All those birthday candles on your cake can add up to major savings when you travel.
1) Call Ahead. The next time you plan to travel by car, ask about a “senior adult discount” at the hotels, restaurants, parks, museums and other places you’ll be visiting to find out whether they offer these discounts. Often, they’re not publicized.
2) Surf the Internet. If you have a preferred hotel accommodation, check their website for a discount policy (see below for info on a few specific hotels).
4) Don’t Leave Home Without Your ID. Although you’re no longer carded when you buy alcohol, you may be asked for proof of age and a photo ID at places that offer senior-adult discounts.
5) Join AARP. The AARP — American Association of Retired Persons — has negotiated a number of member discounts with hotel chains, car rental companies, restaurants, and more. The annual membership for those 50 or older is $16. http://www.aarp.org/
6) Travel During the Shoulder Season. If the time of year doesn’t matter to you, plan your trip for shoulder season (April through mid-June, or September and October). You’ll not only avoid the heat of summer, you’ll benefit from lower prices on your accommodations.
7) Travel with a Cooler. You can save money by packing breakfast, lunch, light supper, drink and snack items in a cooler. Traveling for too many days to fit enough food items in your cooler? Stop in local grocery stores or farmers markets to get items for the day’s meals or picnic.
8) Rent a House or Condo. Once you’re at your destination, renting a home or condo may be cheaper than a hotel. The added benefit is that you can cook or barbecue to save money on meals. Airbnb is a great place to start. https://www.airbnb.com/
Hotel Discount Policies
Best Western: 10% or more for AARP or senior guests who are aged 55 and older. https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/offers/hotel-discounts/senior-hotel-discounts.html
Candlewood Suites: Discounts vary depending on the location, but apply to those aged 62 and over. https://www.ihg.com/candlewood/content/us/en/deals/hotel-offers/senior-discount
Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Rodeway Inn, etc.): If you are 60+ or an AARP member, you’ll save up to 10% with advance reservations. Just select “Senior/AARP” from the special rate dropdown or request the Senior Rate when you call 800-4CHOICE (800-424-6423). https://www.choicehotels.com/deals/senior-rates
Days Inn: Discounts for those aged 60 and over vary, depending on location. You can also call 1-800-225-3297 and request the “senior rate.” https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/days-inn/hotel-deals/senior-discount
Hyatt Hotels: Seniors aged 62 and over can save up to 50 percent on the daily rate at participating hotels and resorts in the continental U.S. and Canada. https://www.hyatt.com/hyatt/senior.jsp
Marriott Hotels: On a space available basis, Marriott International offers discounts of 15 percent and more to those aged 62 and over. http://www.marriott.com/specials/senior/default.mi