6 ways to stretch your travel dollar

Created date

April 19th, 2018
Airplane in flight

One of the best things about retirement is having the time to travel. And studies show that older adults are definitely using that time to see the world: A 2015 AARP report found that Baby Boomers anticipated taking four or five trips in 2016.

If frequent travel is at the top of your retirement “to-do list,” then it can be helpful to stretch your travel dollar. One of the best ways to do that is to take advantage of discounts available to seniors—and there are tons of them out there. From reduced-price hotel rooms to cheaper airfare to deals on tourist attractions, here are six of the best discounts:

1. National Parks Service Senior Pass (store.usgs.gov/senior-pass). If you’re age 62-plus, this is your ticket to see America’s natural beauty. For $20 a year (or $80 for a lifetime membership), you get access to all 59 parks, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon.

2. British Airways AARP Member Discount (britishairways.com/en-us/offers/partners/aarp-member-benefits). Most airlines offer some sort of senior discount, but British Airways’ deal is particularly attractive. AARP members can take $65 off economy fares and $200 off business class tickets.

3. Hyatt Hotels Discounts (hyatt.com). Hyatt guests age 62-plus may be able to book rooms for up to 50% less than standard rates. However, you should always check other deals and promotions to make sure the senior rate is the best price available during your stay.

4. Carnival Cruise Deals for Seniors (goo.gl/qWR2xh). Most cruise lines offer some sort of senior discount. But Carnival makes it particularly easy to search for special rates on its website. You can select your destination, departure city, travel dates, and cruise duration, and an easy-to-read calendar will show you the prices on each day for passengers age 55 and up.

5. Avis AARP Member Benefits (avis.com/en/bridge/assoc/aarp). Your AARP card will get you 30% off Avis car rentals and the additional driver fee is waived. Plus, if you rent an intermediate or larger car for three consecutive days, you can get one weekend day for free (goo.gl/p39H7W).

6. Amtrak Senior Discount (amtrak.com/seniors-discount). Train travel can be a relaxing and a nostalgic way to see the country. You can watch the landscape change over the miles as you enjoy a meal in the dining car or relax in your sleeper cabin. Amtrak passengers age 65-plus received a 10% discount on tickets. You only have to be 60 to take advantage of the 10% discount on cross-border train trips operated jointly by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada. And passengers age 62 and up can score 50% discounts on Amtrak’s Downeaster trains between Boston and Portland, Maine, making for an economical tour of New England (goo.gl/PkZuvz).

Other travel-related companies may offer senior discounts, so be sure to check before booking. And, if you aren’t able to find information about a company’s senior discount on its website, it never hurts to simply call and ask for one. Many companies will be happy to accommodate you in order to win your business in a competitive marketplace.