Senior Discounts, Travel Clubs, and Hotels
The facts about all of the discounts available to seniors today
The big senior club
Of course, everyone is aware of AARP, which uses just the acronym now that Americans are waiting longer to retire. This massive organizations is open to anyone over 50, retired or not, and claims to offer significant discounts on travel products. Whether these discounts are better than what seniors would get should they use a hotel or airline discounter is a matter of much debate. Suffice it to say that card-carrying AARPers can usually save 15-30 percent (occasionally 50 percent) on lodgings and transportation most everywhere in the United States. A one year membership is $12.50. To contact the club, go to aarp.org/ or call 888/OUR-AARP.
Savings for the older skier
And would you believe there are discount-granting clubs for mature skiers into their eighties? One, the Over the Hill Gang International, (its motto: "Once you're over the hill, you pick up speed") has 6,000 members in all 50 states and 13 countries, accepts members starting at age 50, and promises major discounts. Members not affiliated with local groups can obtain lifetime memberships for $510 (for members over 63) and $760 (for members 50 to 63); most group members pay $175 for three years, $75 for one year, and join periodic ski tours of the group (they also go on sporting-type summer trips). Contact: Over the Hill Gang, 1820 W. Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80904 (phone 719/389-0022, Web site: othgi.com/).
Theme parks for seniors
While the largest amusement parks, Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Busch Gardens, do not offer seniors cheaper admission, some of the nation's top amusement parks slash their gate prices sharply, and one of them waives admission altogether.
All Six Flags parks (sixflags.com/) offer senior prices and children's prices (kids under a certain height are free). Below are some of the most popular Six Flags parks.
Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, New Jersey): Age 55 and older pay $30 instead of $38.99. And that includes the amusement park and the safari park (but not the separate Hurricane Harbor Water Park). Phone: 732/928-1821.
Six FlagsMagicMountain (Los Angeles): 55 plus gets front gate admission for $30 instead of $48. Does not include the water park. Phone: 661/255-4100.
Six Flags Over Texas (Dallas): Those over 55 are admitted for $27, rather than the regular $42 fee. Phone: 817/530-6000.
Six Flags Great America (Chicago): Front gate admission is $30, not the full $45. Phone 847/249-4636.
Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom (Louisville): 55 and older get in for $22, and seniors 65 and older are admitted absolutely free. Phone 502/366-8746.