Women over 60 are often eager to travel and see the world. In fact, traveling is one of the things that many women most look forward to in retirement. Unfortunately, many of us feel that we just can’t afford the luxury of travel. So, to help you reach your dream destination faster, here are a few ideas for how you can save money on your travel costs.

Look for Organizations that Offer Senior Travel Discounts

Getting older does have its privileges! Americans who join the AARP (aarp.org) can often get senior discounts on plane tickets, hotels, and other travel-related costs. AARP membership costs only $16. Most countries have similar programs that are either sponsored by the government or private organizations.

Shop Around for Budget Travel Options

There are many great travel sites where people can find excellent deals on airfare, hotels and rental cars. Kayak.com combines the search engines of multiple travel sites, enabling you to compare hundreds of discount travel sites at once to find the best deals. Another great travel discount site is Priceline.com, where you can “Name Your Own Price®” on hotels, airfare and other travel packages, and then see if your offer gets accepted – often at a substantial savings off of the listed price.

 
 

Be Flexible On Dates

One advantage that women over 60 often have in booking discount travel is that we tend to have more flexibility in our schedule. Whether you’re retired or working part-time or running your own business, if you have a more flexible schedule you can often achieve bigger savings on airfare. Also, this is a simple tip, but often overlooked: book your vacations for the “off season” at your destination. Everything will be much less expensive, from flights to hotels to attractions. And you can avoid the crowds and focus on enjoying your trip.

Book Connecting Flights

Direct flights often cost significantly more than connecting flights – so don’t be afraid to book a more time-consuming flight with a connection or two, if it can save you hundreds of dollars. This is an especially good plan if your schedule is flexible and you don’t mind waiting at the airport for a few hours. Just bring a good book, or use your smartphone or tablet PC to while away the hours!

Extend Your Trip with A Free Stopover

Especially when traveling internationally, many airline itineraries might result in you having a significant wait time before your flight home. For example, if you’re an American traveling from Rome to New York with a stop in London to catch your connecting flight, you might have to wait several hours, or even overnight, before your flight departs. So why not turn this into an opportunity to extend your vacation? Ask the airline for a free stopover.

Many airlines will happily give you a free additional day (or two, or three) in the city of your connecting flight, at no additional cost (or for only a small fee). Using free stopovers is often a great way to see more cities that you might never otherwise have an opportunity to visit. Here is some great advice on how to get free stopovers from airlines when booking your flights.

Meet Great People and Save Money – Try Airbnb

I wrote before about how I’ve saved significant amounts of money on hotel costs – and met some wonderful new friends – by using a website called Airbnb.com that connects travelers with people who are willing to rent a room of their home. You can also rent people’s apartments while they are out of town. (Airbnb also has a strong verification service to make sure the people are trustworthy and legitimate, before you agree to stay at their home.)

Airbnb has people in cities all over the world who are willing to host you by renting space in their homes, and it is a wonderful reminder that in the Internet-enabled “share economy,” there are more ways that ever before for all of us to get connected to each other, help each other, share our experiences, and save money along the way.

What are your favorite places to find senior travel discounts? Are there any other tips you’ve learned about how to save money on travel? Please join the discussion and “like” and share this article to keep the conversation going.

LEARN MORE

Are you looking for cheap accommodation ideas for your next trip? Watch my interview with senior travel expert Nancy Parode for some surprising tips.

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