• 29 July 2022

As we get older, we tend to get stuck in our ways. While home comforts are great, there’s a whole world out there to explore! Travel can help you feel “young at heart” by opening your mind to new experiences, places and cultures. At Expat Explore, we’re firm believers that it is never too late to travel. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide for budget senior travel! It features our top tips for travelling safely, conveniently and affordably as an older traveller.

Take a look at our top five budget and travel tips for senior travellers below:

Tip 1: Travel during shoulder season

Older couple walking through colourful Europe street budget senior travel
Quiet streets and gorgeous scenery are just a few reasons why you should travel during shoulder season.

One of the best things about travelling when you’re older and/or retired is that you can travel whenever you like! No longer constrained by working hours and annual leave, there is no real need to travel during peak season. Travelling during shoulder season means fewer crowds and far more affordable accommodation and flights. Cooler temperatures make walking conditions more comfortable and you’ll be at less risk of dehydration and sunburn. 

Shoulder season is also a beautiful time of year for senior travel! From spring flowers to autumn leaves, there is so much to see when travelling during the off-season. 

Tip 2: Buy travel insurance

Research travel insurance online before trip budget senior travel
Travel insurance offers protection against a multitude of travel mishaps and eventualities. 

There’s no beating around the bush, travel insurance is an absolute necessity. Accidents and illnesses happen, it’s a fact of life and this is especially true as we get older. At Expat Explore, we require proof of travel insurance in order to book one of our tours and many embassies will require this proof before issuing a visa for travel. 

The insurance package will protect you from unplanned expenses such as flight cancellations, medical attention or loss of belongings. These occurrences can be annoying at best and traumatic at worst, even costing you thousands in unexpected bills if you’re not protected with insurance! Research various insurance options beforehand and find a plan that best suits your needs and budget. If you have some form of medical aid, check with your provider beforehand – you may already be covered!

Travel tip: Get to know more about travel insurance with this helpful guide

Tip 3: Take advantage of senior discounts and free activities

Older couple enjoy a meal with wine budget senior travel
From free activities to meal deals, there are plenty of ways to save money while travelling!

While certain tourist attractions in Europe reserve senior discounts for European citizens, many major attractions offer discounts to senior travellers too! Even some events such as concerts or festivals offer discounts for older attendees. If you don’t see any signs indicating discounts, just ask! Make sure you have some form of identification with you (you should have this at all times anyway) and present it at the ticket counter. Train and bus tickets are also usually discounted for senior travel which makes getting around very convenient and affordable. In every country or city, there are so many fun and free things to enjoy. Look these up beforehand or just ask around once you get there! You never know what you may find.

At mealtimes, a general rule is to always avoid tourist spots. Restaurants around famous landmarks will always be more expensive and usually not as good as the places where the locals eat! When booking hotels, keep a lookout for hotels that include breakfast as this will save money and time. You can also have a look out for early bird dinner specials and other meal deals too! 

Tip 4: Pack light

Older couple packing for a trip budget senior travel
Keep your bags as light as possible for comfort and convenience

There is nothing worse than lugging a heavy bag around! It’s painful, inconvenient and, honestly, unnecessary. Not to mention that if your bag is overweight, your airline could make you pay a hefty additional fee! Pack only what you need and avoid packing multiple heavy items such as bulky jackets or too many shoes. You should always pack less than you think you need and go with enough space left in your bag for souvenirs or gifts for the kids and grandchildren! Many hotels and cities have good quality laundry facilities available helping the effort to pack less. Unless you’re going to a desert island, remember that if you’ve forgotten to pack anything, you can always buy it at your destination. Make sure that important items such as medication and passports are packed in your hand luggage and kept close at all times. 

For more stress-free packing tips, have a look at this useful packing guide that our Expat Explore experts have put together! 

Tip 5: Book an all-inclusive tour

Group of older travellers posing on a beach budget senior travel
Enjoy the convenience and fun of a group tour!

Planning a trip can be incredibly stressful and costs tend to add up quickly! It can be tough to figure out how to get around, which sights to see and which to skip and how to budget effectively. Booking an all-inclusive tour puts all of these difficult decisions into the hands of experts! Experienced tour guides will give you all the information you need along with a carefully planned itinerary featuring top attractions, hidden gems and even free time to relax and explore at your own pace. 

When you book a group tour with Expat Explore, we take most of that stress away and reduce costs significantly by including accommodation, guided tours, transportation between destinations and some meals in the tour price. If you are travelling alone, group tours will make sure that you always feel safe and never feel lonely or bored. Our tours are designed for all ages and many of our most loyal return travellers are seniors! 

Related: It really is never too late to travel! Read all about Sylvia, our 93-year old adventurer!

Are you ready to start planning your next senior travel adventure with Expat Explore? Have a look at some of our group tours around Europe or why not explore exotic destinations in South America or Asia? The choice is yours! 

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