The world offers so many beautiful places to see and experience. For many of us, once we enter retirement, travel is often a priority since we have more free time and flexibility with our days.

However, there is a misconception that exploring the world has to be expensive, but that doesn’t have to be the case! In fact, there are ways that can make your retirement travels more affordable and cost-effective.

Our team at Community Senior Life (CSL) aims to enhance the quality of life of the residents in our senior living communities throughout Alabama, and exploring the world and visiting new places can be a part of that. To help you make the most out of your adventures, we are sharing thrifty travel tips for seniors.

Book Flights at the Right Times

If you plan on flying to your destination, being strategic and booking your airline ticket at the right time can save you a lot of money.

For example, do not wait until the last minute. Book your flight as early as possible. Not only are flights cheaper the earlier you book them, but you will also have more options to choose from and can shop around for the best deal. If you are not picky about which airline you fly or the airport you fly into (if your destination has multiple airports nearby), you will be able to compare itineraries and select the best price. Just be mindful of any layovers that may apply and total travel time.

Additionally, it can be cheaper or more expensive to fly on certain days of the week and even during certain times of the day. For example, Experian reports that Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are generally the cheapest days of the week to fly, while Fridays and Sundays are often more expensive. This is due to the most demand from business and leisure travelers being on Friday and Sunday.

Similarly, early-morning and late-night flights are commonly cheaper than flights during the middle of the day. But, of course, this system is not always foolproof, and airline costs can vary.

Another tip to keep in mind when booking an airline ticket is to pay attention to hidden costs such as baggage fees and seat selection. Some airlines charge you for each bag you bring, including a carry-on, so (when possible) try to pack light to save even more.

Cook During Your Travels

One of the most overlooked thrifty travel tips for seniors is that you can cook during your trip. Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you cannot cook for yourself. A great way to save money when you travel is to buy groceries when you get to your destination. This way, you don’t have to go to a restaurant and eat out for every meal.

Now you are on vacation, so you likely don’t want to spend the whole time cooking and doing dishes, so choosing simple meals that you can prepare quickly and in just one or two pots or pans can help make it simple. Even if you only buy breakfast foods and snacks, this will save you a meal a day of going to a restaurant.

If you do choose to eat out, be mindful of the restaurants you choose. Avoid going to places near major tourist destinations or sightseeing places, as their prices will likely be inflated. Instead, try to find local eateries that purchase their ingredients from local vendors. This means that the restaurants pay less for transit, so their prices will be more reasonable. As an added bonus, eating local gives you more of an authentic experience of the area!

Travel in the Off-Season

One of the great benefits of retirement is flexibility. You can travel whenever you want, not being limited to vacation days or set school breaks. Because of this, another thrifty travel tip for seniors is to do so during the off-season.

In addition to your destination being less busy, the prices during your travel will also be lower. You have the luxury of avoiding overcrowded attractions while saving money!

Because there is less demand in the off-season, the prices of hotel rooms, flights, and even restaurants drop. Do your research when planning your trip as the off-season varies from place to place.

You don’t and shouldn’t have to spend your entire retirement savings in order to have a great vacation or travel to new places. Being mindful and intentionally saving money where you can go a long way in making the most out of your travel budget.

For more tips on senior living or the active lifestyle we offer throughout our communities in Alabama, visit our CSL website today!