How seniors can save on the cost of travel

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TRAVEL is the top retirement goal for Australians aged over 55, and many seniors are better placed than most to make their travel dollars go further.

With more time on their hands to research deals and discounts, and no need to travel during expensive periods such as school holidays, finance experts says older Australians can hunt for big savings.

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Being flexible about when you can travel opens the door to last-minute airfare and accommodation deals. And if you can be flexible about the time, you may also be flexible about the place its always off-peak somewhere in the world.

You have a great asset in the time available to you, says financial strategist Theo Marinis.

Get cheaper fares by travelling outside the peak, he says.

Another growing trend that suits travelling retirees is house swapping. Holidays can be cheap if you are prepared to swap houses there are plenty of websites that offer to match people, Marinis says.

If travelling in Australia, check out cheap transport options for the state you are visiting. Seniors Card holders can often get free or discounted public transport fares.

Finance commentator Kerrin Falconer says retirees have the time to research their holiday options. The explosion of online booking and comparison websites, and advice and review websites, has made it easy for all travellers to get a great idea of the activities, costs and other details about their destination.

Travel auctions can be a great deal and can provide an extra nights accommodation if the holiday is taken during the week, Falconer says.

Consider renting an apartment rather than staying in a hotel. Apartments provide the opportunity to self-cater, which can reduce costs. Sharing an apartment can work well if you have friends with similar tastes, time frames and pockets.

Getting travel insurance can be tricky for seniors with complicated medical histories, so get it sorted out early. And if youre a frequent traveller, there can be huge savings from taking out an annual domestic travel insurance policy rather than buying a new one for each trip.