Travel Discounts for Seniors
There’s a lot of benefits to growing older, including the fact that we get to retire, we’re wiser, probably wealthier, we have the freedom to travel and our responsibilities in life change. There’s a new kind of freedom in coming and going as we please, without the responsibility of caring for young children. The obligation of going to work and limited vacation allowances that come with a job is another obvious benefit. We can take holidays that last as long as we please, in whatever season we want. Another advantage is our ability to qualify for various senior discounts on travel which can save you a bundle over time. My best advice: Ask for the senior discount wherever you go. Here is an overview of some of the benefits that you can take advantage of once you reach the ripe “old” age of 50 plus.
When all those “responsibilities” diminish, you’re free to pack up and go whenever you want. You’ll likely be eligible for various airline discounts, so when booking your next flight, don’t hesitate to inquire about any senior discounts ahead of time – if you’re working with a travel agent to plan your trip, ask up front. If you book your flights online, some online companies such as Cheapoair give you a promo code – use it. It’s only a small discount, but as they say, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Unfortunately there are no senior discounts on Canadian airlines. However some American airlines still offer senior discounts on flights. To find out if the airline and route of your choice still offers discounts to seniors, you will either have to work directly with a travel agent or call up the airline of your choice.
AARP and CARP Discounts
Once you reach your 50th birthday, you are eligible for an AARP membership, which only costs $16 each year. An AARP membership enables you to take advantage of even more discounts on travel, insurance, car rentals etc. There are quite a few discounts and benefits to belonging to AARP (in the U.S.) or CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons in Canada). Sign up for your membership here on the AARP site.
There aren’t any senior discounts for most cruise lines per se, but most cruise lines offer early booking discounts and frequently offer package deals on various cruises. Other deals include prepaid gratuities or onboard credits. Stay in touch with these early booking bonuses and deals by asking a travel agent to keep you informed of upcoming promos. Also, sign up for the cruise line’s special offer email alerts. Some cruise lines such as Costa Cruises, Azamara and Royal Caribbean offer senior discounts on some itineraries.
Traveling by Rail
Traveling in the US with Amtrak Rail or in Canada with Via Rail or with Eurail in Europe as a senior has benefits. All these railway lines offer senior travel discounts. However there are rules as to when you can travel and various routes which qualify for discounts. Amtrak offers discounts if you book early. Find more information on Amtrak pricing and deals here . On the Canadian railway system, seniors can benefit from a 10% discount off the full price of railway travel all year long on ViaRail’s Economy Plus fare, regular Sleeper, Sleeper Plus and Touring fares. Read more about the senior discounts on Via Rail here. Traveling by train is one of the most pleasant ways to go the distance. Be sure to ask for the travel discount for seniors when you book.
In Europe, seniors age 60+ can find discounts on railway travel, but what’s offered varies. Some rail travel companies offer a 10% discount on first fares only. Britrail Pass, Britrail England Pass and France Rail Pass offer a discount to seniors on first-class travel. Eurail Romania Pass and Eurail Ireland Pass offers a discount for seniors on all fares.
Check whether there are discounts for seniors in each individual country you are traveling through. In France, if you travel by rail, mature travelers over 60 years of age can buy what’s called a SNCF Senior+ Card and obtain up to 50% off rail tickets for local and long distance travel within France. Again, check out each individual country where you are traveling. Visit the French railway website for more information on the SNCF Senior discount card.
There are no travel discounts for senior on coach travel with Greyhound in the US or Canada, but you save a bundle if you book online and in advance, so book early and book online to obtain a generous discount.
Public transport on the bus or subway system within cities may offer discounted travel for seniors. Each city is different so verify online if there are any discounts for seniors. Note of warning if you need accessible transport – public transportation may not be a good option for you, you will need to verify this.
Big Bus Tours
We highly recommend Big Bus Tours or hop on hop off bus tours whenever you go on holiday to various cities throughout the world. Each big bus tour company is individually owned so you will need to check the website of each big bus company tour to find discounts. It seems that most Big Bus tours offer discounts if you book early and on the internet before you travel.
Discounts for seniors at restaurants is becoming more and more rare. Each restaurant has its own policy on specials. Everyone enjoys going out to dine from time to time. Depending on where you go, you might be eligible to receive a senior discount. You’ll have to check with each individual restaurant where you plan to dine.
Museum Entrance Fees
If you enjoy visiting museums, then you’ll be happy to know that many museums offer senior discounts on admission, but these discounts are available only on certain days of the week. Check out the museum website before you travel to a particular city. If you really want the discount on your entrance fee, plan your travel around those dates.
There’s good news here. Many hotels – specifically the big chain hotels offer senior discounts. When booking a hotel room by phone or through a travel agent – ask whether they have discounts for seniors. Marriott Hotels worldwide offer a 15% discount for seniors. Best Western hotels also offer discounts for people aged 55+. Have your AARP or CARP card as proof of age and membership when booking. Whatever hotel you choose to stay with, always ask for a senior rate on all hotels.
Senior discounts for theater tickets are available, so inquire when booking. Discounts for seniors usually apply to certain performances and days during the week.
Travel discounts for seniors are still out there. Ask for it wherever you make a booking for travel and bring your AARP or CARP card. You may be asked for proof of age and membership. In Europe and Australia travel you’ll find some very good discounts on travel if you’re a citizen of those countries. There’s a lot of research to do if you are looking for special deals for seniors. That’s another reason we recommend using a travel agent. They may add a fee for their services but they do the “legwork” for you. You’ll always have someone to call to rectify a situation if something goes wrong when you’re traveling overseas.