Five retirement holidays worth taking now!

Oct 09, 2023
Where do you want to go on holiday in your 60s?Source: Getty Images.

Where did you go on holiday in your 20s? Where did you go for holidays in your 40s? Where do you want to go on holiday in your 60s?

When we are younger, holidays are often the thing that helps to get us through the working year. The thought of escaping the norm, sunning yourself on a beach somewhere and swirling alcoholic drinks with umbrellas at any time of the day, can help make our everyday lives more bearable.

Whether you are slogging away on a building site, trying to corral children in a classroom, or stuck at a desk in the office – holidays are the light at the end of the tunnel. They can be the thing that helps to get us out of bed on cold winter mornings.

Across the world, one in six people will be over 60 years old by 2030. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2020 more than 140,000 Australians retired. The average age of those retired was 64.3 years. Right now, there are more than 4 million retirees in Australia.

So that’s 4 million people who can now look at holidays differently. We don’t have to worry about how much holiday leave we have. We are no longer putting money aside for holidays – we know exactly what our budget is. And we are flexible, we can go on holiday anytime you want.

I’m a fan of taking longer holidays, mainly because from Australia the “getting there” aspect of any holiday can be so expensive. Flight Centre boss Graham Turner was recently quoted on the ABC confirming just how much the price of flights had risen in recent years.

Mr Turner said economy fares showed average return flights to the UK had increased by 75 per cent this July compared to July 2019, and now cost $2,308. He said flights to the United States rose to $2,322 on average this July, a 59 per cent rise compared to July 2019.

I spent almost a decade as a travel writer. Best job ever. So here are my tips on Five Retirement Holiday Destinations worth visiting now! I know that everyone’s budget is different, so I’ve tried to include a range of holiday price options.

1. The United Kingdom in six weeks – but not the obvious tourist spots. Book a mix of hotels and Air B&B properties so you can live like a local. Instead of staying in Central London, why not try the trendy suburb of Crouch End. It has great restaurants and pubs, is filled with UK celebrities and is only a 10-minute tube ride to Central London. Then perhaps grab a car and head to Cirencester, Ruthin (Wales), Liverpool, Leamington Spa, Whitely Bay and Dunkeld in Scotland. These places were voted by The Times as the best places to live in the UK in 2023. They must be worth checking out. The UK’s small towns and villages are great places to visit. Make sure you drop into the Perth Arms in Dunkeld on a Friday night, opened in 1795, for a pint and a dance with a wee Scottish lass.

2. Book a last-minute cruise! There are so many deals to be had, it’s amazing how much money you can save. Cruise ships at times (usually relocation cruises) sell off remnant cabins for amazing bargains. Travel agents are often alerted to last-minute deals and pass these on to their clients. So make friends with a travel agent, tell them how flexible you are when it comes to taking holidays. A few years back, I booked a Dubai to Brisbane cruise for my in-laws. It cost them $50 a day while on-board the ship. Obviously, they had to pay for a flight to Dubai, but $50 a day for food, entertainment and 10 stops in Asia, is extremely good value.

3. For quite a few coins more, you can take a river cruise. The rivers of the world have become a playground for 60-plus travellers. It all started with the 15-day traditional journey from Amsterdam to Budapest, but now you can sail the rivers of Portugal, France, Vietnam and the United States in absolute luxury and comfort. At last count, I’d been lucky enough to take 12 river cruises. For novice travellers, and people who like to have everything arranged for them, this is the perfect way to escape. You unpack once, dine like a King or Queen every day, and see some of the most amazing places in the world from your floor-to-ceiling bedroom window.

4. Istanbul is apparently the number one destination in the world friendly to people over the age of 60, according to InsureMyTrip. The company recently used a set of criteria (the number of senior tours, ease of walking, healthcare, public transport, and peacefulness) to compare the world’s great tourist destinations and the Turkish city came out on top narrowly ahead of Athens, Rome, Bangkok and Tallinn in Estonia.

5. Stay at home and see Australia by Campervan. I know that campervans are not everyone’s cup of tea. But if you are a fan, then you should try booking your next trip on Immova hires out campervans for as little as $1 per day. The trick is these vans need to be moved around the country, so rather than pay for them to be transported, Imoova rents them out cheaply and gets holidaymakers to drive them from Point A to B. Here are some deals from the site this week. Brisbane to Alice Springs in a 2 berth 4WD for $1 per day. You can take seven days to get there. Immova will give you $500 for inclusions, but you must be available to travel between October 4 and 19. There’s also a 6-berth motorhome that needs
to be moved from Sydney to Hobart between October 13 and 23. You can take five days to do the trip and Imoova will pre-book the ferry for you. If you are lucky – and have time on your side – you can almost get from one side of the country to the other for $1 per day. Now that’s driving your dollar further.

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