August 26, 2019

Retirement Travel: Striking a Balance

Traveling can be one of the joys of the satisfying retirement phase of your life. With fewer commitments, you have much greater freedom to pack up and go. No longer must you travel when everyone else does. Midweek departures or hitting the road while families with kids are tied to home by the school calendar are now possible.

Of course, your own preferences, interests, retirement lifestyle and finances have a bearing on what your travel itinerary might look like. My wife and I like a combination of big trips every few years mixed with long weekends or several-day excursions. 

Each year we say we'd like to spend part of the summer away from the Arizona summer. When we owned an RV we made that happen. For the last few years, though, we have stayed at home. Being close to everyone has been more important.

We are healthy enough as I write this to not have many travel restrictions. Would I scuba dive like I used to? Probably not. That is pretty strenuous. Would I agree to walk across Ireland? Maybe, depending on the length we covered each day and the type of accommodations at the end of each day (no tents!).

I prefer to avoid air travel as much as possible simply because airlines have made that form of transport as legally close to punishment as possible. Actually, my first choice would be train travel but Amtrak pulled out of Phoenix almost 20 years ago so that isn't a viable option. That means we usually drive.

For Betty and me the only real restraint at the moment is a self-imposed budget. And that really gets me to the core issue of this post. At some point our health will begin to limit our travel options. That is as given. It could be something dramatic that changes our lifestyle completely. More likely it will be a gradual decline in physical strength and abilities.

There may come a time when one of us is afraid to have the other in a foreign country where medical care is more of an issue. But, for now, these scenarios are not in play. So, should we ignore our carefully planned budget for travel and "go for it" while we can? Should we do all we want even if we have to tap into savings and investments that weren't supposed to be for traveling?

Should we live with the worn out carpeting for another few years and put the money into trips? Will we look back at some point and kick ourselves for not having the experiences while we could? Or, will we second guess our decisions to put ourselves in a financial hole that may have serious consequences?

In our household, this is an ongoing debate, but we have taken steps to travel more while we can. Overall, we are homebodies. We enjoy where we live and the people who fill our lives with happiness. We have a  schedule of volunteer, and social events most of the year. We buy season tickets to Broadway shows that visit town. I enjoy finding things to do in the area that are different and low cost.

Still, the call of the road is always there. Since we sold the RV we have taken an Alaskan Cruise and a River cruise in Europe. Next year a 25 day cruise to the South Pacific and New Zealand has been booked. We will go to Quebec, Canada to be with our daughter as she turns 40 (really?).

Betty has been strongly hinting that her days of RV travel are not over. A small Class B motorhome is her dream. We both see one or two longish road trips in our future. 


I guess the most important step is to prioritize our wants. In that way, if a health issue arises we will have had the experiences most important to us. 

Then, we must decide how deeply to dig into our retirement fund to pay for this. If RV #2 happens, our budget would undergo a major overall. There will be some serious discussions over the next several months. Don't tell her, but I miss the RV, too.


Me, contemplating my choices
I have heard all the arguments that we saved and now we should enjoy it in any way we want. Our grown kids agree. But, do we?

I hope we have at least another 10 years of travel ahead of us. Deciding how to balance our desires with our resources and what we view as responsibilities to our family keeps us constantly reviewing our options.

How about you? Have you decided to travel now and worry about the expenses later? Or, have health issues forced you to scale back? And, if so, are you content with your life?

57 comments:

  1. Life changes in an instant. When I was 18, I was involved in a head-on collision. Not my fault and, thankfully, there were no fatalities. To this day, I remember the other driver's name and the lesson she taught me: Life changes in an instant.

    These days, Alan and I travel mainly via pickup truck and travel trailer. We probably travel a little more than he would prefer and a lot less than I'd like. But compromise is a beautiful thing. Throughout nearly 40 years of marriage, whenever a travel opportunity presented itself, we would ask ourselves, "If not now, when?" If the answer was, "I don't know," we found a way to take advantage of that opportunity then and there. Our belief that travel feeds the soul has led to two family trips to Alaska, three cross country camping adventures and countless vacations in between. We don't regret a single one of them even though we retired later than we might have otherwise. Life changes in an instant.

