Many people all over the world share the same dream: moving to their idea of paradise once they retire. After a life of hard work, a lot of people decide to leave the life they used to lead and head out to sunnier (and often cheaper) shores. There is a number of destinations all over the globe that are perfect for life in retirement. Here are some of our favorite suggestions, and reasons why they are exactly the right choice to spend your mature years.

The diverse metropolis: Sydney

Sydney retirement
If your dream is to find a beachside paradise with balmy weather year-round, but are loath to leave all the comforts of modern Western culture behind, you should definitely check out Australia. The 6th biggest country in the world has some amazing locations, but perhaps the one that has everything you could possibly wish for is Sydney. Healthcare, transportation, culture and entertainment are all on a very high level. Summers are hot while winters are mild, and 5 million Sydneysiders live in all types of areas – from inner-city urban zones to quiet suburbs. With so much to recommend Australia, it’s no wonder that retirement villages in NSW are popping up like mushrooms.

The eclectic charm of Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand is popular not only as a tourist destination, but also as a retirement one, and mostly for the same reasons. It is a country of exquisite beauty, surreal beaches, lush jungles and delicious food. Obviously, you won’t be the first one to have figured this out – the country has a pretty big expat population. The cost of living is generally low, and you can lead a very comfortable life with under $ 2000 a month. What is more, Thailand is full of discounts for everyone over the age of 60. Their health care rating is excellent too. One of the most popular cities among expats is Chiang Mai – the ancient Buddhist city where mysterious temples exist side by side with modern commercial areas and international schools.

Malta – the crossroads of civilisations

If you are looking for that old world charm that only Europe can offer, the perfect option is Malta. This island is located in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Italy, and it is everything you imagine to be, Narrow cobbled streets and high stone walls? Check! A healthy and delicious Mediterranean cuisine? Check! A fascinating history enriched by many cultures? Check! Mild weather all year round? Check! Malta is a popular expat destination due to all these factors and reasonable living expenses. Plus, it only takes proof of income to obtain a visa. It is a place where you can enjoy all the comforts that you are used to, plus beautiful beaches for swimming and sailing.

The golden sands of Portugal

Portugal retire
Another stellar European destination, Portugal is oft overlooked, perhaps because of its slightly peripheral position. The capital, Lisbon, boasts some of the most magnificent architecture on the Old Continent – it’s no wonder, as Portugal used to be one of the most powerful nations in Europe. The Algarve, on the other hand, is the most popular tourist region where millions of people flock every year in search of seaside relaxation. Living there basically means you would be prolonging your vacation indefinitely.

If you have managed to save up a little nest egg for your life after work, there’s no better way to spend it but to use it to head out somewhere where you can stretch it out a little bit longer and live life to the fullest. Retirement doesn’t mean that your life should become boring. On the contrary, this is probably the first time in your life when you have the freedom to live your life however and wherever you wish. Don’t let that opportunity pass you by. Muster your courage, pack your bags, and don’t look back.

Australia is a country of infinite attractions, each of which deserves at least a moment of your attention. Also, Australia is huge. It is obvious that conquering all these beauties in one bold swoop simply can’t be accomplished within the usual two-week vacation time-frame. But, it’s also hard to deny that spending three or four weeks on foreign soil can easily become a logistical and financial nightmare. Here are a couple of useful tips that should help you solve these problems and make the most of your long Australian vacation.

Travelling around the country

Famous attractions are scattered all around Australia’s long coastline or hidden deep within the continent. In order to check them all out, you will have to make long coast-to-coast trips. The easiest way to do that is by plane. The two biggest Australian airliners Qantas and Virgin offer the widest selection of famous tourist destinations, while budget carriers, like Tiger Airways, offer the best deals. However, if saving money is your priority and you’re not in a hurry, you should probably rent a car and share the costs with fellow travellers.

Checking the attractions

Visiting the famous tourist destinations in Australia can be a rather pricey experience. For instance, a three-day trip to Uluru from nearby Alice Springs will cost you approximately 480 AUD. The good news is that the entrance to dozens of cultural and historical attractions like Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and the Art Gallery of New South Wales is completely free, so you will be able to make some room for such expenses. Also, the rich offer of Australian travel apps will help you to handle sightseeing without the need to hire a guide.

Finding the best accommodation

Since you are planning to spend three to four weeks in Australia, you should look for the affordable lodging solutions like private accommodation facilities and family guesthouses. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to simply rent an affordable apartment and make yourself a long-term base of operations. Of course, you are going to spend a lot of time on the road, so if you are wondering “is there any way to pay my rent online”, you’ll be glad to know that you will be able to make all the necessary arrangements on-the-go, and you won’t be held up by your temporary landlords.

Finding the affordable food

Eating in Australia is not that cheap, so stay away from expensive restaurants where decent meals never go below 20 AUD. But, even if you decide to resort to your own culinary skills, you will have to spend at least 100 AUD for the bare bones weekly supplies. There are a couple of ways to address this issue – the most common are to supply yourself with a lot of canned food, check some of the local Asian and Indian restaurants where you can get filling meals for no more than 10 AUD, and eat in a local hostel.

Phone and internet

Oz is a continent that isn’t exactly famous for great mobile coverage (a huge part of the landmass is covered with deserts) so even though local Vodafone offers some pretty amazing deals, you should resort to this option only if you’re spending most of the time in urban areas. Otherwise, you should stick with Telstra that will provide you admittedly better reception. As for the internet, the situation is much worse. If you want to stay up to date with everything going on around the world be prepared to spend a lot of time in local McDonald’s stores.

Trying to chew an entire continent in one bite, even if you have four weeks on your disposal, can be overwhelming and cause you a lot of unpleasant hiccups. We hope that these couple of tips will help you avoid this unfortunate outcome and make your Australian adventure a smooth sailing.

Canberra, Australia

You’ve probably heard so many great things about various parts of Australia. Usually some of the first places people associate Australia with is Sydney, The Great Barrier Reef or Melbourne. However, oddly enough, Canberra, the capital, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Nevertheless, under no circumstances does this mean Canberra has nothing to offer. On the contrary, there are many great places to see and things to do. So, if you decide to spend a weekend in Canberra, here are some suggestions on what you can do during your visit.

Day One

Start off by having a breakfast on Lake Burley Griffin, there is a number of cafes you can choose from. Try Snapper on the Lake, the Boathouse or the Deck at Regatta Point. Enjoy your meal and your morning coffee, while watching the beauty of the lake, joggers, cyclists and sail boats.

The first thing you should see upon arrival is the Parliament House. You can take a guided tour and learn about the history and architecture of the building. After that, you can move on to visit the Museum of Australian Democracy. If you are visiting during the summertime in Australia, there’s a chance that you will stumble upon a cocktail party at the Old Parly.

Canberra, Australia

If there’s no cocktail, you can spend the remaining time on visiting Drill Hall Gallery. They organize temporary exhibitions, usually featuring Australian artists, so it may be refreshing and fulfilling to take a look at the exhibition at hand.

After you had a dosage of culture and history, it’s time for you to go and see Lonsdale Street in Braddon. You can do all kinds of shopping here, and afterwards quench your thirst with good coffee and home-brewed beer. Stop by BentSpoke Brewing Co. and have a taste of some excellent beer.

Day Two

You shouldn’t miss having brunch at Silo in Kingston, so you can start your second day this way. Their selection of breads and pastries is going to blow your mind. There’s plenty of food and beverage to choose from, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll be disappointed.

One of the options for the second day of your visit is an excursion. Affordable Canberra buses can provide an unforgettable tour around the city. This way you will be able to see beautiful scenery of this city and possibly get ideas on what to do for the rest of the day.

Canberra, Australia

You can also go and visit the Australian National Botanic Garden, where you can see the diversity of Australian flora in all its glory. After that, you can climb Telstra Tower and enjoy a cup of coffee and a view. If you are all about nature, Namadgi National Park is a place that might interest you. It is full of cute grey kangaroos.

For dinner, try booking Italian and Sons or Ottoman Cuisine, both excellent places for fine dining. End your day with lovely dinner and wine and maybe go for a walk in the moonlight.

We hope you are assured that there’s plenty to do and see in Canberra. It’s a great place to spend a relaxing weekend. The people are very nice and they’ll make your stay even more pleasant. You can always ask a kind stranger for directions or recommendations and they will gladly help you. Whether you follow some of our suggestions or make your own plan for the trip, you will definitely have a great time in this lovely city. After you have an amazing weekend in Canberra, go home and tell everyone about this surprising delight!