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Senior discounts

Old 02-19-23, 01:24 PM
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Senior discounts

I suppose I could also ask this in the over 50 forum - but I'll ask it here in a touring context...

For those of you who qualify...What type of discounts have you found or look out for while touring?

I have been touring for a while (since college) and now getting to the point where I no longer get checked for ID to purchase alcohol but also don't have cases of sales people offering senior discounts. With an upcoming birthday, I figured I would see where I might now qualify as well as solicit this posting to see what others have found touring. Prior to turning 50, I had AAA membership despite not having a car because I found I had enough cases of motel discounts in a year that it covered membership. Once I became eligible for AARP, I dropped the AAA. It also seems like I run across fewer places offering AAA or AARP discounts in my travels as I noticed before. These discounts also seem to be more of a US thing than most places I've gone internationally.

An upcoming longer tour in the US, along with a birthday has me wondering what others who qualify look out for in terms of discounts...
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Old 02-19-23, 02:14 PM
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I keep renewing the AARP membership for motel discounts. If you are not yet 62, I think that is about all you can get for discounts. And I think that AARP membership is not actually limited to those over 55, I recall reading somewhere that someone that was in his 20s joined AARP solely for motel discounts.

When you become 62, you will want a senior pass. They used to cost $10 but jumped up to $80 a few years ago.
<< bad link removed >> ADDENDUM: You are best off buying one at a park without a shipping cost, but if you might need it shipped, this is where to get it.
https://store.usgs.gov/lifetime-senior-pass

Amtrak discount at 65.

I almost never ask about senior discounts anywhere else, discounts usually are so small that it is not worth trying to remember to ask for it. Campground fees are ones that I always ask for, sometimes they have one and sometimes not. Sometimes museum fees are discounted.

Occasionally I get carded at a liquor store, I always show them my AARP card. Years ago, there was a general store in Glacier National Park that refused to sell me a beer without a photo ID, they said EVERYONE had to show an ID, so the AARP card did not work there, I used my passport card there instead.

I get a discount for haircuts and a few other things but they are not bike tour related, so not elaborating.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 02-25-23 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 02-19-23, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
...Occasionally I get carded at a liquor store, I always show them my AARP card...
Just goes to show how burnt out some of our kids are looking... Ha
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Old 02-19-23, 02:38 PM
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At every restaurant along the way, I tell them it's my birthday...kidding.
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Old 02-19-23, 10:06 PM
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Museum discounts now that I'm 65.
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Old 02-20-23, 12:23 AM
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Car rental discounts with AAA or AARP can add up to a pretty good chunk of change. The trick for me is to remember to ask.
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Old 02-20-23, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by raceboy
Car rental discounts with AAA or AARP ....
Thanks for posting. It never occurred to me to ask, but I have not rented a car for decades that was not employer paid.

I got two price quotes during the past week for a rental mini-van for a trip in April. One quote was on the renter's website. The other on AARP Travel website. I could not figure out why the AARP Travel quoted price was so much lower from the same rental car company. Maybe there is a big AARP discount?
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Old 02-20-23, 06:25 AM
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If your senior status has significantly reduced your income the "Affordable Connectivity Program" may reduce your internet connection cost. I get a $30/mo discount on mine.

https://www.fcc.gov/acp
https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/do-i-qualify/

Not sure if this applies to mobile devices so it may not help you "while on tour". But may help you save for it.
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Old 02-20-23, 07:11 AM
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I have found that asking for almost any kind of discount will often get you 10% on stuff like motels. On the Trans America we often just said we were riding coast to coast and asked if that had a long distance cyclist discount and usually got 10% or something.

AAA, AARP or Adventure Cycling will likely get about the same. When I was riding with a kid who was riding and raising money for a charity at least once they comped the room.

I did figure out that many place will tell you they are giving you 10% when they aren't. If you want to actually get the discount ask the price first, then ask if they have the discount. It is funny how often you get a bit of double talk of how a discount is already in the price they quoted.
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Old 02-20-23, 11:14 AM
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Often a place that offers a discount only offers one. This campground gave me both the Hiker/Biker discount and the Senior discount.

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Old 02-25-23, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
When you become 62, you will want a senior pass. They used to cost $10 but jumped up to $80 a few years ago.
https://www.doi.gov/tourists/get-a-pass
.
Link not working....Is this what you were referring to ?
https://store.usgs.gov/senior-annual

About this one:

What is the Senior Pass?

The $80.00 lifetime and $20 Annual Senior Passes provide admittance to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six Federal agencies, with up to 100% of the proceeds being used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services.

At many sites the Senior Pass provides the pass owner a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees

(such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).
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Old 02-25-23, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by detroitjim
Link not working....Is this what you were referring to ?
https://store.usgs.gov/senior-annual

... What is the Senior Pass?

....
Thank you letting me know my link was dysfunctional, I corrected my post with the bad link.

Yes. Free entry to national parks, sometimes reduced other fees at national parks, sometimes not.

Some other federal agencies may give you a discount or free entry, but that is hit and miss.

And there are occasional surprise benefits, it is generally not good for state parks but a state park near me (Wisconsin, Devils Lake) allows free vehicle entrance with the pass, but I think this is the only Wisconsin state park that does so.
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Old 02-25-23, 12:15 PM
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The state parks here in Parts Unknown offer a senior park pass card. Your state probably does, too.

Last edited by tcs; 02-25-23 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 02-25-23, 12:26 PM
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AARP and AAA discounts are still available and I use them. Hotels will give you either one, but not both. They also apply at restaurants (either, not both). I keep the AAA membership since I like their paper maps - they update them every few years and they're easier to read in sunlight (vs a screen on a digital device). Also look for discounts if you're a member of any specific group - military, first responder, healthcare worker, even alumni from specific colleges in specific areas.

