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Respect for elders is a pivotal part of Lao culture and family values. Even so, elderly travelers to Laos will not find the sort of discounts and deals that are found in the West. When booking your flights and accommodations, it's worth mentioning if you are a senior since there may be discount schemes available. As in Cambodia, the most important issues for elderly travelers are the potential rigor of the heat in Laos and the paucity of adequate healthcare, both of which should be taken into account.

For general information on senior travel, AARP (tel. 888/687-2277; www.aarp.org) is an organization with over 40 million members that is dedicated to helping the over-50s improve their lives. Membership brings some discounts on international travel and they produce a magazine and a monthly newsletter.

Elder Treks (tel. 800/741-7956; www.eldertreks.com) offers tours for those over 50 to Laos and the wider region.

The organization Exploritas (tel. 800/454-5678; www.exploritas.org) arranges worldwide study programs, including their very popular "Journey into the Heart of Asia" and "Treasures along the Mekong: An Intergenerational Adventure" tours, which include both Cambodia and Laos.

Overseas Adventure Travel (tel. 800/493-6824; www.oattravel.com), based in Boston, offers an "Ancient Kingdoms: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia" tour as well as optional Cambodia add-ons to their other Thailand, China, and Vietnam tours.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.