To travel is one of life’s greatest privileges. Seeing the world, discovering new cultures and seeing some of the greatest sights the planet has to offer does not need to be justified, although sometimes the cost involved can be hard to justify even for those with the most intense wanderlust.
Turning 50 is an important moment for many, particularly when it comes to something profound like travel. Retirement gets closer, and the feasibility of certain experiences begins to decrease. As someone approaching middle age, how should you think about your upcoming vacation experiences?
First Things First – Budget
As someone approaching retirement age – welcome fact or not – you should be open to a vacation free from budget constraints. Your vacations, from now on, should be the kind where you worry less about scrapping and saving. However, this, perhaps counterintuitively, requires all of its own budgeting.
You may already have a retirement plan in place, which includes your pension, savings and investments. This is all well and good, but the cost of large one-off or impulse events is often not considered. In order to finance your once-in-a-lifetime trip, you may need think more carefully about options such as equity release in order to preserve your savings kitty. With more capital in hand, you can go all out on the vacations you deserve. Speaking of which…
Japan is a bucket list destination for many people, as it is a small island full of activities and experiences. A visit to Japan can be as shallow or as deep as you like, whether you choose to immerse yourself in the neon lights and halls of downtown Tokyo or Kyoto’s Arashiyama bamboo forest. And that says nothing about the incredible views of Mt. Fuji that can be accessed and enjoyed within an hour bullet train ride from almost anywhere…
Italy is much closer to home, and a much more accessible holiday destination for the average citizen. As such, you may have already visited once or twice – but the time, freedom and new interests that middle age offers you make Italy much more of a playground. With a little more money, too, you can spend more time there, soaking in some of its best spots – be it the vineyards of Florence or the elegant restaurants of Rome!
Across Europe and down the Iberian Peninsula, we meet Portugal – an extremely underrated holiday destination, often overshadowed by the global stature of its football team. Portugal is an eminently excellent choice for an extended vacation trip, though, for several reasons. Its cultural highlights, from the ancient ruins in Porto to the museum pieces of Lisbon, beg to be explored; the coast and the weather are certainly not to be sniffed at, either.