AARP is one of America’s most powerful lobbying groups for people over the age of fifty. It used to be an extremely important resource for those who had retired and wished to travel. However critics are saying that the clout it used to have in offering deals and discounts may be on the wane.

Some major hotel groups are still participating with AARP but the discounts they are offering to the older traveller are becoming increasingly vague. For example Best Western is offering up to 20% off at locations such as Rodeway Inn, Cambria Suites and Quality Inn and brands under the Choice Hotels banner offer up to 10% off. Hotels under the Starwood name such as Sheraton, Le Meridien and St. Regis are offering customers between 5% and 25% off but only on the best available room rates. Critics point out that offering an ‘up to’ rate is essentially meaningless.

Although many hotels do not participate in the AARP scheme many may offer discounts for senior citizens and these deals are often very similar to those being offered by those who do participate. This means there may be little to gain by simply sticking with the AARP hotels.

Members of AARP do however still get reasonable discounts from the major car rental firms. National, Hertz, Budget, Avis and Alamo all offer between 20% and 25% discounts on car hire. Enterprise also offers a discount, but it is not specified exactly how much this is.

Members of AARP are being advised by experts to check holiday deals that are being rolled out to people of all ages. These can often be cheaper than those being offered under the once mighty banner of AARP.