A Guide to Independent Travel for the Retired

If you are in the fortunate position of having been able to retire whilst you’re still young enough to enjoy the fact, you are probably in need of a good holiday – or several good holidays – to celebrate the fact that you now have more time on your hands.  Never mind about leaving an inheritance, spend it while you can and enjoy seeing the world!

Paris - Flickr CC herry

There are of course several companies that put together package holidays that cater for the over 60s, but they can be costly.  Instead, why not give independent travel a try?  Travelling independently means that you can choose and book transport that suits you at convenient times, and book whatever type of accommodation you prefer.  Book your travel first so that you have some dates set down and then search for hotels or bed and breakfasts that meet your needs. If you’ve been using Chase Rewards or a similar rewards program, this would be a good time to take your points and use them to redeem a hotel stay why not treat yourself to something nice on your trip!

You might even choose to just book the first couple of nights after you arrive to get you settled and then book further nights either in the same place or somewhere else depending on whether or not you like where you are.  This is a great way to experience several parts of any city and a great way to spread your budget: you might, for instance, pick a three-star hotel for the whole trip, or you might stay in a two-star for most of the break as a base and then treat yourself to some five-star luxury to relax in when you have finished exploring the local area and just want some time to relax.

Most package holidays start and end with a flight and connecting bus journey to get you to and from the airport.  However, you can save a lot of money if you book direct with a coach company instead.  For instance, you can get a coach to Paris with iDBUS for only £16 at the moment (on sale in January 2014, but the rest of the time the Mini Price is £33 anyway).  That leaves you with a lot more money spare to spend when you arrive!  Paris is a good start for anyone thinking of travelling independently for the first time: most of the locals speak English (though they appreciate it if you try a phrase or two in French) and the city is easy to navigate, especially if you take an open top bus tour at the start of your break to get your bearings.

Unlike travelling by air, if you travel independently by coach you won’t need to make arrangements to transport you from your point of arrival to the city centre: the iDBUS coach station is at Paris Bercy, right in the heart of the city.  When you are ready to return, the iDBUS coach station in London is centrally located at Victoria coach station.

Once you give independent travel a try you will soon appreciate the benefits of such a flexible way of travelling.  You get to see the sights that you want to see with only yourselves to please!

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