Thrifty Travel Tips for Retirees

Vacation in-style for less by taking advantage of off-season deals and senior discounts.

A fixed income doesn’t have to mean the end of retirement travel adventures. There are numerous deals available for thrifty travelers, especially for those who qualify for senior discounts.  By following a few simple tips, savvy travelers can make the most of these money-saving opportunities. If you are looking for a way to see the world on a tight budget, while still getting the most for your money, consider the following thrifty travel tips.

1. Always Ask About Senior Discounts

To entice active adult vacationers, the travel industry will often publicly promote their senior discounts. For example, Marriott offers a 15 percent discount on hotel room rates to anyone over 62. However, a lack of publicity does not mean that there is no discount. Many businesses will be willing to give you a reduced rate, even if it is not prominently mentioned on their rate plan. Wherever you plan to travel, make sure to ask about senior discounts.

2. Plan a Trip During the Off-Season

Rates drop dramatically during any location’s off-season. Beaches and other summer hot spots are particularly prone to this, as college students and families with children are often only able to travel during their summer break from school. Save money by booking a vacation just before or after a destination’s peak season. Visiting a location in the middle of its off-season will often give you an entirely different experience.

3. Take Advantage of Your Flexible Schedule

The prices for hotels, airfare, car rentals, sightseeing tours, and other travel expenses can change drastically from one day to the next. Last-minute bookings can be a great way to save a lot of money while traveling. Remember, a hotel or airline would rather offer you a deal than have a room or seat stay empty.

4. Try an All-Inclusive Vacation

Even if you plan a budget, extra expenses can often cause the cost of your vacation to slowly creep up. Staying at an all-inclusive resort, or opting for an all-inclusive cruise, often makes it easier to stick with your travel budget. Just be sure to find out about any fees for “extras” before booking.

5. Rent a Condo, Cottage, or Suite With a Full Kitchen

Eating out for every meal can quickly boost your travel costs. Staying at a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast will help, but that still leaves you eating two meals a day at restaurants. By choosing to stay in a vacation home, timeshare condo, or suite with a full kitchen, you are able to stock up on groceries and cook many of your meals at “home.” You should still budget for a few meals out, but after a busy day of sightseeing, a home cooked meal can be a welcome end to the day.

Active adult retirees make up a large portion of leisure travelers. They have the time and desire to see the world, the flexibility to travel during the off-season, and the freedom to plan extended vacations. For all of these reasons, the travel industry frequently designs travel packages that will appeal to traveling retirees. Learning to seek out these offers will help you see the world without breaking the bank.

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