Plan my retirement travel for me!

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JBTX
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Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by JBTX »

I’m 60. Recently retired. I’ve only ever been to Australia and New Zealand outside of the US and both were in the 90s, and also Canada for work but that doesn’t really count.

My spouse works, so she probably wouldn’t be able to go. I could take my young adult daughter on some trips, or my young adult disabled son. My son would enjoy traveling but he isn’t high energy or a big walker so those would be sedentary type trips. Some trips would be by myself.

I figure if I want to travel it’s kind of sit or get off the pot scenario. I’m not getting any younger.

I’m in pretty good physical shape and could walk or hike decent distances, but I’m not really a camper type and not likely to go on wilderness hikes on my own. I don’t have to stay in high end places but would rather avoid hostels, especially at my age.

I could see going one 3 or 4 trips per year, 2-3 weeks. I’d probably target a travel budget of $20k-$25k per year, give or take, perhaps that’s not realistic. I have no idea. If more than that I’d probably do less trips instead of going over that amount.

Would love to see much of Europe and UK, also Japan. NZ and Australia again would be nice. I’d probably want a bit more experience before heading to places a bit more exotic than that. Would prefer going to places not in the middle of the most crowded tourist seasons.

I’d be originating out of DFW Tx.

Given those parameters, what would you recommend over the next several years ?
123
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by 123 »

To get into travel mode going on a cruise or two can get you started. Pick an area you're interested in. It's not unusual for a retired cruiser to travel with an adult child as a companion.
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the_wiki
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by the_wiki »

Japan should be on any bucket list.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Sign up for Facebook/instagram groups for places you are interested in. Can provide good inspiration.

My advice: just get started. 2-3 week trips at bargain rates, perhaps 5-10k per trip. Enjoy the travel
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AlaskaTeach
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by AlaskaTeach »

Have you been to all 50 states yet?

I am currently living in Alaska and have been to Hawaii, and have a goal of seeing all 50 states. In the summer of 24, I plan to fly from San Antonio TX to the N.Y. area, rent a car and spend several nights at my sons apartment in Connecticut. He is a Navy man. I will see all of the Northeastern states I have yet to see and then go west to Penn., Michigan and then down to Kentucky.

From there I plan to fly or ride the train to South Carolina and then Georgia. That will complete all states east of the Miss. river.

Then in the summer of 25 I plan to hit the rest of the western states I have remaining, and finish my adventure by visiting the "best for last" and that means saving North Dakota as the last state. When you do that, you can get your picture taken, get a free t-shirt and become a member of the best for last club.

I think this is an awesome plan. I don't have any desire to go to foreign countries at this point, but that might happen years from now.
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22twain
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by 22twain »

Do you have any hobbies or interests that you could organize at least some of your travel around?

Railroad buffs travel to ride trains, chase trains (take pictures of them "in the wild"), visit railroad museums, etc.

Stamp collectors travel to big stamp shows. Similarly for coin collectors. We know a couple who travel to Arizona every year for a big rock/gemstone/jewelry event.

Some baseball fans aim to see a game at every MLB park. Some even "collect" minor league parks. There are probably football fans who do the same thing with NFL stadiums.

Then there's travel to concerts: rock, classical, opera... depending on your tastes.

You can combine any of these with general sightseeing either at the destinations or along the way if you make a road trip out of it.

When I was a kid, at least half of our summer vacation trips were organized around my father's WWII army company reunions.
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JBTX
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by JBTX »

AlaskaTeach wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 12:28 am Have you been to all 50 states yet?

I am currently living in Alaska and have been to Hawaii, and have a goal of seeing all 50 states. In the summer of 24, I plan to fly from San Antonio TX to the N.Y. area, rent a car and spend several nights at my sons apartment in Connecticut. He is a Navy man. I will see all of the Northeastern states I have yet to see and then go west to Penn., Michigan and then down to Kentucky.

From there I plan to fly or ride the train to South Carolina and then Georgia. That will complete all states east of the Miss. river.

Then in the summer of 25 I plan to hit the rest of the western states I have remaining, and finish my adventure by visiting the "best for last" and that means saving North Dakota as the last state. When you do that, you can get your picture taken, get a free t-shirt and become a member of the best for last club.

I think this is an awesome plan. I don't have any desire to go to foreign countries at this point, but that might happen years from now.
I have been to all except Alaska, Hawaii (excluding a late night airport connection to Australia) and a couple of New England states…and WV. I’d certainly like to do more but I’d like to get the international ball rolling first.