    We already find that we can't fit as much in a day as we used to, and Alan's knee issues prevent the strenuous hiking he has done in the past. Fortunately, our health has not yet impeded our travels, but the question, "If not now, when?" has become more pressing as time goes on.

    We saved our hard-earned money for years so that we could travel, and plan to do it for as long as we can since we know there will come a time when we won't want to or be able to. Because we budgeted for it, it hasn't negatively impacted our finances yet. If it does, we'll cut back on other discretionary spending so that we can continue to travel, if that remains a priority. We are all too well aware that . . . Life changes in an instant.

    Love your contemplation photo, Bob - that looks like a perfect spot for some serious thinking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The picture was taken at Lake Coeur d'Alene in northern Idaho.

      Interestingly, since I wrote this post, we have add further discussions about getting a new RV, and have decided against it. We simply wouldn't use it enough to justify the cost. And, the constant cooking, cleaning, hooking up, finding laundromats, and driving just don't hold the appeal that it did even 3 years ago.

      We seem to have settled into an approach that fits us both at this stage of life: a year of close-by, relatively inexpensive trips, followed by a year of "if not now, when?"

      Delete
    2. Rather than a year of close by trips, followed by the 'if not now' year - I'd suggest one 'if not now' each year. You never know what might tie one down (uncle with dementia in my case) - and what type of opportunities arise. For me this year brought the opportunity to spend 12 days with small group of Australian women. I put together 2 month trip to Australia + NZ. Because everyone I knew said the 17 days trips weren't enough. I'd still go back to New Zealand for more.

      Then stumbled onto a 51 day cruise Pacific cruise itinerary that is only offered every 3-4 years. Do it now or wait until my 70's?? NOW. BTW - I was partially convinced by the community of cruise passengers communicating via cruise critic for my cruise. We have banded together for tours in various ports, sea day activities, etc. I already 'know' a bunch of people on the cruise.

      Trip to Easter Island was cancelled (lack of reservations) for 2019 but I learned about the total eclipse that occurred in June. Well, there's another eclipse in South America in Dec 2020. Now that is booked. And I'll fit in Easter Island somehow. Was total eclipse on my bucket list - nope! South America + Easter island - yes

      So, lots of travel this year - almost 6 months - next year may be a lot lighter. But I grab the opportunities as they come my way. I don't even have a bucket list - if something is interesting, I'm in.

      In general, I'm doing things that take more energy now, as longer or further flung trips may not be as enticing down the road.

      Delete
  2. The world is stable right now (in our part). We took our last dream trip last year. I save money monthly for interesting travels.
    There are other dreams as well.
    My husband voiced that he is tired of the market and the constant savings. He would like to pull his IRAs and build a house near his childhood home. Since his IRA is a "back up" for him (his pensions are solid and what we live off of), this might not be a bad thing. Can we fully support two houses across the country from each other? I am the money person, and it makes me nervous---but it is the last opportunity for us to do something like this. My IRAs are full enough to check off that "health care/ medical money" suggested by everyone.
    Like you, I am working the books and ready to get on with life. My world is rather stable. The grand kids are growing fast. And so we are are going to build a house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that is an exciting (and gutsy) move! To be in the position to do it without a major cut in lifestyle or constant worry on your part is inspiring.

      Your reference to the grandkids hits home. Up until this year, ours were still in the stage of running to greet us with hugs and attention. Now, with one almost 13, another 11, and the other 9 years old, we have noticed a real change. The reaction to our getting together is much more restrained, as is normal as kids start of become individuals.

      Part of our reason for not doing more travel was to be near them when they were young. There are definite signs that reason may no longer need be as important.

      Delete
    2. Yes, the grandkids get older and have other time priorities with friends or activities.
      You could consider planning a family trip for a couple of years out to include the grandkids. RoadScholar and others have programs for grandparents + grandkids. A co-worker's daughter planned an eco-trip to work with turtles (Caribbean I believe). Years ago I went on Panama Canal cruise and met multi-generation family of 23, from about 3 yo to 80+. I'm sure they have lots of good memories.

