Seniors traveling in Vietnam might bask in the glow of filial piety and enjoy the Vietnamese idea -- from Confucianism -- of respect for elders, but senior travelers are less likely to enjoy the major discounts found in the West. But do mention the fact that you're a senior when you make your travel reservations. Although all of the major U.S. airlines except America West have canceled their senior discount and coupon book programs, many hotels still offer discounts for seniors.
Members of AARP, 601 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20049 (tel. 888/687-2277; www.aarp.org), get discounts on hotels, airfares, and car rentals. AARP offers members a wide range of benefits, including AARP The Magazine and a monthly newsletter. Anyone over 50 can join.
Many reliable agencies and organizations target the 50-plus market. Elderhostel (tel. 800/454-5768; www.elderhostel.org) arranges worldwide study programs for those aged 55 and over. ElderTreks (tel. 800/741-7956 or 416/558-5000 outside North America; www.eldertreks.com) offers small-group tours to off-the-beaten-path or adventure-travel locations, restricted to travelers 50 and older.
Recommended publications offering travel resources and discounts for seniors include the quarterly magazine Travel 50 & Beyond (www.travel50andbeyond.com) and the best-selling paperback Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50 2009-2010, 18th Edition (McGraw-Hill), by Joan Rattner Heilman.