I will avoid spending the whole summer in TX ever again. If not out of the country, then preferably the West coast which we did this summer. The prior fall made a NE trip.
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Watty
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by Watty »

I did solo travel when I was in my 20s and I had a good time and I found that when I was traveling by myself that I tended to talk and meet more people than when I am traveling with my wife.

After I retired I also have taken some road trips in the US without my wife and she then flew and met me somewhere and that worked well.

Solo travel is not for everyone though and now that I am retired I would be cautious about doing any big trips by myself since when you are alone you do not have anyone to help you if something happens like you get sick. You might want to start out with an organized tour for your first trip or two.

My wife and I did do one domestic Road Scholar program and we had a good time with that and there were several people who were solo travelers who were doing that. Some of their less active trips may have people on it who are a lot older than you so you might want to try the more active trips if you are up for that.

https://www.roadscholar.org/

I am interested in photography and after I retired I took a six week photography class at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Montana by myself because my wife did not want to take it and I had a good time. I live about 2,000 miles away so I did about a two week solo road trip out there which was fun. My wife flew out for the last week then the we took about two weeks to drive back together. Most of the class was pretty intermediate so you really did not need to know a lot before you went there. If you are already pretty experienced with photography a lot of it may be more of a review but you could work at your own level and some of the topics will likely be new to you. It was best to have a car there so driving out there would be preferable but some people flew out and got by without cars.

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JBTX wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:20 pm I don’t have to stay in high end places but would rather avoid hostels, especially at my age.
It would be good to keep an open mind on this since hostels have changed a lot over the years and they may not be what you envision.

If you are not traveling during a peak season you usually do not need to have reservations more than a day or two in advance so you could give a couple of hostels a try before you decide to avoid them.

We still occasionally use hostels in some places and you can usually find one where you can get a private room usually with a bath in the room. It may be pretty basic compared to a hotel or B&B but if your read the reviews they can be fine and for a solo traveler a big advantage of hostels is that you can meet people in the common rooms and kitchen. You do need to read the reviews carefully since they will vary a lot and there is no way that we would stay in a bunkbeds dorm room now. You might not want to use a hostel when the colleges and schools or out but at other times of year a lot of older people use hostels now and we have even met people in their 80s in hostels. It was a while back but we mainly stayed in hostels when doing a tour of Ireland and we had a great time doing that and we were in our 50s then a usually most of the people were older than us.

You do need to be more cautious in urban areas since the hostel so I would start out with trying a hostel or two outside the urban area. Just before the pandemic though we stayed in a carefully selected hostel for several nights in Sydney Australia because the hotels downtown were so expensive and while it was basic it was clean and fine and it was in a very good location and we had a private room. Usually were were out and about and just slept there so we did not need anything fancy.
jadec
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by jadec »

From DFW you are well-positioned for Central and South America. I just spent 7 weeks solo in Colombia and highly recommend it - very biodiverse, culturally diverse, options for hiking at various intensities. Other options would be Ecuador or Peru, similarly diverse in landscape and similar hiking. Some great archaeological sites in Colombia and Peru as well.
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by neilpilot »

We've been able to reduce our travel cost in retirement by arranging free accommodations in exchange for agreeing to house-and-pet sit. We've dome this several dozen times, including 6 house sits this year. While we also travel conventionally, house sitting has been a large component of our plans to travel 1-2 weeks monthly. There are thousands of listing on the UK based website we use, including many in the UK, Australia and the USA.

viewtopic.php?p=7221397&hilit=house+sit#p7221397
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bhwabeck3533
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by bhwabeck3533 »

JBTX wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:20 pm I’m in pretty good physical shape and could walk or hike decent distances, but I’m not really a camper type and not likely to go on wilderness hikes on my own. I don’t have to stay in high end places but would rather avoid hostels, especially at my age.

Given those parameters, what would you recommend over the next several years ?
My wife and I have done two "legs" of the Camino de Santiago (Spain and France). We also enjoyed the hiking in the Dolomites (Italy). All three of these meet your requirements, I believe you would enjoy all of them. Feel free to PM me for specifics.
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by niagara_guy »

I have been down under 3 times, last time in 2019 for a month, I am a big fan of Australia, I planned all 3 trips myself (much easier now than in 1993 when I didn't have web access). Have taken both big trains (Indian Pacific and The Ghan). I booked the train rides, plane trips and the car rentals ahead of time and for the most part just found a motel/hotel for the night. Australia is a great country with great people.

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racy
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by racy »

Look into Viking river cruises: adults only, fewer people than cruise ships, great food and drink. Lots optional excursions, i.e.: biking, kayaking, hiking, etc.
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by jebmke »

You have to decide why you travel. Some people do it to see sites, some to explore history, some to eat and drink, some to connect with local people. A lot of people hit the obvious places and stay in cities. Others get out of cities to remote places where nobody is.