      Delete
  3. We used to love camping then graduated to an RV. Tried traveling conventional style and didn't like it at all. I've been on a couple of short three day trips since my husband died but cruises just seem so expensive and traveling alone or with a group from the senior hall doesn't really appeal to me. I'd worry too much about spending money I might need if something happens to my pension or Social Security.

    I know a woman whose husband made her promise on his death bed that she'd go have fun and she spent the next five years blowing all the insurance money on cruises. Now she has to work (in her last 70) just to pay her bills and lives in a sketchy neighborhood. You really do need to balance your future needs with your present wants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep in mind that if something happens to your social security or pension, it will happen to loads of others. We will, collectively, figure it out. You are doing a good job in downsizing and moving into a continuing care community. Now you need to look at Road Scholar or other programs like that.
      We went to Israel a few months ago and several on the tour were single older people. We just folded them into our group. Time to enjoy a bit of that money. You have been a caregiver for so long, it is time to play a bit!

      Delete
    2. The woman who ran through all her money is a cautionary tale. Making sure the surviving spouse is financially savvy and knows how to manage things is a key responsibility in a marriage.

      Janette is right about a new approach to singles travel. Trips just for the unmarried are quite common today. Depending on your interests you can kind a like-minded group to travel with.

      That said, you must be comfortable with your financial situation before taking on such a venture. If you are worried and unsure, it is better to find ways to make your home life full and fulfilling. Travel while worrying defeats one of the primary purposes.

      Delete
  4. Reading about the new "flight shaming movement" and the Swedish activist sailing across the Atlantic (don't make fun of her, she's just making a point), I'm beginning to think the best way to travel is to stay close to home, go by train if you possibly can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On our Quebec City trip next year I have planned it so we have three segments on Canadian trains. That is my preferred way to go, but hard to pull off in most of the U.S.

      The pollution aspects of travel, especially airplanes and cruise ships, does give us pause. We will buy carbon offsets to make us feel a little better about the environmental impact of those trips.

      Delete
  5. Very timely posting for me. As I retire in December, I'm thinking of what my first big trip will be in 2020, my first year of freedom. I want to do a weeklong yoga retreat in a wonderful location, or even longer. Anyone know first-hand of a wonderful retreat center, preferably outside the US? (I live in Europe but will travel)...thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are plenty of blog readers who live outside the U.S. I hope you will get some suggestions! And, welcome to the wonderful world of retirement in December!

      Delete
    2. By the way, I'm in Switzerland and if there are others reading this who live in a great place (like Hawaii for example) who are interested in house swapping, I'd definitely be open to that. Thanks!

      Delete
  6. Deb and I have made the decision to travel as much as possible now, but we insure we keep our costs reasonable as well so we are not cutting too much into our savings. Due to having already paid for our timeshare points in years past, we use those to travel 4-5 months out of the year, including spending three months at the ocean during the winter (think of it as a second home since we have a complete kitchen, laundry in the condo, etc, so the costs are lowered compared to "regular" vacation travel). We did get the cruise bug in 2019 and will be going on our second one this year in Nov, and have one scheduled for 2020 so far. May add another five day each/back to back cruises next year as well, making it a 10-12 day cruise with just stepping off the ship for a few hours. Life is good and we are enjoying it immensely right now with traveling, to the point that while we love our home and area a great deal, we get itchy feet to hit the road fairly quickly.

    Your point around flying is spot on, Bob. We do all of our travel in the F-150 Supercrew so we aren't limited in what we want to take with us (e.g. Deb's Kuerig has been a must have for her on our trips, which would be difficult by plane). Thinking of doing an around the country trip sometime around 2021 since next year is booking up fast already. Realistically that would be when the kids are in school so the northern states would be out. Head west from TN and hit CA, come back through Vegas and a number of states, all with an eye towards avoiding anything to do with snow. That will take some thought but it might be fun, staying for extra days in interesting places, while just a night in certain locales. Nice first world problems that many of us have nowadays in retirement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First world problems, indeed.

