Before they need to retire, people look forward to traveling a lot but life is hardly one trip after another in retirement according to a survey of typical retirees. A female doctor from the University of California at Berkeley interviewed more than 700 retired people in San Antonio, Texas, who were representative of the retired population for that city. About a half of the group took a trip as often as once a year, 40 percent had not been out of town for more than three years, and some never traveled.
There is less than six percent of the retirees that journey outside the country every month. About 10 percent of the out of town travel by retirees was to visit their children and 20 percent was to visit other relatives.
Because they lack money, many retirees are prevented from traveling. It is the 10 percent of the San Antonio retirees with annual incomes of above $5,000 who are able to travel frequently. Considering that they have the same income level, Black or Mexican American retirees still travel less. In this case, the frequent travelers are the younger retirees and those who considered themselves to be in good health. In this case, a third of those who traveled as often as once a year travel by car either as drivers or passengers. Considering this, 20 percent flew and 15 percent went by a train while a third took the bus.
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When it comes to this, the people who were not delighted with the transportation were the bus travelers. They mentioned specific disadvantages when it came to this mode of transport including the difficulties of getting a bus to the place one wanted to go not to mention the inconvenient time at which the bus left or arrived. Including two-thirds of the retirees who have never flown and half who have never been able to ride a train, she spoke to these people. Most of those who had flown liked the experience but they used the airlines mainly to visit relatives. The reason why the retirees liked land transportation was that they could do some sightseeing. About a fifth of the plane trips catered to vacations. For the major complaints of train travel, these include inadequate passenger service, poor connections, and the inconvenient schedules, both at the station and in transit.
Trips will be done via train more frequently if the passenger services, schedules, and equipment were somewhat improved according to half of these people. The advantages of trains for retirement travel are that they are relaxing, carefree, enjoyable, comfortable, leisurely, convenient, safe and sociable, an excellent way to go traveling, see the sights and meet interesting people when there was no pressure on time and the purpose of the trip was enjoyable. What all the San Antonio retirees who were interviewed who wished to travel more thought of public transportation was that it was tiring. What they did not like was to be rushed or crowded and jostled not to mention sitting for long periods of time in one position, as is necessary to some extent on both the plane and the bus. They would like to have the freedom to get up and move about which is afforded by the train.
You can see the sights while enjoying the companionship of other people and this is why train travel is seen by many to be relaxing not to mention carefree. As mentioned by half of those she interviewed, they would probably go places by train if the service was improved, but the California researcher doubts that this will happen.
There are a lot of people who consider the bus and the airplane to be the only options for retirement travel. She has a warning for the transportation industry, though. Retirees flocking to the ticket counters is something they should not expect. According to her, if there is special attention to their needs, both as older persons and as leisure-oriented travelers, then they might do so but they could still end up staying at home after they decide that the disadvantages of the trip outweigh the pleasures of traveling.