I traveled heavily most of my adult life pre-retirement so much less now. Over time, I found that I preferred not to plan a lot of it and make decisions on the fly. My wife was a bit skeptical about this approach but learned to like it. When we lived in Europe, we would often leave home for a couple of weeks with only our first destination planned.
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Rams2go
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by Rams2go »

While I have not hiked the Camino de Santiago, I do follow a website in preparation for it. Consider this journey.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by Sandtrap »

JBTX wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:20 pm I’m 60. Recently retired. I’ve only ever been to Australia and New Zealand outside of the US and both were in the 90s, and also Canada for work but that doesn’t really count.

My spouse works, so she probably wouldn’t be able to go. I could take my young adult daughter on some trips, or my young adult disabled son. My son would enjoy traveling but he isn’t high energy or a big walker so those would be sedentary type trips. Some trips would be by myself.

I figure if I want to travel it’s kind of sit or get off the pot scenario. I’m not getting any younger.

I’m in pretty good physical shape and could walk or hike decent distances, but I’m not really a camper type and not likely to go on wilderness hikes on my own. I don’t have to stay in high end places but would rather avoid hostels, especially at my age.

I could see going one 3 or 4 trips per year, 2-3 weeks. I’d probably target a travel budget of $20k-$25k per year, give or take, perhaps that’s not realistic. I have no idea. If more than that I’d probably do less trips instead of going over that amount.

Would love to see much of Europe and UK, also Japan. NZ and Australia again would be nice. I’d probably want a bit more experience before heading to places a bit more exotic than that. Would prefer going to places not in the middle of the most crowded tourist seasons.

I’d be originating out of DFW Tx.

Given those parameters, what would you recommend over the next several years ?
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bad1bill
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by bad1bill »

I'm 72 and retired 2 years ago. I LOVE to travel by myself, with wife or with friend, it doesn't matter. I do prefer to travel with a companion but that shouldn't stop you.

The beauty with retirement is you can take advantage of so many places in off times. I'm looking at going to Europe (alone)to ski in mid-January as the plane tickets are $600 as opposed to $1200. Europe is so much cheaper to ski than here in the States. And they are having a great early snow season.

We've been all over the world and I can't recommend any place over the other. THis time of year (winter), I'd go to Mexico or South America to start as they are close. Peru and Columbia are 2 awesome spots but I want to go back to Chile and Argentina. Been to Galapagos Ecuador etc. Or Vietnam/Cambodia are fabulous places that are warm.

Stay off the beaten path; it's cheaper and more enjoyable. That said, London, Paris, Madrid, Prague and any major European city (while very expensive) are highlights that all world travelers should visit.

I bike and ski and golf. Hopefully you have a hobby that you can follow (as a previous poster suggested). I did a trip to Wales last May for golf with buddies that was incredibly cheap. $40 per day for golf and lodging was about $60 a day. DId a trip to mountain bike in Portugal 2 years ago that was also incredibly cheap. Lisbon and Porto are fantastic cities (see above).

The web is a great place for ideas on where to stay and what to do; use it extensively. Google is your friend (usually; get multiple recommendations from differing sites).

Be open and talk to people. Try to speak a few words of the language of the country you are in. English is the universal tongue these days so that makes it easy. Be kind and thankful wherever you go. You're lucky to be able to do this....JUST DO IT!
THY4373
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by THY4373 »

It would help to know what sort of interests or activities you have. I am not quite retired yet but post divorce when I was granted the privilege of reinventing myself in middle-age I decided one of my goals was to see as much of the world as possible and see the far flung places I had only read about. I have been to 55 countries and counting with 35+ since my divorce in 2017. My interests are history (especially ancient history), architecture, hiking and the natural world. I prefer to largely do self-travel (i.e., I manage everything) though in some countries where logistics are complicated I'll hire my own private car and driver. I don't do cruises (though will likely do Antarctica, Galapagos, and French Polynesia at some point).

Some of the highlights of my travels:

Temples of Cambodia
Egypt with a focus on ancient Egyptian sites
Easter Island (especially the hike across the unpopulated north side of island)
Through hiking Hadiran's Wall path in UK
A week of hiking on an off the beaten path Greek island
A week on the Norwegian arctic archipelago of Svalbard
Jordan including Petra but many other things as well.

