When your kids have up and started their own lives and you’re left in a newly-empty nest, it can be easy to get down about it. After all, you’ve just spent upwards of 18 years dedicated to building their lives, and now all you’re left with is your own.
The good news is that empty nesting doesn’t have to be a bad thing! That’s right — it can actually give you a new lease on life and provide opportunities for things you’ve always wanted to do, but saved for another day or time.
Well, the time is now, it’s life 2.0, and for so many empty nesters, traveling is the thing they turn to in order to get out of the slump and start embracing this new season of life.
If you’re ready to embark on the traveling adventures of empty nesters, you should know a few things before you dive in. Here, we’re compiling all the best travel tips you’ll need before you leave the empty nest and immerse yourself in a world of new places, dishes, people, and culture.
Empty Nester Travel Tips
1) Plan Now, Explore Later
Just because you’re now in prime time for travel doesn’t mean you should just cancel your weekend plans and hop on the next flight out of town. Rather, travel at this point in your life should be thoughtful. It will make the best of your time while still preserving the financial stability and lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to at home.
Begin by planning things out a year in advance. Look at the year as a whole and do some research on the best times to travel. If you are already interested in some places, you should learn more about their seasons and tourism patterns.
The next step is to begin searching for flights and accommodations while still being flexible on dates and times. Often, you’ll find better deals with this kind of open-mindedness, meaning that you get to do everything you want without really breaking the bank.
2) Traveling Not Tourism
While it can be easy to fall into the tourist traps while traveling, often these are really not the best that these places have to offer. Instead, they are activities or locations that take advantage of tourists and charge a lot of money for something that’s been filtered down to be palatable to tourists.
Keep in mind that you’re there to travel not tour. This means digging deeper into each city you visit, going where the locals go, people watching, and going where the wind takes you.
You can also use this mindset to come up with unique vacation destinations that don’t normally draw in thousands of visitors each year. For example, you could look into Oregon Coast vacation rentals and the little beach towns they inhabit. Or, you could visit the small town in Europe where your ancestors lived in order to get a taste of your own personal history.
3) Create Travel Rituals
Traveling as empty nesters often can be draining if it’s not done properly. You don’t want to spend 45 minutes the morning before your flight looking for your passports. You also don’t want to be stranded in a new country without any charging cables, underwear, or a toothbrush. It’s no fun scrambling to find a drug store to purchase the necessities.
These issues arise from not having systems in place, and if you plan to be traveling empty nesters, you must have systems in place. Do this far in advance by creating a list of what you need to pack and what you need to consider once you’ve reached the destination.
Taking the Leap
There is a great big world out there that is dying to get to know you. With new total control over your schedule and your life, there’s no better time to get out there and see it. You can turn this season of your life into the greatest one yet with a little bit of travel and a whole lot of adventure.
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