The Snowbird Discount

The part of the Gulf Coast where I live is a favorite destination for “snowbirds” during the winter season. “Snowbirds” are senior citizens who summer in the cooler climate of the northern United States and winter in the more temperate southern climate. The interesting thing I’ve noticed this year is that, very soon, my husband and I will be joining them! Yes, we are getting up there in years. Within the next five years my husband will be eligible for partial retirement and we can begin travelling more. And, from the information I’ve been digging up, there are lots of discounts available just for seniors who are traveling about.

I don’t think it’s so much that these discounts are particularly targeting seniors. I think because seniors have more time on their hands and no longer have a work schedule to confine them, this flexibility enables them to take advantage of last minute offers. Also, they can travel during the off-peak season when there is less traffic about the resort and rates are a little lower.

The BNB trend has started up another new trend, house swapping. Often, this is a cheaper way to go with full amenities and maintain privacy. With a full kitchen, the expense of eating out is no longer a necessity. By eating meals made by your own two hands, you can use that eating out expense money to go somewhere really nice and special. It also seems that seniors are a coveted clientele. Probably because the homeowners doubt very seriously grandma and grandpa are going to go on a hardcore drinking binge and trash the place.

Now why is this so important? Should retirees not be sweating the small stuff like ten percent off here or a five percent saving there? Well, when you consider that for people over the age of fifty almost eighty percent of their time is leisure time, I would surmise that it is wise to be as cost effective as possible with how that time is spent.

Today’s traveling senior is not the same traveling senior of yesteryear. With the improvement of healthcare and medical technology comes a much healthier longevity. Seniors of today are energetic and youthful. Traveling seniors of the twenty-first century are game to try just about any activity. Whether it’s booking  a room or a bungee jump, don’t hesitate to ask about senior discounts.

There are many senior friendly countries who make it easy to travel within their borders, such as Italy and Spain. Seniors pay a special discounted rate for a travel card that authorizes them to ride the rails. The United States and Canada offer discounted rates for seniors visiting National Parks. Australia is also senior-friendly. It is common for sales clerks to ask a customer’s age in order to make certain that any eligible senior discount has been applied.

So, even if you are a card carrying AARP member or a member of some other senior discount club, there are myriad other ways to enjoy leisure time as a senior and do it at a discount.