The Best Travel Discounts for Seniors, 2016

Travelers who are age 62 and older are in for some sweet deals.

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Starting at age 62, you can get a lifetime parks pass from the U.S. National Park Service for as little as $10; the card gives you access to more than 2,000 national parks and federal recreation areas. At some sites, you can also use the pass to get discounts on parking, tours, boat launching, camping—even an ice cream cone at the concession stand.

If you’re 65 or older, you can get discounted fares on Southwest, United and American airlines. Discounts are off the standard fare and don’t necessarily deliver the lowest price for the seat. Still, senior fares have their privileges. For instance, unlike Southwest’s “Wanna Get Away” fare, the senior fare is fully refundable and doesn’t require booking well in advance.

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Travelers age 62 and older can get a couple of compelling discounts. Amtrak offers 15% off some fares and, better yet, at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, you can go to the front of the line (along with business-class passengers), assuring you a seat in the often chaotic boarding process. At 62 you also qualify for a 15% discount or more at one of 4,000 Marriott hotels worldwide without having to book well in advance or forgoing full cancellation privileges.

Jane Bennett Clark
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
The late Jane Bennett Clark, who passed away in March 2017, covered all facets of retirement and wrote a bimonthly column that took a fresh, sometimes provocative look at ways to approach life after a career. She also oversaw the annual Kiplinger rankings for best values in public and private colleges and universities and spearheaded the annual "Best Cities" feature. Clark graduated from Northwestern University.