11 Senior Travel Discounts You Need to Know About

By    

Photo credit: Kzenon/shutterstock

The senior travel market is huge, and many over 55 have money to spend -- so companies catering to adventurous seniors charge an arm and a leg for tours. Do a little research, though, and it's possible to travel without letting go of a lot of cash.
Photo credit: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

TRAINS

Amtrak offers 15 percent off train fares throughout the country to those over 62, and 10 percent off cross-border trips operated jointly by Amtrak and Via Rail Canada to those over 60. A senior discount applies on Amtrak Vacations throughout the United States and Canada as well.
Photo credit: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

BUSES

Greyhound has a 5 percent discount on all of its U.S. bus lines for anyone 62 or older.
Photo credit: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

AARP

AARP partners with Expedia to offer members flight and hotel deals, including 10 percent off some lodging and 25 percent off some car rentals. Trains around the world, such as the Orient Express and Trans-Siberian Express offer deals through AARP starting at 5 percent off.
Photo credit: Tupungato/shutterstock

HOTELS

Even people who are not AARP members get a break on hotels around the world when they're over 60. Choice Hotels offers up to 10 percent discounts. Marriott offers at least 15 percent discounts to those over 62. Hyatt offers up to a 50 percent discount at certain locations (but usually it's more like 10 percent).
Photo credit: Ruslan Guzov/shutterstock

AIRLINES

Some airlines such as Southwest offer senior fares for travelers over 65. As with most airlines, calling is a better idea than trying to book online; it's often the only way to get such a discount. But last-minute online deals may be even better than senior fares.
Photo credit: Nestor Rizhniak/shutterstock

CAR RENTALS

Several car rental companies -- Hertz, National, Avis, and Budget offer a small discount to seniors, sometimes through AARP memberships. Check sources such as Hotwire for regular discounted rates that might be lower than the senior rate.
Photo credit: Spotmatik Ltd/shutterstock

CRUISES

Seniors make up a big part of cruise clientele, and operators often offer discounts on selected sailings to travelers over 55. Sometimes room upgrades are available in lieu of a cut in price, but it depends on the sailing, time of year, and other factors. Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean discounts vary, but Norwegian Cruise Line gives $100 off, along with some other perks, to AARP members. Retired people who can just pick up and go can take advantage of the last-minute offers cruise companies offer all the time.
Photo credit: B Brown/shutterstock

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL PASS

A $10 lifetime pass for seniors 62 or older gives half-off on camping at all national parks, as well as some paid amenities such as boating and swimming. Entrance fees are waived at national park or federal recreation sites, entitling the pass holder free vehicle entrance with up to three passengers. Parks with lodges, cabins, or yurts don't usually offer discounts on lodging, but may offer free breakfast or some other perk.
Photo credit: Lisa F. Young/shutterstock

STATE PARKS

Some state parks accept the America the Beautiful pass, but seniors should look for other breaks as well on vehicle parking, often reduced or free to seniors. State parks with campgrounds usually offer discounts for camping or RV parking. Occasionally, as in Arkansas and Idaho, it's half-off during the week for residents and a smaller discount on weekends. Some states -- Colorado and Delaware, for instance -- have their own state park passes for free parking and campsite discounts. Where there are lodges or cabins for rent, seniors often get breaks on these as well.
Photo credit: goodluz/shutterstock

HOME EXCHANGE 50 PLUS

While not strictly a discount, home swapping is always a cheaper way to travel -- the accommodations are free. Home Exchange 50 Plus, based in England, arranges even non-simultaneous exchanges, where people enjoy stays in others' homes, but not at the same time.
Photo credit: Fotokon/shutterstock

SEEING THE SIGHTS

Museums, aquariums, botanical gardens, theme parks (though not Disneyland or Disney World), and sightseeing attractions such as whale watching in San Diego always offer a discount to seniors -- though they're not always better than what might be found on Groupon.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a writer and researcher with a long history of bringing supportive information to both businesses and individuals. A life long New Yorker, she relocated to the confluence of the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley, an area of small farms that is a mecca for food; an excellent spot for an ex-caterer who  has taught cooking to kids, and contributed articles on that topic to the Big Apple Parents’ paper, among others. There she battles rocks and creatures to create a garden that has been certified as a Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. She is studying to be a Master Gardener, and has a Master’s Degree in Information Science from Pratt Institute.

See full bio

Recommended For You