Discount travel for seniors

Deals Of The Week

September 10, 2006|By Richard P. Carpenter | Richard P. Carpenter,The Boston Globe

I had to chuckle at the message on a ball cap I saw the other day in a gift shop: "SENIOR CITIZEN: Now Where's My Damn Discount!"

Well, Senior Citizen, your discounts are out there, although they may not be as ubiquitous as in the past and may no longer always be the best deal. Specials for any age sometimes replace, or are a better buy, than prices earmarked for those older than 50, 55, 62 or 65. Nonetheless, here are a few offers and sources for seniors:

Smarter Travel has a free monthly electronic newsletter aimed at the senior crowd. The latest issue details savings of 10 percent to 43 percent at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts for those 62 and older. It also tells about AARP discounts for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, Elderhostel tours from $419, and how to get the Golden Age Passport, a lifetime pass good for entry to all U.S. national parks for a one-time fee of $10. Visit smartertravel.com/senior-travel.

In Maine, the Historic Inns of Rockland's Seniority Has Its Privileges Package contains a 25 percent discount for travelers this month. You get three midweek nights, breakfast for two each morning, two Discovery Coast Museum Passports offering admission to six attractions, tickets, a private walking tour and other activities. The package is available throughout the month for $460-$705, for single or double occupancy. Call 866-ROC-INNS (762-4667) or visit his toricinnsofrockland.com.

Several cruise lines still have senior rates, but these are not always advertised. Norwegian Cruise Line's offers, for instance, can be accessed only by travel agents. That brings up a point: Whether you are planning a cruise or any other type of travel, it can pay to ask, "Is there a senior discount?" If so, the next step is to compare the discount with other offers for the general public to see which is lower.

Grand Circle Travel specializes in tours for what it calls "mature travelers." Last-minute specials can be found on its Web site or e-mailed to you. Specials listed last week included up to $2,500 off per couple on a 16-day Great Rivers of Europe sailing. Visit www.gct.com. For more information and reservations, call 800-959-0405.

Atlantic City, N.J., is a popular destination for seniors. The Sands Casino Hotel is offering visitors of all ages the opportunity to Stay, Play and Dine for only $100 per night, plus tax and fees, for a savings of 25 percent. Guests of the Sands get free parking, shuttle to outlets and discounted meals and drinks, including a $20 discount off a purchase of two full-price entrees at Brighton Steakhouse. Offer valid Sunday through Thursday until Nov. 22. Reservations can be made by calling 800-ACSANDS or online at sandsac.com.

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