      Plane travel is just miserable, unless your budget allows for upgrades to something more than economy. Next year we will fly several times: once to meet the cruise ship in Honolulu, then from Auckland to Phoenix, and to and from Quebec. The only one that doesn't bother me is the flight to Hawaii, because of what awaits me. The others, I will endure.

      Timeshares might be an interesting topic for another post. We owned three weeks near Sarasota for many years and were lucky to sell them when we were done. That isn't always the case, plus maintenance fees have a habit of increasing annually.

      As you note, a week at a timeshare does have several advantages. Trying to sell one is where things get sticky, though with using points at other places an option, maybe selling is no longer a factor.

      Delete
    2. Timeshares can also be rented, frequently from owners.

      Delete
  7. Ken and I have traveled a lot during our working years,but w travel less than we thought, in retirement. We did splurge on a European cruise (which I ended up feeling wasn't worth the money, I just don't enjoy europe as much as other people.. bu it was a bucket list item for Ken and he loved it.) I don't have the big travel bug that a lot of folks seem to have but I do like to get away and enjoy a change of routine now and then.Shorter trips are easier and more fun, for me.I love visiting Az. towns every year, renting an airbnb, browsing quaint shops, hiking,eating new foods..relaxing on porch with a glass of wine and watchig sunsets..and there are a lot of USA spots we have discussed wanting to see. That said, we are splurging on a trip to Thailand in 2020 .. we did get an urge for a big exotic" trip--which happens every few years. We're 66, and yes, I feel we better do whatever "big" travels we need, in these next 10 years. Ken's folks were very healthy, but they declined around age 80, had 15 ore good years, but stopped traveling then. I ALWAYS worry that we are spending too much money on a trip..I just can't get comfortable with how expensive the big trips are. But, Ken reassures me we need to have some "experiences"--that this is what we saved up for.. we're moderate in our spending in general, so every few years, we can do a big trip and still stay on budget for the most part. After the Thailand trip, we plan on our more relaxed travels: We love a week in Bucerias Mexico every year, a couple of local -town trips, and we'll spend 2 weeks next summer renting an airbnb in Bellingham,Washington and renting a car there. And probably some other USA destination too, haven't chosen it yet but Charleston and Savannah have been on our list, and we have wanted to do a week in Brooklyn,New York. So many USA options..places we have not seen:Mackinac Island, Wyoming,Glacier National Park, another trip to Washington DC, the Outer Banks, parts of New Mexico we haven't been to... I feel the passing of time, and yes,I think we nee to loosen u some and spend on experiences..I'm always trying to be sure i get the best bang for the buck,though!!!!! P.S> I can truly see yu and betty back on the road in a comfy RV.Ken and I are pretty bad on long drives.. but you two had it all figured out.I say GO FOR IT,BOB!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See my comment above. Betty and I spent a few hours on a drive to Flagstaff recently discussing the whole RV thing, and decided, "been there, done that."

      Thailand, Mexico.....you travel to exotic places more than many folks! Time in Washington State will be so pleasant. Brooklyn, though, is an interesting goal.

      The U.S. does have enough to see to keep you busy until the cows come home. During my career I visited 43 of the 50 states. I was constantly amazed at the differences in each.

      Delete
  8. Woops--typos!!!!!!!!!!Only on my first cup of coffee.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I reread every comment I type at least three times, and find mistakes every single time! Thank goodness for a spell checker. I am the worst, regardless of the number of cups I have had.

      Delete
  9. My husband retires in Dec. He is retired military so we plan to use the Space-A-military flights and military lodging. We haven't done it yet, although my husband used to fly to go up to see family in Wa. State. You need that extra time, for available flights. We attended the class, that showed us all how to do it and the months that are best to get flights. I'm looking forward to that.

    For me, the biggest issue is I am co-dependent to my pets. I hate leaving them. I know, sick huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debby,I am so with you on the pet problem. I have a cat that you would think was my toddler. I know he doesn't understand it when we're gone and must wonder if he has been abandoned again. Of course someone comes in and feeds him but it's not the same.

      I'm telling you it has cut back on our travels.

      Delete
    2. We are in the same boat, petwise. We could never put Bailey in a kennel. She would come home an emotional wreck. We hire house sitters who also care for pets. It is not cheap, but it is the only way we will agree to be away from our dog (unless our youngest daughter is available to dog-sit).

      Delete
    3. Bob, you should consider Trusted Housesitters website. Those are people who come to your place and care of your pet FOR FREE so that they can travel to another part of the country or world and stay at your place for free. Definitely worth trying out; everyone I know who has tried it has loved it. There are other housesitting websites too, all coming for free.

      Delete
  10. We had planned to visit friends in Florida this year but, between Dave's knee surgery and lengthy recovery, and my arthritic hand and surgery, we've been stuck at home. I'm hoping to make up for all that asap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw the Facebook pictures of your hand after surgery. I trust you are better.

      Betty had foot surgery in February that meant to travel for several months. We had planned for it so no travel was missed. Assuming we stay healthy, next year we make up for it!

      Cape May is beautiful, but I understand getting itchy to hit the road.

      Delete
  11. I spit into a tube last year and very accidentally found my birth father. Sadly he had recently died and his children are probably not ready to speak to me. But now I know exactly where that side of my birth family lives in Ireland. So yes I’m going in the spring. Had hoped they would acknowledge me but...Am writing a book about the experience while acclimating to being a liberal Jew in the South, and more. Reviviving my very old but usually dormant blog
    My parents, the real ones—adoptive—-went to Europe twice a year and usually combined one of those trips with a more exotic one. They decided a road trip from Salzburg to Rome would be there last road trip and invited me along. My dad was 70 and my mom turned 71 on the trip. Then they continued unique tours—a safari—where my father said he finally understood the al,lure of shooting but he stuck to shooting photos. In 1991 they went to France (had been there many times) and Morocco. Several months later they were supposed to go to Indonesia but my mother “had a feeling”. My father had a stroke, fortunately in NY, but still died a few days later. I wish I could travel like they did but the times they have changed. I have been many places including the former Soviet Union where my adoptive family’s parents are from as was my birth mother’s. I’ve been to England often but was always scared of Ireland as I felt that I am. Didn’t know I have much English and Scottish DNA. Scotland is another favorite country. I began traveling to Europe by myself at 20. We lived in NY and many young people did. I realized I didn’t know the USA as well and after 9/11 airline miles took you everywhere. Not sure the love of travel is in my genes, but my parents nurtured that love,and I am very grateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a tremendous story to share, about discovering who your birth dad was, and connecting all that to Ireland and your Jewish upbringing. Maybe over time your Ireland relations will warm up a bit to you. Time will help.

      Yes, you definitely have travel in your history. Your adoptive parents set a high bar. Goodness, that is quite a list of places. Of course, you are no slacker yourself.

      Let me know when you relaunch your blog.

      Delete
  12. For every "cautionary tale" about over-spending on travel in retirement, there are twenty that tell the opposite story: No regrets about new experiences while you have the stamina. I'm off to Turkey and Portugal in several weeks, and next year I'll be on a small-boat cruise stopping at Dubrovnik, Split and other Aegean ports. Has a trip ever been a disappointment? Sure, but that's just life.

    I also believe that spending a lot to surround yourself with comfort and convenience is generally a mistake, as it insulates you from the foreign culture: You might as well watch a documentary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the blog regulars is the fellow who reminds all of us that the majority of retirees have more in their investments after 18 years of retirement. Spending when you able and have the desire should not cause a problem. I have been retired for 18 years and David is right. Our retirement accounts are healthier now than in 2001.

      Delete
    2. I do have to say - as a life long saver - it's very weird to be ok with spending more (or simply not thinking about spending). Without any family, my estate goes to 2 schools for scholarships.

      One financial planner asked me - does it matter to you if you give 200,000 or 2 million? I found that to be very interesting to consider.

      (For now at 68, I don't have to tap into retirement funds.)

      All I can say is, I'm getting more comfortable with retirement and new thoughts.

