AARP Travel: The budget travel hack you’ve never heard of (for all ages!)

by Gabby Beckford
Reading Time: 3 minutes

“AARP travel? You have a what card?” Why do I have a membership in the American Association of Retired Persons? And how do I use it to travel the U.S., and the world, on a budget?

An AARP card. At 25, you think I'm a little young, right?

Let me tell you why AARP membership is the budget travel hack they every traveler should know.

Seriously, isn't it only for senior citizens? 👵🏽

AARP stands for “The American Association of Retired Persons” so you’d think so, right? 

But no, despite common misconceptions, an AARP membership isn’t only available to those ages 50 and older. But nope—membership is open to everyone!

Straight from the AARP website… it's confirmed!

These benefits are great to have at any age and pass to another with the 2-for-1 deal included. 

young people: we have our student discounts, but let's take it to the next step—*AARP membership* trust me. Click To Tweet

What exactly is an AARP membership? Is it a rewards program? A credit card?

AARP membership is like any other membership program—think Costco, or BJ's. You'll have exclusive access to many discounts services and brands, from Health to Finances to, yep, travel!

The cost of an annual membership is $16/year. If you sign up for three years, you can save 10% off the annual rate or 21% off for enrolling in a five-year deal. 

The membership includes a second member at no additional cost so you can get a free partner membership for your spouse, sibling, parent, or roommate!

Can I add my AARP card to my Apple wallet?

Yup! On your mobile phone, go to (make sure you're signed in), and it will prompt you to add your card to your phone.

So, how can AARP help me save money on my travels? Does it help with international travel?

Let me count the ways.

AARP membership comes with a lot of travel-related discounts including discounts on:

  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Flights & vacation packages
  • Hotels & resorts
  • Rails & tours
  • Travel planning 

And these deals aren't annoying $5 off coupons. I'm talking 30% off rental cars for that upcoming road trip you're planning. 10-15% discount in select restaurants like Denny's, Outback, Bonefish Grill, Carrabbas.

At home or on the road, you should be saving money.

Virginia Road Trip Car Rental Discount
Yep, my AARP card would have helped me save on this rental for my road trip.

International travel AARP card benefits

For hotels, AARP membership gives you access to 2-for-1 deals or 10 to 15% discounts in participating hotels in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, and Mexico. So yes, while a bulk of the savings are for domestic U.S. travel, there are some international savings too.

If you're interested in taking advantage of cheap flights & deals—your membership even gets you $200 off every British Airways flight.

The app makes it ridiculously easy to see your travel benefits for any location. Input the city/state you'll be traveling to, and it will show you all of the AARP discounts on services and events in the area.

If that hasn't sold you, the benefits extend far beyond travel

Of course, travel is just a small part of the AARP membership. I joined for the travel perks, but I'm staying for the money savings in…

  • Gas & Auto services
  • Work & Jobs
  • Insurance
  • Health & Wellness
  • Finances
  • Shopping & groceries
  • Restaurants
  • Technology & Wireless
  • Home & Real Estate
  • Family Caregiving
  • Entertainment
  • Community Advocacy 

I've had my resume reviewed by their professional career services, and got discounted pet insurance for my dog. I whip my card out for every restaurant, shop, and purchase possible!

10% to 15% off hotels, car rentals, airport parking, activities, restaurants… and ANY age can get a membership… Click To Tweet

And finally, a question that I double and triple checked before I got my membership:

Does buying a membership take away resources from actual seniors?

I’m all for a discount or deal, but I'd never want an opportunity that takes away valuable resources from those who need it. 

But it is all good!

The AARP is funded in part by its members, so by paying annual membership, you save money on your travel. You can help AARP provide retirement planning, investment, and insurance services to members in need.

So, I guess the only question is… how fast can you get yours?

Share this hack with a friend and share the budget travel blessings!
And drop a comment if you'd NEVER heard of this travel hack before.

Why every young traveler needs an AARP membership! Seriously, under 50 y/o: read this!
Why every young traveler needs an AARP membership! Seriously, under 50 y/o: read this!
Gabby Beckford

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Arielle October 21, 2021 - 6:04 PM

Okay this travel hack is too bomb!! I would’ve neverrrr thought of AARP. Signing up ASAP!!

Gabby Beckford October 24, 2021 - 2:35 PM

Girl, heck YES! It’s so undiscovered, highly recommend it I just whip mine out from my Apple Wallet whenever I can!


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