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How to Take a One Month Cruise Before You Reach Retirement Age

Updated on September 28, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She happily lives in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

The pool and hot tubs on the Sapphire Princess in which most of my conversations with other cruisers who weren't retired took place. Doesn't that just make you want to book your trip now???
The pool and hot tubs on the Sapphire Princess in which most of my conversations with other cruisers who weren't retired took place. Doesn't that just make you want to book your trip now??? | Source


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 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.

As long as you have a computer, you can work from a variety of places with a view of the sea when you work from a cruise ship!
As long as you have a computer, you can work from a variety of places with a view of the sea when you work from a cruise ship! | Source

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    • Karen Hellier profile image
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      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      carol7777,

      I would suggest you try www.smartcruiser.com They have the best prices we have seen on cruises. Good luck and thanks for dropping by!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      healthylife2,

      Ah yes, we wouldn't accomplish half our goals if we didn't dream. I am a huge fan of people who start their own businesses. And when it can bring you the freedom to travel, well that's even better. Maybe we can all get rich on hub Pages and traveling will give us more ideas for great hubs? That's my personal plan...LOL! Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Good luck to you and your husband in finding a business that fits the 2 of you!

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I loved this hub because my husband and I always talk about finding a way that we could vacation whenever we want and a month would be amazing.Then reality enters the picture. I was always curious how people did this also before retirement age so this answered some of my questions. Maybe if we start now we will find a way to start our own business and by the time the kids are in college we will be able to vanish for a month. I can always dream:)Voted up and sharing!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      What fun..we are already retired and trying to find a cheap cruise. Thanks for all these wonderful ideas. We love cruising...

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      I hope you enjoyed it. I have dabbled on Ebay myself and it's pretty easy to do. He's the Hawaiian Odysseus is the Go 2 guy for ideas for Ebay though. Good luck.

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 5 years ago from Florida

      Thanks, Karen, for your advice about selling items on Ebay. I have been thinking about it for some time. I'll check out that hub.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      hawaiianodysseus,

      Thanks once again for your wonderful comments. I have noticed myself that I have still more hubs to come about my one week trip to Amsterdam, and am surprised. Although we went to 9 different places on the cruise, I seem to have more hubs available to me from the one week trip to Amsterdam. Still to come: 2 museums we went to and a review of the hotel we stayed at. Of course I am not yet done with hubs from the cruise. I am still working on one for each island in French Polynesia, and also a review of a museum we went to in Western Samoa...ah, so many hub topics, so little time!!! I am working on hitting 150 hubs by my 1 year anniversary on January 12th, and have about 15 left to go. As far as a cruise, you are right, it may be the cheaper way to go! Please feel free to ask for any advice with cruising. I am a cruise fanatic at this point in my life! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      shiningirisheyes,

      Wow, that must have been a wonderful opportunity for you. There's just something about traveling that opens one's eyes up to so much more. Have you written hubs about your travels?

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      quildon,

      That's a great idea. And I am sure you can find many hubs on starting your own business. Or you can check out some of the hubs that hawaiian odysseus has written about selling items on Ebay! Thanks for reading and happy travels...both before and after retirement!

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 5 years ago from Florida

      Wonderful hub, Karen! I am approaching retirement and I don't know if I'll be able to afford to travel then, so I'm doing it now. I have been fortunate to go on a few cruises, none longer than two weeks, and I'm taking one next May. However, if I take your first piece of advice, run my own business, I just might be able to continue traveling when I retire. I agree with you - life is too short.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Good for you for finding an angle on your cruise that would prove interesting for the majority of your readers. It's great to have insight into how others have both time and the financial means to go on these wonderful cruises.

      My family and I might go to Hawai'i, if we're blessed to do so, maybe once every two to four years, and then the intervals are spent paying for the trip. : ) So, come to think of it, cruises--especially in our "empty nest" years--appear to be a comparatively frugal idea! Thanks for sharing this, Karen!

      PS Simultaneously, I am learning from you, Ms. Substitute Teacher, how to spin umpteen hubs from one spectacular event. Very smart idea, and I for one am going to keep this in mind for future trips! Bless you for teaching your fellow writers how to create new strategies, even when you might not know that you are.

      Aloha!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Great write my friend. Before I was laid off from a very long career, my employer allowed me the choice of taking all my reserved time as one big vacation. This offered me some great traveling opportunities.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thundermama,

      Well, yes I too did have to wait until my children were out of the house in order to do this. But I didn't wait long after. My last child moved out on September 12th and I was on the cruise ship to start my cruise on October 20th!!! Just plan it, and keep the dream and you can make it happen!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      billybuc,

      Well, this hub was really about how to get time off, not about how to pay for a cruise. Maybe I need to do a follow up hub on how to pay for it once you figure out how to get 4 weeks off? Thanks for reading. I will work on the paying for it hub!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you were able to go. I don't see how this is going to happen for me unless something wonderful happens in the next few years. I need to be discovered and have money flow in. LOL Great info and I'm glad you were able to go.

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      I really enjoyed this hub. I long to travel again and hope I won't have to wait until I retire, although I may have to wait until my children are out of the house. Great career ideas on how to find the time to work and enjoy life. Voted up.