Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

Originally posted: 3rd May 2023

Travelling is something that everyone can enjoy, no matter what point of your life you are at. Whether you are looking to take a gap year or are planning to travel in your retirement years, there is a destination out there to suit everyone and every type of traveller.

If you’re in your retirement years and are looking to escape to warmer climes or explore destinations you may have always wished to visit, then we say there is no better time to jet off and fulfil your travel wishes than now.

In this guide, we take a look at top tips and guidance for those looking to travel later in life, some of the things you should be considering when planning a trip away and some essential things to make sure you do before you travel. Keep reading to find out more.

Top tips for travelling in your retirement years:

  • Start planning before you actually retire
  • Create a wanderlust list
  • Consider locations you’ve never considered before
  • Look at the time of year you want to travel
  • Get friends and family involved
  • How long do you want to travel for?
  • Don’t skip insurance

Start planning before you actually retire

We all get the feeling of wanderlust, no matter what age we are, so thinking about where you want to visit and planning before you actually retire is always a good idea. We all have locations that have been on our bucket lists for a while, so start collating a list as you work up to your retirement so you can take the time to really consider your choices.

If you’re travelling with a partner, then planning your trips and where you want to travel before you retire means you’ll be able to compare the locations you want to visit and plan accordingly. Not only this but planning your travels before you plan to go means that you will have something to look forward to and work towards as you reach the end of your working life.

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Create a wanderlust list

The world is so vast, and there are so many beautiful and mesmerising locations that many of us want to visit but either don’t have the money or the time to be able to visit, but as we retire, time isn’t something we have to worry about and can be the perfect opportunity to visit these locations you’ve always dreamt about.

You can start this at any age, but one of our top tips is to create a wanderlust list and add to it as and when you find a location you feel you just have to visit. You and your partner or travel companions can share a list, and both add to it and then compare when it is time to start planning.

Consider locations you’ve never considered before

Similar to our points about creating a wanderlust list, it is always worth considering locations you haven’t even thought about before. If you’re looking to see parts of the world that have always been a mystery to you, then starting with some locations you’ve always heard good things about but have never considered yourself is a great place to start.

Suppose you’re looking to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Why not add in some interesting locations like Svalbard, Greenland or Alaska that most would probably leave off their list but can offer some of the best experiences anywhere on the globe? If your trip away is shorter to work around other commitments, then thinking about the locations you really want to visit carefully is a better way to approach travel.

Couple Hand In Hand On Holiday

Look at the time of year you want to travel

Of course, some locations are great for visiting all year round, including places like the Caribbean or the Far East, but when you’re planning your travels in your retirement, you should look at what time of the year will suit your wants and needs.

When you’re retired you don’t have to worry about travelling around work commitments, but you will still want to consider working around school holidays and busy travelling times. This is something Linda and David from Retired And Travelling mentioned to us when we asked about travelling in retirement years:

“Travelling when retired can be less expensive because we can travel in non-peak times. But it also requires planning with contingency as emergencies can happen that need last-minute changes of plans - your health, family life issues or world issues like pandemics. We often book cancellable reservations even if they cost a bit more and always travel with trip cancellation and interruption insurance. We have learned that we need to pace our travel more. Slower travel lets us enjoy travel more and does not increase our stress or physical strain. We are doing the more strenuous trips (like our recent Antarctica adventure) before we get too old or out of shape to really enjoy all the activities.”

Suppose you’re looking to avoid busy travelling times like during the school breaks. In that case, the months of April, May, July and August are always going to be a lot busier, so consider June and September if you’re looking to make the most of the warmer temperature and cheaper prices.

Get friends and family involved

Who says that when you’re travelling in retirement, it has to be just you or you and your partner? What’s stopping you from getting other friends and family members involved and travelling as a larger group? There is no better way to see the world than surrounded by your loved ones, and sometimes having a larger group of you can reduce and spread the costs of things like car rental, villa hire and food and drink costs. If you travelled to a location with a friend in the past, why not consider going back and re-creating some of the amazing memories now that you have the time and freedom to do so?

If you’re planning to head away from home for a few months, then why not invite different friends and family members to meet you on different parts of your journey? This way, you’ll be able to enjoy different experiences with

How long do you want to travel for?

Now that you’re retired or about to retire, you don’t have to worry about getting back to work or how much holiday allowance you’re allowed when you book your upcoming travels, meaning you have a lot more freedom and choice on the times you can travel and the length of your holiday.

How long you want to travel will depend on the number of locations you want to visit, you need to decide if you want to do a tour of all these locations in one go or whether you want to take lots of smaller vacations over the course of a year or so, this is very much dependent on your responsibilities at home and whether you want to be away from friends and family for long periods of time.

If you want to enjoy lots of countries in one go, then why not plan a travel calendar for two months or so and fit in your desired destinations? Alternatively, why not arrange a series of trips over a year, with stops back at home to allow you to regroup and pick up some fresh clothes? You’ll be able to cover all of the trips at once with multi-trip travel insurance for peace of mind.

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Don’t skip insurance

One of the most important things to think about when travelling in retirement is to get travel insurance. Travel insurance is essential. No matter what your age, travel insurance can protect and cover you from things like loss of luggage, cancelled flights and medical expenses. Medical Travel Compared, offer travel insurance for existing medical conditions, including conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart conditions.

If you are at retirement age or above, you can browse insurance options for your age group using the links below:

If you’re planning to go travelling for an extended period of time, or even just a few days, then travel insurance is essential, so make sure you take a look through the policies we offer. If you are looking for more travel advice and inspiration, take a look at our blog, or our travel insurance guides.

Get a quote

Single Trip insurance is for one-off, individual trips and will cover your specified travel dates. This is usually up to 45 days; however, some insurance providers can cover up to 94 days. If you’re not a frequent traveller, single trip cover is a great option and will likely be cheaper than an annual multi-trip cover.

If you travel 2 or more times a year, annual trip cover may very well save you money. The maximum duration of any trip will always be specified and will vary by provider. But don't worry, when you get a quote, we'll ask you what your maximum trip length is and only show you quotes that match!

A pre-existing is any medical condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received before applying for a travel insurance policy. For some conditions, we'll need to know if they have ever been present, whilst for others if they occurred within a certain period.

It is simple and quick to do! After you've told us about your trip details and answered some medical history questions you can add your pre-existing conditions, one by one, for each traveller. You'll only need to enter your details once, it's all online and there's no need to call, or provide details of your conditions in writing.

Most definitely! If you have no medical conditions to declare you will find quotes highly competitive. We specialize in finding competitive travel insurance quotes for everyone including senior travellers and travelling companions.

A pre-existing condition is a diagnosed medical condition that existed before taking out a policy. We'll ask a series of questions about the medical history for you and any travellers on your quote. If you answer yes to any of these, you will need to tell us about the traveller's conditions. This could be a condition that a traveller has now or has had in the past. If you are not sure what conditions you need to declare, we have online support available to help you 24/7!

Medical expenses abroad and repatriation can be very expensive. Having travel insurance that includes cover for existing medical conditions is the best way to ensure you are protected from financial loss in the event of having to cancel the holiday or receive emergency medical treatment abroad.
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