Tips for Travel Planning in Retirement

2 minute read

Travel is at the top of many retiree’s bucket list. But there are two factors that weigh heavily when it comes to planning a vacation: time and budget. Upon retiring, the first hurdle disappears and experts say, with preparation, the second one can, too.

“One of the biggest barriers to traveling is the expense,” notes Samantha Brown, travel host and executive producer of “Places to Love” on PBS. “If a retiree is relying solely on Social Security benefits, they might not feel comfortable traveling and meeting their monthly expenses.”

Brown has more than 20 years of experience reporting on vacation destinations and travel trends under her belt. To call her an expert is a bit of an understatement. So far, she has logged some serious miles, visiting over 250 cities in 62 countries and 40 of the United States. She says while travel has changed a lot in the face of COVID-19, it remains a high priority for Americans. According to a recent study by the AARP, almost 99% of baby boomers want to travel in retirement. More than half of those surveyed (54%) were actively selecting destinations, booking accommodations, and scrutinizing COVID-19 safety protocols.

“As an older individual, you want to be comfortable, both physically and financially,” says Brown. “It’s important to consider things such as the accommodations you’ll be staying in, how you plan to get around your locations, your medical expenses, and how you will pay for these adventures while no longer working.”

WATCH Your Money Map: Traveling in Retirement

Samantha Brown, travel host and executive producer of “Place to Love” on PBS, joined Jean Chatzky on Your Money Map to discuss traveling in retirement on October 20, 2021.

Brown has these tips for the next generation of retirees:

Planning Your Itinerary:

  • Review the most updated local mask and vaccine rules and regulations at your destination and ensure that you’re comfortable with complying.
  • Ask about accessibility wherever you’re staying, ensuring there are elevators, handicap accessible bathrooms, or any other accommodations you may need for a comfortably stay.
  • Travel insurance is often more expensive for senior travelers but depending on your current health insurance coverage and how long you plan to travel, it might be worth looking into as medical expenses are one of the largest for retirees.

Forecasting the Finances:

  • Work with a financial professional to determine how travel fits into your retirement finances.
  • Figure out what your Retirement Income Security Evaluation (RISE) Score® is. It’s a measure of income security that helps determine potential gaps between the protected retirement income you can count on and monthly expenses.
  • With that knowledge in hand, get a firm grasp on your monthly budget. Knowing how much you need to cover your basic expenses will allow you to start setting aside allocated travel money and get started planning your itinerary for the upcoming year.

Enjoy the freedom and peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve got your “must-have money” taken care of. And help ensure your best friends can join you on your next adventure by spreading the word about the free tools, tips, and information available on

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