Of course the usual European capitals and major cities though often slammed with tourists are always great. Japan was awesome as well. One advantage you have has a retiree is you can travel off-season or shoulder season. This is great for hitting more popular places when they may be a little less crowded.
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by pizzy »

1. Italy
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Topic Author
JBTX
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by JBTX »

Thanks to all for the ideas so far!
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lthenderson
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by lthenderson »

JBTX wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:20 pm Given those parameters, what would you recommend over the next several years ?
Many flight aggregating sites have deals to various destinations. If I were in your shoes, I think I would scroll through the deals, pick one that appeals to me, and run with it. As you gain travel experience, you may then decide more specifically the areas you want to either return to or fill a blank spot in your mental map.
bendix
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by bendix »

There are things you can do pretty much ad-hoc and some others do require a decent bit of planning. Being retired means you can fly whenever you want and go to places when flights are cheap (even though that isnt easy leaving from DFW). I would get myself comfortable with Google Flights and once a week maybe scan for destinations that I care for. Sometimes you can get really low cost flights to far away places. Check Tripadvisor for their "things to do" section.

Personally, I enjoyed travelling the US a lot and Hawaii and Maine were probably my favorites. Canada also has a few places that are great, like BC or the Canadian Rockies.

Think about Asia, especially if you´ve never been there. I`d start with Singapore, which is maybe the most Western place to get acclimated, and move on to Hong Kong. Japan is AWESOME and I am a fan, but also Thailand is great. If you´re really into an adventure go to China and venture into cities other than Beijing or Shanghai (which are great) and dare towards places like XI'an or Chengdu or Hangzhou. For me either Vietnam or Philippines are next on the list :)

Think about Europe, especially if you´ve never been there. London is a must see and so are Paris and Vienna. Dresden is awesome and so are countless places in Switzerland, e.g. Lucerne or Bern. French Rivera is a must. Copenhagen is great and the list can go on...

GO out and do it. Dont wait.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by JupiterJones »

JBTX wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:20 pm Would love to see much of Europe and UK, also Japan. NZ and Australia again would be nice. I’d probably want a bit more experience before heading to places a bit more exotic than that.
Similar to a great tip from Rick Steves for people new-ish to European travel: When planning your itinerary or a series of vacations, start in the northwest (as in the UK), then proceed roughly south/southeasterly to places like Spain/France/Germany/Italy, and then further into Eastern Europe (Poland, Greece, former Yugoslavian countries, etc.) This takes you from most-to-least "America-like" and eases you into the culture shock. :-)

And speaking of Rick Steves, my recommendation would be to watch a bunch of his shows if you haven't already. There are also travels shows by Samantha Brown and others that are pretty good, but I think Rick's shows focus less on "here's a TV personality enjoying themselves doing things" and more on "here's a TV personality informing you about enjoyable things you can do one day, and how to best do them". Some of the destinations shown will really inspire you to go there, I bet. And his general travel tips are excellent (spoiler alert: travel light!)

My personal fave city over there so far is Vienna. It's like everything great about Europe--from a tourist perspective at least--got packed into one city (history, art, music, wine, architecture, etc.).

My vote for best under-the-radar destination is Ljubljana, Slovenia. Most drop-dead gorgeous is the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland, hands-down.

You've probably been married long enough to know this already, but finally... get a sense of where your wife would really like to go someday and do not go there first without her. :D
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avburns
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by avburns »

I'd suggest starting with some Euro adventures. Maybe hit up Italy or France – plenty of history, good food, and not too crazy on the walking front. Japan's a unique experience too, and you can mix in some urban exploration with cultural vibes. For a chill vibe, consider NZ or Australia again, since you've been there before. And hey, don't rush it. 3-4 trips a year for 2-3 weeks each? That's a sweet setup.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

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bad1bill wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 8:39 am ...

We've been all over the world and I can't recommend any place over the other. THis time of year (winter), I'd go to Mexico or South America to start as they are close. Peru and Columbia are 2 awesome spots but I want to go back to Chile and Argentina. Been to Galapagos Ecuador etc. Or Vietnam/Cambodia are fabulous places that are warm.

Stay off the beaten path; it's cheaper and more enjoyable.

....
Agree with this. We travel 6 months of the year m/l, since retiring in 2017. DW plans and books things. Hiking/driving/exploring in Patagonia was fantastic, and driving around Colombia was very nice. Peru, we did cheap--bus travel and, apart from Lima, inexpensive lodgings. Uruguay is worth looking into. DW loved Rapa Nui/Easter_Island, but to me it was interesting, but not earthshattering.

As someone else said, we don't cruise--but did one of three weeks to Falklands/South_Georgia/Antarctica before our Patagonia travel. That was really neat. two weeks exploring the Galapagos on a 16 passenger boat was well worth doing--we recommend it to North Americans over African Safari; differently cool, and easier to get to.

