Senior Discounts Are No Joke and For the Best Senior Discounts You May Be “Carded” As You Were At Age Twenty One

NAT PARKS SENIOR LIFETIMEWhen all of our friends were turning 50, Grandpa and I gave two gifts.  The first was a three year membership to AARP (now $43) because it would shock our friends that they could be a member of the American Association of Retired Persons at age 50.  The second was a book, “Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can’t Get Unless You’re Over 50,” by Joan Rattner Heilman. You can tell that most of our dear friends are closer to 70 now than 50 because the book was last updated in 2008 but is still available at Amazon.  I love this 2010 review of the book by a reader that gives you the information as to whether you want to spend $10 for a kindle version or $20 for the paperback:

“I really like this book the most for the variety of travel, educational, and volunteer information it contains for people over 50. There are some unusual options here for various groups of people including adventure travelers, lifelong learners, and even people with good dance skills. For the latter group, the men get info and sites to go to where they can receive free or cheap ($25 a day) luxury cruises to exotic locales on cruise lines we all know of. The men act as “gentleman hosts” and get paid for dancing with the ladies, socializing, escorting the ladies on shore excursions, hosting dinner tables, and playing games- all things they would be glad to do anyway. They get a free cruise,cabin, and meals with maybe a $25 a day processing fee. Ladies aren’t left out- we can go on the same ships as entertainers or lecturers (this doesn’t require a degree- just need to know about the subject). Great adventures is part of the title and they are not kidding. No one reading this book will be lazing life away in a rocking chair. After 50 is when the real adventures begin.”

Grandpa and I agree that being over 50 and the freedom it brings allows for taking advantage of experiences and adventures that living life interfered with before age 50.

After our friends got over the shock of the presents, we would tell them about all of the discounts we could access at age 50, increasing as we got longer (we never say older).  My shock was having a recent discussion with one of recipients who was surprised to hear about the Marriott senior rate that she has not been taking advantage of staying often at the Residence Inn on Manhattan’s east side.  I explained that the Marriott senior rate requires age 62 years or older, and you can save 15% or more on your room rate at Marriott brand hotels worldwide, seven days a week.   Sometimes the discount is not available at one location or Marriott brand so try another nearby location or Marriott brand, and sometimes the discount is 50% with a prepaid stay.  I also reminded her of AARP website and gave her the link to the AARP benefits.

She asked that I please put all of the benefits Grandpa and I would use in a blog for all of those too lazy to do anything but go to www.grandmother.blog.com for the information in one place.  She said there is too much information she is not interested in, such as Motel 6.

TRAVEL

For those who are lazy and want a one-stop shop for travel booking, you can go right to:

AARP® Travel Center Powered by Expedia® Travel Savings

Members get 10% off at select hotels, 10%-30% off base rates for Avis, Budget, and Payless car rentals, up to $100 in extra onboard credits on select cruises, up to $570 off vacation packages, and more. The AARP Travel Center offers discounts on select cruises by companies including Norwegian Cruise Line, Windstar and Grand European Travel. Call Expedia at 1-800-675-4318

Hilton Hotels & Resorts

5% Off Your Room. Members save 5% off the best available rate and get late checkout until 2 p.m., when available. Call Hilton Hotels & Resorts at 1-855-227-7445.  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. To be eligible for the Seniors rate at Hilton portfolio properties, the age is 65.

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

5% Off Your Room. Members save 5% off the best available rate and get late checkout until 2 p.m., when available. Call Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts at 1-855-227-7445

Marriott and Starwood Hotels do not appear on the AARP website (after all, you only have to be age 50 to get an AARP card).

Starwood Hotels.  Most Starwood properties offer Senior Discount rates, subject to availability. You must show a valid AARP membership or be 60 years of age or older to qualify for this discount, however, always verify and check the rate details as terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

Marriott Hotels offer a senior discount that may be 15 percent or more for guests 62 or older. Discounted rooms are offered on a space-available basis; a maximum of two rooms can be reserved per stay. There is no limit on the number of nights per stay. Guest must also present valid identification with date of birth at check-in. This rate, which is subject to availability, is offered globally at Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance® Hotels & Resorts, EDITIONSM, Autograph CollectionSM, Courtyard by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites® by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott®, Springhill Suites by Marriott® and Marriott Vacation Club International®.

For most hotels, you also get 20% discount on meals at the hotels and 10% discount on purchases at the gift shops, with exceptions of course.  Sometimes you are not required to be an overnight guest to get these discounts.  In the winter, arriving at the Manhattan theatre district early, waiting on at the eighth floor lounge and restaurant area of the Marriott Marquis and having a light dinner or snack at a discount we would not normally expect, keeps us out of the cold.

For airlines, check their websites and the book above.  We have found that other than Southwest Airlines, we have not been able to take advantage of the senior discount rates due to limited availability and restrictions.

As an AARP member, you can extend your trip with a free weekend day with Avis Rent A Car and receive One Rental Day Free when you rent an Intermediate through a Full-Size Four-Door car for three consecutive days, including a Saturday night. However, you may qualify for other discounts that are better than AARP and may be unable to use more than one offer at a time.

RESTAURANTS

The trick is to remember to bring your AARP card.  Of the list of AARP restaurants, these are of interest to Grandpa and me.

Bonefish Grill. AARP Members save 10% on their check every day.

Chart House. Members save 10% on their check every day.

Denny’s. Members save 15% on their check all day, every day at participating locations.

McCormick & Schmick’s. Members save 10% on their check every day.

Outback Steakhouse. Members save 10% on their check every day.

Rainforest Café. Members save 10% on their check every day.  If you are taking the grandchildren to Animal Kingdom at Disney, go here for breakfast.  The breakfasts are surprisingly good.  The Cafe is right before the entrance and you can go earlier than the park opens.  Grandchildren cannot wait to get to Disney and will be up early.  Just be prepared to buy them something at the store while they are waiting for the park to open.

OTHER

There are many AARP “limited time offers” available for entertainment and restaurants that require you to check the website and enter your information to access, such as on Ticketmaster, Cirque de Soleil.

AARP has insurance discounts and other specific discounts that you can find in the bimonthly magazine you will receive in the mail.  Take a look before you just throw the magazine in the trash.

America the Beautiful – National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Lifetime Senior Pass

One of our best discounts has been to go to the national parks. We are almost done with seeing all of them, and each has been a unique and wonderful experience.  If you did not get your lifetime senior pass to all in the United States for $10, you now have to pay $80, plus a $10 handling fee. For U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. Applicants must provide documentation of age and residency or citizenship. Go to link for application and information.

Yes, there are other discounts available, such on trains and for other services, sometimes better than AARP when you are in your 60’s and above.  Just type in senior discount on google for the travel or chain restaurant.  If you live in Florida, you can expect “early bird” specials at most restaurants, complete meals at discount prices mostly from 4 pm to 6 pm, geared to those who look for senior discounts.  Remember, it is better for weight maintenance to eat dinner earlier rather than later!

Are senior discounts worth having to reveal that we are of long age?  Sometimes those of us who are intent on remaining forever young, find ourselves “carded” as we were when we were age twenty one and going to a bar for the first time.  Grandpa loves telling the story of our being on an Amtrak train traveling from our grandchildren in the Washington, D.C. area to our grandchildren in the New York Metropolitan area with a senior/disability discount ticket, and the conductor asking him what his disability was.  He responded, “old age.”  He was still asked to produce proof of his age.  How happy was he!

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

 

 

 

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