Is a Beloved Senior Discount About to Disappear?

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Shocked senior
LightField Studios /

Seniors who love to travel long have enjoyed discounts at America’s national parks. But a new proposal would curb those beloved price breaks.

A U.S. Department of the Interior committee has suggested eliminating key senior discounts during peak visit times. According to CBS News:

“A proposal submitted last month by the “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee to the U.S. Interior Department would eliminate discounts for seniors during the peak summer camping season. Seniors would have to pay full price to access National Park Service campgrounds like California’s Yosemite National Park or Big Bend in Texas.”

AARP issued a statement from Bill Sweeney, senior vice president of government affairs, that criticizes the proposal for undermining the Senior Pass — which costs $80 for the lifetime version and $20 for the annual version:

“Older adults bought the lifetime pass and were told it was good every day of the year. It’s unfair to change the terms of that pass after-the-fact.”

Fortunately, other senior travel discounts are likely to remain intact for the foreseeable future. Discover more ways to trim the tab on your next vacation in our story “9 Great Travel Discounts That Begin in Your 60s.”

And if your heart is still set on a visit to a national park — and you don’t want to pay to get in — plan to visit during a day when admission is free for all. In 2020, there will be five such days. We run down the lineup of freebies in “National Parks to Offer 5 Days of Free Admission in 2020.”

What do you think of the government’s proposed change? Sound off in comments below or on our Facebook page.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story did not clarify that campground fees would be impacted under the proposal.

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