Reporting Jay Lloyd
For day trips in the Philadelphia area, you’ll find it hard to beat SEPTA when compared with other major cities. City subway, bus and trolley rides are absolutely free for anyone over 65. In the suburbs, bus and trolley rides are also on the house. Actually the free ride is on the state lottery, which foots the bill. Regional Rail line rides cost a dollar – 85 cents if you buy a ten trip ticket. The exception is between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Just show your Medicare card or a SEPTA issued Senior ID.
A popular run for area getaway seekers is the NJT train from Trenton to New York. Seniors 62 and over can take half off the fare just by showing any number of government ID’s including a Medicare Card, NJT issued senior ID or a drivers license. Discount fares are available on trains, light rail and buses.
When traveling, check ahead for local transit discounts. I carry a New York City Senior Metro Card that automatically refills from a credit card.
Go coast to coast, here to the sunshine state or just hop to New York or Washington. If you’re 60 and over, you score a 15% discount on Amtrak. A getaway to Canada and back nets a 10% break. Sorry, not on the Acela or Auto-Train.
HOTELS AND RESORTS
Hotels and resorts across the country offer some form of Senior Citizen discount, but the qualifying age varies from the 50, which is when you may get your first AARP pitch in the mail to the standard 65 and up. Examples include the Marriott an Hyatt chains which start senior discounts at 62, Best Western checks you in at 55. Depending on the hotel, discounts generally range from 5 to 15%. But it’s possible to nail down better prices by avoided seasonal peak times when families are vacationing in droves. Since we well seasoned folks have more flexibility, it should be easy.
Get ’em while they’re hot. One of the greatest buys for American citizens and Green Card holders, 62 and up is the Lifetime Pass to the nation’s National Parks. The current price is still $10, although that may be going up to $80 sometime later this year. But the $10 pass is still available online HERE or at one of the Federal Recreation Sites. There’s $10 processing fee to order online.
It’s the stuff of legend, jokes, even movie scenes. It’s the “Early Bird Special, popularized in Miami Beach and intended to keep a restaurant busy in those slack hours between 4 and 6 pm by offering the deals with seniors in mind. I’ve enjoyed more than a few with my own parents who moved to the Sunshine State in retirement. The tradition has now spread, even to our own area. But check local attraction brochures and web pages for discount coupons. If you’re an area veteran regardless of age, check out your county courthouse (usually Recorder of Deeds office) for a free veteran photo ID. There are literally hundreds of businesses and restaurants offering discounts to Vets in each county.
Most museums around the country and abroad offer discounted admissions for seniors. A sampling here in Philadelphia sees the Museum of Art offers a $2 break off a $20 ticket. The African American Museum has a Senior $10 ticket, a $4 discount. The Independence Seaport Museum chalks up a $4 discount, bringing a senior ticket to $12. In New York, the Dynamic Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum charges a hefty $35 general admission with a $4 cut for seniors. But if you’re retired military or a veteran, regardless of age, you’re welcome aboard at no charge.
Well, you get the idea. There are many more breaks for the advanced in age. And they aren’t hard to find. But, when making reservations, it’s always a good idea to ask.