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Bargain Travel Hints for Seniors PDF Print E-mail

We’re a bit prejudiced, but the best way to keep up on all the latest about senior travel services, news, bargains and recommendations is to click in to www.travel55plus.com. Additionally, interesting new articles and other features are posted daily.

One of the best ways to find travel bargains for seniors is to join AARP. Membership is inexpensive, and you can call the organization's 800- phone line or check its online website www.aarp.com for all kinds of information, including travel. AARP is an enormous organization with about 20 million senior members, and can provide service and suggestions for any travel schedule.

As for traditional bricks'n'mortar travel agencies, statistics show that with most, about 65% of their clients are seniors. Who else has the time and disposable income? Without senior business, and with the internet threatening to make them totally obsolete, any neighborhood agency you contact today will do everything possible to serve you. But will they always get you the best prices?

This couple, age 72 and 83, now books travel almost exclusively through the internet. Most of the popular online travel agencies offer specials for seniors, and there are other companies and organizations that cater specifically to seniors. We recommend that you check online agencies constantly, because deals and prices chance almost by the minute.

Some of the best include: Orbitz, Hotwire, Travelocity, Priceline, Expedia, Onetravel and ShermansTravel. If you have the time and patience, it’s always best to shop around on the net. If you have a good experience with one online agency are are comfortable, it may be more convenient to stay with that one for all of your future travel planning.

All of that said, now that we have the knowledge and experience, we find it convenient, and often more economical, to call or check online directly with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour companies. In this tough economy, it pays to shop around and not depend on someone else to map out the entire itinerary for your upcoming travels.

There have even been occasions when we priced flights online, and then later checked the same schedule by phone directly to the airline, and we actually got a lower price. The same is true when shopping hotel and cruise line prices. The online agencies are great about getting bargain hotel prices, but they must add on at least a 10% or more commission to every transaction. Despite that, online agencies come up with the best prices.

If someone had asked me 15 years ago to recommend travel agents for seniors, I would have directed them to my neighborhood office. Inside, they would have been met by a friendly agent and shown scads of colorful pamphlets while listening to a long sales pitch. Now, we just turn on the computer and have all the fun planning our trips all by ourselves, and sometimes with some outer space hints from Priceline’s Captain Kirk.


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