Retirement is a stage of life that many Southerners eagerly anticipate. It’s a time to relax, travel, and enjoy fabulous benefits after countless years of hard work. But, before you hit the road on an exciting adventure, there are several things to keep in mind. Don’t wait until you retire to begin planning! Start deciding how far to travel, how much money to spend, and where to go long before your last day of work. Retiring in your 40s or 50s? Be sure to plan the more physically demanding vacations early. Hike, ski, or climb your energy away before you prefer more restful trips, like snoozing on a beach or attending a spa retreat. Take full advantage of a work-free schedule, and book your getaways off-season when it’s cheaper. Of course, never underestimate the power of travel rewards. Use credit cards that provide you with points and perks, and join hotel and airline loyalty reward programs. Start racking up those frequent flyer miles and earn helpful benefits. Most importantly, enjoy every moment. You’ve earned it!

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