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Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Travel Discount Tips for Seniors

What are some of the best travel discounts available to seniors? My spouse and I are about to retire and are interested in traveling more but live on a tight budget.

There are hundreds of different travel-related discounts available to senior travelers that can save you hundreds of dollars on your next trip. To qualify, you will need to meet the age requirement, which varies by business. Some discounts may be available as soon as you turn 50, but most do not kick in until later ages. Here is a rundown of top travel discounts, along with some extra tips to help you save.

Ways to Save

The first thing to know is that most businesses do not advertise senior discounts, but many give them if you ask.

You should also be aware that the "senior discount," if available, may not always be the best deal. For example, hotels, resorts, airlines and cruise lines offer advanced bookings along with special deals and promotions from time to time that may be at a lower rate than the senior discount. Before you book, always ask about the lowest possible rate and the best deal available.

Another way you can save is by being flexible when you travel. Last minute travel deals can offer huge savings, as does traveling during off-season or off-peak times and avoiding holidays.

Club memberships can also garner you a wide variety of travel bargains. They offer dozens of travel discounts on hotels, rental cars, cruises, vacation packages and more. Some membership clubs provide some great travel discounts to members at any age.

Types of Discounts

Here are of some of the best senior travel discounts available in 2022:

Airline: You should check for club membership discounts, as well as senior discounts. Typically, passenger must be age 65 to take advantage of the benefits. Not all airlines offer senior discounts, but some may offer veterans discounts.

Train: Travelers ages 65 and older may ask for a senior discount on domestic travel, up to a 10% discount. For cross-border services passengers typically must be age 60 to obtain the senior discount.

Rental Car: Certain club members may receive up to 30% off for senior discounts. Some rental car companies offer senior discounts as early as age 50.

Hotels: Certain hotel chains offer discounted rates for seniors usually ranging between 10% and 15% off but may vary by location. There may be additional discounts for club memberships as well.

Restaurants: Many restaurant chains offer senior discounts such as free drinks, discounted senior menus and discounts off your total order. Senior discounts may only be available on certain days of the week or at certain locations.

Cruises: Cruise lines may offer discount rates to cruisers age 55 and older on select cruises. It is best to call before booking to inquire.

Entertainment and Attractions: Most museums, zoos, aquariums, movie theaters, public golf courses and even ski slopes provide reduced admission to seniors over age 60 or 65. And for those 62 or older, one of the best deals available is the America the Beautiful Senior Pass ($20 for an annual senior pass, or $80 for a lifetime pass) which provides admittance to more than 2,000 national parks and recreation sites.

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 May 20, 2022
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