July 24


Retire in Style: How to Travel Cheap in Your Golden Years

By Harrison O'Reill

July 24, 2023

Are you dreaming of traveling the world in your retirement years but worried about the cost? Don’t let financial concerns hold you back from exploring new destinations and cultures. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can travel cheaply and still enjoy all the benefits of retirement.

One of the best ways to save money on travel is to be flexible with your plans. Consider traveling during the off-season when prices are lower, or look for last-minute deals on flights and accommodations.

You can also save money by staying in budget-friendly accommodations like hostels, Airbnb rentals, or camping sites. With a little bit of research, you can find affordable options that still offer comfort and convenience.

Planning Your Trip

When planning your trip, there are a few things you should consider to ensure you travel cheaply in retirement. Here are some sub-sections to help you plan your trip.

Choosing Your Destination

Choosing the right destination can have a significant impact on how much you spend on your trip. Consider destinations that are less popular or less touristy, as these tend to be cheaper.

You can also look for destinations that offer discounts or deals for seniors. Additionally, consider destinations that are closer to home, as airfare can be a significant expense.

Traveling During Off-Peak Seasons

Traveling during off-peak seasons can save you a lot of money. Not only are flights and accommodations cheaper, but you can also avoid crowds and long lines. Off-peak seasons vary depending on the destination, so make sure to do your research and plan accordingly.

Other tips to help you travel cheaply in retirement include:

  • Using travel rewards credit cards to earn points and miles
  • Booking flights and accommodations in advance
  • Taking advantage of senior discounts
  • Staying in hostels or vacation rentals instead of hotels
  • Using public transportation instead of taxis or rental cars

By following these tips and planning your trip carefully, you can travel cheaply in retirement and make the most of your budget.


By following these tips, you can save money on transportation during your retirement travels.

Flying on a Budget

When it comes to traveling by air, there are several ways to save money. First, consider flying on a budget airline. These airlines often have lower fares than their larger counterparts but may charge extra fees for things like checked baggage or seat selection.

Be sure to read the fine print before booking. Another option is to be flexible with your travel dates and times. Flying mid-week or during off-peak hours can often result in lower fares. Finally, consider signing up for airline rewards programs to earn points or miles that can be redeemed for future flights.

Taking Advantage of Public Transportation

Public transportation can be a cost-effective way to get around during your travels. Many cities have comprehensive public transportation systems that include buses, trains, and subways.

Look into purchasing a multi-day pass or a reloadable card to save money on fares. Additionally, consider walking or biking to your destination if it is within a reasonable distance. This not only saves money but also provides an opportunity to explore the area on foot.


Renting a Car

If you plan to rent a car during your travels, be sure to shop around for the best rates. Consider renting from a location away from the airport, as these locations often have lower rates.

Also, be sure to read the rental agreement carefully to understand any additional fees or charges that may apply. Finally, consider renting a fuel-efficient car to save money on gas during your travels, preferably a diesel.


Staying in hostels or vacation rentals and earning rewards points for free stays are two great ways to save money on accommodations during your retirement travels. Make sure to do your research and choose the option that works best for your travel style and budget.

Staying in Hostels or Vacation Rentals

When it comes to finding affordable accommodations during your retirement travels, staying in hostels or vacation rentals can be a great option.

Hostels offer shared rooms or private rooms at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels. Vacation rentals, such as Airbnb or VRBO, allow you to rent out someone’s home or apartment for a short period of time, often at a lower cost than a hotel room.

Hostels are a great option if you are comfortable with sharing a room with other travelers. They often offer communal areas, such as kitchens and lounges, where you can meet other travelers and save money on meals.

Vacation rentals are a good choice if you prefer more privacy and space. They often come with amenities such as a kitchen, washer and dryer, and free Wi-Fi.

Earning Rewards Points for Free Stays

Another way to save money on accommodations during your retirement travels is to earn rewards points through credit card sign-up bonuses and loyalty programs.

Many hotels offer loyalty programs that allow you to earn points for every stay, which can be redeemed for free nights. Some credit cards also offer sign-up bonuses that can be redeemed for free hotel stays.

Before signing up for a credit card or loyalty program, make sure to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions. Some programs may require a minimum spend or have blackout dates for redeeming points.

Food and Activities

Eating like a local and finding free or cheap activities are great ways to save money while traveling in retirement.

By exploring local cuisine and taking advantage of free or discounted activities, you can stretch your retirement budget further and make the most of your travels.

Eating Like a Local

When traveling in retirement, eating like a local is a great way to save money and experience new cultures. Avoiding touristy restaurants and opting for street food or local markets can be a great way to save money while still enjoying delicious and authentic cuisine.

Additionally, consider cooking some of your own meals if you have access to a kitchen, as this can be a great way to save even more money.

Finding Free or Cheap Activities

There are plenty of free or cheap activities to do while traveling in retirement. Consider visiting local parks or museums, attending free concerts or festivals, or taking a self-guided walking tour of the city.


Additionally, look for discounts or deals on popular attractions, such as senior discounts or group rates. Finally, consider taking advantage of public transportation, as this can be a great way to save money while still seeing the sights.


In conclusion, traveling cheaply in retirement is possible with some planning and creativity. By using the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can save money on transportation, accommodation, and food while still enjoying your travels.

One of the most important things you can do is to be flexible with your travel plans. This means being open to traveling during off-peak seasons, taking advantage of last-minute deals, and being willing to adjust your itinerary as needed.

Another key strategy is to take advantage of loyalty programs and discounts. This includes signing up for airline and hotel rewards programs, using senior discounts, and using credit card rewards to pay for travel expenses.

Finally, consider alternative accommodations such as house-sitting, home exchanges, or camping. These options can save you money while also providing a unique and memorable travel experience.

Overall, traveling cheaply in retirement requires a bit of effort and planning, but it can be a rewarding and fulfilling way to spend your golden years. So go out there and explore the world without breaking the bank!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about this topic.

Can I really travel cheaply in retirement?

Yes, you can! There are many ways to save money when traveling in retirement. For example, you can travel during the off-season, use travel rewards points, and stay in budget accommodations like hostels or Airbnb.

You can also save money by cooking your own meals instead of eating out and by using public transportation instead of taxis or rental cars.

How can I find cheap flights?

There are several ways to find cheap flights. First, be flexible with your travel dates and times. Flights on weekdays are often cheaper than flights on weekends. Second, use travel rewards points to book flights.

Third, use flight comparison websites like Kayak or Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights available. Finally, consider flying with budget airlines like Spirit or Frontier, which often have lower fares than major airlines.

What are some affordable destinations for retirees?

There are many affordable destinations for retirees. Some popular options include Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, and Portugal.

These countries offer a lower cost of living, which means you can stretch your retirement savings further. Additionally, they have plenty of cultural attractions, natural beauty, and delicious food to explore.

How can I save money on accommodations?

There are several ways to save money on accommodations. First, consider staying in budget accommodations like hostels or Airbnbs. These options are often cheaper than hotels and offer more flexibility.

Second, use travel rewards points to book hotel stays. Third, consider house-sitting or pet-sitting for someone in exchange for free accommodations. Finally, look for deals and discounts online before booking your accommodations.

You might also like