Typically, senior status starts at age 65 in the U.S. and at 60 in much of the rest of the world. As a senior, you will find discounts you expect, like on Southwest Airlines and via AARP (in the US), and unadvertised ones that will surprise you. Try flashing a smile and asking!
Be sure to ask
Before you book anything, first ask if there’s a discount for seniors. These discounts may not be advertised, but they do exist. Do some research. Many hotels offer discounts of 5 to 10 percent. But Marriott reduces the price by 15 percent or more for ages 62 and up. Most movie theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums, public golf courses and even ski slopes provide reduced admission to seniors over 60 or 65. A “two for one” cruise deal may be cheaper than booking a discounted senior fare, so don’t assume that the senior rate is your best bet. Wanna Get Away fares on Southwest, for example, available if you book early, will beat the senior fare.
Discounts ‘R Us in the US
- US National Parks Senior Lifetime Pass: An $80.00 Lifetime Pass provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies (62+). (This price increased from $10 to $80 on Aug. 28, 2017.)
- Greyhound: 5% discount (62+)
- Amtrak Senior Discounts: Amtrak travelers 62 years of age and over are eligible to receive a 15% discount on the lowest available rail fare on most Amtrak trains. On cross-border services operated jointly by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada, a 10% Senior discount is applicable to travelers (60+).
- AARP lists 45 discount opportunities in an article 45 Travel Discounts for Your Next Great Escape . (At the time of writing this article, the link was active. Links change constantly, so if it’s not active, search on the site for “travel discounts”.) AARP provides a very wide variety of commercial discounts for American seniors who wish to travel, live, or retire at home and abroad, along with many destination guides, articles, resources, and other useful benefits.
- Sometimes a trip to the Big Apple can be too costly on a retiree’s budget. Some surprising discounts may enable you to enjoy New York’s myriad of sites. To ride the city’s subways and buses, for example, seniors, 65 years old and older, show a government-issued photo ID and pay only $1.35 for a round-trip fare.
You can buy reduced fare Metro Cards at subway tollbooths or just drop in the exact change when you enter a bus. Getting into the city from the area’s airports can be expensive, so consider transportation such as the Newark Airport Express, where seniors pay only $8 one-way.
- Many car rental companies (such as Avis, Hertz, Payless, and Budget) offer discounts up to 25% for AARP members or with discount codes.
Sometimes all you need is gray hair and a passport to get a discount at many sights, and even some events such as concerts and museum entry. Discounts may go by various names: the British call discounts “concessions” or “pensioner’s rates.” Depending where you are traveling, native citizens may be ineligible for discounts.
Seniors whose ages range from 60 to 67 years old (depending on the country) can get deals on point-to-point rail tickets in Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Norway. To get rail discounts in most countries — including Austria, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Spain, and a second tier of discounts in France — you must purchase a senior card at a local train station (valid for a year, but can be worthwhile even on a short trip if you take several train rides during your stay).
Search for Discounts
Try a Google search for “Senior travel discounts” when you have lots of time. The list is long and can be fruitful!