Many airlines, hotels, and cruise lines offer discounts to senior adult travelers. By taking advantage of these deals you can save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars (depending on how often you travel). Since there are many deals out there being advertised as discounts for senior adults, it pays to shop around for the best deal.
Remember that sometimes promotional offers that are open to all travelers can be cheaper than discounts designed specifically for senior adults, so don't rule those discounts out when you plan your trip. In addition, retired senior adult travelers may take advantage of other discounts by traveling at non-peak times when other travelers would be in school or working.
Most senior travel deals begin at age 65, but a few begin at age 55, or even at age 50! If in doubt, contact the company that is providing the travel service and ask them for the age requirements for their senior adult discount program.
Here are some sources of travel discounts for senior adults:
- AARP deals for senior adults. The AARP provides many discounts (including many non-travel deals) for adults 50 years of age and older. There is a small fee to join this program, but once you have joined, you are eligible to participate in their travel and other benefits. You can book these deals through the AARP travel-booking website, or directly through hotels and airlines.
- Airfare deals for senior adults. Many airlines offer discounts for senior adults. Be sure to indicate your age when you make a reservation with any airline. Do not make the reservation and then attempt to get the airline to apply a senior discount. If you have questions about discount airfares for seniors from a specific carrier, contact an airline booking agent. One of the best discount airfare programs that I have found for senior adults is with Southwest Airlines. Their senior fares program begins at age 65.
- Hotel deals for senior adults. Many hotel chains offer discounts for senior adults that range from as little as 10 percent to as much as 40 percent of the room rate. The qualifying age for a discount varies from chain to chain, so check carefully. For example, La Quinta's mature adult discounts begin at age 55, but to get a senior adult discount at the Marriott family of hotels, you will need to wait until you are 62 years old or older.
- Cruise ship deals for senior adults. Many cruise lines offer discounts for senior passengers. Typically a limited number of cabins are reserved for these discounts, so book early. Be sure to indicate your age when you make the reservation with the cruise ship. Do not make the reservation and then attempt to get the cruise ship to apply a senior discount. For example, Norwegian Cruise Lines offers discounts to travelers 55 years of age and older.
- Restaurant deals for senior adults. You can save on meals at restaurants while you are traveling (and even at home when you are not traveling). Many restaurants offer senior value menus and other discounts especially for senior adults. Call the restaurant ahead of time to ask about their senior adult specials.
- Other travel discounts. Amtrak offers a 15% discount for travelers over age 62 (with certain restrictions). Greyhound also has discounts for travelers over age 62. If you are not sure if a company provides senior discounts, it is generally worth asking.
In summary, with a little bit of research and perhaps a phone call or two, senior adults can find significant travel savings.