I just don’t buy into the whole “travel when you’re retired” thing. It seems like such a waste to wait my whole life to travel (and, not to be morbid, but assuming I make it to retirement age).
I just got back from my latest trip to Montreal, which was fantastic. It was my first visit, and it definitely won’t be my last.
Despite the cost $400 and the fact that I’ll soon be jobless, I took the trip on my own for a few reasons:
1) I really wanted a getaway from New Haven and
2) I wanted to test out traveling on my own.
I definitely cut back on spending in some areas
- I stayed at an AirBnB rental for $30 a night
- I ate homemade sandwiches for lunch
- I travled by bus (the least-expensive option by my calculations)
But I didn’t sacrifice on everything. I had a couple of nice $30+ dinners (including one awesome vegan meal with cheesecake for dessert). While I’m all about frugal trips, I do like to live it up a bit, especially while I still travel only infrequently.
Although I’m only a few weeks from quitting and with a smaller paycheck, I’m still glad I took the time and the money to travel. Even though I could probably use that $400 much more once I lose my full-time income, travel is a priority right now (at age 26) whether I have a ton of money or not.
Travel at age 26 does not equal travel at age 65
It’s highly unlikely that I’ll be able to travel at the same cost and with the same flexibility that I can now as when I’m 65. I definitely can’t imagine staying in the same accommodations that I did this time. It just wouldn’t make sense as an old man.
Plus, I walked over 15 miles this weekend, including up and around Mont Royal Parc (see the photo!) While I’m optimistic that I’ll still be in good shape at my old age, the average retiree probably have that level of endurance.
I always wonder: What does saving for retirement really mean? Am I trying to save up so that I can just sit on the couch or play golf every day? Or spend winters in Florida? Or travel in a tour group of retirees? Those things hardly sound exciting to me.
But the answer can’t possibly be to do the things at age 65 that I wanted to do at age 26 but that I chose to save for retirement instead. That doesn’t make sense to me.
Obviously, I’m not advocating depleting every dime of my savings and funding travel with a credit card. But, I hate the idea of not going anywhere exciting right now.
It’s hard to say how much to spend on travel now and if I should sacrifice retirement savings, so I’ll just leave it at this: Travel all you can afford now. Spend wisely in trips. Don’t go into debt.
How do you feel about travel? Do it while your young, or save for it when you retire?
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photo by: me!