For retired couples, travelling locally and abroad is often high up there on the bucket list. But it could be the first time that you’ve both had the opportunity to make travel plans together as a couple without children, grandchildren or parents. Although this sounds amazing, there are definitely some matters to consider before you take off.
In the retirement years, it’s common to holiday and travel with your partner. Although you might think that a lifetime together will see your travel plans align, this isn’t always the case. Before you lock in any travel plans, be sure to talk together and share your ideas regarding where to go, what you want to see, and how you’re going to get around.
You can start this process by writing down what you both want to get out of the holiday and what each of your priorities are. Then get together and compare your wishes/ desires. It’s really a matter of compromise. For one of you, it might be all about the food and immersing yourself in the culture. For the other partner, it might be more about seeing the sights. It doesn’t matter as long as you can reach a mutual agreement on the itinerary before you take flight. It’s definitely worth it to plan ahead in order to avoid arguments and disappointments while you’re away. Your travel time should be spent having a great time creating new experiences together. With all of that being said make sure that you allow for free time in your itinerary. Sometimes it’s great to get lost in a city together and find a new experience that you would have never planned for. It’s also good to keep some free space just in case you need some alone time.
Suffice to say that many people argue over directions. Our advice is to let one person be the navigator. There’s no need for you to both stress about getting around and one navigator means nobody’s arguing about how to get somewhere. And if the navigator messes up the directions so be it. Getting lost can sometimes be a lot of fun when you’re holidaying. Besides, if you get lost, you can always find your way back. With this in mind, consider getting international roaming on your mobile phones so that you can call a taxi if you need to. If this isn’t possible though, rest assured that you can use google maps offline.
Spending is always a major focus when you’re on a retirement budget. Many of you will have joint accounts, but others won’t. This is where equal spending comes into play.
Often there’s one big spender in the relationship. But when you’re travelling, fairness does come into consideration. If you want a fancy dinner but your husband or wife wants a new leather jacket, find a way to allow for these luxuries before you leave home. Some people like to have all of the accommodation, travel, sightseeing & entertainment budgeted for from the onset. But we suggest each person having their own spending money to take with them too. That way you can get the Italian leather jacket while your partner decides to indulge at a 3 hatted restaurant (maybe on their own. Hehe!).
When we travel overseas I typically wake up to nobody lying next to me. You see, my husband has a habit of getting up at sunrise and exploring the city. He typically makes up for it by coming back with a coffee and a yummy pastry though. That’s his special alone time whereby he can go and explore the sights that he wants to see, uninterrupted. On the other hand, I love to go shopping while on holidays, and definitely by myself. But remember that safety is of the utmost importance when travelling.
These alone times mean that conflicts are avoided surrounding who wants to do what. There’s no point in dragging each other around to do things that the other one really doesn’t want to do. And you also get a little break from each other, which is handy when you’re constantly doing everything together. Then when you are together, the time spent is far more enjoyable.
Finally, remember that travelling will never run completely smooth. There’s always little hiccups, whether it’s a delayed train, a bad meal or a really rainy day. That said, be open to being flexible. Some of the best times are had when everything doesn’t go according to plan. The key is to go with the flow as much as possible and remember to relax, take in the scenery and enjoy the experiences together.
Join our network and receive exclusive offers, the latest eNews and retirement eGuides.