Most people dream of traveling once they reach retirement age. People work hard throughout their careers in hopes of laying a nest egg that will allow them to see the county, if not the world, once they become of age. However, few have the savings set aside to travel as much as they want. So, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the top advocacy group for seniors, has revamped its travel discounts program. Now, seniors take advantage of both on the spot discounts and an online travel center. Yet, a lot of myths persist about AARP travel discounts. Here are the top eight such myths and the real facts travelers need to know.
There is a general myth that senior travelers always pay a lot less than others. Well, in reality the AARP discounts are at times no real difference than other types of discounts. While members do save under the AARP banner, the same discounted rates are available for government workers, students and frequent travelers, for example.
With the increased popularity of cruises, some have been led to believe that AARP no longer offers these vacations. They think the cruise lines jealously guard their bookings. Actually, AARP is a major player in specialty cruise offerings. They work well with the cruise lines to ensure that seniors have access to the most desired trips and onboard amenities.
No, AARP does not operate alone. Today, AARP is a partner with Expedia, the online travel agency. Members can visit the AARP website to enjoy full access to discounted fares and rates via the Expedia-powered booking tool.
This myth is a bit misleading. Yes, travelers should be AARP members to receive the discounted rates under the group banner. However, there is not a need to actually contact AARP before setting off on the road. Instead, one of the benefits of membership is being able to travel virtually anywhere and receiving a discount upon presentation of proper membership credentials.
Some people believe that just because they are of a certain age, usually over 62, they are automatically deserving of AARP travel discounts. Well, such is not the case. The organization asks travel suppliers to require proof of membership before granting discounts.
There is a general assumption that the AARP booking tool will have the best senior rates priced in. Well, things do not work that way. Remember, the search tool is powered by Expedia. This means that the fares are those chosen by this mainstream travel agency rather than AARP.
Some have the image of the frugal elderly travel firmly in mind. While it is true that many seniors have to watch their wallets, just as many love to spend big when on vacation. AARP travel discounts apply at all ranges of hotels, from luxury brands to small mom-and-pop operations.
Travelers do not have to wait for the mail. Technology has made it possible to merely print out the membership card. AARP has this option available on the top of its webpage. Just print and present the number when booking a hotel, flight or other travel.