5 Best Senior Cruises for 2020

Researching flights, finding places to stay, and looking up things to do in the area you’re visiting are the most stressful parts of planning a vacation. Plus, most of the time, you only get to experience one destination at a time.

With a cruise, not only do you get to hand off all the hard work to someone else, but you also get to experience multiple destinations in one trip. While these two factors might be appealing to just about anyone, they are especially appealing to seniors looking for the perfect vacation without any of the hassles. To help you find your own perfect seniors getaway, below are five cruise lines offering the best senior cruises for 2020.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

For those looking for a more luxurious cruise experience, Regent Seven Sea Cruises offers four all-suite ships traveling to more than 450 destinations around the world. These destinations include the Panama Canal, transatlantic, South Pacific, Alaska, and the Mediterranean. Your payment includes airfare, accommodations, meals, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, gratuities, and most shore excursions. For a little more, Regent offers more extensive shore excursions, such as behind-the-scenes tours of world-famous attractions, immersive cultural experiences, and culinary tours.  You can end each day with dinner served to you by the onboard pool.

A high 1:1.5 staff-to-passenger ratio, ship-wide accessibility for passengers with disabilities, and entertainment tailored to your interests and abilities make Regent the perfect senior cruise experience.

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Holland America Line

With hundreds of cruises to countries across the world, seniors are bound to find something up their alley aboard Holland America Line. Besides plenty of onboard activities, such as music and performances at the variety of onboard venues, Holland also offers hands-on and demonstrative culinary classes where you can brush up on your cooking skills.

You may even be lucky enough to board one of Holland’s two ships that offer BLEND. BLEND is the world’s only purpose-built wine-blending venue at sea. You can even create an individual blend of wine from up to five barrels of single-vineyard red wine grown and produced at the Chateau St. Michelle winery in Washington State. Before indulging in wine, you can fill your stomach at any of the five specialty onboard restaurants. These restaurants offer cuisine ranging from Italian to Asian to French. Holland also prides itself on being among the most disability-friendly cruise lines in the industry with plenty of support and available arrangements for wheelchairs, scooters, and other disability issues.

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Oceania Cruises

Hop on any one of Oceania Cruises‘ six luxury ships and enjoy itineraries ranging from 22 days to 180 days all around the world. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, you can choose one of Oceania’s smaller ships. These ships stop in less-visited ports, such as the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean and Komodo Island in Indonesia. Oceania partners with tour operators in these less-popular areas to give unique onshore excursions highlighting the local culture, history, and cuisine. Similarly, Oceania also offers plenty of on-land bucket list tours like snorkeling with the dolphins in French Polynesia, hiking in the Amazon, exploring the markets in Nice, and even visiting Mount Everest.

If staying on board is more your thing, you can enjoy dinner venues offering everything from Asian to French delicacies. You can also brush up on your own culinary skills by taking some cooking classes. Finally, you can start/end your days relaxing at one of the onboard spas and fitness centers or experiment with Chinese medicine and Buddhist meditation.

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Viking Cruises

If you’re not interested in things like onboard casinos and want a more authentic, cultural seniors cruise, then Viking Cruises might be more up your alley. They offer classes, events, excursions, and activities catering to virtually any interest you can think of. This includes history, art, science, local culture, and cuisine.

Without even leaving the ship, you can go enjoy an authentic Scandinavian thermal experience at the snow grotto, take in a lecture or TED Talk, take cooking classes at The Kitchen Table, and watch a 3D film in the Explorers’ Dome. Off the ship, you can go hunting for truffles in Provence, attend a ballet or opera from the world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, or visit a small family farm outside the Norwegian town of Bergen for an additional fee. These examples represent just a few of the possible itineraries available across Europe, Asia, and other destinations. Pricing includes meals, beer, and wine during lunch and dinner, port charges, Internet access, lectures, activities, and one shore excursion in every port.

