USA

With the current state of the travel industry and the Australian dollar, there has never been a better time to look to the United States for a great value holiday. If it’s on your list of places to go, don’t miss this opportunity.

Increased competition among airlines flying between Australia and the US has driven down fares. At the same time, destinations such as Las Vegas are experiencing their worst tourist numbers ever, so you will never get a cheaper deal on some of those amazing hotels.

Consider paying for some of your accommodation and other non-airfare travel costs in US dollars. Cruise addicts can access websites such as Cruise Direct cruisedirect.com, a very reputable cruise travel agency with incredible deals ex US ports. As a rule, accommodation and tours should also be cheaper. I’ve seen great bargains around for well-known tour operators. And consider the money saved on shopping for bargains at the American mega-malls, many of which have senior discount days with additional savings.

Eating out can be quite cheap in the US at any time, and the state of the dollar has made it even better value than usual. Restaurants are among the places where discounts for seniors are most commonly found. While the discounts are readily available, they tend not to be advertised, so be sure to ask.

The Senior Discounts book National Discount Guide 2008–2009 is a fantastic resource with comprehensive details of a wide range of discounts in the US – restaurants, retail, gold clubs, entertainment and many travel suppliers. I have just bought the latest copy and it full of great savings ideas.

If you are planning to travel in the US independently, joining AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) is a must. With 40 million members, it’s the largest organisation for people aged 50 and over. Members can access discounts on hotels and motels, car hire, entertainment and even pharmacy items. Luckily for us, non-US citizens can join at www.aarp.org I’ve listed a few websites here to get you started on your research. Good luck!

Zuji.com.au always has great flight and accommodation deals to the USA.  The have great USA accommodation rates at the moment, so make the most of it.

Lonely Planet Guidebooks.  What can I say?  I have been travelling with these for years and find the Lonely Planet a must have to flick through before I leave home.

cruisedirect.com is a great website that has fabulous cruise deals all around the world (including ex Australia).  They have terrific last minute rates on regular departures from the USA.

Senior Discounts National Discount Guide 2008-2009; National, Regional and Local Discounts for the Over 50 Community is a good resource to include for your planning.  It includes lots of ideas for saving money on your next trip to the USA.