Travel is a big part of many seniors’ retirement plans. Having the opportunity and time to finally see more of the world is one of the best parts of entering your golden years. Whether you’re trying to check places off your travel bucket list or organize travel for a family emergency, discounts make it more affordable.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Hotels Offer the Best Senior Citizen Rates?
- What Age or Other Qualifications Do You Need to Get a Discount?
- Other Common Hotel Accommodations or Perks for Seniors
- 4 Quick Tips to Save on Senior Travel
Seniors, in particular, have a lot of options when it comes to lower rates. While many hotels offer what’s known as hotel bereavement rates, many often have special deals for senior citizens above a certain age as well.
Because researching all of these unique discounts is time-consuming and complicated, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here is a complete list of hotel discounts for senior citizens.
What Hotels Offer the Best Senior Citizen Rates?
You’ll have the best luck finding senior citizen rates at big-name hotel chains that cater to a variety of travelers.
While these discounts are subject to availability and might change depending on the time of year, it’s still always worth asking the hotel about their best rate. Here are the discounts you can find at a number of well-known hotel chains.
- Best Western: If you’re an AARP member, you can get a deal at Best Western if you’re 50+. Otherwise, all travelers 55+ can access the “mature guest” rate for 10% off a room. Many Best Westerns also offer special extras like complimentary upgrades, early check-in, and a continental breakfast.
- Candlewood Suites: If you’re 62+ or a member of a retired organization, you can call to learn about senior discounts. These are not available on the website.
- Crowne Plaza: If you’re a member of AARP or another retired organization, you can get a discount at all Crowne Plaza hotels.
- Days Inn: SelectDays Inn locations offer a discount to senior travelers, but it’s only offered when you book your rate by phone.
- Drury Hotels: Drury Hotels does not currently have a senior discount, but they list their latest offers on their website.
- EconoLodge: AARP members and those 60+ can get 10% off if they ask for the senior rate.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites: Fairfield offers a 15% discount to those 62+, which is available online or by calling the sales line.
- Four Seasons: The Four Seasons does not offer discounts, but they do offer a free night if you’re booking a multi-night stay.
- Hilton Hotels: Hilton gives a special rate for AARP members. You can also join the Hilton Rewards program for additional savings.
- Holiday Inn Hotels: If you’re an AARP member, Holiday Inn offers special discounted rates through their booking website.
- Hyatt Hotels: While Hyatt previously offered a steep discount to AARP members, this no promotion is no longer happening. However, Hyatt always has special offers listed on their website.
- Kimpton Hotels: Those who are 62+ or members of retired organizations can get special rates at certain locations. Call to ask about the best deals.
- La Quinta: If you’re 65+, you can get a senior rate from La Quinta along with free breakfast.
- Omni Hotels: Omni has a senior discount for those 55+ starting at 10% off your stay.
- Marriott Hotels: Marriott offers a discount to guests 62 years and older. You can get 15% off on a room at any Marriott hotel location around the world. This discount is available both online and by calling.
- Motel 6: For those over 60+, you can get a 10% discount. However, the only way to get this special rate is to call to book your stay.
- Quality, Clarion, or Comfort Inns: Up to 10% off your rate is available for those 60+.
- Ramada: A discount of up to 10% is offered at many locations for those 60+.
- Red Roof Inn: Save as much as 10% on your room if you select Senior Rate when booking a room online.
- Ritz-Carlton: The Ritz-Carlton occasionally offers discounts to seniors or retired membership organizations. Check their website for the latest offers.
- Sleep Inn: Sleep Inn offers a discounted rate to those 60+ or AARP members. Get savings of up to 10% by selecting Senior at checkout.
What Age or Other Qualifications Do You Need to Get a Discount?
In general, you need to qualify in order to secure any of the discounts above. There are two ways to qualify for a reduced-rate senior room:
- Be 55-years-old or older: Most of the savings above start for those who are 55+. While some require you to be 60 or 62, this might not be a strict rule depending on the location.
