15 Discounts Seniors Can Use to Cut Travel Costs

Seniors can get discounts on flights, train tickets, car rentals, entertainment, and more. You just need to know where (and when) to look.

happy senior couple hugging each other on road with tourist bus in background
Updated May 28, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Seniors can get discounts on many items and services, from restaurants to transit tickets to national parks. Retirees with wanderlust can use these discounts to reduce the overall cost of vacations. 

Those traveling on a budget should also choose the best travel credit card to earn miles, extra perks, or upgrades. This can help maximize the total amount you save to see the world. 

Here are 15 senior discounts you may not know about that can cut your travel costs — and make vacation budgeting much more enjoyable.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive travel discounts and trip-planning resources

Over 50 and love traveling? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member, you could be missing out on huge travel perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on hotels and resorts, airfare, cruises, car rentals, and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

An AARP membership not only unlocks discounts that could save you hundreds on your next trip, but you’ll also have access to deals on vacation packages, guided tours, and exclusive content to help plan your next getaway.

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (do not skip this step!). Doing so will allow you to take up to 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

Hotels and accommodations

rilueda/Adobe beautiful interior of hotel room with LCD bed and lamps during day time

Many hotels offer discounted rates for seniors, but the offers vary a great deal in total savings and qualifying age. Some hotels let qualifying customers book with a senior discount on their website, while others require guests to go through AARP.

Some large hotel chains make discounted rates available to people under 65. Best Western begins at age 55, for instance, and Marriott at age 62.

Regardless of where you choose to stay, it pays to research and see what discounts are available to avoid wasting money.

Car rentals

stocksolutions Save to Library /Adobe cars for sale standing in rows outside car dealership showroom during day time

If you need to rent a car while you’re away, look into which services in the area offer discounts for seniors. Major car rental companies — like Avis, Budget, and Hertz — all offer senior discounts. Certain customers may even be able to score up to 30% off.

Just make sure you understand what age qualifies as “senior” and which vehicles the discounts apply to before booking.

Flights

phive2015/Adobe aeroplane flying above the clouds during day time

Several major airlines offer discounted ticket prices for travelers in their late 50s and beyond, including United, British Airways, and Delta. Savvy travelers can end up saving on their flights, rental cars, hotels, and more if they keep their eyes peeled for senior savings.

Those looking into booking these flights may find they need to contact the airlines directly rather than booking online to get access to senior discounts.

Earn a $250 travel bonus with this incredible card

There's a credit card that's making waves with its amazing bonus and benefits. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has no annual fee and you can earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can earn additional points just by using this card for your everyday purchases — unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. The 25,000 bonus points can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel or dining purchases.

If you want to travel and dine out more, the Travel Rewards card can help you get where you want to go.

The best part? There's no annual fee.

Click here to apply now.

Amtrak tickets

Dan Sheehan/Adobe amtrak passenger train traveling from chicago to detroit during day time

Do you enjoy traveling by train? If so, Amtrak offers a 10% discount for travelers aged 65 and over for most trips. The age is reduced to 60 for those traveling between the U.S. and Canada on cross-border services operated by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada.

Other transit tickets

Pierre/Adobe train waiting for commuters to get on board at vacant train station during day time

Those aged 60 and over should check their local rail and bus systems to see if they can get discounted fares. For example, seniors (65+) in major cities like New York and Chicago can get discounted rates when traveling on the subway. New Jersey Transit offers half-off rail tickets for people over 62.

Seniors should look for discounts on local buses, trains, light rail, and other modes of transportation at their destinations. You may even save on transportation to and from the airport.

Concert or show tickets

supamotion/Adobe band playing modern jazz music on stage

Seniors can also save cash when booking tickets to concerts or shows. AARP members, in particular, can land discounts through Ticketmaster for select events.

If live entertainment is part of your travel plans, look into senior discounts before buying tickets for events at local theaters or concert halls.

Museum admissions

Anton Ivanov Photo/Adobe paintings at display inside the metropolitan museum of art with visitors

Many of the attractions in major cities offer discounts for seniors, including museums. If you’re visiting an area that has a thriving arts scene, definitely look into discounts that may be available.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, for example, offers $8 off standard ticket prices for visitors aged 65 and over. The Art Institute of Chicago offers $6 off.

