Camping On A Budget? These Senior Discounts Can Help
Many retirees decide to pack up their belongings and move into an RV. Those who are at least 50 years old will qualify for a variety of camping perks and discounts. Whether you travel full-time, seasonally or just once or twice a year, you can benefit from senior discounts.
Your eligibility for these discounts will vary based on your age, location, and RV type. But regardless, senior citizens can enjoy plenty of reduced prices wherever they travel. This sweetens the deal because many retirees are looking for fun experiences and travel opportunities that might otherwise be too expensive.
Below, we’ve collected information about the best senior discounts that could save you money while camping. Some of these options still cost a bit of money, but the benefits far outweigh the price. In addition, several of these discounts and clubs will pay for themselves in a short period of time! Read on to learn how you can get the most out of your next vacation.
AARP is one of the most common programs for senior citizens. Although it’s not specifically tied to camping or RVing, travelers can enjoy a variety of perks when they join this program. Contrary to popular belief, AARP is not only for seniors! It’s marketed toward those who are 50 years old and above, but anyone can technically join.
As long as you pay the annual fee, you can access a huge catalog of benefits. Some of the most attractive offerings for RVers include:
- Exxon Mobile rewards
- Smart DriverTEK workshops
- Discounted car rentals
- 15% off Valvoline instant oil changes
- Allstate Roadside Protection plans
- AARP SafeTrip app
- Discounted rates for nearly every major hotel chain
- And much, much more!
AARP is a fantastic all-purpose service for seniors. Visit aarp.org to learn more about this program and view additional benefits.
National Parks Senior Pass
National parks are scattered all across the country. Many travelers have a goal to visit as many parks as possible, and a National Parks Senior Pass is a great way to achieve that dream. You can qualify for one of these passes once you turn 62. There are options for a $20 annual pass or an $80 lifetime pass!
Both of these options provide an outstanding value because they grant you free entry into any national park, as well as a variety of other benefits. Passholders can qualify for 50% discounts on most paid park services and amenities. So, you can enter the park for free and continue to use your membership for cheap camping, dock access, etc.
If you want to stay active and explore the great outdoors, a National Parks Senior Pass is a fantastic investment. It’s quite affordable, and you can use it to visit national park sites all across the country.
Various state/city park discounts
National parks are always great destinations, but you shouldn’t overlook local parks either! There are countless state and city parks all over the country, and seniors can often visit them for a discounted price. However, each state has its own regulations for passes. Some passes are exclusively for state residents, while others are based solely on age.
You can qualify for most senior state park passes if you’re at least 62 years old, but some states have raised the age to 64 or 65. Check with your state park information center to learn the details for any areas you may live in or travel through.
In addition, you shouldn’t overlook small local parks! City, county, and regional parks often have their own senior discounts. You might be able to get free entry into these parks as well as discounted rates for campsites. It’s an option that’s worth exploring, so do some research on the various parks you plan to visit.
Senior citizens and retirees make up a large portion of the RVing community. This has led to the formation of several RV clubs and programs. These RV clubs provide unique benefit packages, and the deals just get better and better as you age!
There are tons of appealing options, but we’ve collected details on some of the best/most popular options below.
Escapees RV Club
Escapees RV Club is one of the best options for senior citizens. Their network of parks is slightly smaller, but the community is strong, and they offer tons of extra benefits.
You can stay at one of their 800 partnering campgrounds and access discounts anywhere between 15% to 50%! Additional perks include access to a roadside assistance plan, workshops and seminars, and a virtual mailbox. For more information, visit the Escapees website.
If you’re looking for something a little different, Harvest Hosts might be a great option! This RV club is a network of unique and unusual campsites. Most of these campsites are for boondockers, so you would have to be okay with dry camping every now and then. In order to buy a pass, your RV needs to be fully functional (meaning it contains a toilet, water tanks, and a kitchen).
With an annual pass, but you can stay for free at over 1,400 locations. The campsites are also in unique locations such as golf courses, farms, wineries, museums, churches, botanical gardens, etc. If you’re an avid golfer, you can pay an additional fee to access more than 300 courses across the country. Overall, Harvest Hosts is a wonderful choice for adventurous seniors! For more information, visit their website.
Good Sam Club Pass
Good Sam is already a popular club for RVers, and seniors can access extra benefits! The club pass will help you save money at more than 2,400 RV parks and resorts.
10% campground discounts are common, and pass holders can also enjoy extra amenities at the parks. Storage units and fuel savings are cheaper when you’re a member of this RV club! Good Sam also has several collaborators that offer their own deals and discounts.
Best of all, this option is incredibly affordable. You can get a three-year membership for $79, two years for $50, and one year for only $29. This pass pays for itself in no time!
Additional RV clubs
There are tons of options when it comes to choosing an RV club. Some of the benefits and campgrounds may overlap from one plan to another. Each option comes with its own pros and cons, but you should definitely explore the following clubs.
Once you reach a certain age, you may qualify for discounts and benefits at various businesses. There are no standard rules for which places offer discounts, but you may be able to get a lower price at the following institutions.
- Cruise lines
- Cell phone carriers
- Select grocery stores
These businesses may offer discounted cards and membership plans to seniors, so you may have to pay an upfront price. But it never hurts to ask if an establishment offers a senior discount! Worst-case scenario, they say no. Best case, you get free service or a reduced price!
Get tips from other RVers
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.
- Our Top Tips For Senior RVers Over 55
- Retiring In An RV: Is It Right For You?
- Can You Save Money With AARP RV Camping Discounts?
Nikki is a writer and editor for Do It Yourself RV, RV LIFE, and Camper Report. She is based on the Oregon Coast and has traveled all over the Pacific Northwest.