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       “We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.”

Planning for retirement is a part of life that all Americans wait for and talk about. Whether you hope to relax and bask in the sun or adventure through rainforests and mountains, retirement means you finally get to enjoy that well-deserved vacation.

According to AARP, 97% of people aged 50+ expressed the want to travel in retirement, and of those 50+ who do travel, they spend an average of $120 billion annually. However, 51 percent of the people surveyed cited costs as their biggest obstacle to travel.

There are numerous ways to prevent or overcome these barriers and extend the length of your retirement travels. Here are three retirement travel tips to make your trip affordable, satisfying and bountiful.

Preparation!

If you haven’t retired yet, start planning now. The sooner you can start planning, saving money, and implementing steps to reach your goal, the sooner and more likely that you will cross off those bucket list destinations. When preparing for your retirement, be as specific as possible to allow for exciting, yet realistic goals. Studies show that those with specific goals in their savings plan are almost three times more likely to save successfully compared to those who don’t.

The best part of preparation?! This study asserts that the best part of a vacation is the planning and anticipation of the fun you’ll have. According to researchers, it makes you happier than the trip itself.

However, retirement should be planned in three phases: “the go-go years, the slow-go years, and the no-go years.” As AARP’s survey showed, citizens 70+ cited that health concerns are the biggest obstacle to travel. In this phase, funds often get spent covering health care costs.

Home Strategy!

So you know you want to travel, and as you made your preparation strategy, you learned about how often you want to and how often you can afford to travel. If you hope to travel for longer periods of time, across broader distances, it may be worthwhile to sell your home. You would not only save money, but you could also make money as well. Whereas, if you plan to travel a lot, but still would like a permanent place to call home, consider downsizing.

If after all the planning and considerations you don’t want to part ways with your home, there are other options in which your home can help you save or make money. For example, you could put your home up on Airbnb, so that others can rent the space while you are away. On the other hand, there are numerous sites that are specifically designed for people of particular demographics to house-swap.

Stay Longer!

Your eyes do not deceive you. Saving money can mean spending more time vacationing! Airfare and hotels/housing are the most significant costs of traveling; however, the more days you have booked between your flights and within your hotel stay, the lower of a price you get. Instead of taking two separate trips and paying two different airfares, plan out a journey in which you go to two or three locations. If you plan wisely and spend a few months in the same region, you could look into renting an apartment or long-stay hotel for even more savings!