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Travel Discounts for Seniors

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - November 11, 2011

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There are all kinds of discounts and deals going around in any major business to boost business in today’s economy – and travel deals can come cheap. Now, more than ever major tourist destinations, hotels and airlines are realizing the economic power of the over-55 crowd and are making special offers for bargain travel discounts to lure the senior adventurer.

Many of these discounts do require membership with AARP, so be sure to sign up with AARP before making your travel plans.

Whether you are on a limited budget or not, everyone is enticed by a discount – especially when making travel plans! Let’s have a look at some of the discounts out there for seniors – you should find some great deals and ideas for that next getaway! Below, you’ll find deals and discounts for:

  • Hotel discounts for seniors
  • Airfare discounts for seniors
  • Bus & Train Travel discounts for seniors
  • Specific destination senior discounts

Hotel Discounts for Seniors

Anytime you are staying in a hotel, always ask about senior discounts! Often times the discounts are not advertised. Hotel deals and discounts will vary from location to location, so it’s a good idea to do some homework before you go. However, saying that, there are major hotel chains that often offer a standard discount to seniors:

Hyatt Hotels: For seniors age 62 or older receive a 25-50% discount at participating hotels in the US and Canada.

Marriott Hotels: Senior Discounts - American seniors age 62+ can save at least 15% off normal rates when booking. These cheaper rates are available at Marriott’s Fairfield Inns, Courtyards by Marriott and Marriott’s Residence Inns.

Days Inns: All Days Inn hotels offer 10% off standard rates to senior citizens aged 60+. However, blackout dates & some restrictions apply.

Howard Johnson: Seniors age 60+ can get discounts at all “Hojos” coast to coast. Additional discounts are available with your AAA or your AARP card, although each separate offer cannot be combined with others (or you'd probably be staying for free!).

Ramada Inn: AARP members enjoy up to 10% off regular rates at participating hotels.

Senior Airfare Discounts

Gone are the days when major airlines offered discounts to seniors, although there are still quite a few left which continue to reward the older traveler:

American Airlines: Senior citizen fares are offered in some American, American Eagle and American Connection domestic markets for seniors ages 65 or older. Travelers should call American Airlines at 1-800-433-7300.

Delta: While offering senior discounts on certain itineraries, they aren’t available online, so travelers should call 1-800-221-1212 to check eligibility.

Delta Shuttle: Senior fares are offered for travelers ages 62 +. Delta Shuttle operates 16 daily flights between New York and Boston, and 15 daily flights between New York and Washington, D.C., Monday - Friday. Call reservations at 800-221-1212 and tell the agent that you are interested in the senior fares or check with an agent at any Delta ticket office.

Southwest Airlines: Discount fares are available to those 65 years +. For details on fares and limitations, call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792). As an additional benefit, senior fares are also fully refundable on Southwest.

Continental: Senior fares are offered to certain destinations for passengers 65 +. Ask when making reservations or when booking online select the seniors (age 65 +) category. Call 1-800-523-3273 for more information.

Air France: Senior fares are reserved for passengers 60 years of age + within metropolitan France. Proof of age must be shown, and the tickets are neither changeable nor refundable. They can be reached at 1-800-237-2747.

US Airways: Open to those 65 +, senior fares are available online. Click on the Promos link on US Air’s home page to see if a discount applies to a particular flight. Only certain flights are eligible. For more information, call 1-800-428-4322.

United Airlines: United offers senior citizen discounts in certain markets. Contact United’s reservations department at 1-800-241-6522 to find out if a senior discount is applicable for a particular flight.

Virgin Atlantic: Although they no longer process senior discounts online, one may be offered senior discounts at their discretion - just for the asking - on certain routes and fares for passengers age 60+. Use their contact form to inquire, or call in to customer service.

Some airlines don’t offer discounts on flights, but have partnership agreements offering senior discounts on hotels, rental cars, and attractions and events. Organizations like AARP have an active discount travel program that covers car rentals, hotels, tours, and cruises, so check them out before booking.

Many of the airlines' regular discount fares can be cheaper than senior fares. If you’re not able to find a senior discount, remember there are still ways to find low-cost airfares.

Remember to always ask about senior discounts when booking your ticket.

Bus & Train Travel Discounts

Bus & Train Travel can be a popular way to travel within the states. What a great way to see the sights by letting someone else drive? Have a look at these discounts for seniors:

Greyhound Buses

U.S. passengers age 62 + may request a 5% discount on unrestricted passenger fares. However, before booking, if you or your family member is a Veteran, discounts are more substantial. Veterans are given a 15-25 % discount. The Veterans Advantage program also applies to active duty, National Guard & Reservists – and their family members.

Amtrak Trains

Senior Amtrak travelers age 62 years + receive a 15% discount on adult rail fares on most Amtrak trains. But don’t stop there: there are also additional discounts on go-as-you-please rail passes for seniors. Be sure to inquire about the rail passes!

Specific Destination Senior Discounts

It’s important to remember there are different deals turning around all the time for seniors on special travel packages or destinations.

For example, the official New York City tourism site offers a special section devoted to senior travelers, explaining the many bargains available for senior transportation, information about senior savings on theater tickets, sightseeing tours, and individual discounts on top New York attractions!

And check out online travel sites, like CheapFares.com. They have a special section dedicated to senior discount travel.

Another example is the US National Parks. As part of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass program, U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are at least 62 years old can purchase a Senior Pass for a one-time processing fee of $10. This Senior Pass to national parks and lands offers benefits to you and your traveling companions.

In National Parks that charge an entrance or standard amenity fee, the Senior Pass admits you and the passengers in your car or other private vehicle. In National Parks where a "per person" entrance fee is charged, the Senior Pass admits you plus three other adults (who need not be seniors). This is an especially good deal if you are also traveling with grandchildren, because children under 16 have free admission. The lifetime national parks Senior Pass also gives seniors a 50% discount on federal use fees charged for camping, swimming, boat launching, parking and tours (in some cases where use fees are charged, only the person named on the Senior Pass will be given the 50% discount).

Once you have your travel destination picked out, it makes sense to scout out possible discounts offered at other official city travel sites worldwide. By doing a simple google search, such as: “travel discounts USA Seniors” it yielded the following results within just the first page:

1. www.seniorsholidaytravel.com.au/

    “Seniors Holiday Travel provides numerous benefits to Senior Citizens that no other Travel Agency can provide”

2. www.hsptravel.com.au/Similar

    “HSP Travel offers Australian Travel, Tour, Vacation and Holiday Packages. Our range of Australian Holiday Packages for couples, families and seniors”

3. www.seniorscard.nsw.gov.au/travel/default.asp

    “Tours for singles. Tours designed for single seniors! Holiday in the company of other singles in your age group, from short breaks to grand overseas tours”

4. seniorscoachtours.com.au/

    “Value Packed Holidays for Seniors. Seniors Coach Tours welcomes you to our range of easy paced great value holidays exclusively created for the 60 +”

5. www.seniorstays.com.au/Tours/Australia.aspx