Tips on how to travel after retirement.

The consumer behavior experts at Nielsen recently found that baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – account for 80 percent of leisure travel spending in the U.S.

So how do they swing it?

Use your years

When planning your vacation, declare your age every chance you can to take advantage of senior citizen discounts. Many companies will offer flight, hotel, car rental, attractions or other discounts to people of a certain age.

“AARP isn’t the only organization offering deals,” Kimberly Palmer, senior editor for U.S. News Money, says. “For those 62 and older, the National Park Service sells $10 lifetime passes to parks, and Amtrak gives a 15 percent discount. Many cities also offer reduced-price or even free rides on public transportation systems; in Philadelphia, everyone 65 and older rides the subway, buses and trolleys free. Some airlines, including Southwest, sell a limited number of senior fares.”

Try “volun-tourism”

If you want to travel, make a difference in the world and don’t mind doing a little work, you may enjoy a volunteer vacation.

“Options range from two years in the Peace Corps to a few days spent working in the fields of an organic farm, and just about everything in between,” Michelle Ullman, writer for Investopedia, explains.

“Generally, you’ll pay a set price that covers your food and lodging during the volunteer stint, usually much less than the trip would cost otherwise.”

You’ll also have a unique opportunity to see real life in exotic locales – not just a typical guidebook experience.

Travel in groups

Many hotels, flights and cruises offer discounts and perks to people who travel in groups. Grab your friends, family or neighbors and start planning.

“For example,” Billie Cohen, travel writer for The New York Times, notes, “on the Norwegian Cruise Line, groups occupying eight rooms or more can get $30 to $50 per person off the total fare, along with a certain number of amenities.”

Swap houses

If you have a home in a popular location, you may consider signing up for a house swap service, such as homeexchange.com, with someone else in a desired spot. People who swap homes have free access to a kitchen, laundry and don’t have to pay big hotel fees, among other benefits.

Opt for an Airbnb stay

Airbnb is a company that places travelers in individuals’ homes. Take advantage of this service and stay in comfortable homes with Wi-Fi, full kitchens, clean bathrooms, cool locations and more.

Know where you stand

Take a look at all of your savings – including, cash, investments, pensions, social security and any other income – to see what you can reasonably set aside for travel.

 

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