Indonesia and Malaysia were also quite interesting--but lots of travel to get there if you are just doing 2 or 3 weeks.

DW has a personal photo-filled blog for each of our trips. If interested, let me know. Maybe some ideas in there.
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Barkingsparrow
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by Barkingsparrow »

niagara_guy wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 6:41 am I have been down under 3 times, last time in 2019 for a month, I am a big fan of Australia, I planned all 3 trips myself (much easier now than in 1993 when I didn't have web access). Have taken both big trains (Indian Pacific and The Ghan). I booked the train rides, plane trips and the car rentals ahead of time and for the most part just found a motel/hotel for the night. Australia is a great country with great people.

PM me for more info.
Ditto. I was in Australia earlier this year. We went to Sydney, Uluru, and the Daintree Rain Forest. We are planning a return trip. I enjoyed Sydney much more than any other large city I've visited (NYC, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto, Orlando, etc). And Uluru had this timeless magic unlike anywhere else I've been.
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calmaniac
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by calmaniac »

HF Holidays is a UK based travel company, very much mid-rate. They offer tours all over Europe.

Their hiking trips are usually housed at a single hotel or country house, with day hiking trips. The total group size is ≈20 people, and for each day's hike the larger group splits into 2-3 groups with hikes of differing difficulty. Family style meals with nightly group social activities. Age range from 30's through 70's, mix of singles, couples, sometimes families, mostly British.

We've done 4 of their trips. Highlights were the Dolomites and Scottish Highlands hiking trips.
Last edited by calmaniac on Fri Dec 08, 2023 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by JDCarpenter »

I neglected to mention Iceland on my first response. Very easy to get too, no language barrier to speak of, easy driving, GREAT hiking, and awesome landscapes. We did a month driving and hiking and could have used another few days to get everything in. Only problem is that it probably is getting crowded again during summer now that pandemic travel slump is over.
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talzara
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by talzara »

JBTX wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:20 pm I’m in pretty good physical shape and could walk or hike decent distances, but I’m not really a camper type and not likely to go on wilderness hikes on my own. I don’t have to stay in high end places but would rather avoid hostels, especially at my age.

I could see going one 3 or 4 trips per year, 2-3 weeks. I’d probably target a travel budget of $20k-$25k per year, give or take, perhaps that’s not realistic. I have no idea. If more than that I’d probably do less trips instead of going over that amount.

Would love to see much of Europe and UK, also Japan. NZ and Australia again would be nice. I’d probably want a bit more experience before heading to places a bit more exotic than that. Would prefer going to places not in the middle of the most crowded tourist seasons.
You don't have to stay in hostels when you have $6,000 for a 2-week trip. That is enough to stay in 4-star hotels and 2-bedroom apartments. Most of Europe is inexpensive by American standards, especially if you visit in the off season or shoulder season. Switzerland is expensive, but even London is inexpensive compared to New York City.

Independent travel costs much less than guided tours. Your money goes a lot farther when you book your own travel.
talzara
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by talzara »

JupiterJones wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 9:53 am And speaking of Rick Steves, my recommendation would be to watch a bunch of his shows if you haven't already. There are also travels shows by Samantha Brown and others that are pretty good, but I think Rick's shows focus less on "here's a TV personality enjoying themselves doing things" and more on "here's a TV personality informing you about enjoyable things you can do one day, and how to best do them". Some of the destinations shown will really inspire you to go there, I bet. And his general travel tips are excellent (spoiler alert: travel light!)
Rick Steves also has pre-designed itineraries for independent travel. For example, here are the recommended itineraries for Italy: https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/italy/itinerary
JupiterJones wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 9:53 am You've probably been married long enough to know this already, but finally... get a sense of where your wife would really like to go someday and do not go there first without her. :D
The itineraries are designed for different trip lengths. For example, the first 6 days of the Italy itinerary are Rome, Florence, and Venice. If the OP's wife only has a week for vacation, then she can still see Rome, Florence, and Venice. A lot of people never see more of Italy than those three cities.

If you have more days, then you can see more places. The 13-day itinerary includes the Cinque Terre, Siena, and the area around Naples.
Catdad5
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by Catdad5 »

We have taken over 25 trips with Road Scholar and they do a great job. They are educational and do a great job with singles. They have a great web site
realclemsongrad
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by realclemsongrad »

From DFW you have many direct to Narita and also to Seoul. Both are wonderful.
heyyou
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by heyyou »

Avoid Honolulu since it is expensive, as is the Kona side of the Big Island which is named Hawaii, so use Hilo (population near 50,000) as your base. From the mainland, fly direct to Hilo or to Kona, then drive to Hilo since that route is scenic, unless you need to see the World War II ships that were sunk in Honolulu's harbor. Before your trip, look for a recently published used Hawaii Island guidebook that is updated every year or two, so you get more current restaurant info. The book's fresh updates include where to go after dark to walk up to flowing lava, since that is not allowed inside the national park. Schedule your trip for when the big volcano is leaking lava, then take a night tour to see it. You Tube will have many videos of that.

