The clout of the American Assn. of Retired Persons, which counts about 32 million members, has resulted in savings for mature travelers.
For example, the Sheraton Hotels of Hawaii gives a 25% "Golden Guest" discount at its 10 hotels through Dec. 20 to those 60 years and over. The same discount, however, is offered to AARP, whose members are 50 and over.
Another is Outrigger Hotels Hawaii. It has a "50-Plus" package, offering a 20% room discount. AARP members get 25% off.
Not only do hotels offer deals to AARP members, but discounts are also available for rental cars.
But travel isn't the only reason mature travelers sign up for AARP membership.
AARP, among other things, sells life, auto, homeowner and group health insurance, conducts a through-the-mail pharmacy service and offers Visa cards. And in Congress, it also has a strong lobby and legislative representation for senior rights. In addition, AARP provides free guidebooks on such subjects as retirement planning and health care. Its volunteers also give free tax preparation assistance and free counseling for widows and those caring for aging parents.
An excellent bimonthly magazine, Modern Maturity, and a helpful newsletter are also included with membership.
AARP membership costs $5 a year for one person, with free membership for a spouse.
For more information and membership forms, write the American Assn. of Retired Persons, 3200 East Carson St., Lakewood, Calif. 90712.
Aston Hotels now operates two fine hotels in San Francisco: the Hotel Mark Twain and the Aston Pickwick. Both offer a 20% discount to mature travelers year-round, subject to space availability.
Rates at the Mark Twain, two blocks from Union Square on Taylor Street, and the Pickwick, on Fifth Street next to the Nordstrom/San Francisco Shopping Centre, begin at $75 per person, double occupancy, per night. For more information, call Hotel Mark Twain at (800) 288-9246 or Aston Hotels and Resorts at (800) 922-7866.
California Lodge Suites, which operates motor hotels in Santa Ana and San Diego, now has a free "Silver Circle Club" for people 55 years and over.
In addition to a 12% discount off regular rates, Silver Circle members get 50% off a third-night's stay, upgraded accommodations when available, continental breakfast and an evening social hour with free alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages.
Regular rate for the hotels begin at $55 per person, double occupancy, per night. Silver Circle members pay $48.50
In San Diego, the California Lodge Suites is at 5415 Claremont Mesa Blvd., a 15-minute drive from downtown San Diego, the San Diego Zoo and Sea World. The Santa Ana hotel is at 2909 S. Bristol Ave., a short drive from Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm.
For more information or reservations, call the Santa Ana hotel at (800) 628-9755 or the San Diego hotel at (800) 562-2217.
Alhambra-based Golden Tours for Seniors has several Thanksgiving trips listed, including "Thanksgiving in Las Vegas," with three nights at the Flamingo Hilton, departing Nov. 26. Cost is $190 per person, double occupancy. Also: "Thanksgiving in Reno," three nights at Bally's Grand, departing Nov. 26. Cost is $175 per person, double occupancy. "Thanksgiving at the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Flagstaff" is a four-night Arizona motor-coach tour that leaves Nov. 28. Cost is $265 per person, double occupancy. A three-day motor-coach trip to Hearst Castle leaves Nov. 28. Cost is $200 per person, double occupancy.
A five-day California coastal Thanksgiving tour leaves by motor coach Nov. 26 for San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Monterey and Carmel. The price of $599 per person, double occupancy, includes a Thanksgiving dinner.
For more information, contact Golden Tours, P.O. Box 1070, Alhambra 91802, (213) 283-7876 or (818) 289-6271.