I am 57 years old. Do I qualify for senior hotel discounts?
Yes, at age 57 you are eligible for most senior hotel discounts. There is no universal age requirement for senior rates, but most hotels set the minimum age at 50 or 55.
The majority of senior hotel discounts out there are for AARP members (you or your spouse must be age 50 or above to join), with 36 national and international hotel chains currently offering discounts of 10 to 50 percent. Check the SmarterTravel.com senior hotel page for details on participating chains. It's important to know that AARP discounts are taken off the hotel's rack rates, not the lowest available rate. When making a booking for one of AARP's partner hotels, be sure to look at all available rates because you can often find sale rates that are lower than AARP prices. However, when there's no better rate, the AARP discount (even if only 10 percent off) is certainly better than nothing.
Several large chains offer their own senior discount programs that usually do deliver significant savings, but most of the better programs have higher minimum age requirements than AARP. For example, if you are age 62 or over, you can take advantage of savings of up to 50 percent at Hyatt hotels or up to 15 percent off at Marriott hotels. And, if you are age 60 or over, you can join Hilton's Senior HHonors, a program that rewards loyal senior guests with discounted rates, free nights, and savings at Hilton restaurants.
You can also sometimes find senior deals at non-chain hotels, resorts, B&Bs, and inns. For instance, many B&Bs offer senior specials for mid-week or off-peak stays. Several major B&B booking websites make it easy to find senior discounts with online search tools. Age requirements vary by B&B. Senior discounts at other types of accommodations are harder to find online, but SmarterTravel.com tries to keep track of notable offers on the senior hotel page.
Overall, if you're age 50 or over, its a good idea to inquire about senior discounts whenever booking accommodations, as you may be pleasantly surprised with a good discount offer. Just make sure to also ask about other special rates to ensure you get the best deal.
If you have a question about senior travel, please e-mail us and include your first name and where you're from. Because of the volume of e-mail we receive, we can't guarantee a response to each question.