NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior, What types of senior discounts are available to older travelers? My husband and I are approaching retirement and love to travel but love to save money, too.
— Almost Retired
Dear Almost, There is actually wide variety of travel discounts available to older travelers — usually starting at age 50, 55, 60, 62 or 65.
But you first need to be aware that when it comes to senior travel bargains, the “senior discount” may not always be the best deal.
Hotels, airlines and cruise lines, for example, offer advanced bookings along with special deals and promotions from time to time that may be a lower rate than what the senior discount is.
Always ask about the lowest possible rate and the best deal available. With that said, here’s a breakdown of some different senior travel discounts that are available today.
Club memberships: If you’re a member of AARP, there are dozens of travel discounts available on hotels, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.
To find them, see discounts.aarp.org/travel or call 800-675-4318.
Annual AARP membership fees are $16 or less if you join for multiple years.
If you don’t like AARP, there are alternative organizations you can join, like the Seniors Coalition or the American Seniors Association, that offer discounts on hotels and rental cars.
Airlines: Southwest Airlines has the best senior fare program in the U.S., offering discounts to passengers 65 and older. American, United and Delta offer some senior fares, too, but they are extremely limited.
Trains: Amtrak provides a 15 percent discount to travelers 62 and older, and a 10 percent discount to passengers over age 60 on cross-border services operated jointly by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada.
Bus travel: Greyhound offers a 5 percent discount on unrestricted fares to seniors over 62. Peter Pan, which serves the Northeast region of the U.S., offers the same deal.