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8 Travel Mistakes Retirees Should Avoid

Financial Symphony / John Stillman
The Truth Network Radio
January 2, 2018 1:03 pm

8 Travel Mistakes Retirees Should Avoid

Financial Symphony / John Stillman

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January 2, 2018 1:03 pm

For most retirees, travel is a big part of life. John is joined by travel consultant Kristin Staley to go over the eight common travel mistakes you should avoid!

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It is Mr. Stillman's Opus. John Stillman here, joined today by Kristin Staley. Kristin is a travel consultant. She's working with us here at Rosewood Wealth Management to help you as our clients make sure that you're making the most of your travel. Obviously, for most folks who are retired, traveling, seeing the world is a big part of retirement for you, and we believe strongly that that needs to fit in with the overall financial plan.

We don't want you to spend $15,000 on a vacation when you could have exactly the same vacation for $12,000, or we don't want you to have headaches on vacation that you could avoid. So Kristin's here to help with that and be sure that everybody's travel goes as smoothly as it can. Now, today we're going to talk about the eight common travel mistakes you should avoid. Kristin, thanks for being here, first of all.

Thanks for having me. So we have this list of mistakes and you can kind of explain why each of these is bad and I'm sure you've probably seen what happens when people make some of these mistakes. So mistake number one, pay attention to your passport.

What are we talking about there? So you can't travel if your reservation is not in the same name and birth date that is on your passport. And there are a lot of people that go by their middle names or nicknames and forget that that is not the name that's on their passport. So they booked the flight with their nickname or their middle name, essentially. Correct. And then realize when they get to the airport that their passport is different and it creates a lot of time and sometimes monetary penalties for changes.

Yeah. So what happens? Can you just not get through in some cases or is it just more headaches to get through? What exactly happens? It usually requires going to the airline desk and having them change.

And a lot of times that's a $50 change penalty or it could be more. Sometimes they'll let you through, but it might take you longer and miss a connection or... Okay. So be careful on that expiration date too, right?

Yes. Most places that you travel out of the country require six months validity on your passport. So you need to have a passport valid for six months after you return. So if you're traveling in June... Why is that? That doesn't make sense.

If I'm coming back in June or July and it expires in December, why is that problematic? Because if you were to get caught in the country, something happened, you need to have your passport. And so the countries just do that for their safety, their side of things. Interesting. Yeah. And the other thing that I discovered the hard way, don't let your passport expire. You can get it renewed essentially for free, right? Well, it's not free, but it costs you a lot more once it's expired. Right.

And a lot longer time to renew if you don't renew it ahead of time. So yeah. Exactly. So pay attention to your passport.

Mistake number two that people have made a lot is, and I can't believe this is a thing, but you can explain why, booking flights to the wrong airport. Yes. So there are places that have the same name, like Birmingham, Alabama and Birmingham United Kingdom, and they are not the same place. Yeah.

Culturally could not be more different, Alabama and the UK. And also there are a lot of cities that have multiple airports and you might think that you are flying out of JFK, but you're really flying out of LaGuardia. So you might want to pay attention. Has that actually happened?

Have people actually done that? They will show up at the wrong airport and sometimes allow not enough time to get to the other airport. Yeah.

There's a Seinfeld episode about that. It happens. George is trying to pick them up at JFK and they're actually at LaGuardia or vice versa. Along those same lines, booking through the wrong airport, number three is booking the wrong date, which it seems like you know when you're going on vacation, so you're not going to book the wrong date, but it does happen.

Yes. And especially if you are booking things in separate portions, you might book your resort or your land portion and then book your flights on miles separately and not pay attention or your flight might get in really late and you think that you don't really need that night at a resort, but really you do. You need to have somewhere to sleep when you get there. So making sure that if you are arriving on January 30th that you have a hotel on January 30th and not on the 31st. So I was, a couple of years ago, I was going to a conference in Fort Myers, Florida and for whatever reason, so I was speaking at the conference and I thought for some reason, like wires had gotten crossed, I thought that the folks that were having me speak at the conference were taking care of hotel accommodations. And so I got there and it was like, you know, January in Fort Myers.

So apparently it's a popular time in the winter to be in Southern Florida. Who knew? But I get there, I get to the place where I'm speaking, I do my talk at like one o'clock in the afternoon and then I'm asking about the hotel situation and they're like, yeah, where are you staying?