We stayed at Arnott's Lodge in Hilo. He offers lockable private bedrooms with in-suite bathrooms (group kitchen and living room) in a house across the street from his hostel,dormitory, and conventional lodging rooms.
tigermilk
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by tigermilk »

Honestly the only recommendation is to just get your butt in gear, renew your passport if not current, pick a place, and go. If you want a "gentle" start pick London. I have been a few times a day realized I could spend a month there and still have things left to see and do. You can easily spend a week in other great cities (been to and loved Tokyo, Paris, Amsterdam,...). Pick a few of those "big name" places as a start to get your feet wet, keep an open mind about using local mass transit to go further out if you run out of things to do, ...
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by JDCarpenter »

tigermilk wrote: Sat Dec 09, 2023 7:10 am Honestly the only recommendation is to just get your butt in gear, renew your passport if not current, pick a place, and go. If you want a "gentle" start pick London ... [or] other great cities ...
Agree with the first part--just get going! The second part is almost certainly the majority view, but we have chosen to do the opposite. Rich cities and destinations (Europe, Japan, etc.) are being saved, absent compelling reasons, while we hit the physically strenuous destinations when we are still in condition to do so.

If one is interested in hiking the Andes/Himalayas, diving Komodo, jungle trekking in the Congo, doing walking safaris, fully experiencing the Galapagos, etc., you probably want to put those first and save the gentle destinations for your later years.

Definitely a YMMV area! :beer
Our personal blog (no ads) of why we saved/invested: https://www.lisajtravels.com/
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JBTX
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by JBTX »

Thanks again for all the helpful comments. I’m inclined to just pick a place and go as some have suggested.

As to cities like London, Paris, etc, in the Winter, is it still worth or does weather detract from the experience?
bendix
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by bendix »

heyyou wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 9:51 pm Avoid Honolulu since it is expensive, as is the Kona side of the Big Island which is named Hawaii, so use Hilo (population near 50,000) as your base. From the mainland, fly direct to Hilo or to Kona, then drive to Hilo since that route is scenic, unless you need to see the World War II ships that were sunk in Honolulu's harbor. Before your trip, look for a recently published used Hawaii Island guidebook that is updated every year or two, so you get more current restaurant info. The book's fresh updates include where to go after dark to walk up to flowing lava, since that is not allowed inside the national park. Schedule your trip for when the big volcano is leaking lava, then take a night tour to see it. You Tube will have many videos of that.

We stayed at Arnott's Lodge in Hilo. He offers lockable private bedrooms with in-suite bathrooms (group kitchen and living room) in a house across the street from his hostel,dormitory, and conventional lodging rooms.
I find Hilo rather tired and run-down. Would prefer Honolulu any day of the week. Kona is great, though.
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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by Taylor Larimore »

JBTX:

The best "retirement travel" for us was a 3-month round-the-world cruise on the SS Rotterdam.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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PottedPlant
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by PottedPlant »

Generalized advice from people who only vacation in Europe.
Less famous places. Bologna, not Firenze. Lyon, not Paris. Valencia, not Barcelona. Den Haag, not Amsterdam.
Avoid tourist season. This means no to Europe from April thru September. Sicilia is wonderful in November.
Try for 4 night minimum in any place.
Fly business class if you can afford it.
Walk as much as you can. Learn about the local transit system. Annoyingly, every city is different.
Shorter distances between places are better. Don’t waste time traveling.
Trains over buses. Seats are larger. Legroom is more spacious. Easier to get up and walk around.
Bring your own food/drink on the train.
Michelin starred restaurants are not worth the money. TripAdvisor and Yelp are helpful for avoiding terrible restaurants.
Drink local wines.
Research before you go. The InnerTubes®️ have changed everything.
Mashed or Baked Potatoes?
tigermilk
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by tigermilk »

JBTX wrote: Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:44 pm Thanks again for all the helpful comments. I’m inclined to just pick a place and go as some have suggested.

