How to Choose a Travel Destination if You are on a Budget
Travel is good both for mind and body. And if planned well, it can be very memorable, especially for seniors who are in their nostalgic stage in life.
It is fun, exciting, and educational. You get to see new places, meet and talk to different peoples, experience other cultures, traditions, and history. You get to taste different foods and learn different languages.
And traveling these days has never been so easy and cheap. In fact, in 2016, 99% of baby boomers planned to travel within the year or next, and 95% of seniors who travel each year planned to have at least one domestic travel.
With more and more people traveling each year, prices are going down among the world’s favorite travel destinations to lure more and more visitors to their shores.
The problem is where. With so many destinations to choose from, deciding where to go can be a problem. So here are some useful tips to help you decide.
1. What is the purpose of your travel?
I travel when I feel the world closing in on me; when I need to be in a non-restrictive, quiet, and peaceful place like the beach.
What about you? Why is your purpose?
The most common among seniors are: visit children, discover new places and culture, leisure and pleasure, business or simply to have a momentary peace and serenity.
Would you love to bask in sea, sand, and sun or retire to a quiet wooded place in a cabin? Is it for shopping, a walk through history and culture, or to establish business contacts?
Having a purpose in the first step in assuring you get the most out of the time and money spent.
2. Where would you want to go?
Once your travel purpose is set, then the stage is set to look for an appropriate destination to achieve your purpose – and budget.
When I travel (I travel alone), my destination is always a beach resort on a little island in the midst of a wide expanse of deep blue waters. There are unlimited choices in my country, the Philippines.
But when my daughter and her hubby ask me to tag along when they take a break from the busy schedules, their preference prevails over mine. But what do I care? I still get to travel and it’s free. LOL!
Fortunately, the places they go to do not differ so much from my personal destinations.
Either way, our destination is either from friends, magazine articles, travel site reviews, or tips from travel agencies.
You can use the same method in choosing a travel destination.
Currently, there are hundreds of budget travel destinations in southern and eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Africa and India.
3. List down your expectations:
Once you know where you are going, set your expectations by learning everything you can about the place through Google.
– Know its location relative to your home, how far is it and how long would it take to get there by your chosen mode of transportation.
– Get to know its climate and weather so you can bring along appropriate clothing. It’s not enjoyable going around in light attire when the temperature is near zero.
– Go to its Hotels page and look for places that fit your budget. Not only that, read reviews about them to avoid unpleasant experiences later on.
The last resort I stayed in had water leaking from the second floor which flooded my room. Good thing it did not land on my bed.
Check their distance from the airport or train station, and how much does it cost to get there.
Send them an email if you need more information, i.e., senior citizen discount privileges, breakfast arrangements, etc. Better be sure than sorry later on.
– Take note of nearby restaurants, fast foods, and other convenience outlets; if the locals speak English.
– List down the places you want to visit. Categorize them according to importance in case some are too far to go or difficult for your age and physical condition.
Two years ago, I hiked 400 meters up an active volcano in Camiguin Island to see the last station of the Way of the Cross carved along its side.
– Using Google map, find the location of the nearest hospital, police station, doctors or clinics just in case of emergency.
Traveling is full of surprises – pleasant and unpleasant. The above cannot and does not cover everything. That is part of the excitement of travel.
This year, I have traveled four times. Most of them were with daughter and her hubby. They were incredibly fascinating. I did a solo, a budget, three months ago and plan to do two more before the year is over.
All of them were domestic. I’ve had my fill of foreign travel when I was in the corporate world.
Regardless, to be out there is always a great experience. To be home away from home.
Please share with other seniors so they will know that travel need not be expensive. It can be done the budget way.