Pardon me? I thought you'd tell me that. Well, it turns out, uh, I was supposed to book the hotel and I thought they were doing it. So anyway, I remember Molly is calling you in a frenzy trying to find a place. Cause I called a couple of hotels that were close to the venue and there was just nothing available. And so you had to coordinate like hotel that I could get that night and I had to get a car over there and all that stuff.

It's always easier to figure that out months in advance than the day you arrive. Oh yeah. Lesson learned on that.

All right. Mistake number four is traveling without insurance. Now I know this is kind of a controversial issue for some people cause a lot of people feel like it's a sort of like buying a warranty when you buy a new computer at Best Buy and you say, well, I don't need the warranty just like I don't need travel insurance. But explain why it might be a good idea. So I mean, traveling insurance is a gamble just like any insurance is a gamble.

You might use it, you might not. But I've seen a lot of situations where a hurricane comes and you don't expect a hurricane to come and the island is wiped out and now you have nowhere to stay and you've just lost $4,000 that you can't get back because you didn't have insurance. Or buying the wrong type of insurance is another problem because you might think that you're buying a full coverage insurance and you actually just have a voucher or a credit thing that doesn't actually cover you for anything.

Okay. So explain what that would look like. You, you've bought insurance that is, it's just not comprehensive enough or it's just. It might cover just the land portion. It might not cover the air or it has a lot of red tape you have to go through or a lot of exclusions that apply. So just read through what you're buying if you're going to pay for it.

Okay. Now you raised a good point before we were taping here a minute ago about like what happens if you have some kind of medical need? Like I think your example was you're in Mexico and you get pink eye.

What happens then? So your health insurance in the United States does not cover you out of the country. So making, many of the travel insurances do have a medical coverage also. So they will have cancel for any reason plans. They will have cancel for covered reason plans, but they will also cover you for medical, for missed connections, for a variety of things. So make sure you read all of the fine print and know what you are being covered for. But those medical coverages can help when you are out of the country. Yeah. That's something I'd never think about is what if I was in a different country and needed some kind of medical attention.

Even minor medical like, I mean you break a arm or something and you know, you're still okay but you need some attention. All right. So a lot of things to think about there. Mistake number five would be always going with the cheapest option. So the cheapest is not always the best.

Sometimes you end up... Probably fair to say the cheapest is rarely the best. Rarely yes. And you can still find good value sometimes, but a lot of times you have to pay attention to where the hotel is. It might be 25 minutes outside the city and you spend all of your time going back and forth.

It might have minor amenities or minimum amenities. It could be in a really loud area or just kind of knowing all the things that could happen by booking just the cheapest. This seems like something where you've probably seen people do it the wrong way and had some horror stories. Yeah. I had someone come back on a Carnival cruise and they knew what they were getting into. They knew that they wanted a cruise out of a specific port, but they got back and said they would never sail on that ship again. It was one of their oldest ships had terrible service and terrible food.

And they said next time they would book a newer ship, even if it meant it cost them more because they had to go farther or whatever. Interesting. All right. Again, we're talking about the eight common travel mistakes you should avoid. Mistake number six, you actually just kind of referenced it a minute ago, but not really understanding how far apart things are.

Correct. So you might get to a city and try to work in a lot of things in one day and not realize that it takes you 45 minutes to get between attractions. Or you're trying to book a two week trip to Europe and fit in six destinations when you really can't get to that many things. You'll spend all of your time on trains and planes and in taxis instead of actually seeing a place. Well I think I've probably been guilty of that too. Like you look at a map of a place you're traveling, like look at a map of LA and it's like, all right, well this is eight miles apart.

No big deal. Eight minutes. Well that eight miles in LA is not eight miles in Southern Durham. That's probably a 90 minute drive to go those eight miles, if not more. And especially when you get out of the country and not knowing how their transportation systems work.

Yeah. Well, probably the extreme example of this is I remember when my dad was in India and he went to see the Taj Mahal, which was, you know, I think 40 miles from where he was staying. But that's about a four and a half hour drive because you're dodging cows in the road and you're driving through the middle of, you know, bazaars and stuff. And it's just a disaster and took all day to get there and back.

All right. Mistake number seven would be biting off more than you can chew. What do we mean there? Well, trying to do too much in too little time, which is similar to what we were just talking about, but people have different traveling styles. But in general, if you really want to see a place, you want to do a little bit less so that you can really enjoy and really see the place instead of just jumping between one thing and another. So I guess an example of this would be like maybe Europe or something, right? Like if you're going to Rome, you're not going to do Rome in a day. Correct. And just because you're in Europe doesn't mean you need to hit London and Paris and Rome and Athens all in a two week trip. Yep.

