5 Packing Tips for a Well-Deserved Retirement Holiday

Canadian Senior woman enjoying her sea-side vacation.

Going on a vacation in your later years can be very beneficial for both mental and physical health. Travelling is one of life’s most enhancing experiences, providing us with the understanding of culture and self-discovery. For older adults, travelling can help stimulate mental health and can improve quality of life. Upon retirement, we often have more time to travel, but finances can be more of a challenge.

Benefits of Travel

Traveling can help you enhance your mental and emotional well-being. Experiencing a new culture or seeing something new can be a great way to keep life more interesting. Travel gives you something to think about and it can keep you curious about life and can even challenge your way of thinking.

How can retirement planning help you plan a vacation?

According to a November 2016 HomeEquity Bank research about the financial health and viability of Canadian seniors, only 78% of Canadians over the age of 65 have any savings and investments, and 40% have less than $100,000 set aside for retirement.

Retirement planning is more important than ever, as fewer than 20% of aging Canadian households have enough savings to supplement their income for at least 5 years into their retirement. In addition, life expectancy has increased and is expected to continue to rise. According to Statistics Canada, on average, there is an increase of about 2-3 years on the average life expectancy of Canadian males and females every decade. This affects the amount that needs to be saved, since many Canadians have not taken their increased life expectancy into consideration when planning their retirement.

Retirement planning can help you budget for a vacation. If you know you want to travel somewhere, plan at least 3-4 months ahead. This way you can put aside some money for the trip or even cut down on your current expenditures to save for your upcoming vacation. By planning ahead for your holiday, you can ensure that you will have sufficient finances to support the trip, eliminating the financial stress that can come with last minute planning. Planning your vacation ahead of time can also give you ample time to put together an itinerary, giving you the most of your experience within your budget.

The CHIP Reverse Mortgage can help in your retirement planning

The CHIP Reverse Mortgage is a good way to access the equity in your home to supplement your income or as a form of debt consolidation. Homeowners who are 55+ can access up to 55% of the equity in their home in tax-free cash (conditions apply). The highlight of this financial solution is that it does not require any regular mortgage payments, not even interest payments, until you no longer live in your home. This can be a great tool to relieve Canadians of their financial stress in their retirement years. It can also improve their lifestyle and afford them the opportunity to do things they have always wanted to do during retirement, such as travel.

packing tips to consider when planning a vacation

  1. Your destination matters – Whether you are planning a vacation to a hot resort or to that hiking trail you’ve always wanted to attempt, you need to keep your destination in mind when packing for your vacation. It also helps to look up the weather in advance of your travels so that you can pack accordingly. If you are visiting a city that will be expecting rain, you can plan for the rain by packing an extra rain jacket or bringing a packable umbrella. Packing for your specific destination and the weather can really keep you from having your plans spoiled.
  2. Just in case – Bring some “just in case” supplies on your vacation, including some basic medical supplies such as bandages, motion sickness/anti-nausea medication, insect bite remedies, sunscreen and headache medication. These supplies can come in handy when traveling and can help you have a great time even if you’re under the weather.In addition, remember to pack your regular medication as prescribed by your doctor. If you take many pills each day, you can purchase a pill container and organize them by date for your travel. When planning travel, always check with your doctor before you purchase any over-the-counter medication to make sure that they are safe to take in conjunction with your prescribed medications.
  3. An extra precaution – When travelling out of the country, it is advised to purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance gives you an affordable way to protect against the cost of unexpected medical emergencies that may happen during your vacation, such as treatment by a physician, hospital stays, diagnostic tests and even prescription medication. Certain travel insurance may even offer coverage for trip cancellation and/or interruptions, baggage loss, travel accidents or many other travel-related hiccups.
  4. Spending on the fly – When traveling abroad, make sure you consider how you are going to pay for your everyday items while vacationing. Many people avoid bringing cash since cash can easily be stolen and is hard to replace. Many travelers prefer to travel using credit cards and travelers’ cheques as forms of payment. Both options have pros and cons, but the most beneficial reason for using a credit card or travelers cheques is that a credit card can easily be cancelled and you are not obligated to pay for charges you did not make. With travelers’ cheques, if they get stolen, you can have them replaced.
  5. Pack economically – There’s nothing worse than traveling abroad with a large amount of luggage to bring from one city to another, hauling it on planes, trains and automobiles. If you know you are traveling and staying in multiple cities, it may be wise to pack a smaller and more economically sized luggage to make it easier for you to move around.

There are many other tips and precautions to take, depending on your destination and how long you are traveling for. A rule of thumb for Canadian travelers is to always check the Canadian travel advisories list. This is often updated and can inform you of the safety and conditions of your destination. The Government of Canada advises you to check this page twice: once when you are planning your trip, and again shortly before you depart. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

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