Tips on Reducing Travel Expenses for Seniors

Part of retirement means getting to do what you’ve always wanted to but never had the time. For many seniors, this means going to places they’ve never been or spending more time with loved ones. Although you now have the time, it may be difficult to spend money on travel when you’re on a fixed budget. Here you will find tips on using your senior discount so you can reduce travel expenses.

Always Ask for Your Senior Discount (and Don’t Forget to Shop Around!)

Whether you’re booking airfare, a cruise, a hotel, or rental car, always ask if you are eligible for a discount. Most places offer a senior discount, but they don’t always advertise it. You may also find it helpful to comparison shop between different providers. In some instances, your discount may be 5-10% where in others, it may be substantially higher.

You can take advantage of discounts or lower fares if you travel in groups or off-seasons. Traveling in groups can help you share major expenses like hotels and rental cars. You may also find it safer to travel in numbers, especially if you get lost or turned around in unfamiliar surroundings.

Travel during different times of the year will also make a significant difference in the expenses you incur. If you’re traveling during an unpopular time, like fall or winter, you will often pay a reduced rate while also experiencing fewer crowds. At the same time, you’ll likely spend more during the summer or holiday season. One important point to keep in mind is to ensure that the weather will be favorable depending on your destination.

Plan Ahead for the Best Travel Deals

In addition to asking for your senior discount as often as possible, you may find the best savings by simply planning. Rates can fluctuate greatly from time to time and usually increase as popular travel times, like summer or the holidays, approach. Purchasing accommodations ahead of time can help you avoid those price hikes.

You can use a travel planning calculator to help you keep track of expenses or try signing up with an auto or travel club to save additional money. You can also follow tips from the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Affairs to help protect you while you travel.

Check ahead for specials or coupons that motels or hotels may offer. Sometimes places will give a discount for certain months of the year. The discount could be anything from buying two nights, get one free during the week or take a percentage off your total price if you stay for a certain number of nights. All of these discounts and specials add up to real savings in your pocket.

Share Travel Expenses by Going with a Friend

Another fun way to cut costs while enjoying time away is to travel with a friend. Maybe you have a close pal who you feel comfortable staying with on vacation and one with whom you have a lot in common. This can be a fabulous way to make memories while not spending a fortune. If you decide to do this, make sure you plan things out in advance, so there are no misunderstandings when it comes time to tally up the money. You could simply keep a running total of all the expenses while traveling, then divide it evenly at the end. Or you may choose to tally up the lodging and fuel expenses, then divide that. Each person could pay for his or her own food and activities.

Take Advantage of Places that Offer Free Activities

Some places have many free activities. For example, all of the museums in Washington D.C. are free of charge. This includes:

D.C. is a fantastic place to visit as you won’t run out of inspiring things to see and do. Another option is to visit a place that is near a national park. National parks welcome visitors free of charge on certain days throughout the year. You could plan your visit around that time, if possible. Check the National Park Service website for more information.

By traveling to a location that offers a multitude of free activities, you are sure to fill your calendar with tons of fun things to do while keeping the cost to your pocketbook low. It’s a win.

Reduce Your Cost for Eating with These Tips

Vacationing is a time to relax, and you probably don’t feel like preparing much food. However, eating out every meal will add up quick. There are ways you can save money on your food costs.

For one thing, make sure you stay at a motel that offers a free breakfast in the mornings. Double check to make sure it is a full continental breakfast. Getting your morning fuel is important. Fill up as much as you can on your free breakfast without overdoing it. That way you will probably only need snacks until dinner time, at which point you could eat out. This means you will be only eating out once a day. That will sharply reduce your costs.

Now, the only way this will work out well is if you get a room equipped with the proper amenities. Then, stock your refrigerator and cupboards with the appropriate goodies. You could get snacks such as:

  • Fruit (fresh or dried)
  • Cheese sticks
  • Crackers
  • Raw veggies
  • Lunchmeat
  • Bagels or muffins
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Granola bars
  • Drinks

This will give you plenty of nutritious options in between meals and save you money in the end. You may want to buy just the right number of items so you don’t have to transport any food items back home with you.

You can be involved with all the wonderful activities you love on vacation and spend wisely. Even if you are on a fixed budget, these tips will help you fulfill your dreams of a time of relaxation and rejuvenation. Connect with us for more tips about senior care!