The 50-plus crowd has a serious collective case of wanderlust. The average 50-something makes five trips every year, according to AARP’s Travel Trends survey, accounting for nearly half of all vacation spending among U.S. consumers, and 80 percent of the nation’s luxury travel budget. That’s about $120 billion a year!

If you fit into this demographic, and are thinking of taking a trip soon, it can be tempting to build a travel fund and then blow it all on a big, ambitious getaway. But if you follow some well-tested cheats, you might be able to stretch your budget, and spend even more time on the road than you hoped. Here are four ways to travel more for less:

1. Get the most out of hotel loyalty programs

Major hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton will sometimes knock 5 to 15 percent off your room rates with special offers, TravelClick senior industry analyst John Hach tells the Los Angeles Times. Many also throw in free Wi-Fi (sometimes a hidden add-on), room upgrades, and similar perks.

The program will send you special offers periodically, too. “If you don’t want your inbox cluttered with promotional emails that come with membership, create an …read more

Source:: The Week – Business

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