      Delete
    3. klsd, as you know, and as strange as it seems to many, it can be incredibly difficult to actually spend the money that took a lifetime of scrimping and saving to accumulate. A lifelong habit of saving for the future is not easily overcome even though at retirement you are in the future you were saving for.

      Of course anyone can waste money frivolously but I honestly believe that someone who was able to save a substantial retirement account isn't about to start spending it carelessly now. That said, at this time of life you really should enjoy the retirement you spent decades saving for.

      Sometimes I ask myself: I saved it so I could spend it enjoying my retirement and if I don't spend it then why did I save it?

      That seems to me to be a question we all should have an answer to.







      Delete
  13. My husband and I traveled to many places when he had business trips. After he retired we had plans to take trips of several weeks at a time to places on our bucket list. We each listed our top 20 destinations and prioritized them. Some domestic, some international. Then we merged the lists. I retired at 60. When my husband finally retired at 70 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's within only a few months and then dementia a year later. Although I don't think he realizes that there will no more travel, I'm very upset that we can no longer travel. I so regret not making the time earlier to do the travel that we dreamed of.

    Life is short and you never know what's coming.

    My recommendation would be to create a combined wish list and then figure out how you can do the top few without jeopardizing your future needs. Maybe one every couple of years? I don't know anything about costs, but could you rent an RV for some of the trips?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The idea of a prioritized list is a good one. Your experience with your husband's health is all too common: waiting until "tomorrow" when "tomorrow" may never come in the way you imagined.

      My wife and I have done the list exercise; there are still several on her wish list to schedule.

      Delete
  14. Hi Bob! Great minds think alike...or so I'd like to believe. At any rate I wrote something VERY similar this week on my blog too. Of course it has to do with my favorite topic "rightsizing". And as usual, it boils down to what fits us and our circumstances "rightly" for each of us. Good luck figuring out what works for you and your Betty. Sometimes just talking and exploring options is a big part of the fun. ~Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have two different personalities that have worked well together for 43+ years. Travel is a good example. She wants to have a few more European and U.K. vacations and says I must see Paris, I disagree but will likely plan on something across the ocean.

      Meanwhile, I have had a dream to see the South Pacific. She is probably not quite as interested but is "on board" (pun intended) with the cruise next year.

      Delete
  15. Hi Bob, you won't be surprised to hear that we've decided to travel now and you can be sure, sooner or later, health issues eventually forces all of us to scale back. As you said, if you want to travel and don't do it now in your early retirement years while you are still healthy then when?

    And as MagicQuilter pointed out you don't how things will turn out. Yesterday we were at a celebration of life for a friend of mine. He retired January 1st of this year in what appeared to be perfect health. In late February he received a diagnosis of brain cancer and even with aggressive treatment he passed this June. You just never know. Enjoy life while you can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, realize that if you have been prudent in your lifestyle choices, some travel is probably affordable. Your money reserves are in better shape than you might imagine (a ddavidson mantra!).

      Delete
  16. The great thing about travel in retirement, like a great many other things, is there is once again no "one size fits all" solution or answer. Yes, retirement usually frees up one's schedule, changes family obligations and so forth, but the type of travel one does to how much one travels to how much one wants to spend on it is entirely up to the individual. Like everything else in life, do what works best for you, and what brings you the most pleasure.

    For now, Brett and I have settled on the long-stay approach to traveling. While last year was sort of a whirlwind, fitting in as many destinations as we could, we've decided that we like longer stays in a place, at least a month, where we have the time to settle in to get to know a place, and time to relax. Of course, in our case, we currently don't own or have to maintain a home, or have any of the other expenses associated with home ownership, and our family is pretty spread out right now, so this works for us. We understand it wouldn't work for lots of people, just as those who travel at a quicker pace than we do wouldn't work for us. We are, as our son says, "restless people" and we've hit on a travel style that accommodates our current restlessness but allows us to see and spend time with our family throughout the year. As military retirees we have health insurance that goes with us worldwide, and an income that allows us to live this way (nothing extravagant, but it's adequate for us to live on it wherever we go using home-sharing, etc.). It works for us now.

