For more than 39 million Americans, summer means one thing: travel time!1
That’s right, almost 12% of the U.S. population is expected to hit the roads, skies or rails to kick off the summer vacation season. If you’re a retired senior, some benefits could save you money along the way.
Flying the friendly skies.
The number of airlines offering senior discounts has dwindled in recent years, but some still do, including United, Southwest and Delta. Each defines ‘senior’ in its own way. For some, it’s anyone over age 50, while for others, it’s age 62 or 65.2 Most airlines also provide tips on how to make the most of your experience. This can come in handy if you’re not an experienced flyer. Search for ‘senior discounts’ on each airline’s website for information such as identification requirements and route restrictions.
If the senior deals aren’t cutting it for you, see if you can adjust your arrival and departure dates. Take advantage of your flexibility and save money by traveling during off-peak times.
Hitting the open road.
If you prefer the open road and want to avoid wear and tear on your own car, look at the major car rental companies for discounts for your next trip. For example, National offers up to 30% off rentals for AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) members. Avis, Hertz and Alamo provide 25% discounts to AARP members.3
Let them do the driving.
If you want someone else to drive during your trip, you can always take the train or bus and save on your fares. Both Amtrak and Greyhound offer reduced rates for seniors. If you’re age 62 or over, you can save 15% on the lowest available fare on Amtrak trains.4 Greyhound offers 5% discounts on tickets for anyone over age 52.5
Now that you’re there, where do you stay?
Unlike the airline industry, hotel discounts for seniors aren’t going away. In fact, they seem more abundant than ever. With just a little online research, you’ll find that small, mid-size and large hotel chains offer markdowns for vacationing seniors. Ask at the front desk if the place you’re staying offers discounts for seniors through AARP or the American Automobile Association (AAA). A lot of times you won’t even need to show your membership card to qualify.
Where do you want to eat?
A big part of travel involves food. You have plenty of options for markdowns on meals while you’re on the road. Fast food chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Dunkin Donuts and IHOP offer bargains for seniors. So do restaurants like Outback Steakhouse, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and Old Country Buffet. In most cases, all you’ll need is your AARP card to get the discount.5
And that brings up a good point. If you’re a senior with travel in your future, you may want to join an organization like AARP or AAA. Both offer a variety of discounts for members. You’ll pay a small annual fee to join, but it can be worth it if you travel often.
Cruises are vacations, too!
Don’t forget about cruise travel, which offers a lot for seniors, including planned activities, accessibility and comfortable accommodations. If you want to hit the high seas for a vacation, most of the major cruise lines like Princess, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Norwegian offer reduced rates for seniors. You’ll find helpful information on each cruise line’s website.7
Retirement is a great time to get out and see the world, especially if you weren’t able to travel much during your working years. Take advantage of all available options to make the experience both affordable and enjoyable.
Information about discounts included in this article were obtained by third-party sources and may be subject to change or no longer available.
1 Trejos, N. (2017, May 17). More people to travel this Memorial Day, says AAA. USA Today. Retrieved May 17, 2017, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/roadwarriorvoices/2017/05/17/more-people-travel-memorial-day-says-aaa/101782130/
2, 3, 7 (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2017, from http://www.cheapflights.com/news/how-to-find-senior-airfare-discounts/
4 Passenger Discount for Seniors. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2017, from https://www.amtrak.com/seniors-discount
5 (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2017, from http://www.seniordiscounts.com/FeaturedDiscounts/Greyhound.aspx
6 Cattanach, J. (2017, May 15). These 100 Fantastic Senior Discounts Make Us Look Forward to Turning 65. Retrieved May 16, 2017, from https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/deals/best-senior-discounts/