Between building a career and raising a family, life gets really busy. And for many, it’s not until retirement that there’s time to finally relax and plan the trips they’ve always dreamed about.
Now that you’re coming up to retirement, what better way to celebrate than with an epic retirement trip?
No more excuses – it’s time to plan an adventure of a lifetime and mark the transition into the golden age.
In this post, we’ve rounded up tips from experts to help you plan the best retirement trip and make it one to remember.
Why Travel is Important in Retirement
Now that you have more time on your hands to do the things you love, travel seems like an obvious choice. And lucky for us, it comes with some measurable benefits that make it the perfect pastime for retirees.
Here are just some findings from a few studies on the benefits of travel in retirement:
Taking a Trip For a Retirement Party
Here are a few things to think about to make the most of your retirement trip.
From safari trips in Africa to skiing in the Alps, there are so many options when it comes to retirement trips. The more you can plan in advance, the easier it will be to organize.
Here are some questions to ask to help you start the planning process:
- Where in the world would you like to go?
- What time of year is best?
- Are there any important dates you need to work around?
- Who would you like to go with?
- Are there any specific things you’d like to see on your trip?
- Do you want to book any specific excursions on your trip?
The more detail you have in advance, the easier the rest of the planning will be. So, start by writing down your answers to these questions and see what you come up with.
Plan Out a Budget for Your Retirement Trip
Your budget will depend on the length of the trip, where you go, and what is involved in the holiday.
Backpacking through a national park will be much cheaper than a private tour of the top wineries in France, so it’s important to have a budget.
“It’s important not to overextend yourself when planning your retirement trip. It should be a trip to remember, but figure out how much you can comfortably afford on your trip and stick to your budget. You want to have money to spend on experiences while you’re away, so be as detailed as you can with your budget.” – Trinity at The Pay at Home Parent
Make an Extensive Packing List
Once you know where in the world you’re going, it’s time to make a packing list. A beach holiday in the Caribbean will have an entirely different packing list to a cruise around the Fjords, so this will be personal to you.
Make sure to include the following:
- Enough outfits for both the day and evening
- Comfortable shoes
- Sun protection (hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen)
- A camera
- Supplies for your party (more on this below)
Focus on the Experience
When you’re looking at the best places to go on a retirement trip, it’s easy to get caught up in the best hotels, the most luxurious locations, and planning an extravagant party.
But remember, this trip is about the experience. You’re entering a brand-new era of your life, and this trip is going to mark that occasion. Fill your trip with the best experiences so it’s one to remember.
Look for excursions, spa days, golf trips, and any other experiences that you’d love to take part in on your trip.
Live Like a Local
When we take holidays, we tend to remove ourselves from the local culture. But this trip is a chance for you to live like a local and truly experience something different.
Try and stay in a house or apartment, shop locally, and find small restaurants that serve authentic homemade food.
Mingling with locals and immersing yourself in local life is one of the most rewarding parts of a retirement trip, and you’ll be glad you took your trip a little differently than your regular holidays.
Tips for Your Retirement Party
While you’re away on your retirement trip, throw a retirement party! It’s a celebration, after all. Here are some tips on throwing a retirement party you won’t forget.
Pick a Theme
Everyone loves a theme at a party, so choose one that’s close to your heart:
- Get everyone to dress up as something that starts with the first letter of your name
- The decade you were born – who doesn’t love a groovy 70s-themed party?
- Your favorite color
- A tropical theme – this could work perfectly if you’re planning to take a trip to the Caribbean or a beautiful beach.
It doesn’t take much to bring a theme together, either. Whether it’s fancy dress, themed cocktails, or just a few simple decorations, your party will quickly go to the next level, no matter where in the world you’re celebrating.
Involve Family and Friends from Outside of Work
Not everyone you know will be able to travel for your retirement party, but now is the time to invite all the people you’re close with. Family, friends, and dear work colleagues will love celebrating your retirement with you, so invite as many people as you want on your trip.
Or maybe reserve your retirement trip for your nearest and dearest and throw a big party when you return from your adventure. Now is the time to think about yourself and include only those you’d like to include.
No party is complete without decorations. If you’re planning to throw a party while you’re away on your trip, you only need a few decorations to bring it together.
Balloons, streamers, and table centerpieces will bring the theme together and give your party that extra special feel.