As to cities like London, Paris, etc, in the Winter, is it still worth or does weather detract from the experience?
Be3n to Amsterdam, London, and Venice in the winter months and had wonderful times. Of those, London in January 2012. We stayed a5 a BnB that couldn't quite keep up with the record cold they were having. House felt like it was in the low 60s. Had a hot bath that filled the bedroom with steam. Just part of the fond memories. Went to an organ concert at Westminster Abbey. It was chilly inside but the music could not be beat. Day trip out to Bath. That trip, despite the cold, was a fantastic vacation. The museums function the same hot or cold.

We did Amsterdam a few weeks before Christmas. Cold, but we were able to experience a Christmas market. Again, with many attractions being indoors weather didn't matter.

I have been to Japan in cold months many times for work. Even took my bike to explore the countryside. Just had to layer and try to keep warm.

Honestly I would rather go to many places when colder than hot. Easier to stay warm with clothing than get cool. Nothing is more miserable than Tokyo in July or August (and I live in Houston).
kleiner
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by kleiner »

There are so meany reasons for travel but I have to be honest - for me, the main attraction of travel is a chance to experience luxury. My wife and I go on one big trip each year - we fly business class, stay in high-end hotels and an enjoy personally guided tours. I am aware that others would rather take multiple (and less luxurious) trips instead. This is the kind of tradeoff that you have to work through in your own thinking.
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Watty
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by Watty »

JBTX wrote: Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:44 pm I’m inclined to just pick a place and go as some have suggested.
I often pick a destination based on where there are really good flights sales to. Take the time to learn how to use Google flights. For example you can enter your home airport and a destination like Europe instead of a specific city. Since your dates are flexible it is also possible to use it to see which are the least expensive days to fly.

Out of curiosity I looked quickly found that in May Delta has some flights from Dallas to Dublin. for $620. All I did was select Dallas to Europe then set the date to Flexible date-May and filtered for flights which are less than $700 then $650. It only took about a minutes to do that.

Be sure to talk it over with your spouse ahead of time so that when you see a great deal you can quickly book it since the deal may be gone a few hours later.

You may also be able to find websites which list the best sales from your city or get price alerts emails when there is a great deal.

In some situation rental car companies will also have great seasonal deals for one way rentals when they want rental cars moved to a different area. For example Florida and Phoenix both have a lot more demand in the winter months so there can be good deals on one way rentals to them in the fall and away in the spring. For example might be able to get a good rental car rate if you flew to Florida after spring break was over then drove it to drop it off somewhere up the east coast.
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snackdog
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by snackdog »

In priority order and order of execution-
US and Canada Natl parks
Canada
Hawaii
Alaska
Western Europe / Iceland
SE Asia
Latin America / Galapagos / Antarctica
Eastern Europe
China / India / Goa
Middle East
BH Consumer FAQ: | Car? Used Toyota, Lexus or Miata. | House? 20% down and 3x salary. | Vacation house? No. | Umbrella? $1 million. | Goods? Costco.
gfirero
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by gfirero »

I would recommend starting at your local library or bookstore. Get a bunch of guidebooks (Lonely Planet is ubiquitous and adequate) for different areas. Start reading and see what speaks to you.
AlaskaTeach
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by AlaskaTeach »

JBTX wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 12:47 am
AlaskaTeach wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 12:28 am Have you been to all 50 states yet?

I am currently living in Alaska and have been to Hawaii, and have a goal of seeing all 50 states. In the summer of 24, I plan to fly from San Antonio TX to the N.Y. area, rent a car and spend several nights at my sons apartment in Connecticut. He is a Navy man. I will see all of the Northeastern states I have yet to see and then go west to Penn., Michigan and then down to Kentucky.

From there I plan to fly or ride the train to South Carolina and then Georgia. That will complete all states east of the Miss. river.

Then in the summer of 25 I plan to hit the rest of the western states I have remaining, and finish my adventure by visiting the "best for last" and that means saving North Dakota as the last state. When you do that, you can get your picture taken, get a free t-shirt and become a member of the best for last club.

I think this is an awesome plan. I don't have any desire to go to foreign countries at this point, but that might happen years from now.
I have been to all except Alaska, Hawaii (excluding a late night airport connection to Australia) and a couple of New England states…and WV. I’d certainly like to do more but I’d like to get the international ball rolling first.

I will avoid spending the whole summer in TX ever again. If not out of the country, then preferably the West coast which we did this summer. The prior fall made a NE trip.
Interesting point about not wanting to spend entire summer in Texas. It has been several years since I spent an entire summer in
Texas. My wife is famous for telling her family's story, that the family planned a long summer vacation for the summer of 1980 in Washington State. They lived in San Antonio, TX. By luck that turned out to be the hottest summer on record in Texas until 2023. There were actually two super-hot summers in Texas, 1980 and 1983. I was in basic training in Missouri in 1983 and in 1980 I wasn't paying attention, because I was just finishing freshman year in high school.

