Three non-traditional travel options that could add some adventure to your retirement

Remember those pre-Covid halcyon days of unrestricted travel. We sure do. And although they may now seem a distant memory, we’re sure that one day they will return.

According to AARP, baby boomers were expected to take 4-5 trips during 2019. If we multiply this number over the course of a typical 20-30-year retirement, that’s an awful lot of beaches, ski resorts and bucket list landmarks getting crossed off.

Many retirees are exploring new types of travel to keep their itineraries fresh and their experiences invigorating. Here are three popular trends in retirement travel, as well as some things you should think about before clicking ‘book now’ when we can finally travel freely again.

Solo travel

No matter how healthy your marriage is, couples who don’t take the occasional break from each other often end up driving each other crazy. Both people need space to pursue passions and interests that their spouse might not share.

If you feel like you’re dragging your spouse along on a golf trip to Scotland, or if your other half just isn’t as interested in leaving their comfort zone as you are, consider ‘flying solo’.

Solo travel doesn’t necessarily mean traveling alone. Group travel packages will give you a chance to mingle with new people while also providing you with the security and structure of a set itinerary. Just make sure you’re booking with a reputable company (and are able to take care of yourself without your spouse’s constant supervision!)

Also, double-check your annual holiday budget before you book a solo trip. Make sure that doing something separately isn’t going to make it harder for you and your spouse to do something together, should you want to.

Taking it slow

A continental tour might let you see the Sagrada Familia, the Eiffel Tower and the Sistine Chapel in a week or two. But renting an apartment in Paris for a month would give you a very different and much more immersive experience.

That’s the appeal of slow travel, which is becoming more popular as services like Airbnb make it easier to find long-term lodging at affordable prices. Living like a local creates an entirely different daily routine. You’ll be more likely to venture off the beaten tourist path and really soak up local culture, maybe even learning some of the local language in the process.

This type of holiday will require a little extra forward planning. We’d recommend speaking to any friends or family who’ve spent time in your slow travel destination to make sure you’re picking a suitable neighbourhood for your stay. And while some people end up spending less on slow travel because they buy groceries instead of eating out every night, the longer you’re going to be away from home, the more money you should probably budget.

Get adventurous

Anyone who thinks of a holiday as purely about rest and relaxation should probably steer clear of adventure travel, but an African safari or a trek through Patagonia will definitely get you out of your comfort zone and prove highly fulfilling.

Adventure travel can also be as spiritually and emotionally rewarding as it is physically beneficial. Connecting with nature while you’re on a long canoe trip or observing exotic wildlife can clear your head and make you rethink your place in the world. Many adventure travellers come home with a new favourite cause that becomes part of their everyday retirement routine.

If you think you have a few retirement adventures in you, consider scheduling them earlier in your retirement when you’re likely to be healthier and more mobile.

Also, be realistic about what an “adventure” really means to you and what you’re really capable of doing. You might have missed your whitewater rafting window. But that doesn’t mean you can’t camp near the Alps and hike for a couple of hours every day.

Are you planning on racking up frequent flier miles once you retire? Are you already shopping for vintage VW Campervans? Talk to us about your travel plans. We can help you make sure your retirement plan is as ready for adventure as you are.