I’ve been checking up on some of my previous tips for senior travellers. Here are three updates with regard to Best Western Hotels, the National Trust and Economy Car Hire.
Best Western Hotels and UK Seniors
Two years ago, when reporting on special hotel deals available for seniors, I pointed out that Best Western Hotels not only refused to give senior discounts in their UK hotels, but blocked access to overseas senior discounts on their UK website.
Has the situation changed? Well Best Western still do not give any senior discounts in their UK hotels, but what about overseas senior discounts?
To check, I tried rebooking the Best Western Hotel Dauro II in Granada, Spain where I stayed on a Touring Holiday in Southern Spain.
Booking through the UK Best Western website gave me a nightly rate of €66 for a double room – not bad. However, when I checked with the US Best Western link, accessible from this site, I could get the identical room for €59.40.
Why the difference? Well, the UK Best Western website is still blocking access to the senior discount rate, in this case the Senior Iberia rate. It similarly blocks access to senior discount rates in other countries including the USA and the Seniors Australasia rates down-under.
Best Western, it’s time to revise your policies towards UK senior travellers, otherwise they will opt for the much better senior deals of your rivals. See: Hotel Deals for Seniors.
In the meantime, until Best Western mend their ways, make certain to book via the Best Western icon in the right sidebar on this site in order to get the AARP/Senior Rate where available.
National Trust 25% Discount Offer
The National Trust has announced a new offer of 25% discount on annual membership, if a direct debit is set up. They will also give a free gift of a pair of binoculars. The discount and gift are also applicable if you purchase membership as a gift for someone else.
This is a good offer, but the National Trust fails miserably when it comes to dealing with seniors. Both English Heritage and the National Trust for Scotland charge reduced rates for seniors aged 60 and over. However the National Trust does not give seniors discounts unless the person has been a member for 5 years.
Come on National Trust, you can do better than that. We seniors shouldn’t be kept waiting five years. This tempts us to join the National Trust for Scotland in order to use their much cheaper discounted cards in England!
For more information on the National Trust, see: English Heritage versus National Trust.
Economy Car Hire for ‘Fair’ Rentals and More
When hiring cars abroad, I’ve always been more than satisfied with Auto Europe and Holiday Autos, although Avis recently proved invaluable when I hired a car in Vancouver to drop off in Seattle. Neither Auto Europe or Holiday Autos could provide a car on this occasion.
Both Auto Europe and Holiday Autos are brokers that help you to find the best deals with the actual car hire companies. Recently I’ve been looking into another broker, Economy Car Hire now renamed as Zest. They offer some features which may well appeal to senior travellers.
• First of these is that they will make certain that the almost ‘fraudulent’ practice of hiring a car full of fuel (paid for at an inflated price) to be returned empty is avoidable by clearly labelling hires where this does not apply with their ‘Fair Fuel Policy’ icon.
• Secondly, they offer the chance to purchase Car Hire Excess Insurance at a reasonable price, and it does cover tyres, glass, underbody and such like often missed out from excess cover.
• Thirdly, and important to many senior travellers, Economy Car Hire states that: ‘In many locations we operate with suppliers that will allow someone over the age of 70 to hire a vehicle without any additional cost’.
• Fourthly, their hires always include a free additional driver and unlimited mileage.