- Join AARP or another retired membership program: Most retired membership programs like AARP negotiate the best deals with hotels for their members. While you might need to pay a membership fee, this cost could result in big savings. When you’re part of a membership program, you typically don’t need to reach the age limit included in the hotel’s fee restrictions.
While you might not need to show any documentation when booking your room, especially if you book in advance, you should carry proper ID. When you check-in at your hotel, the clerk will likely ask to see your license, passport, or other proof of your age. If you’re a member of an organization, they might need to see your membership card. Always travel with these documents if you’re getting a lower rate.
In addition, there are other things to know about getting a senior rate. While this isn’t true for every property, keep these things in mind to make sure you have a stress-free trip:
- Advanced reservation: Most of these rates are only offered for advanced reservations. That means you need to make them by phone or online, not at the front desk.
- Call to ask: If you don’t notice a senior rate on the website, you might need to call. This is especially true for budget accommodations. When in doubt, call and ask about a senior rate.
- Time of year: Finally, during busy times of the year like the holiday season, it’s less likely that you’ll find a senior discount available. When rooms begin to book quickly, hotels limit the number of discounted rates offered. That being said, if you book in advance, you’ll always have more options.
Other Common Hotel Accommodations or Perks for Seniors
In addition to a low-cost room rate, some hotels throw in extras for seniors. This is especially true if you’re a part of a membership organization like AARP.
These programs negotiate these benefits for senior travelers, so you’re more likely to find one of these extras below. You could also ask about these perks at check-in to see what’s available.
Having same-day flights makes it easier to travel quickly, but it’s also very tiring. If you want to unwind in your room for a while, you might find yourself needing an early check-in. Most hotels let you access your room starting at 3 pm, but it’s sometimes possible to check-in early.
If you need an early check-in, call your hotel on the day you’re arriving. Let them know the time you expect to arrive and ask if early check-in is available. This is usually based on availability, but it’s much more likely to be an option if you’re a member of the hotel’s rewards program.
Many hotels above offer free breakfast already included in the stay. However, others offer breakfast for a small fee. If you’re a member of a membership organization or if you book a special offer, free breakfast might also be included in your stay.
Every hotel in the United States is required to have accessible rooms by law. If you’re in need of an accessible space, don’t hesitate to ask.
These are typically reserved for seniors and others with disabilities. If you want to make sure you secure the right room type, call in advance so the front desk can make a note for your reservation.
4 Quick Tips to Save on Senior Travel
Since travel easily gets expensive, use these tips below to make sure your stay is as inexpensive as possible. From joining membership groups to shopping around, there’s a lot of free savings to be found.
1. Join an organization
As you see above, membership organizations really pay off. However, things like AARP, AAA, and USAA won’t just save you on your hotel stay.
Many of these programs also include car rental discounts, special booking platforms, and other extra savings that make trips more affordable.
2. Shop around for the best rate
The senior rate might not always be the best rest. In this day and age, there are so many tools that help you ensure you’re booking the cheapest hotel room out there.
Using one of these platforms to price shop is the best way to save in addition to looking at the senior rate.
3. Use a vacation rental
If you’re traveling in a large group, it might be less expensive to rent a vacation home. It’s easy to find high-quality, safe vacation rentals in all types of destinations.
Not only are you likely to save big compared to a hotel room, but these are unique places to stay.
4. Book early
While sometimes you have no choice but to travel at the last minute, try to avoid this. If you know you have a trip coming up in a few months, don’t delay.
Start shopping around for the best rate as early as possible. Room rates go up with demand, so starting early is the best way to save.
Save on Your Next Hotel Stay
Being a senior comes with a lot of perks. Because hotels know how often seniors travel, they offer discounts to entice these travelers to stay with them. Whether you’re planning a family trip or the vacation of a lifetime, consider these discounts above when booking your accommodation.
Who said retirement has to be complicated? It’s easy to check things off your bucket list, prepare your documents, and start end-of-life planning. This is the time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the best life has to offer.