Traveling in Europe is a dream to which many retirees aspire to. Bu traveling is expensive, and it can be difficult to see how you will ever be able to make it to all the places you want to see, even after you retire and have plenty of time. While it does take some advanced planning and prioritizing some things over others, it is completely possible. Here are a few tips to get you there.

Meet Basic Material Needs

Peace of mind during retirement years is extremely important, so guard against being unprepared for the unexpected. Of course, you cannot arrange for every eventuality but do as much as you can to have in place strategies, insurances, and emergency accounts to protect you. Spend responsibly. Try your best to eliminate all your credit card debt and pay off all your loans. Putting all your basic needs first and making sure your finances are consistently health sets a great base for you to build your travel fund on.

Plan Before Retirement

Have specific goals for the money you put aside for retirement travel. If you already know where you want to go, that’s great. If not, do some research and come up with a few places you really want to visit. Then set up a travel fund and automatically deposit money into it every pay period. You will become accustomed to the amount you see on your paycheck and learn to live within those limits. The travel account grows quietly, and before you know it, you have enough to cover your dream vacations. Once the account is fully funded, and you have the time to travel, have a plan for how to use it. Go back to that list of places and start planning how to see as many as possible without running out of money.

Consider House Sitting or House Swapping

If you have more time than money, think about taking care of another person’s house in the country you want to visit. While they travel, your job will be to take care of the home, plants, pets, or anything else the homeowner may request. It won’t cost you anything but the travel to the country, but you will have to agree to the terms of the agreement with the property owners.

Swapping homes is very similar to house sitting, except the other homeowners stay in your home while you stay in theirs. You may not be able to find an exchange in the exact area you wish to visit, but if you are flexible, you may be able to get close enough for day trips or overnight trips.

Start Investing Today

One of the best ways to save for retirement is to start investing. The sooner you start investing, the more money you will make and the more money you will have for travel. Avoid putting all of your money into one type of investment because this leaves you vulnerable. Instead, try to develop a portfolio with a variety of investments, including stocks, mutual funds, real estate, CDs, and other long-term investments. These can all be combined into an IRA or managed separately, depending on your preference.

Sell Your Home

Selling your home may be a drastic step to fund retirement, but if you plan to spend all your time traveling, it might make sense. Let go of all material possessions and travel the world, renting long or short-term, in the countries you love to visit. You might want to consider the place where you lived and owned a home as your home base to keep in touch with family and friends. If you don’t want to take such a drastic step, consider renting out your home to make some extra money while you travel.

Regardless of how you underwrite your travel account, make sure your essentials are funded and that you have included long-term care and final expenses in your plans. Maintain a healthy lifestyle so that traveling will be enjoyable and free of health concerns.

References:

6 Ways to Financially Prepare for International Travel

How I Decide Where to Travel to Next

6 Alternative Lodging Options for Your European Vacation

Self-Directed IRAs and Investments

What to Do With a Home Before Long-Term Travel