Don't be shy about asking for discounts, but always carry identification, such as a driver's license, that shows your date of birth -- especially if you've kept your youthful glow. In Seattle, tour companies, the Washington State Ferries, most attractions, and some theaters and concert halls offer senior discounts. These can add up to substantial savings, but you have to remember to ask.
Members of AARP, 601 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20049 (tel. 888/687-2277; www.aarp.org), 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 over 50 can join.
The U.S. National Park Service offers an America the Beautiful -- National Park and Federal Recreational Lands Pass -- Senior Pass (formerly the Golden Age Passport), which gives seniors 62 years or older lifetime entrance to all properties administered by the National Park Service -- national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges -- for a one-time processing fee of $10. The pass must be purchased in person at any NPS facility that charges an entrance fee. Besides free entry, the America the Beautiful Senior Pass also offers a 50% discount on some federal-use fees charged for such facilities as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and tours. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm or call tel. 888/467-2757.
Many reliable agencies and organizations target the 50-plus market. Elderhostel (tel. 800/454-5768; www.elderhostel.org) arranges worldwide study programs for those aged 55 and over. ElderTreks (tel. 800/741-7956 or 416/558-5000 outside North America; www.eldertreks.com) offers small-group tours to off-the-beaten-path or adventure-travel locations, restricted to travelers 50 and older.
Recommended publications offering travel resources and discounts for seniors include the quarterly magazine Travel 50 & Beyond (www.travel50andbeyond.com) and the bestselling paperback Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50 2005-2006, 16th Edition (McGraw-Hill), by Joan Rattner Heilman.
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.