Discounts for the 50+ crowd
Three cardinal rules to get money off on travel and adventure
By Robert Powell, MarketWatch
Last Update: 6:58 PM ET Nov 2, 2006
BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- Time was when you had to wait until you turned 65 to get a discount. Well,
no longer. Fifty is the new 65 for those seeking perks, privileges, discounts, special offers, adventures
and bargains, says Joan Rattner Heilman, author of the soon-to-be published 17th edition of
"Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over
Heilman says those 50-plus can get all sorts of deals on travel plans, cruises, classes, car rentals, meals,
transfers, tours, shopping and even singles events.
But they have to know where the discounts are. And they have to follow what Heilman says are her three
cardinal rules to saving money:
1. Never plunk down your plastic for anything without asking about the availability of a senior discount
first. Most vendors will not voluntarily disclose information about price breaks unless they're prompted -
- so it always pays to inquire.
2. Be sure to ask about the discounts before you pay, order or make a reservation, not when you've
arrived or are settling the bill.
3. Be sure to carry proof of your age with you, whether it's a membership card in an over-50 organization,
or an ID with your date of birth.
So where are the discounts? Not surprisingly, many of the deals can be found in the travel and leisure industry.
Hotels, for instance, will generally offer a discount on the order of 10% to seniors. But some hotels have
created even sweeter deals.
For instance, Heilman said the Marriott offers seniors age 62 and older a 15% discount, Hilton, through its
Senior Honors (which costs $50 in the first year) will save up to 50% off nightly rates, and Starwood offers a
50% discount as well. Check out other hotel bargains at the Savvy Senior.org Web site. Visit the site.
Jim Miller, editor of the Savvy Senior, reported on the We