7 Best Options for Planning Your Travels: Empty-Nesters and Beyond

Planning your travels as you look ahead to your empty-nesting and retirement years can help you transition to a new phase of life on a positive note. Here are 7 great options that will give you something to look forward to, sooner and later.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about the some of the best options for travel as you plan your future as an empty-nester or retiree, including:

Planning for the Future of Your Travels

Right now, many of us are itching to get away. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has meant that many of us haven’t been able to leave our home countries for roughly a year and a half now. 

With vaccine rollouts around the world looking relatively successful so far, many of us are having more positive thoughts of the future post-pandemic and are beginning to plan our next getaways. 

This is great. Whether you’re hoping for a beach holiday, a city break or an extended period of world travel, chances are, you’ll be able to see your dreams become a reality soon. 

But why stop planning there? Why not look a little further ahead? All too many of us wrongly believe that traveling the world is for the youthful. 

Sure, it can be. 

But you can travel your way through empty-nesting and into your retirement, too! It will give you something to look forward to as you navigate these challenging life transitions.

Here are some steps that you can take to plan further into the future while you have some time on your hands. These 7 options are great for planning your travels from empty-nesting and Beyond

1. Consider Retirement Abroad

One popular option that many empty-nesters buy into is retiring abroad. 

This makes good sense. 

Here’s why.

You may live in a place that isn’t all too exciting, Maybe you (and your significant other, if you have one) have a thriving career there. Perhaps it’s been a stable homestead with good schools for raising your family. 

As you grow older, you don’t necessarily need to stay in these places. 

Sure, it’s nice to have a homebase for the kids when they visit. 

But instead, you could head somewhere further afield now. Is there a city you’ve always loved, or have you dreamed of living somewhere by the sea?

You can bring this vision to life by looking at:

  • Bungalows or ground floor flats overseas
  • Retirement homes
  • Assisted living options in your future home, and more. 

You can learn more about all of this here.

Don’t worry: the kids will still come, because you are their home and wherever you go, they will want to see you there. So let that empty-nest guilt go! This time in your life is for you.

You’ll want to take some time to consider the best places for expats. These destinations provide even more incentive for your family to come visit.

Related Article: Click here to help decide where you should start a new life abroad.

2. Take An Extended Vacation

Before you make that commitment to retiring abroad, you might want to try it on for size.

I mean, you don’t make a major commitment, sell your house and move, only to find out it really wasn’t a great fit. 

You know the saying…”It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” You want to spend enough time in this location to be sure you want to make the move more permanent.

So, you might consider planning to spend the whole winter in another country before deciding to stay. For instance, a Caribbean Island for snowbirds, like these tropical destinations, are perfect for a long stay vacation.

It’s good to remember that you don’t have to make the move permanent, either. You could find yourself perfectly happy spending your winters in Arizona, then returning home for the rest of the year.

3. Find Yourself 

Transitioning to any new phase in life can be overwhelming. Maybe you’re experiencing something you need to work through without your spouse.

What better opportunity to do some soul searching than a solo trip? Plan to do some meditation, nature walks, and even yoga at the beach to help think things through. The answers to redefining future as an empty-nester or retiree may be loud and clear in the silence of your “me” time.

Related Article: Read about capturing your thoughts in a travel journal here.

Or, if you’re in better spirits with friends, plan a “girlfriends” weekend. You’ll want to bring plenty of wine, do some “retail therapy” (shopping), and have some heart-to-heart talks in a safe space to get to the bottom of your feelings. Remember, there’s strength in numbers — especially if you’re all going through the same life changes. 

Conversely, it could be that couples time is exactly what you need. It’s natural to be unsure of your role as a couple after spending so much time as “mom and dad” while you raised the kids. Take the time to nurture your relationship by planning a romantic getaway and doing things you enjoy together.

4. Plan A Family Vacation – Reinvented

When your family is young, it seems so important to create lasting memories on the annual family vacation. Whether that meant a family camping trip, a week by the beach, or driving to the mountains.

Those years are fleeing. You might even be feeling a little melancholy if they are behind you. 

But here’s the good news.

Just because your children have grown and left the nest, it doesn’t mean you can’t still plan a family vacation. In fact, doing so will continue to encourage new family bonds and togetherness.

Plus, if you are in a good financial position, you’ll have an opportunity to treat your adult children to a getaway they might not otherwise be able to afford.

And, if your adult children have their own children, you might even consider planning a multi-generational trip, a mother-and-daughter vacation, or even a “cousins trip.” 

Click here to read more on planning a special vacation with your grandchildren.

While you may have been thinking your family vacation days are over, they are actually expanding. You just have to reinvent what the family vacation looks like for you now.

5. Consider Taking A Cruise

Lots of older people tend to enjoy cruises during their retirement years. 

Why? 

Well, cruises offer a lot to seniors. That’s why you should consider taking one.

For instance, a cruise gives you the opportunity to head away and see countless beautiful places with minimal effort on your own part. You simply make your way to the cruise ship and then you’re sorted for the duration of the cruise. 

The ship will take you to its scheduled destinations. You just need to alight and board at the ones you want to explore. 

Plus, when you’re travelling, you benefit from a comfortable bed and other facilities.

If you’re concerned with a cruise being too crowded, look to smaller vessels, like chartering a private cruise or going on a river cruise. Either of these options offer many of the benefits of a traditional ocean liner, but on a smaller scale.

6. Explore the Local Area and Take Road Trips

If you’re not up for long flights anymore, you can always try out more local travel. 

Many people underestimate what’s on offer in their local area. Chances are good that you haven’t noticed some of the local beauty and tourist sights that are nearest to you! 

That’s because we take it for granted when we live nearby.

So, why not browse options nearby and give a staycation a try? 

You might find anything from beautiful places for a casual stroll to lakes where you can kick back and relax on a deck chair with a book for the day. 

You might also take the the coast or explore historic sites in the nearest city.

Just pack some snacks for the road and plan a road trip! 

(And if you’ve never planned a road trip, just click here to get the essential road trip guide.

7. Go RVing

Another great option for planning your future travel adventures is to go RVing. That way, you’ve got everything you need with you when you hit the road, and you don’t have to worry about planning overnights or expensive hotel stays.

Like moving to a new destination, you’ll want to try this on for size. You can rent an RV to find out if the lifestyle will suit you. You’ll also learn what size Recreational Vehicle is going to provide you with enough space. 

If you’re traveling alone, you might be able to get away with a small van or even rent a Volkswagon Bus. (Who’s cool now?) You’ll want to check out these tips for renting a VW, first.

Or, you might take one trip in an RV and discover your new passion. Some people even sell their homes and finance an RV as the primary residence

Does that sound like something in your travel future? 

Final Thoughts on Planning Your Travels 

With these suggestions for planning your travels through your empty-nest years and onward, you can see that travel doesn’t have to end with your youth. In fact, you can travel for the rest of your life!

You might just want to continue reading this article about the importance of travel at any age.


Photo credits: Feature photo: Vincent Gerbouin (Pexels), all others courtesy of Canva Pro.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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