Not bicycle related, but the only place I found that does not have discounts any more are the theme parks in Southern California. I used to work for a fire department (administrative) and would get 30%-50% discounts at most parks. They've all eliminated those, not even any special days for certain groups; they would even have discount days for locals here in Southern California during the slow winter season, but even that's gone. . They're all known to be 'money machines' and have become ruthless in pricing their admissions, food at restaurants, souvieners, anything they can sell.
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Old 02-25-23, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
And there are occasional surprise benefits, it is generally not good for state parks but a state park near me (Wisconsin, Devils Lake) allows free vehicle entrance with the pass, but I think this is the only Wisconsin state park that does so.
I have run into various breaks or free entry in state parks I don't remember specifics. I think one place may have been in Nevada, not sure if it was a state wide thing or just one park though. It was when I first got it so almost ten years ago.
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Old 02-25-23, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
The state parks here in Parts Unknown offer a senior park pass card. Your state probably does, too.
Pasted:
SENIOR CITIZEN RECREATION CARD HOLDERS
Before 1992, Wisconsin residents age 65 and older could buy Senior Citizen Recreation Cards granting them lifetime free admission to state parks. This card is no longer available for purchase, but we still honor the cards issued before 1992.


But, they do offer the vehicle annual window stickers at a discount if you are over 65.
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Old 02-25-23, 01:05 PM
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I tried to buy the Federal Senior Pass at the first federal facility that I was at after turning 62. And they said they do not sell them on Tuesdays. I was sure they were joking, so I played along, ... then they said they were not joking. The one employee that knew how to sell them took Tuesdays off. That evening, rolled into a campsite and they said I could not get the senior discount. I explained that I tried to buy the pass, and they said ... oh yeah, <whats her name> takes Tuesdays off. They still refused the discount. So, had to wait for about 10 minutes for my touring partner to roll into the campsite, he had a pass.

So, don't go to Big Cyprus on Tuesdays to buy the pass.



Superior National Forest in Minnesota sells the passes but won't give you a discount.

My cost for the pass was $10 before the price went up. That pass saved me about $60 for my two week kayaking trip on Isle Royale.
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Old 02-26-23, 10:23 AM
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Not sure If this was mentioned but, the $80 Lifetime Senior park pass not only gives you free admission to all National Parks and Monuments, It also gives you half price for camping within the parks/monuments. Also, you receive a 50% discount for camping in all national forest campgrounds. Some states will also give a reduced rate with the pass. Even at the increased price to $80 it is still a great deal.
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Old 02-26-23, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by vlicon
Not sure If this was mentioned but, the $80 Lifetime Senior park pass not only gives you free admission to all National Parks and Monuments, It also gives you half price for camping within the parks/monuments. Also, you receive a 50% discount for camping in all national forest campgrounds. Some states will also give a reduced rate with the pass. Even at the increased price to $80 it is still a great deal.
The discounts are hit and miss at federal agencies other than National Park Service, like forest service.
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Old 02-27-23, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I tried to buy the Federal Senior Pass at the first federal facility that I was at after turning 62. And they said they do not sell them on Tuesdays. I was sure they were joking, so I played along, ... then they said they were not joking. The one employee that knew how to sell them took Tuesdays off. That evening, rolled into a campsite and they said I could not get the senior discount. I explained that I tried to buy the pass, and they said ... oh yeah, <whats her name> takes Tuesdays off. They still refused the discount. So, had to wait for about 10 minutes for my touring partner to roll into the campsite, he had a pass.

So, don't go to Big Cyprus on Tuesdays to buy the pass.



Superior National Forest in Minnesota sells the passes but won't give you a discount.

My cost for the pass was $10 before the price went up. That pass saved me about $60 for my two week kayaking trip on Isle Royale.
Something we found out when we were purchasing our lifetime seniors pass to the National Parks, you can't purchase at parks that do not charge admission. You have to be at a park that is not free. We were at Valley Forge and couldn't get the passes.
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Old 02-27-23, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul J
Something we found out when we were purchasing our lifetime seniors pass to the National Parks, you can't purchase at parks that do not charge admission. You have to be at a park that is not free. We were at Valley Forge and couldn't get the passes.
I think that varies. You may find some that do. You may also find some that charge admission and don't have the passes. At least that used to be the case.
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Old 02-27-23, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul J
Something we found out when we were purchasing our lifetime seniors pass to the National Parks, you can't purchase at parks that do not charge admission. You have to be at a park that is not free. We were at Valley Forge and couldn't get the passes.
I got mine a few years back at Great Smoky Mountains NP, which doesn't charge admission. So it varies; I bought it at a campground ranger station which handled money.
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Old 02-27-23, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I got mine a few years back at Great Smoky Mountains NP, which doesn't charge admission. So it varies; I bought it at a campground ranger station which handled money.
That is probably the key, if they do not regularly handle money, they likely do not have anything at all for sale, like an $80 piece of plastic.
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Old 02-27-23, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Pasted:
SENIOR CITIZEN RECREATION CARD HOLDERS
Before 1992, Wisconsin residents age 65 and older could buy Senior Citizen Recreation Cards granting them lifetime free admission to state parks.
Any cats still using them to camp would be 96 now. We are unworthy.
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Old 02-28-23, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul J
Something we found out when we were purchasing our lifetime seniors pass to the National Parks, you can't purchase at parks that do not charge admission. You have to be at a park that is not free. We were at Valley Forge and couldn't get the passes.
I purchased mine in 2019. At that time the NPS website listed those parks that did sell the passes. Yes, not all of them but there was no guesswork. I had a trip to New England planned so just diverted to Springfield, MA and bought the pass at the Armory. It fully paid for itself on a subsequent trip to Gran Teton and Yellowstone parks. Free ride now.
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