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Planning Retirement Online

Ideas for Days Out

Getting out and about has many benefits, as we said in the Introduction to this Guide. As well as exploring and enjoying our local environment, it keeps us mentally and physically active and also allows us to meet people and possibly make a whole lot of new friends. As we get older, it's important that we have a network of people so that we don't suffer from loneliness, as many older people do. So closing the front door behind us and getting out there is our passport to enjoyment, company and discovery.

Getting Out and About links

One of the best ways to get company and meet people is to join a club or group of some kind. So if you've got an interest in, say, a sport, or local history or learning a language, don't hang back; do some research and find a local organisation that caters for your interest and join it. Clubs and groups will almost certainly organise days out for their members to places of interest related to the activity, so getting out to attend the group itself may well be just the start. Have a look at the website of the University of the Third Age (U3A) for an organisation that caters for a whole range of interests and will almost certainly have a local group near you.

Walking in a group is one of the best ways to combine a day out with meeting new people. When we walk with someone for a couple of hours, we get the chance to chat to them and then we can follow that up by going for a drink or lunch with them. It's a wonderfully easy way to make new friends. So have a look at the Ramblers or at your local Walking for Health scheme. If you prefer to go walking with existing friends and family or even on your own, go to Walk4Life to find great walks that are local to you. Put in your post code and start walking!

Another way to get a whole host of days out is to join the National Trust, English Heritage, RSPB or RHS. Ask for annual membership as a present for Christmas or your birthday, so it's free to you, and then you'll have access to wonderful days out the whole year round.

To find out what's on generally in your region so you can explore the area you identified with your map and pin (have a look at the Introduction if you haven't done so already) go to Visit England, Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and Visit London, depending on where you live. The websites tell you about all the local attractions to you, what's coming up in the next month and a whole host of other information.

Where we go on our days out will, to a certain extent, depend on where we live. As a generalisation, though, if you find that you've got, say, 30 parks in your day out locality, explore each one together with the surrounding area, find out about the museums, art galleries and other cultural amenities and pay a visit to them. You may have the countryside and/or the seaside within your day out compass, so explore those. Car boot sales can provide the catalyst for a nice day out and periodically there may be events such as county fairs to go and enjoy.

It's amazing what actually does go on that we probably never hear about. For one example, go to the Berkshire Events Guide, to see what's happening in Berkshire at any given time. Each county has the equivalent, so just go onto Google and type in, 'What's on in ..........'  and you'll discover a host of things that can provide the opportunity to have a day out, meet people and enjoy yourself.

Days out are a great way to get out and about on a regular basis without it costing to much money. Let's explore our locality, take advantage of it and get the benefits that accrue from doing so. For more information on where to look for ideas, read the rest of the Guide by clicking on the links in the above box.

This Guide to What to do in Retirement is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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