Many people look forward to their retirement and spending time traveling. The thought behind it is that you’ve worked really hard, earned enough money, and now have the time to do it. This may be one of the biggest errors, traveling can have great benefits in getting things in place prior to retirement.
There is a theory that waiting until you have the funds to “Travel right” is best, but that day may never come, as there are often many other responsibilities that arise and take priority. And what does it really mean anyway to “Travel right”? There are too many missed opportunities by waiting.
Is it wrong to travel on a budget? Most travel agents will say that it depends on the individual. Some might say go big or go home, or stay home, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Usually when you’re younger your fear of the unknown is less inhibited and you’re usually more willing to experiment. There are new places to see, new foods to try, new cultures to learn about, but as people get older sometimes that daring side has been tamed.
Creating a budget is your first step in determining where you can go and how long you can stay. If you can set up a credit card with a rewards program such as cash back or mileage points, that will go a long way. Changing your mindset from lodging and eating as a local as opposed to a tourist, that too will be a tremendous savings.
Generally, flexibility is a trait more common among the younger, so try planning your trip during what is considered as “off peak”.
While you’re in good health and physically fit, at least somewhat, be prepared to walk. Taxis can be an avoidable expense.
There is the lesson of “What to do with my life” that can be prompted by experiences from traveling. It is a common problem with people graduating from high school or college with little to no real direction. After high school, many students choose what is referred to as a “Gap year”. This is a time where there is real soul searching, but that can’t be successful with no life experiences. And the same for college graduates with no direction.
This is a great time to gain those life experiences that everyone talks about. The time before you become committed to a job or family. That gap year can be the best thing for those that are uncertain what to do with their life. The skills and confidence that can be gained during that time can pave the way for your choices for your future.
Travel can push your boundaries, things that you read about in school textbooks can become a reality and while you are young with plenty of stamina you can consider a volunteer program that puts you in the reality of the places you thought you learned about.
None of this is to say that there is no benefit in waiting to travel when you are older, you can potentially see the same sights but through a very different lens.