With each birthday after age 50 you become eligible for nice discounts on travel, dining and entertainment. Travel in particular is a category where some of the best senior discounts are available, so start saving with this guide.
Don’t hesitate to ask for senior discounts.
Beginning at age 50 savings are available, but you have to train yourself to ask for them. You may also, initially, find it uncomfortable to ask. But the money saved will help you get over your embarrassment pretty quickly.
The age at which discounts become available vary between vendors. The ages generally are 50, 55, 59, 60, 62 and 65. The vast majority fall between 55 and 62. Discounts range from 10 to as much as 30 percent.
The best time to ask for senior discounts is at the time of booking for hotels, resorts and airlines. Some vendors require any eligible discount to be applied at booking. Discounts may also be available for booking over the phone, but finding the discount via the website may be difficult or not offered.
If you cannot find senior discount terms easily on a vendor’s website, use the search box or even go to Google and search senior discount with the name of the vendor. One of these two methods should uncover it if available.
American Association of Retired Persons
AARP eligibility begins at 50 and membership is very affordable. Discounts range up to 25% on almost all aspects of travel and dining. AARP has a website devoted specifically to the discount programs it has with each vendor. You can also download a phone app for locating discounts wherever you may be.
Is the senior discount the best deal?
Don’t assume that the senior discount offered is the best deal. Check promotional offers by hotel chains and airlines at any given time. Promotional offers may be better than your senior discount. Ask if you can combine a senior discount with the promotional offer. Often you cannot. So determine which is the better deal.
Airlines and hotels
Only a handful of airlines offer senior discounts. Some only offer them on reservations made by phone and may only be offered on select routes. The starting age is 65. Those airlines are Delta, United, Southwest and Continental. Internationally British Airways and Air France offer discounts. No matter the airline, it’s a good idea to ask any airline you do business with.
Many hotel chains offer senior discounts including Doubletree, La Quinta, Hilton and Embassy Suites. The discounts may vary by season.
Again, be sure to compare what you would save with a senior discount to any promotional offers to determine the best deal.
Cruises typically offer senior discounts starting at age 55, the most generous threshold in the travel industry. One cruise shopping site posts the latest, best senior cruise deals.