Sometimes I toy with the idea of buying a home again, but then I remember how hot things can be and how hard life is on an air conditioner in Texas. In the summer of 2018 I was selling our home and we had an open house scheduled on a hot Saturday. DFW area.
Turned out it was the hottest day of the year, temp reached 107. Our unit performed like a champ. I set the thermostat on 78, came back and it was 80 degrees. I turned the thermostat up to give the unit a rest. Maybe a couple of neighbors came to see the house. It was literally too hot to be outside for almost everybody.
ScubaHogg
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by ScubaHogg »

JBTX wrote: Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:44 pm Thanks again for all the helpful comments. I’m inclined to just pick a place and go as some have suggested.

As to cities like London, Paris, etc, in the Winter, is it still worth or does weather detract from the experience?
Recall how far north these places are. Like above the US-Canada border. In the depths of winter the days are very short, very gray and quite wet

I would not go to either as a tourist in the winter if I had a choice (nor would I go in the middle of summer as the AC is generally terrible and the hotels can be very uncomfortable—luckily your schedule is wide open!).
There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your Expected Returns
ScubaHogg
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by ScubaHogg »

tigermilk wrote: Sun Dec 10, 2023 7:44 am Honestly I would rather go to many places when colder than hot. Easier to stay warm with clothing than get cool. Nothing is more miserable than Tokyo in July or August (and I live in Houston).
This is true

Frankly I’m getting to a place where I won’t travel to anywhere outside the US during their “summer” if I can avoid it*. I’ve just about had it with hotel rooms that are 78 degrees.

*unless of course it’s a place that’s always cool like Scotland
There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your Expected Returns
halfnine
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by halfnine »

JBTX wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:20 pm ... I could take my young adult daughter on some trips, or my young adult disabled son...
Do these first. The older you get the harder its going to be.
JBTX wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:20 pmWould love to see much of Europe and UK, also Japan. NZ and Australia again would be nice. I’d probably want a bit more experience before heading to places a bit more exotic than that.
There is an alternative view. You will make mistakes in the beginning. Making mistakes in less-exotic but typically much more expensive countries will cost you a lot more money to remedy.
1moreyr
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by 1moreyr »

racy wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 7:18 am Look into Viking river cruises: adults only, fewer people than cruise ships, great food and drink. Lots optional excursions, i.e.: biking, kayaking, hiking, etc.
My wife and I just got back from a 2 week viking cruise (amsterdam to Budapest) - we absolutely loved it. Although I usually plan our vacations and do it independently, having someone take care of all the details is nice. Picked up at the airport all tours planned, food included etc.... I used to live in Germany in the 80s. I got to see some places I loved to visit as well as some new ones. the crowd is a little older in the 70s on average but there were enough people on my end of the bell curve that made it work. (i am also 60)

We also did an 8 day cruise with viking on the river in the bordeaux wine region. It was a last minute sale 3 weeks before we left. For both of us, Air food, tours, transfers and wine /beer with lunch and dinner was $5000 all in for both of us. This was a special and required you to have the main cabin with windows just above waterline. It fits well in a $20-$25K budget . (next room up was $7k for a couple)

I suggest you sign up on the website and they will bury you in brochures and emails to help you think about what you may want to do as well as just see what's possible.

we also lived out west in colorado for a month like a local. Grand junction was a great location , close to moab, Arches, salt lake city (but not too close). the AirBNb for one month was a stunning home with back yard and hot tub for $3,000. only other cost was groceries and gas as if you were living at home.

I have also seen some really inexpensive Airbnb options for italy and germany that looked really nice.
talzara
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Re: Plan my retirement travel for me!

Post by talzara »

tigermilk wrote: Sun Dec 10, 2023 7:44 am Be3n to Amsterdam, London, and Venice in the winter months and had wonderful times. Of those, London in January 2012. We stayed a5 a BnB that couldn't quite keep up with the record cold they were having. House felt like it was in the low 60s. Had a hot bath that filled the bedroom with steam. Just part of the fond memories.
The winter heating standard in the UK is 18°C, which is only 64°F. Depending on how low it was in the "low 60s," the system may have been performing as designed.

They're trying to move up to 19°C and 20°C, but they're not there yet.
ScubaHogg wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 4:01 am Frankly I’m getting to a place where I won’t travel to anywhere outside the US during their “summer” if I can avoid it*. I’ve just about had it with hotel rooms that are 78 degrees.
Americans often find that the air conditioning is not as cool as they like, either.

You will not enjoy Japan in the summer, where the air conditioning standard is 28°C. That is 82°F.
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