Traveling in retirement is something that a lot of people dream about. Maybe for you that involves visions of sparkling oceans and beautiful beaches, or exploring places that you’ve never been before. Maybe you’re gearing up for a long trek you’ve always wanted to take, or maybe you’re planning on sharing a peaceful week away with your family.
Whatever it is you’ve envisioned, it’s worth taking the time to think through a few questions in order to get the most out of your trip.
What pace do you want to set?
For some people a good trip means days full of different sights and sounds and an adventure-packed schedule. For others the perfect vacation means sleeping in, leisurely walks, and time for quiet reflection. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. When you envision travel, what do you picture? Is that an image that you find restful? Exciting? Has that image changed now that you’re retired?
Taking the time to think about the pace of your trip–how active you want it to be, how much you want to do each day, and how far away you want to travel–can give you some concrete things to plan your trip around.
If you want a restful, low-effort vacation that requires only a little planning, you probably don’t want to hike the Appalachian Trail. On the other hand, if you’ve been itching to go out and explore new things with your newfound free time, you might not want to dangle your feet in the waters of a nearby lake for a weekend.
Who do you want to go with?
Maybe you have specific people in mind–your spouse, your friends, your children. Picking a travel companion (or companions!) means that you have more people to consider as you plan your trip. Walking through this process with them might help it go more smoothly for everyone.
Maybe you want to meet new people on your trip–if that’s the case, then either traveling with a group or working group activities into your trip might be what you’re looking for. Finding a group of people who are exploring life in the same way you are means you’ll be able to have things in common while you’re sharing new experiences.
What do you want to bring home?
This question could mean a lot of things, physical, spiritual, or emotional. You might have recently down-sized and are adamant about not bringing home more souveniers from your trips. You might want your retirement travel to be restorative to your soul. Maybe you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for. Taking some time to reflect on this question (without setting your expectations in stone) might make your trip one that you’ll look back on fondly for years to come.
These might not be the normal questions that come up when you’re planning a trip (where are you going, how long do you want to stay, what do you want to do) but if they’re taken into consideration they might make your decision-making a more thoughtful, intentional process. Taking the time to think and pray about the larger questions might help your travel in retirement be more fruitful in the long run.
If you’re interested in a reflective, engaging pilgrimage that’s full of meaning and expertly planned, take a look at our Destinations page. If you’re planning on taking a pilgrimage soon, head over to Upcoming Departures and see if one of them sparks your interest.
Did you enjoy this post? Here is some further recommended reading: