10 Great Destinations for Senior Discounts

  • 01 of 10

    Great Britain

    ••• (c)Mark D. Kahler

    In Great Britain, the government offers seniors reduced admission for world-class attractions such as Windsor Castle, Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, among others. It always pays to ask when paying admission or making your ticket arrangements. Don't be shy about your age here or it could cost you quite a bit of money.

    Another attribute of travel in Great Britain that is well-known is the network of trains serving England, Wales and Scotland. You can purchase a Senior Rail Card that affords a one-third discount on most tickets (check to see if your travel times coincide -- generally, rush hour travel in the London region is excluded). The pass is sold to travelers age 60 and above and costs £30 for one year or £70 for a three years.

    If you buy a BritRail Pass from Rail Europe, remember that every member of your party age 60 or older receives a discount.

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  • 02 of 10

    Panama

    Street scene, Casco Viejo, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Panama City, Panama, Central America
    ••• Michael Runkel/Getty Images

    Panama has become a haven for U.S. retirees, especially in the Panama City and Boquete areas. Not surprisingly, senior residents reap nice discounts on a variety of services. But in some places, these will be reserved only for permanent residents of the country. Nonetheless, it pays to ask if there are senior discounts available, because the businesses are already set up to make these reductions and some will grant your request as a courtesy.

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  • 03 of 10

    Italy

    ••• (c)Mark D. Kahler

    Italy tends to be expensive to visit, especially in the major cities such as Venice, Florence or Rome. Therefore, it pays to make possible senior discounts a priority in your travel research.

    The national rail offers a Silver Card (Carta d'Argento in Italian) to travelers age 60 and older. The card costs €30 Euros ($38 USD) but is free to those age 75 and older. The card opens eligibility to an array of discounts on most Italian trains, and can only be shown to the conductor with a valid ticket.

    Airfares within Italy frequently are still discounted for seniors, so always mention age at time of booking to see if you'll qualify. Many hotels in Italy also offer such discounts.

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  • 04 of 10

    United States

    Bison (or Buffalo) below the Grand Teton Mountains
    ••• Matt Anderson Photography/Getty Images

    Senior airfare discounts for travel within the U.S. are far less common than in the past, and that says a lot about the economic health of the airlines. But there are plenty of other discounts for seniors available for travelers in the U.S.

    Hotels routinely discount rates, but the eligibility requirements can vary (sometimes widely) by company.

    A lifetime Senior Pass to U.S. national parks is available to U.S. citizens or those who are permanent residents. Total cost is $20, just one-fourth of the one-year cost for a park pass.

    U.S. rail trips can be problematic, but if you'll be hopping aboard during your itinerary, remember that Amtrak offers a 15 percent discount to riders age 62 and older.

    Senior discounts are so common in the U.S. that it is always worth asking for one at time of booking or payment.

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  • 05 of 10

    Spain

    ••• Sascha Baumann/Getty Images

    Many travelers prefer to ride the rails to resort areas. Renfe Rail offers a Gold Card (Tarjeta Dorada in Spanish) that affords solid discounts on train tickets. If you're age 60 or older, it's well worth the €5.15 ($6.75) you'll pay to carry it.

    At times, government-owned attractions are opened to seniors at a discount in Spain. They're called Paradores and include castles, convents and luxury historic buildings at which you can book lodging. Keep in mind that even with lower rates such as the 30 percent discount offered recently, these lodgings still might not fit a budget traveler's plans. But it is an intriguing splurge opportunity.

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  • 06 of 10

    Canada

    ••• (c)Mark D. Kahler

    After age 65, many Canadian attractions will discount admission prices. The most commonly discounted costs that a budget traveler would find interesting are museum admissions and public transportation costs.

    The beautiful scenery pictured above is near Peyto Lake in Banff National Park. The Canadian government discounts park entry fees by 25 percent for visitors age 65 and older. If you want to travel Canada by train, consider that VIA Rail offers discounts starting at age 60. Keep in mind that the "60+ fare" is actually a separate selection that must be made at time of booking.

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  • 07 of 10

    Benelux Countries

    Grand Place at night
    ••• Mario Gutiérrez/Getty Images

    Public transportation in the Benelux countries of Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg is common, convenient and generally inexpensive. Seniors pay even less to use it.

    For example, non-peak train riders in Belgium who are at least age 65 pay only €6 ($7.85 USD) under certain conditions. You must embark after 9 a.m. on weekdays or on weekends during the school year, and some stations do not offer the option. Still, if you're going to be traveling to Belgium, it pays to read up on this senior train discount.

    Tourist attractions in Amsterdam and other popular destinations can be discounted by age, but many offer these price breaks primarily to local residents who qualify.

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  • 08 of 10

    Austria

    ••• (c)Mark D. Kahler

    Vienna and other cities in Austria tend to be fairly expensive, so finding discounts here becomes even more important than in most destinations. Fortunately, senior discounts are extensive.

    In most places, a simple presentation of your passport to prove age is sufficient for some nice price cuts. As always, don't assume you aren't old enough to benefit. The definition of "senior" can vary from place to place.

    Hotels, for example, are usually committed to offering some sort of senior discount, so never fail to ask at the time of booking.

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  • 09 of 10

    Ecuador

    San Franscisco Church in Quito, Ecuador, South America
    ••• Alexandre Rotenberg/Getty Images

    Ecuador is gathering momentum as a place for U.S. retirees to settle down. The U.S. dollar is the official currency. Costs are generally much less expensive for food and lodging here than in places of comparable quality in North America.

    If you'll be using Quito as a stopover en route to a tour of the Galapagos Islands, be sure to ask your operator about senior discounts.

    The age at which many discounts kick in here is 65. There are national parks where you can receive a reduced admission rate, and the same is true at museums and other attractions.

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  • 10 of 10

    Australia

    Kangaroo on beach
    ••• Andrew Watson/Getty Images

    If you're shy about your age, you'll need to adjust to the routine in Australia, where you'll be asked your age at many attractions and travel service providers. Instead of being timid or offended, answer truthfully.

    The reason for this candor is that Australians frequently discount cable car rides, bus tickets, museum admissions and other important costs for seniors. As with other countries on this list, you'll find in some places that the discounts are reserved for local citizens. Some places will ask for proof of age before ringing up your lower price.

    Hotel discounts for senior travelers are also common in Sydney and throughout Australia.