You might think that when you retire, you’ll finally have the time to do all the travel you’ve been dreaming of.
Trouble is, travel requires not just a lot of time, but a lot of money, too.
According to AARP’s 2019 Boomer Travel Trends survey, cost is the biggest barrier for travel for most people within that age group.
Senior travelers expect to take between four to five vacation trips this year, and in doing so plan to spend over $6,600 primarily on plane travel, hotels and cruise ship accommodations, and car rentals.
Luckily, airlines, car rental companies and hotels are willing to help, with many offering senior discounts that can lower your vacation costs substantially (combined, say, with smart planning around when it’s cheapest to fly this year).
The Senior List, an independent site dedicated to reviewing products and services for older Americans, compiled a list of the best travel discounts for senior travelers. Below are the best deals (for the full list, read this.)
- British Airlines: AARP members can save up to $200 on flights (use this link to book travel.)
- United Airlines: The discounted rate for those people ages 65 and up on United depends on your flight, so you’ll have to call the airline to find out more.
- Southwest Airlines: Offers various discounts for ages 65 and up (call to apply).
- American Airlines: According to the Senior List, there are various discounts for 65 and up, if you call and ask.
Most car rental companies offer discounts for AARP members.
Payless Car Rental offers an AARP member senior discount which includes 5% off daily, weekly, weekend, and monthly rates (be sure to use promo code “KW47RY”).
At Hertz, use discount code “CDP# 2007815” if you’re 50 or older to save up to 20% off base rates.
Like with car rental deals, many of the hotel savings you might find for people older than 50 are thanks to AARP or Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) member discounts.
- The Choice Hotels group—which includes Clarion Hotels, Comfort Inn, Cambria Suites, Sleep Inn, and Comfort Suits—offers an AARP member discount for those age 60 and up, where you’ll save 10% with an advance reservation.
- Best Western, Hampton Inn & Suites, Knights Inn, and Super 8 offer 10% to 20% savings for AARP members 55 and older.
- Hyatt Hotels offers senior discounts up to 50% off for people age 62 and up.
- Marriott Hotels: seniors get a 15% discount.
- Motel 6: AMAC members are eligible for 10% off with the code “CP545906.”
- Wyndham Hotels: either an AARP or AMAC membership earns you up to 20% off your stay.
According to the AARP survey, about 30% of Boomers say their international travel will take place on a cruise ship. For those who favor the high seas, most big cruise lines (think Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean) offer discounts to travelers older than 55.
Though train and bus travel are less popular among Boomers compared to air and cruise ship travel, there are still discounts worth exploring here, too.
The Greyhound Bus company offers a 5% discount for people age 62 and up. At Amtrak, a 15% senior discount is applicable to those age 62 and up on most trains. If you’re crossing between the U.S. and Canada on Amtrak, however, the senior discount is 10%, and applicable to those age 60 and up.