Crisis: Realizing You Never Travel

No matter how many ways there are to escape one's humdrum reality, restless middle-aged Americans often choose to get out of their ruts by, literally, getting out of their ruts. Whether it's a luxury cruise or a long vacation on land, midlifers' impulsive arrangements sometimes land them in financial trouble.

"Women come to me looking for relaxing trips to comfortable places," Foss says, "but guys do it differently; they often want to get back to their youth with travel like hunting expeditions, so they come to me to help plan how to pay for it."

Anyone willing to do a little bit of the legwork can follow Foss's general tips to avoid package deals and find ways to plan a trip by seeking out deals in an a-la-carte way for every aspect of their adventure. Being flexible with some of the arrangements can also go a long way. Foss uses travel websites to find the best deals, focusing specifically on red-eye flights that avoid peak fares, books coach class seats instead of first class, and finds nice hotels that don't come with five stars and the five-star price tag.

"It's the experience of being there that matters, and you're not going to remember how you got there or got back," Foss says. "If you can shave 30% off the cost of travel then you can spend it more wisely later when you get back, or even on the experience itself."

Of course, for anyone who's committed to finding their solace on the open seas, there are also ways to save on cruises, particularly by avoiding the peak times of year (summer) and by cruising to less-common destinations than the standard Caribbean adventure.

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