The North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Program offers free admission to hundreds of museums in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico if you’re a member of any of their member museums.

Cruises

NAN/Adobe luxury cruise ship sailing in the middle of the sea at sunset

Cruises are a great option for retirees as they tend to offer bargain vacation packages even without a specific senior discount.

Major cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival, also offer special discount packages specifically for customers aged 55 and older.

Restaurants

borisk.photos/Adobe dining tables in resturant

Many restaurants offer senior discounts, which is another great way to cut vacation costs if you plan to dine out during your trip.

National chains like Denny’s and Chili’s offer discounts to any diners over age 55, but discounts may be available at local eateries as well, so it’s always worth asking.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

National parks pass

Sean/Adobe colorado springs mountains and greenery with sun rise

Retirees looking to take some road trips across the U.S. should consider the America the Beautiful senior national parks pass. 

Those aged 62 and over can apply for either an annual pass for $20 or a lifetime pass for $80. It covers admission to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas. In many hot spots, pass holders can get discounts on amenity fees (like camping or guided tours) as well.

Grocery stores

Nitiphonphat/Adobe grocery store interior with shelves

If you’re planning to stock your hotel or Airbnb fridge, another way to save is to shop for groceries using a senior discount. Some stores offer discounts for seniors on certain days of the week. Hy-Vee, for example, offers 5% off for shoppers aged 55 and older every Thursday.

Pro Tip: Doing a Costco haul is a great way to stock up before vacation. Non-members can even use Costco Travel to save money on flights, hotels, and vacation experiences.

Ski passes

Oksana Perkins/Adobe chairlift having tourists in mountains full of snow

Ski resorts all across the U.S. and Canada offer discounts for senior skiers and snowboarders. Some even offer free day passes for those over a certain age.

Shawnee Mountain in Pennsylvania, for example, offers discounts for skiers aged 65 and up and free skiing for those 70 and over.

Movie tickets

peych_p/Adobe movie theater with empty chairs

If you have a few rainy days during your vacation, senior discounts can also be found at many movie theaters. Like all moviegoers, seniors can save by taking in matinee shows, but many theaters also offer a percentage off for viewers in their 60s and beyond.

AMC Theaters, for example, offers discounts for viewers aged 60 and over for most films. Showcase Cinemas offers discounted prices for the 60+ crowd every Wednesday.

Pharmacies

I Viewfinder/Adobe pharmacist holding medicines in drugstore

If you need to stock up on essentials before you go or during your vacation, several major pharmacies offer senior discounts on specific days.

For example, Rite Aid offers 5X the points for Rite Aid Rewards members aged 65 and over on the first Wednesday of every month (plus a free consultation with a pharmacist). Walgreens has “Seniors Day” promotions on the first Tuesday of every month when 55+ shoppers can score additional discounts.

Goodwill

kharoll Mendoza Save to Library O/Adobe new jersey good will store from outside during day time

Goodwill can be a great place to shop for your vacation wardrobe on a budget — and shoppers aged 55 and over can nab a 15% discount off their total purchase every Tuesday through the organization’s “Terrific Senior Tuesdays” program.

Whether you’re looking for a new beach outfit for an island getaway or a winter wardrobe to hit up the ski resort, Goodwill stores tend to have an eclectic mix of clothing and goods at already discounted prices.

Bottom line

Alessandro Biascioli/Adobe multi ethnic friends meeting in outdoor park working out together during day time

Many retirees worry that they need to make extra money to satisfy their wanderlust, but there are so many senior discounts that can cut vacation costs significantly and stretch your social security income, even beyond what is listed here.

Financially-savvy vacationers should look into senior discounts on travel tickets, resorts, restaurants, stores, and other popular attractions. Don’t ever be afraid to ask if you can get a discount because if you don't, then you might end up costing yourself some money.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

Benefits

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
4.1
Apply Now

on Bank of America’s secure website

Read Card Review

Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee

$0

+

Why we like it

Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.