Smart travel for seniors

Smart travel for seniors

By Carrie Dunlea

Having made it to their golden years, many seniors have the extra time to devote to recreational pursuits, but it often comes with a limited budget. Instead, seniors can arm themselves with their earned wisdom and discover the multiple travel perks that come with aging. 

There are an array of discounts, especially if you’re an AARP member, available on various services and many travel options which take into consideration seniors’ fixed retirement incomes. 

Here’s a quick list of available travel discounts that can help seniors get the most bang for their vacation bucks.

Airline tickets

There are no set rates for senior discounts, however, each airline sets its policies and rates. Discounts are typically around 5% to 10% off the full fare price.

American Airlines offer a senior discount on flights for certain international flights to those aged 65 years or above.

You will need to book through the airline’s website or call center and provide your date of birth and proof of age when booking. 

Additionally, Delta offers discounts on select markets, many of which are not available online and British Airways offers $200 off air travel to AARP members.

Ground travel

Flying isn’t the only mode of travel available. AARP partners with various car rental companies to offer senior discounts. Depending on the company, some such as Avis offer as much as 30% off base rates when using its Avis Worldwide Discount Number. Visit for more options.

Seniors also may be entitled to discounts of 5% or more on tickets from Greyhound, Amtrak, and Trailways. In metropolitan areas, reduced fares on public buses and trains through providers like Dallas Area Rapid Transit are available. The DART Go Pass Tap Card provides a 50% discount to qualifying seniors (based on income) and the discount includes buses, rails
and TRE.

National Parks

Exploring national and state parks can be both affordable and rewarding. According to the National Parks Service (NPS), if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident age 62 years or older, there are special entrance pass options. The Senior Lifetime Pass is valid for the lifetime of the individual and costs $80. The Senior Annual Pass is $20. The passes can be purchased at participating federal recreation sites or online at


Getting there is one thing, but seniors also can receive discounts on hotel stays or cruise cabins. AARP reports that many major hotel and motel chains offer senior discounts between 5 and 15%. Royal Caribbean has offered senior discounts on select sailings and stateroom categories for guests aged 55 and older. notes that most chains require travelers to book directly rather than through an online booking agency/deal site to be eligible for discounts.

Dining out

Many restaurants and national chains offer senior discounts with or without AARP membership. Applebee’s offers 10 to 15% off to those age 60 or older. Brick House Tap & Tavern, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Denny’s, IHOP, Outback Steakhouse and many others provide discounts or special senior pricing.

Tours and more

Seniors also can speak with travel agents or booking services about discounts on sightseeing tours and other vacation excursions.

One of the perks of getting older is the chance to save money on travel-related services. 

Always be sure to thoroughly research and plan your trip to ensure that it aligns with your preferences and budget constraints. Additionally, consult with travel agencies or tour operators that specialize in senior travel for personalized assistance.