Seniors traveling in the region can bask in the glow of filial piety and the region's notorious Confucian respect for elders, but they are less likely to enjoy the major discounts found in the West. Mention the fact that you're a senior when you make your travel reservations, though. In some cases, people over 60 qualify for reduced admission to theaters, museums, and other attractions, as well as discounted fares on public transportation.
Members of AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons), 601 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20049 (tel. 888/687-2277; www.aarp.org), often get discounts on hotels, airfares, and car rentals. AARP offers members a wide range of benefits, including AARP The Magazine and a monthly newsletter. Anyone 50 and older can join.
Many reliable agencies and organizations target the 50-plus market. Elderhostel (tel. 877/426-8056; www.elderhostel.org) arranges study programs for those 55 and over. ElderTreks (tel. 800/741-7956; www.eldertreks.com) offers small-group tours to off-the-beaten-path or adventure-travel locations, restricted to travelers 50 and older. INTRAV (tel. 800/456-8100; www.intrav.com) is a high-end tour operator that caters to the mature, discerning traveler (not specifically seniors), with trips around the world that include guided safaris, polar expeditions, private-jet adventures, and small-boat cruises down jungle rivers.
Recommended publications offering travel resources and discounts for seniors include the quarterly magazine Travel 50 & Beyond (www.travel50andbeyond.com); Travel Unlimited: Uncommon Adventures for the Mature Traveler (Avalon); 101 Tips for Mature Travelers, available from Grand Circle Travel (tel. 800/221-2610 or 617/350-7500; www.gct.com); and Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50 (McGraw-Hill), by Joann Rattner Heilman.
More and more seniors are considering Southeast Asia as a retirement destination. If you fall into this category, take a look at Retire to Asia (www.retiretoasia.com), an e-book by Ken Silver, or www.retire-asia.com, a highly informative website by a British expat living in Vientiane. Although it is geared toward those considering a move to the region, it also has some of the most up-to-date nuts-and-bolts travel information available online.
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.