If you enjoy traveling, you’re likely interested in finding ways to save money — after all, travel isn’t always cheap. One option is using travel credit cards to earn rewards in the form of points or miles when making everyday purchases. Then, you can cash in your rewards for free or discounted flights and hotel stays.
Another way to reduce travel costs is by joining a membership-based program to access money-saving travel discounts. One such organization is AARP, which offers savings on shopping, entertainment, health, travel and more to its members — and you don’t have to be retired to take advantage of the benefits.
Here’s how you can keep more money in your pocket by taking advantage of AARP travel discounts.
What is AARP and how much does it cost to join?
AARP is a nonprofit organization that advocates for Americans ages 50 and older. While the organization is popular among retirees, adults of all ages can join — and many do so to get discounts on everyday expenses.
You’ll need to pay a membership fee to take advantage of AARP’s money-saving perks. Here’s a breakdown of what it costs to join AARP:
One-year membership: $16.
One-year membership with auto-renew: $12.
Three-year membership: $43.
Five-year membership: $63.
You can save on AARP membership fees using the shopping cash-back portal Rakuten. Current offers include $6 back on a one-year membership, $10 back on a three-year membership and $20 back on a five-year membership. You must activate this offer before joining to qualify for cash-back earnings.
10 ways to save money on travel with AARP
If you’re not careful when planning for and booking your next vacation, the cost of your trip could add up quickly. But if you’re strategic and take advantage of discounts like AARP travel deals, you can plan an unforgettable adventure without spending more than you can afford.
AARP provides its members with many opportunities to save money on travel. Here’s a sampling of some of the travel discounts and perks available:
Avis: Get up to 30% off base rates or up to 35% off when selecting Pay Now. When booking, members also receive a 3% credit to apply to future rentals within 12 months. You’ll also get an upgrade on compact through full-size car class bookings, when available, and you can add an additional driver at no cost. These benefits are available when booking online or by phone through Avis.
British Airways: Save $65 when booking an economy or premium economy class ticket or $200 when booking a business class ticket on select round-trip transatlantic fares through the British Airways website.
Collette Cruise Tours: Save $50 per person on all cruise tours.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts: Get up to 10% off and a 2 p.m. checkout when available. Hilton Honors members also get instant Hilton Honors Silver status and can keep their status for the next year when they complete two stays within six months.
Holland America Line: Get up to $200 in onboard credit per stateroom. The credit amount varies based on the length of the cruise and the stateroom.
Kimpton Hotels & Resorts: Get discounts of 10% or more off the best available rate.
Payless Car Rental: Save 5% on leisure daily, weekly, weekend and monthly base rates. Members are also eligible for a free upgrade on compact through full-size car class bookings.
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts: Get up to 10% off and a 2 p.m. checkout when available.
Wyndham: Get up to 10% off the best available rate when booking by phone or online. Join the Wyndham Rewards program to take advantage of extra perks.
Zipcar: Get $20 off an annual Zipcar membership. New Zipcar users will also receive $40 in driving credit.
Keep in mind this is just a sampling of available deals. AARP members can review current travel deals and discounts by logging in to their accounts.
Book your travel reservations through the AARP Travel Center
Discounts above aren’t the only way to save on travel costs. AARP members can also get a deal when booking travel reservations through the AARP Travel Center, a booking platform powered by Expedia. How much money you can save by using the travel center varies depending on what you’re booking.
Here’s a look at of some of the AARP Travel Center savings available to members:
Car rentals: Save up to 30% on base rates at Avis and Budget and 5% on rentals from Payless Car Rental. You can also get free upgrades, an additional driver at no cost and insurance benefits when booking car rentals through the AARP Travel Center.
Cruises: Get up to $100 in onboard credit on select voyages to certain destinations when booked through AARP Travel Expedia.
Flights and vacation packages: When booking a flight package through the AARP Travel Center, you’ll get a $50 gift card of your choice.
Hotels: When booking select Choice, Wyndham and Best Western properties through the portal, you’ll get a 10% discount.
Are you looking for other ways to save money when booking travel reservations as an AARP member? The AARP Travel Center has exclusive deals and seasonal savings, so regularly reviewing discount opportunities is worthwhile to ensure you don’t miss out.
Is an AARP membership worth it for travelers?
Only you can decide if an AARP membership is worthwhile. But considering the affordable annual fee to become a member and the variety of ways to save on travel expenses, a membership could be worth it.
When deciding if this membership will meet your needs, consider how often you travel and whether you’d use the perks offered. Combining AARP deals with travel loyalty and rewards programs, along with a travel credit card, makes for an excellent money-saving strategy.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for: