for certain ages when combined with particular activities or medical issues. It’s worth looking around and there are specialist companies who may be able to offer a better deal.

Unlike the young the risk for insurers is high. Of course, most will never need to claim but when things go wrong the costs can mount spectacularly. However, a Journal of Travel Medicine study showed that the senior age group were more likely to diligently adhere to good travel health recommendations, such as inoculations and anti-malarial regimes and avoid street food etc. Also, as we age we will often become more risk-averse so it seems a little harsh that the cost is so high.

Pre Covid-19 the world was our oyster and we could travel anywhere easily and safely. We’ll have to wait and see what travel in the ‘new normal’ looks like. This is the flight indicator at Heathrow Terminal 5, one of the world’s busiest airports when mid-Covid-19 and only few flights – let’s hope the board fills up soon. (However at home I’m enjoying the peace and quiet and lower pollution levels!!)

However maybe this lockdown and restriction gives us time to plan. Do you want a relaxing cruise around the Mediterranean or an adventure kayaking the Amazon?

Being unrestrained by job annual leave and school holidays and hopefully having a retirement pot to dip into, so as to spend the children’s inheritance, allows us to travel ‘off-peak’ and save. It is truly amazing how much cheaper everything seems to be the week before and after school holidays (although parents are getting wise to this too, the flack they get being compensated by the huge savings!)


When it comes to cost you may find that out of season may save you lots of money and another hemisphere give you some welcome summer sun. Adventure seems to cost more than luxury so plan ahead with regard savings and what you’ll need. A caravan in West Wales will be far cheaper than a Kenyan Safari! India is incredible value for money and you can literally have a chauffeur and stay in real palaces for less than a modest group tour of Japan etc.


Happy Traveling – plan well and keep safe.





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