4 seniors: Finding the best senior discounts when you travel

OKLAHOMA CITY – As you get older, many seniors decide that they want to spend their time traveling.

There are literally thousands of different travel-related discounts available to retirees that usually start anywhere, between the ages of 50 and 65. The discounts, which typically range between 5% and 25% off, can save you hundreds.

The first thing to know is that most businesses don’t advertise them, but many give senior discounts just for asking.

Also be aware that the “senior discount” may not always be the best deal. Hotels, resorts, airlines and cruise lines offer advanced bookings with special deals and promotions that may be lower than a senior discount. Before you book, always ask about the lowest possible rate and the best deal available.

Another way to save is to be flexible when you travel. Last minute travel deals can offer huge savings, as well as traveling during off-season or off-peak times, and avoiding holidays.

Club memberships like AARP an also help you save with travel bargains on hotels, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. The Seniors Coalition or the American Seniors Association offer discounts on hotels and rental cars.

Transportation: For airline travel, Southwest has fully refundable senior fares to passengers 65 and older, and British Airways offers AARP members $65 off economy travel and $200 off business club travel. American, United and Delta also offer senior fares in certain markets but are extremely limited.

For traveling by train, Amtrak provides a 10 percent discount to travelers 65-plus, and a 10 percent discount to passengers over 60 on cross-border services operated jointly by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada.

Greyhound bus lines also offer a 5 percent discount to passengers 62 and older. Most car rental companies offer 10 to 25 percent discounts to customers who belong to AARP or AAA.

Hotels: Many hotels offer senior discounts ranging between 5 and 15% off. Mariott offers a 15% discount to travelers 62 and older, and Wyndham offers best available rate discounts to those 60 and older.

Restaurants: Some restaurant chains offer senior discounts for things like free drinks to discounts on your total order. National chains that offer those deals include Burger King, Chili’s, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Golden Corral, IHOP and Wendy’s. Offers can vary by location.

Cruises: Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise lines offer discount rates to cruisers 55 and over.

Entertainment and Attractions: Most movie theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums, public golf courses and even ski slopes provide reduced admission to seniors over 60 or 65. If you’re over 62, you’re eligible for the ‘senior pass,’ which provides a lifetime entry to 2,000 national parks and recreation sites. You can obtain this pass in person at one of the federal recreation sites for $80, or online for $90.

You can also look for other travel discounts on the Sciddy app.