Remember those days during your career when just carving out a free weekend for a vacation felt impossible?
Now that you're retired, time is no longer an issue! You're free to travel where you want, when you want, for as long as you want. And, for some retirees, that means extended vacations that allow them to immerse themselves in a new place and enjoy their leisure time with some actual leisure.
Here are four reasons you should consider adding an extra week or two to your next vacation.
1. Audition vacation spots for something more permanent.
Is your annual three-day trip to Florida the highlight of your year? Maybe your favorite vacation spot would be a good place to relocate in retirement. Extending your vacation could help you move beyond your usual travel radius and try new restaurants, beaches, and other attractions. Instead of staying at your usual resort, housesit for a friend or rent an Airbnb so that you can live like a local. Shopping at farmer's markets and strolling through new neighborhoods might make your vacation destination feel like home.
2. Shake up your routine by taking your time.
After a few years, the typical rhythms of retirement get boring for some people, even regular travelers. The hustle and bustle of getting to and from your destination can start to feel like another part of a routine that's just not as fulfilling as it used to be.
An extended vacation could help to steer you out of your rut. The extra days away can give you time to see more sights and do more things without feeling like you have to cram too much into too little time. You might also feel free to schedule a couple days where you aren't doing very much at all. Walk through town. Spend a day by the pool. Take a book to a cafe.
Remind yourself that a vacation doesn't have to be all action all the time. There should also be time to take everything in, reflect, relax, and enjoy some solitude. When you go home, hopefully you'll be able to incorporate some of those slower things into a happier retirement routine as well.
3. Earn some extra cash and make a difference.
In addition to helping you pay for your trip, working a few shifts at a place that needs short-term help could give you a chance to interact with new people and learn some new skills. If you're thinking about starting a new company in retirement, you could work the conference circuit, investigate new test markets, or offer your services to local companies as a consultant.
"Voluntourism" trips are another great option for seniors who want to do more with their vacation than just see the sights. Use your extended stay in a new place to help a community in need or a cause that's important to you.
4. Get more from your money.
A common misconception about extended travel is that it's too expensive. But as with most money issues, that's really a question of personal preference, perspective, and planning.
True, you'll have to pay for more room and board. But if you look beyond hotels, renting a vacation house or Airbnb by the week might be cheaper on a per-night basis. Hit up the grocery store for the bulk of your meals and you might not spend more on food than you would at home. Once you've seen all the sights you would have seen on a three-day trip, your entertainment costs might drop to zero while you're still having fun hiking, swimming, or chatting with new friends. And if you're flexible about your return trip you might be able to save on airfare by booking on days when demand is lowest.