The holiday season is one of the busiest travel seasons.
Before you pack your bags, Matt Phillips with AARP Services, shares some holiday travel essentials for grownups 50 and older.
What are you learning about Americans’ 2015 holiday travel plans?
We know many AARP members will be traveling to visit family during the holiday season. Adults age 50 and over enjoy these trips and in general like traveling; in fact these adults spend approximately $120 billion a year on leisure travel.
How do people age 50+ tend to travel during the holiday season?
In the U.S., people age 50 and older control 70% of the entire nation’s disposable income, making travel a little easier for them than others. We know that those 50+ prefer to take road trips. In fact, a recent AARP survey found that 87% of adults 45+ will be taking at least three road trips this year, whether for vacations or family gatherings. On average they drive nine hours away and prefer to have two to three family members ride with them.
Do you have any tips for travelers age 50+ as they plan upcoming trips?
Absolutely. Before traveling this holiday season, consider the following…
First, if it is necessary to fly this holiday season, you may want to consider booking your flight for the morning of the holiday or otherwise several days in advance. A recent report found that the busiest and most expensive flights this holiday season are a day or two before the holiday. If you fly into your destination on the day of the holiday these flights are less expensive, pretty empty and typically stay on schedule. If possible, mail your gifts ahead of time and only pack one small suitcase for your travels; this will help you save on checked bag fees. AARP members can use the AARP Travel Center powered by Expedia to quickly check airfare prices across a variety of days, while also potentially saving.
Second, make sure you are prepared for any situation. According to a recent analysis the average person will travel around 489 miles between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. For road trips, make sure your car is up-to-date on any regular maintenance that is needed, including changing the oil, changing wiper blades or replacing those old tires. Roadside assistance also is a surefire way to ensure you won’t be stuck on the side of the road and miss Thanksgiving dinner. AARP members can save on roadside assistance from Allstate, and even on oil changes at Monro Muffler Brake and Service and on car service at RepairPal certified shops.
Third, take necessary steps to safeguard your belongings and identity while you travel. The holidays are unfortunately a peak time for criminal activity, so it is crucial that you protect your assets. While you are out of town don’t post that you are away on your social media pages. A security system can also add peace of mind. For your identity, leave unnecessary items, such as Social Security cards or unneeded credit cards, at home. Also, avoid public Wi-Fi when possible, and make purchases with a credit card instead of a debit card; credit cards often offer better fraud protection. Finally, require passwords for access to your smartphones and tablets, and be wary of putting your personal information in public computers. AARP members can save up to 20% off ADT installation and $2 off monthly monitoring, as well as 13% off AARP Identity Theft Protection from TrustedID.
Finally, look for discounts while you are on the road. One of the most expensive things about the holidays is actually getting to your destination. While you are traveling look for any opportunity to save. AARP member can download the AARP Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app to instantly find savings opportunities.
How do people take advantage of the discount travel offered to AARP members?
It’s very easy! First, if you’re not already, become a member. Membership is just $16 a year and gives you access to a regularly updated list of travel discounts and services, as well as a variety of others from dining to entertainment. To view discounts and become a member, visit AARPDiscounts.com. You don’t have to be a member to view all of the great discounts available, though. Savings on travel, dining and even shopping are available for anyone to see.
Discount Travel for AARP Members…
Mobile App (to help you find savings on the go)
– Text courtesy SBC Advertising for AARP