Scratching Your Travel Itch

For many of us who are retired, there are certain things (like scratching your travel itch) we want to accomplish. We’ve taken the time to put together a list. Be it mental or actually written down.

Most of the items on that list are easy to accomplish.

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It might be small projects or repairs around the house you’ve been putting off until later. Maybe there’s an organization you’ve been wanting to donate your time to, but time was something in short supply until now. Maybe you’ve been anxious to take up a new hobby or to take a deeper dive into one you already have.

For many like myself, more travel is on the list. We have places to go, things to see and experiences to have.

In recent years there have been circumstances beyond our control that have hampered our ability to travel. Some of us more than others, but we’ve all been affected. At the very least we’ve been inconvenienced. Lockdowns, travel restrictions and quarantines have been part of the issue. Recently, rising fuel prices have boosted the cost of airline tickets. If you use a motorhome to travel domestically, your trips may be shorter or less frequent. Inflation has even caused day trips to become more expensive.

So how do we cope? What can we do if our travel plans are moving beyond our grasp?

There are a few things we can do to scratch our travel itch while we prepare ourselves for an eventual return to the ability to move about more freely. It may never be the same as it once was. We need to be prepared for that bit of harsh reality. But that shouldn't stop you from planning.

Start a wish list and treat yourself to a few daydreams.

Are there places around the globe you would love to visit but figured you would never have the resources? Do some research. Get to know this place as if you were planning on it being your next destination. If you can’t get away right now. Start making plans for when you can. Plan when and where you want to visit. A good search engine and a few travel videos will get you started off on the right foot. Draw up a list of attractions you would like to experience. Figure out your expenses and plan out how you might be able to afford it. Daydreaming can be the first step toward reality. You might surprise yourself and realize your dreams are more doable than you realized.

What about your home country?

Sticking to your own country could give you a whole new appreciation of where you happen to have been planted on this world of ours. You may find it to be more relaxing since you already know the customs and understand the language.

Domestic travel should be less expensive. If you plan to travel with a travel trailer or motorhome, there are a few things you can do to reduce your travel expenses. Food would be a major savings. There are ways to save on overnight stays along the way if you don’t mind staying the night in a parking lot. Not something I recommend, but it is possible. There are also apps you can download that will show you where to find the least expensive gas in the area when you need to fill the tank. Gasbuddy comes to mind but there are others.

Diamonds in your own back yard. Day tripping is always an option.

Take a map and circle a fifty mile radius around your house and see what you can come up with. You might be surprised at the things you find. Interesting destinations that have been under your feet all along but you never paid close enough attention to until now. Where I live, hiking trails, waterfalls, museums, beautiful public gardens and many more day trip ideas are within reach.

Are there any campgrounds close to home?

Are you a camper? It may be more than a day trip but a nearby campground may be the perfect weekend destination. Locate one by a stream or a lake where you can fish or just relax in nature.

Traveling to close-to-home destinations can be a wonderful way to enjoy your retirement. Especially if you're on a fixed income that doesn't allow you to travel the world. Here are a few good reasons why you should consider close-to-home travel destinations.

It's cheaper: One of the biggest advantages of traveling to close-to-home destinations is the amount of money you can save. Think about it. No airfare. If you're traveling by car your hotel stays will be shorter or possibly non-existent if it's a day trip. The money you save can be used to enjoy more experiences later on.

It's convenient: No airports or TSA lines to hassle with. You're in control of the schedule. You decide when you hit the road, when you eat and even when you pull over at rest stops. The travel related headaches don't seem to show up because you're not being rushed or stressed.

Discover new places: Traveling close-to-home is an opportunity to discover new places you never knew existed or never took the time to explore. There's always the possibility of finding that hidden gem you'll want to keep returning to.

Enjoying the great outdoors: Close-to-home destinations will offer you plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether it's hiking or biking on newly discovered trails or simply enjoying a picnic in the countryside, you'll be able to enjoy nature and get some exercise at the same time.

Learning about Local Culture and History: Traveling to close-to-home destinations is your opportunity to learn about local culture and history in a way that's not possible when you're flying over or just passing through. You'll be able to stop and explore museums, art galleries, and historical sites. You'll gain a deeper understanding of the area and its people.

It's virtually stress free: Finally, traveling to close-to-home destinations is a stress-free way to enjoy your retirement. It may not be quite the same as long-distance travel, but you'll be able to relax and enjoy your time away without feeling rushed or stressed.

Whether you're looking to explore your local area, save money, or simply experience new things, there are many benefits to be had from exploring your close-to-home world. So, don't be afraid to pack your bag and start exploring the world around you

For some, traveling may not be easy or even possible at the moment, but if you’re still able to get out of the house you have options. Make the best of them. Add an optimistic attitude to the equation and you'll be well on your way toward your next adventure.

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