How to take a Memorable Vacation after you Retire

Ah, nothing better than a little vacation time. Your chance to get away from the daily grind, to journey to a new destination, explore, play, and just relax (or as my kids say, “chillax – part chill, part relax). After you retire, it is still important to get away to break up the routine. Boredom and doing the same thing can easily suck the energy and excitement out of your day. Plus there are so many places to go and things to do – you need to take advantage of it.

So you agree with your significant other that it is time for a getaway. You break out your trusty travel folder to see what looks good, you discuss it a bit, and you decide where to go.

NOTE: the travel folder is a must-have for every household. Basically a manila folder for collecting ideas on potential travel destinations. Fill the folder with pages from travel magazines or your daily newspaper, notes from TV travel shows with interesting places to visit, websites where you have discovered exotic options, and recommendations from friends. When I travel to a place that I think I would like to revisit, I enjoy wandering the area and investigating possible spots to stay upon our return. Many times have I dug into “the folder” to find a long-forgotten clip that turns out to be exactly what we are looking for now.

How to make the most of your vacation

(1)  Don’t try to do too much – we all know people who go on vacation and the minute their feet touch terra firma, their checklist of “things to do” kicks in. Horseback riding at sunrise, snorkeling at noon, tennis at 3, luau at 6, sunset cruise, then start over tomorrow. It never ends and just how relaxing is this pace? These are the same people who need a vacation AFTER they return from their vacation. Relax and enjoy along the way.

(2)  Quality over quantity – wherever you decide to vacation, there will be a few local points of interest. Find the HIGH points. Do a little research – talk with friends who have made the trip before to help you uncover the real gems. Research on the internet to narrow your options. Then pick SOME, the good ones. Take time to enjoy each at a comfortable pace to experience the full impact. You will more clearly remember and vividly relive these moments later if you focus on quality not quantity.

(3)  A little dab will do you – all that wonderful food…all the warm sunshine…all the tasty drinks. A little moderation will reward you big time and make your escape that much more enjoyable. Not recommending abstinence since these delights are an important part of why you are on vacation in the first place. But instead a taste…a bit…a sip. And thereafter a happy camper!

(4)  Don’t miss the sunsets – at the end of your day, with your loved one at your side, as activity gradually slows down, find a place to watch and  share the end of day. Inspiration in retired life can be yours. With a sunset, you never know what is in store and if there are a few scattered clouds, the results  are often  spectacular. No better way to finish the day and quietly contemplate whatever is on your mind.

(5)  Remember the point of your vacation is to  enjoy the beauty that is around you. Share the moment, appreciate the moment, relax in the moment, and smile. Life is good.

Don’t forget to pick up a free copy of my Navigating the Retirement Jungle, available upon request by mailing to