When it comes to reaping AARP travel benefits, 30 is the new 50.
The advocacy group, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons but now officially just AARP, focuses on issues affecting people over the age of 50—but did you know that the numerous discounts that come with AARP membership aren't restricted to that demographic?
As the FAQ page at the AARP website explains, you can join anytime after turning 18 and still "enjoy all of the benefits of membership that are not restricted by law or contract, like age-restricted insurance products."
Adds the website: "It's never too early to sign up!"
For travelers, the perks of membership are substantial, as outlined by the personal finance website GOBankingRates.
The site has resurfaced a TikTok video in which "travel hacker" Zach Abel shares that he joined AARP in his 30s, unlocking a multitude of discounts on flights, car rentals, hotels, and restaurants.
@zacharyburrabel #stitch with @holterman I eat deals for breakfast, lunch, and a very early bird 4pm dinner #travel #travelhacks #traveldeals #aarp ? original sound - zacharyburrabel
Abel says he's saved the most on flights by taking advantage of a discount with British Airways. AARP members can save $65 on economy fares or $200 off business class bookings for round-trip transatlantic tickets purchased online (restrictions apply).
"I've saved loads doing this," Abel says.
Other vacation-friendly benefits for AARP members: up to 30% off car rentals from Avis and Budget; 10%–15% off orders at many national restaurant chains; and up to 10% off hotel rates from select brands owned by Hilton, Wyndham, IHG, and other hospitality giants.
Mind you, AARP's discounts aren't necessarily always the best deals available, so you'll still want to shop around to compare rates. But this is another useful tool in any budget traveler's arsenal.
And you don't have to have memories of when MTV launched to get savings via AARP, which should cheer 20-, 30-, and 40-something travelers seeking relief from high inflation.
In fact, the AARP is already seeing "a definite uptick in younger members," a spokesperson for the organization told the Wall Street Journal in October.
The cost of enrollment starts at $12 for the first year, then ticks up to $16 per year after that, and spouses or partners can join for free. Signing up will give you the evidence you need to prove you're a member.
Making use of the available discounts should more than cover the annual membership cost.
For more information about membership benefits (travel-related and beyond) or to join, go to AARP.org.