    However, we frequently discuss the future because we know we won't be able to do this forever and that eventually we are going to want to settle somewhere. Brett turns 70 next year, and I am getting close. While we're healthy and in good shape now, we know that can and will change and how do we want to segue into that? We toss around ideas and think on them awhile, and they either get thrown out or moved to the back burner for a while - we're happy with our current model (for example, we have had long discussions about traveling around the U.S. in an RV, but have accepted we are not RV people and do not want to make an investment in an RV; we'd rather travel around in a car and stay in Airbnbs if this is a direction we go).

    There are so many ways to travel, and it's my opinion that if traveling is something you want to do you can and will find a way. We still actively save to travel because we are not those people who can whip out their checkbook whenever we want to go somewhere. We do a ton of research on destinations to learn ways to save and make that place fit into our budget while still enjoying a meaningful experience. Flying is a necessary evil for the travel we do now, but for longer flights (over four hours) we have decided we will pay for an upgrade for more legroom, and that gets added into our budget.

    Anyway, travel the way that works for you, that makes you happy, and that works for your budget, whether that's a week at a resort or living on the road for a while. If you dream about traveling, do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The travel model that you and Brett have chosen would not work for most people. But, you two have hit on a lifestyle that matches your personalities, family situation, wants, and resources. I wouldn't choose to live the way you do, but then, I don't have to. That's really your point: we each find a way of living that fulfills us.

      It has been a blast reading your blog as you travel around the world. At some point, you might consider a book. There is a market for armchair travelers who could live vicariously through what you have done. Put me down for copy #1.

      I guess I have some itches that I should scratch. Whenever I write a post like this and read the responses, I begin to dream of seeing something new.

      Delete
  17. I was blessed to be able to do a great deal of traveling in Europe becuse of hubb's overseas stations as well as other reasons. Some of that was done more luxuriously, some was done in hostels. And because we were already there, most of it was done by train and car, with the occasional flight to England and the large flights overseas.

    These days I am mainly keeping my sights on the US although I am keeping a southern cruise in mind (am I the only one who has no interest in Alaska cruises). I also have to say that I often enjoy things that are closer to the vacation definition than the travel definition. Spending a week at the beach or in Santa Fe is much more my style these days-but again, I am aware that I was able to do travel during my working years that others were not able to do. I do have a couple bucket list things in Europe (St Petersburg/Moscow and Budapest and the danube) but I'm not at all sure I'm willing to climb into an airplane at all, never mind for that long.

    I do worry on some level about the carbon footprint of flying, cruising and even driving my car cross country with only little old me. Which is why I'm looking more and more at train options. I am part of a retired travel group whose February trip is Iceland for the Northern lights, and I just put that aside-because of the cold and lack of visual guarantee. A drive along the texas coast sounds more sensible at that time of year.

    I have become much more of a nester and homebody as I age, but I recognize that my travel history prior to retirement is different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You did manage to get a good chunk of your travel "bug" satisfied earlier than many of us, so becoming more of a nester and homebody makes all the sense in the world.

      No, you are probably not the only person who doesn't want to cruise in Alaska, but you'd never know it with the crowds those trips attract. Unfortunately, climate change may take such journeys off the to-do lists of many. When we went in 2017 we saw a glacier that had shrunk tremendously in just the last few years. I can't imagine how disappointing it would be to go back in a few years and barely be able to see its leading edge.

      I found a few carbon-offset web sites that we will use when we must fly to fulfill certain dreams.

      Delete
  18. There must be something in the air! After a 2-year blogging hiatus, I just started blogging (and reading blogs) again and here we both are with travel on the brain! (Although, mine is dread, not anticipation of travel right now.) There's no place like home . . .

    ReplyDelete
  19. Well, that is great news! Your feedback and support all those years ago helped me launch this blog. Welcome back! If you are at the same spot, I'd be honored to add you back to the blogroll.

    Yes, home is a very nice place to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found your site and just added it to the blog roll. I can't wait to read your thoughts.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Bob--I'm so impressed you've kept it up all these years and created such a great retirement space on the internet!