If you’re throwing a party at home, go all out with balloon arches, disco balls, photos of you throughout your life, and table decorations to make it a night to remember.
“If you want something really special, an inflatable nightclub will have your guests in awe! These huge inflatable tents are colorful, private nightclubs that are perfect for retirement parties. Guests love them, and they are incredibly easy to set up.” – Marissa from Inflatable Blast
Set Up a Photo Booth
A photo booth is perfect for any party. You’ll have dozens of wonderful pictures to create a retirement party album, and it helps guests relax and loosen up.
Photo booths also help you solidify a theme. Whether you’re going for a decade or a color theme, you can have specific props and frames for guests to take photos with.
Don’t forget to get in there and take plenty of pictures with your guests – these will be treasured memories for years to come.
Create a Themed Playlist
The music you play at a party sets the entire tone. Themed music is perfect if you’re going with a theme, from 80s hits to chilled beach tunes.
But if you want to bring a little bit of fun and humor to your retirement celebration, here are a few songs you can get started with:
- “The Best is Yet to Come” by Frank Sinatra
- “I’m Free” by Rolling Stones
- “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton
- “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper
- “Take it Easy” by The Eagles
- “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day
Create a Fun Custom Cocktail
Every retirement party needs a custom cocktail to serve guests. This can be a fun spin on your favorite flavors or something that matches your theme.
Name it after yourself and watch guests enjoy sipping on their custom drinks for the evening.
“A coffee-based cocktail is a classic option for a retirement party. Go for a creamy liquor if you like your cocktails sweet, or add a splash of whisky for something with more of a kick. I was a bartender on the Las Vegas strip for over seven years, and most people love the subtle taste of coffee in a cocktail, even if they’re not a big coffee drinker.” – Anthony from Brew That Coffee
Incorporate Party Games
Everyone loves party games, and what better way to show you’re done with work for good than playing a few games?
Retirement bingo is always a hit, with ridiculous squares like “drink prune juice” and “nap time.” Or you could see how much your friends and family know about you with a personalized trivia game.
If you have kids coming, setting up a scavenger hunt always keeps them occupied. Just create a list of things that will be at the party for them to go find – they’ll be happy, and it gives the parents more time to enjoy a dance.
The Best Trips to Take When You Retire
The best trip you can take when you retire is the one you’ve been dreaming about during your working life. But if you’re looking for some ideas, here are a few great trips you can take for your retirement party.
Blue Ridge Parkway
If you’re into cars, this is the retirement trip for you. Dubbed America’s favorite drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles of road, joining Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The scenic drive is utterly breathtaking, with many pullover areas to enjoy the panoramic views. If you’re into hiking, there are also over 80 trails dotted throughout the route.
If you’ve spent your days couped up in an office, this is a fantastic trip to help you get back into nature. And if you love cars, why not rent your favorite model for the drive?
The Rocky Mountains
If you’d love to get into nature but aren’t a fan of driving, why not leave the driving to someone else?
There is a fantastic trip on a glass-domed railway car through the Rockies that lets you take in the view in the lap of luxury. Over 16 nights, you’ll travel on the Rocky Mountaineer through forests and river canyons, winding your way through National Parks, all the way to the Athabasca Glacier.
While you’re taking in the view, you’ll get served delicious food and glasses of bubbly, while you hear about the history from your tour guide.
If you’ve got grandkids, you’d love to bond with or siblings you don’t see enough, now is the time to plan a family reunion.
This could be a trip to Disney or a ski resort, time on a ranch, or a yacht around the Mediterranean. Where you go will depend on your family, but the point is to create some lasting memories and reconnect with your loved ones.
“Taking a family trip doesn’t have to cost the earth. With some clever planning and access to deals, it’s easy to plan a trip for you and your extended family. Whether you want an all-inclusive vacation by the pool or an active city break, a family reunion trip is a great way to celebrate your retirement.” – Travel Scoop
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventure
We’ve all got a mental bucket list of places we’d love to visit or things we’d love to do and see around the world. Now you’re coming up to retirement, it’s time to plan that once-in-a-lifetime adventure you’ve always wanted.
All you need to figure out now is where you’ll go. Maybe you want to go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef or see the Big Five on safari in Africa. Or maybe you want to go on a worldwide adventure and try out the best golf courses in the world.
There’s nothing stopping you now. So start planning your retirement trip and make it one to remember!