How to Take a One Month Cruise Before You Reach Retirement Age
I recently went on a 28-day cruise and wondered how people on board could take a four week cruise before they were officially retired. Most of the people on the cruise were old enough to be retired, but I was quite curious about the others. During the cruise I started informally interviewing people on board who looked younger than retirement age and here’s what I found:
Run your Own Business:
Gretchen S.* from Switzerland has her own business as a physical therapist and takes a long cruise every year by having a colleague take over her clients for that month. Her colleague cannot handle all of Gretchen’s clients plus keep her own, so Gretchen gives her only the clients who really need the extra help, and the rest of her clients do exercises on their own to keep up the momentum she has started with them.
Cathy M.* from Canada runs her own business as an architect and has a partner who handles any emergencies while she is gone. She is in the elite group of cruisers who have taken at least 15 cruises through the Princess lines. She gets 500 minutes of free internet usage for a cruise of 21 days or more, but her mother also accompanies her on these cruises and also gets 500 free internet minutes, so Cathy can log on each day and between her minutes and her mom’s minutes, she can work 35 minutes online per day for free.
Work as a Travel Agent:
Sandy D.*, from California, works as a travel agent and is entitled to take one free cruise each year, of any length. She had been working for the company for some time and had yet to take a cruise, so this was her first one through the company.
Become so Valuable to Your Employer That They Will give You a Month Off:
Glen and Cheryl* from Canada are both so valuable to the companies they work for that they are allowed to take time off so they wouldn’t quit. In fact, Cheryl has tried to give her notice to leave her job and retire early, and the women’s center she works for as a counselor wouldn’t accept it, and begged her to stay. This gives her the upper hand when it comes to negotiating items like month long vacations!
Become a Freelance Writer/Blogger:
Do you love to write and want to earn a living from it? You can become a freelance writer and work writing copy for clients. You would just need to block off a period of four weeks time when you wouldn't be accepting any work. Some people write for websites such as Textbroker and pick up jobs when they want to, and when they are busy with other things, they don't accept any assignments. The base pay for Textbroker is not that good for a level two or level three writer. But those who write at levels four or five, and get accepted into wiring groups fare much better when it comes to payment.
Constant Content is another site that many people do well with. Writers can write articles in advance and leave them in a catalog where clients can purchase their articles anytime, day or night. So writers who have done work in the past can be earning passively even when they are on vacation.
If you are a blogger, especially a travel blogger, taking a cruise is easy. Bloggers can pre-write articles to be posted while they are away. Or, they can access the internet from the cruise ship and write articles throughout the cruise. This is especially helpful if they are a travel blogger and can keep people up to date with articles about their travel adventures as they enjoy their cruise.
Become a Substitute Teacher:
And then there’s my story. I became a substitute teacher so that I could pick and choose which days I work. My previous job in a high school did not allow me to take any time off during the school year, so I was limited to summer vacations, the week between Christmas and New Years and April vacation. Because cruising is not conducive to those time periods and actually more expensive then, I decided to substitute teach so I could accompany my husband when he travels for work. Yes, it is less money than I used to make, but also much less stress. I am not constrained to the same job or office and often find myself in three to five different schools each week. I also get benefits because I work for Kelly Educational Services which offers health insurance and life insurance coverage from companies they work with to benefit their employees.
Yes, it is less money than I used to make, but also much less stress. I am not constrained to the same job or office and often find myself in three to five different schools each week. I also get benefits because I work for Kelly Educational Services which offers health insurance and life insurance coverage from companies they work with to benefit their employees.
So, there you have it, four different ways to be able to take a one-month cruise before you reach retirement age. Two other ways I thought of also are to teach for a living and have 8 to 10 weeks off each summer to do a 1-month trip. Or also become a home daycare provider for teacher's children only so that you can have time off when they do. I know it's been done because I have spoken with providers who do only take teacher's children for just that reason.
Life is too short in my opinion to wait till you retire to travel. If any of these situations would work for you, I wholeheartedly encourage you to take the leap and enjoy your life a bit more by being able to cruise (or travel) for a month at a time.
* All names have been changed in this article to preserve anonymity.
© 2012 Karen Hellier