      Delete
    3. Which one is it Bob? Looking forward to reading Retired Syd again!

      Delete
  20. I love to travel but I’m also content to be at home. Once my husband retires, in about 14 months, I know we’ll travel more. We have lots of driving trips in mind, many of which include stops in cities with baseball!! But we will definitely have to make choices as we don’t have unlimited funds!! Btw, thanks for adding me to your blog list. It’s increased my views tremendously!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad you have seen as increase in traffic. Sometimes it just takes a little exposure to help kick start a growth spurt!

      I have played with the idea of putting together some driving trips that hit minor league parks. We have lived in a few cities that have Double A ball. The stadiums are small and the fans enthusiastic. Those games were fun.

      Delete
  21. I yearn for the unknown a tad more than my spouse does, though he has happily accompanied me thus far, I do wonder if at some point I'll be exploring solo, while he happily remains at home. I hope not, but I'm also working to wrap my head around the idea that if that does occur it'll be ok.

    In the meantime, we make choices such as driving 'simple' autos, and then keeping them a minimum of 10 years, minding our household spend pretty carefully, and sticking to our overall budget, all to ensure our travel resources remain robust. It's the one area in our lives where I don't obsess over every dollar spent, because I so highly value the experiences it delivers. When I think back on our many trips, I don't think so much about what we've seen, as I do about who we've met, and the ensuing conversations we've had. It's those small random interactions and conversations that compel me to keep traveling, in they have often been life altering. And so often being strangers in a strange place, we've been shown so much random kindness over the years that it has humbled us both, more than offsetting the occasional rudeness we've also encountered. I'd like to think it's also made us better ambassadors both of the US, and the human species.

    What I see happening as we continue to age is that the style of our travels will change, but likely not the frequency of the travels. We'll likely stay a bit longer in each location, possibly cover less ground over the course of a day, do a bit more smelling of the flowers. At some point we'll begin taking our granddaughters, and that is something I'm looking forward to as well. They love to adventure, as they call it, and we can't wait to adventure with them. We've already taken them places by train, RV, and airplane, and it's been great, so much more of that in our future as well, including the RoadScholar Grandparent/Grandchild trips someone mentioned above.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adjusting to what our bodies tell us is something that affects every part of our retired life, but very much so when it involves travel. Like Mike, I find quiet contentment in home, but still look forward to our trips. Just a simple 4 day jaunt to the Grand Canyon two weeks ago was a powerful refresher for both of us. Before that we spent 3 days in Prescott with friends. Both trips were easy to pack for, not very expensive, and satisfying.

      The nearly month long cruise and time spent in New Zealand next year will be quite an experience on an entirely different scale. We have made some nice acquaintances on previous cruises. We continue to exchange emails with one English couple in particular, and yes, they are very nervous about the impact of Brexit.

      Meeting others and being both the recipient and giver of random kindness are highlights of any trip for us. Certainly at this time in history, we can have a powerful, positive impact on folks' perceptions of America.

      Delete
    2. "It's the one area in our lives where I don't obsess over every dollar spent because I so highly value the experiences it delivers." My perspective exactly, Tamara, and you nailed it with that one sentence - rather eloquently, too, I might add!

      Delete
  22. I have always wanted to travel, and did not have the opportunity to travel nearly as much as I would have liked when I was raising my kids, and because of the demands of work before I retired. Now that I have the time and can afford to travel (with careful planning of finances), there are three main things that serve as barriers. (1) Rob is is not very interested in overseas travel any more, especially to anywhere that he does not perceive as being extremely safe; (2) the carbon cost of flying for the environment (although like you, I do buy carbon offsets); and (3) my life at home is so full and fulfilling that I am not as motivated to go far away.

    Jude

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can relate. Though next year does have the New Zealand trip and 10 days in Montreal and Quebec City, I am quite content to be home. It just seems like so much work to travel long distances.

      With some new creative areas I am exploring, I have even more reasons to stay put most of the time.

      Delete

Inappropriate comments will be deleted