Disclosure: I am participating in a Holiday campaign for AARP Services, Inc. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with AARP Services Inc. and do not earn a commission or percent of sales. I only blog about brands and services I trust.
The holidays and how we celebrate them are different for everyone. Many people 50+ are happily decorating trees, baking pies, and wrapping presents for their grandchildren. Others use the winter months for holiday travel. I’m a big fan of winter vacations because I love to experience holiday traditions, markets, and festivals outside my hometown. If you decide to travel during the winter season, making smart decisions will maximize your trip experience.
AARP has partnered with a list of companies its members can use for holiday travel. Below are a few of my favorites.
When you take time to plan your holiday travel it pays off
Liberty Travel is an excellent one-stop trip-planning site where you can find domestic and international vacation packages all over the U.S. and the world. AARP members receive exclusive savings on Liberty Travel Vacations that include cruises, flights, hotels, and guided tours.
If you ever get a chance, I recommend taking a river cruise to visit the Christmas Markets of Europe. We did that a few years ago and it was incredible. River cruises dock in small towns and villages as well as cities so you can soak in the culture and traditions of that area.
Escorted vacation tours steeped in local culture will make your trip more memorable. How does “Canada’s Winter Wonderland” sound? Or maybe you’d rather be in a warmer climate during the cold months. A trip to “Tropical Costa Rica” may be more your style.
You may even be able to find a local tour where you live. All Liberty Travel partner tours are run by top touring companies. Some include food and can be designed based on age, activity level, and interests. They will give you a quote via email or phone or you can visit one of their physical stores if they are in your area.
Going on a road trip? Save wear and tear on your car by renting one
My car has over 100,000 miles on it so when I go on a road trip, I like to rent a car. That way there will be less of a chance of a breakdown. Two companies that AARP Members may want to choose are Budget-Rent-a-Car and Avis.
Budget-Rent-a-Car stands out because of its nationwide locations and is a top-rated company. If you’re at an airport, you can bet there will be a Budget-Rent-a-Car kiosk. AARP members receive exclusive rental car benefits and can save 10-25% on all vehicles (domestic and international) Your car rental includes a free upgrade for a Garmin GPS at $6.99/day and unlimited mileage on most rentals.
Avis is another top-rated car rental company. AARP members receive $10 off $100+. Rentals include a free upgrade to a Garmin GPS at $6.99/day and unlimited mileage for most rentals. Avis car rental locations can be found throughout the U.S. and all over the world. Loyal customers of Avis love their Rapid Return system because it takes less than a minute. Another plus is their Avis” Tripit Service. You can organize your trip all in one place using the Tripit app.
Zipcar is a car-sharing service and is an alternative if you prefer to drive rather than take a cab. It’s perfect for short jaunts in town. You can rent a Zipcar for a quick one-hour trip or as long as 7 hours.
We have a Zipcar sitting at our apartment complex and it’s so easy to use the service. The first thing you do is join Zipcar either for sporatic driving or on a monthly basis. (they have several plans depending on your needs) Once you reserve your car, you will be given a location to pick it up. Unlock the car using a Zipcard and the keys will be inside. When you’re done, return it to its parking place and lock it using the Zipcar mobile app. You can also use the app or text message to extend your time.
If you don’t own a car, and only need to drive occasionally, you’ll save bigtime using Zipcar because you can drive it on demand without worrying about a car payment, insurance, gas, license, taxes, maintenance, or parking. AARP members save 43% off on membership for Zipcar.
Sleep in comfort at an affordable and clean hotel
If you’re on a long road trip during the holidays you need a reliable place to sleep when you get tired. AARP Members can choose from a list of hotels that have multiple locations all over the U.S. and around the world. Here are some of my favorites for holiday travel lodging that you can find in almost any town or city.
Best Western Hotels – AARP members receive 10% off and earn 10% bonus points. I’ve stayed at many Best Western Hotels through the years and have always found them to be clean and comfy.
Comfort Inn – AARP members receive up to 10% off best available rates.
Doubletree – AARP members receive 5% off their room.
Hilton– AARP members receive 5% off their room.
Ramada – AARP members receive 10% off the best available room rate.
Wyndham – AARP members receive 10% off the best available room rate.
If you’re driving where the wind takes you rather than making reservations in advance, I suggest you keep a list of AARP member hotels in your car for easy reference. That way, you’ll always be able to find a reliable place to stay.
Do you enjoy holiday travel and where do you like to go? Please leave a comment below.