Planned Giving

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Sunday October 21, 2018

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

How to Find Retiree Travel Perks

What types of travel discounts are available to older travelers? I just retired and am interested in learning about travel deals for people over 60.

There are literally thousands of different travel-related discounts available to retirees, usually for travelers between the ages 50 and 65. These discounts — typically ranging between 5% and 25% off — can add up to save you hundreds of dollars on your next trip. Here's how you can find them.

Ways to Save


The first thing to know is that most businesses do not advertise them, but many give senior discounts just for the asking, so don't be shy.

Be aware that when it comes to senior travel bargains, the "senior discount," if available, may not always be the best deal. Hotels, resorts, airlines and cruise lines, for example, offer advanced bookings along with special deals and promotions from time to time that may be a lower rate than the senior discount. Before you book, always ask about the lowest possible rate and the best deal available.

Another way retirees with flexible schedules can save is to be flexible when traveling. Taking advantage of last-minute travel deals, traveling during off-season or off-peak times and avoiding holidays can lead to huge savings.

Club memberships may also garner you a wide variety of travel bargains. AARP, for example has dozens of travel discounts available on hotels, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. There are also alternative organizations you can join like the Seniors Coalition or the American Seniors Association that offer discounts on hotels and rental cars.

Types of Discounts


Here's an abbreviated rundown of some of the different travel discounts you can expect to find.

Transportation: For airline travel, Southwest has fully refundable senior fares for passengers 65 and older, and British Airways offers AARP members $65 off economy travel and $200 off business club travel. Airlines such as American, United and Delta also offer senior fares in certain markets but are extremely limited.

For traveling by train, Amtrak provides a 10% discount to travelers age 65 and above, and a 10% discount to passengers over age 60 on cross-border services operated jointly by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada.

Greyhound bus lines also offers a 5% discount to passengers 62 and older. Most car rental companies offer 10% to 25% discounts to customers who belong to membership organizations like AARP or AAA.

Hotels: Many U.S. hotels offer senior discounts (at varying ages) usually ranging between 5% and 15% off. For example, Marriott offers a 15% discount to travelers 62 and older at over 4,000 locations worldwide. Wyndham hotel group offers 60-plus guests best available rate discounts.

Restaurants: Some restaurant chains offer senior discounts, ranging from free drinks, to senior menus, to discounts off your total order. National chains that offer these deals include Burger King, Chili's, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Golden Corral, IHOP and Wendy's. Offers may vary by location.

Cruises: Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise lines offer discount rates to cruisers 55 and over.

Entertainment and Attractions: Most movie theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums, public golf courses and even ski slopes provide reduced admission to individuals over 60 or 65. Individuals who are over the age of 62 are also eligible for the "Senior Pass," which provides a lifetime entry to 2,000 national parks and recreation sites. You can obtain this pass in person at one of the federal recreation sites for $80, or online for $90.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published June 1, 2018
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