Well, again, another personal example on this. A few months ago when we did our Disney cruise, that was like, you know, Monday through Thursday, we get off the ship Friday morning and the plan was, all right, well, it was a lot cheaper to get a flight out on Saturday than on Friday. Orlando's got the hotel where you can stay right there at the airport.

So it made sense to stay there Friday night and then fly out early Saturday morning. Well, we're thinking, great, we'll have the day Friday in Orlando. Just go to Disney. So we'll do Magic Kingdom for a day. Well, of course, the calculus that we didn't do was, all right, we get off the ship at Port Canaveral early Friday morning, but you know, it's still close to nine before we actually get off the ship and out through customs and everything. Shuttle back to the airport, get checked in our hotel at the airport.

The Orlando airport is not close to Disney. So shuttle from there to Magic Kingdom. It's noon. It was afternoon, actually, before we even got in Magic Kingdom. And then you have to get a monorail or a boat over to Magic Kingdom from where you're dropped off. The kids had been up early that morning. You know, we get the monorail, we're past lunchtime by the time we get there.

So about the first thing we're doing is after Lily goes to meet Ariel is go eat lunch at the Pinocchio Tavern or whatever that thing is. And so, you know, it's two o'clock before we're even getting started. No naps.

The kids have been up early. It was, you know, it wasn't a horrible day, but it could have been executed much better if we'd planned a little bit better. Lesson learned. Don't try to do Magic Kingdom in the day.

You're probably also not going to do the entire continent of Europe in a week. The last mistake, mistake number eight, falling for Internet pictures. Now, this would apply to your Tinder app when you're looking for a date.

Most likely people in pictures. In fact, I was talking to a guy the other day. He was actually from Richmond and he was down here for the day. And apparently, I didn't know Tinder does this.

But when you're traveling to a different area, Tinder like alerts other people in the area. Hey, this dude that's normally from Richmond is here in North Carolina. Ladies, check him out. And so he's getting blown up on Tinder by all these girls who are wanting to meet him. And I'm looking at him. I'm like, really? Let me see your Tinder picture because I'm confused by this. And I look at his pictures.

I was like, oh, OK. Well, those pictures are not very representative of you. So I understand. But, you know, the same thing happens with places you might want to travel.

Yeah. So you need to just keep in mind that the pictures on the Internet are their marketing teams trying to sell their resort. So it is not always going to look the same. And places change, especially beach resorts. Their beaches are not always the same because weather and tides and everything. You know, some days you'll have seaweed and some days you won't. And some days they'll be working on the beach or construction.

Some days they won't. So you just have to go into it knowing that just because the pictures online look great does not mean it's going to be the same when you get there. So how do you find out? How do you really get a true picture of what that place is like?

That's a good question. I mean, sometimes there's, you know, looking at multiple sources and not just going by something the first time you see it, you know, checking Instagram pictures. Sometimes all the filters there make it hard. You know, people will just post a picture that looks beautiful. But I've seen a article before on like it was maybe the top eight or 10 destinations that people like to travel, like the pyramids.

And it showed what people's Instagram pictures look like and then showed what it actually looks like from farther away. And so just kind of doing a little bit more research, talking to people that have been to see if it really looks like what it shows on the Internet. Yep.

So there you go. In review, the eight travel mistakes you should avoid. Pay attention to your passport. Avoid booking flights through the wrong airport.

Believe it or not, that's the thing. Be careful of dates. Be sure you're booking everything on the right days that fit your travel plans. Consider travel insurance would be number four. Number five, don't always go for the cheapest option. Number six, understand how far apart things actually are in real life and how long it might take to get from one place to the other. Number seven, don't bite off more than you can chew.

And number eight, don't fall for Internet pictures. Kristen, thank you very much. Thank you. And again, Kristen services are available to our clients for help with travel. If you'd like some advice or some help booking things, Kristen's available to you. Just give her a call. That number is nine one nine six three six fifteen twenty six. Again, nine one nine six three six fifteen twenty six. Or you can email her at Kristen at custom travel professionals dot com. And that's Kristen with eyes are the only vowels in there. Kristen at custom travel professionals dot com. We'll talk with you again soon right here on Mr Stilman's Opus.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-27 00:57:57 / 2023-11-27 01:05:04 / 7

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