Many people think of hitting the road when they retire, however, the initial investment can frighten some away from the thought.

RACQ Financial Wellbeing’s Jess Colquhoun said planning ahead for travel could help reduce costs in retirement.

“Retirement looks different for everyone, but if you plan to join the ranks of grey nomads crisscrossing Australia with a caravan in tow, there are a number of things you can do now to save you money and reduce stress,” Jess said.

Right size

If people sell their homes in the metropolitan areas, they may decide to buy an independent living unit in a retirement village or move into a land lease community, fully aware of the costs involved. They may be able to pay for a caravan and trailer too. It provides a base to travel from.

Plan early

“The ideal time to start thinking about your retirement lifestyle is when the kids leave the nest,” she said.

“The earlier you start thinking about your goals and travel plans, the better, as it gives you more time to make your dreams a reality.”

Jess added it’s best to confront those large travel expenses before quitting work.

“If you’re planning on touring Australia with a caravan, consider purchasing your caravan and the right tow vehicle early so you can pay off any loans while you’re still working,” she said.

The transition to retirement offered many opportunities to save on travel essentials.

“Cutting back to part-time work can be a great way to ease into retirement, especially if you can start going on trips with your caravan,” she said.

“You’ll quickly learn what you like and don’t like about retirement and the grey nomad lifestyle and can make tweaks while you are still earning a salary.

“Before you hit the road, make sure you take advantage of any discounts available to over 55s and loyalty benefits on essentials such as fuel, insurance and roadside assistance.”

Talk to your children about your plans

“One of the biggest disruptions to your retirement can be looking after kids and grandkids in the event that they experience a crisis or financial shock,” Jess said.

“Making sure your kids are properly insured and are equipped to look after their own financial wellbeing will save you money and stress down the track.”