One of the nice things about retirement is that you have the time to travel to those places you've dreamt of. And, hopefully, you've the money to get you there and back. Nevertheless, here are some tips to help make those travel dollars go farther.
Not having to stick to your kids' vacation schedule, you can travel anytime. So you can avoid traveling during the expensive 'tourist' season. Airlines, hotels, and resorts base their prices on demand. Choose to travel 'off season' and save money.
-Airline ticket savings:
* Make your travel arrangements well in advance. Checkout the discount websites (Google 'cheap flights') for good deals. They often combine flight segments from different airlines for even lower costs.
* Always check out the round trip option to any flight you make - even if you don't intend to return using it; round trip tickets are often cheaper than the one-way ticket.
* Using connecting flights - rather than direct flights- can help you save money. Forget about the inconvenience. Remember, you're not in a rush. Make it work for you.
-Ground transportation savings:
* Some insurance and many credit cards have automatic car rental coverage for whenever you rent a car. You just have to pay with the credit card to be insured. Check yours. If so, be sure to decline the coverage the rental company's offers you - for more money.
* If you'll be traveling a lot in Europe by rail or metros, check on any multi-trip discounts. Many have passes such as a 3-day unlimited travel pass that can be a cheaper option.
* For long train rides between cities, consider taking a night train. Sleeping on the train not only saves you the cost of a hotel night, but frees up a day for sightseeing.
* Don't eat breakfast at your hotel. It's always expensive. Find an inexpensive local café and enjoy the local ambience.
* Stop into the local supermarket or grocery store to pick up snacks and fruits. Munch on those through the day. It's cheaper and healthier than expensive breaks at cafes.
* Choose one meal as your 'eating out' meal at a restaurant. Choosing it as a very early dinner or lunch, you'll save even more. Sample the local beer; it's often cheaper.
Always ask for discounts. But often you can choose to stay in a small town outside the city you'll visit. Small town hotels can offer a cheap alternative. Then use your rental care or the local transportation to travel to the big city.
Avoid the tourist traps; they're always more expensive. Go to a local pub to better observe the life and savings.