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When am I eligible for senior travel discounts?

SmarterTravel

Dear Editor,

At what age am I eligible for senior travel discounts?

Thanks,

Reader

Dear Reader,

There is no one official age when travelers become eligible for senior discounts. Each travel provider sets its own age restrictions. Some providers offer senior discounts starting at age 50 while others, like Southwest, start discounting at age 65. To find out if you qualify for a senior deal, you’ll have to ask a reservationist or check the provider’s website whenever you go to book a hotel, cruise, flight, or other travel service.

Most senior discounts simply require that you meet the provider’s age rules, but some also stipulate that you be a member of a club such as AARP. AARP membership costs $12.50 per year and is open to people ages 50 or older.

Below is a list of popular airlines, hotel chains, cruise lines, car rental agencies, tour operators, and bus and rail lines that offer senior discounts. The minimum age requirement for each provider is noted.

Travel provider Minimum age
Southwest 65
Best Western 50 (AARP)
Hyatt 62
Mariott 62
Royal Caribbean 55
Avis 50 (AARP)
Collette Vacations 50 (AARP)
Greyhound 62
Amtrak 62
Rail Europe 60

This list is not comprehensive and is only meant to give you a general idea of what’s out there. All the deals covered in the SmarterTravel.com Senior section include information about age requirements, if there are any (certain deals are geared toward senior travelers but do not have any age restrictions). Read other Senior Q&As for more detailed information about the age rules for air and hotel discounts.

Before booking a senior deal, keep in mind that senior rates do not always offer the biggest savings. It’s very important that you shop around online or inquire about other special rates before laying out your money.

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