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Avalon Waterways

Similar to Viking, Avalon Waterways offers the perfect seniors cruise for those wanting cultural immersion over standard entertainment and amenities. For example, common cruises for seniors include Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches along the River Seine, Tulip Time Cruise for Nature and Garden Lovers through Holland and Belgium, and a two-week Magnificent Europe itinerary from Amsterdam to Budapest along the Danube and Rhine. Thanks to Avalon Choice, a feature introduced in 2019, passengers on European itineraries can select between three types of excursions every day, depending on interests and ability level. These include:

  • Classic, which covers the traditional history and heritage of a destination with a local guide;
  • Discovery, which is more hands-on and interactive with the local culture, and;
  • Active, which offers tours for the more eager and physically active.

Avalon’s pricing covers all meals, sparkling wines at breakfast, regional wines and beer with lunch and dinner, enrichment activities, entertainment, and shore excursions with local guides. To top it all off, Avalon equips its ships with elevators for easier accessibility.

Source: Bjoern Wylezich / Shutterstock

5 Best Senior Cruise Discounts for 2020

With delicious cuisine, diverse entertainment, and relaxed accommodations, cruising from country to country is the perfect way to spend the best years of your life. To help you find the best possible cruises at the most affordable pricing, below are the five best senior cruise discounts to take advantage of in 2020.

Norwegian Cruise Linelavish

Generally speaking, seniors are eligible for $100 off select cruises and a five percent discount off all Norwegian cruises booked at least nine months out. Norwegian Cruise Line offers a uniquely relaxed experience, ignoring most of the usual cruise restrictions like dining times and dress codes. This way, seniors can enjoy a more relaxed experience on the sea usually only reserved for more expensive, luxurious cruises. Cruises aboard Norwegian Cruise Line last anywhere from three to 21 days and sail across Alaska, Cuba, Hawaii, and many other places.

Check out this sample discounted Norwegian Cruise: 7-Night Europe Cruise. It features a 68 percent discount off its list price of $2,199. This deal includes a departure from Barcelona, Spain, and stops at Naples, Italy, Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Livorno, Italy, Cannes, France, and Palma De Mallorca, Spain.

Other Possible Discounts

  • Free at Sea Exclusive – Save 30 Percent on Cruise Fares, 50 Percent off Deposits, Free Beverage Package, Free Shore Excursion Credit, and Up to $50 Free Onboard Credit
  • Reduced Rates
  • $100 Free Onboard Credit through American Express Gold Card Destinations
  • American Express Cruise Privileges Program Offers Up to $300 Free Onboard Credit plus Extra Bonuses
  • Latitudes Past Guest Benefits – Priority Check-In, Onboard Discounts, and Complimentary Dinner
Source: Ian_Stewart / Shutterstock

Royal Caribbean

While you have to call Royal Caribbean to see what specific discounts are available (1-800-256-6649), seniors 55 years or older are eligible for discounts aboard select Royal Caribbean cruises. That said, more discounts become available the closer a trip is to departure. Aboard Caribbean cruises, seniors can enjoy an adults-only retreat, spa, library, and card room, along with language classes, dance classes, scrapbooking, and guest lectures. There are also facilities for the deaf/hard-of-hearing and blind/visually impaired.

Check out this sample discounted Royal Caribbean cruise: 4-Night Caribbean Cruise. It features a 68 percent discount off its list price of $834. This deal includes a departure from Galveston, Texas and stops at Cozumel, Mexico.

Other Possible Discounts

  • Buy One Get One 60 Percent Off Cruise Fares, Up to $100 Free Onboard Credit, and Reduced Rates for Avoya Advantage Members
  • Royal Suite Class Offers Free Gratuities, Free Beverage Package, Free Wi-Fi, and Complimentary Specialty Dining
  • Free Family Fun Package
  • $100 Free Onboard Credit through American Express Gold Card Destinations
  • Crown & Anchor Society Offers Cruise Discounts, Reduced Rate Upgrades, and More for Past Guests
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Celebrity Cruises

Glass dining rooms, formal foyers, libraries, bars, lawn games, live entertainment, above-and-beyond staff, and casinos make Celebrity Cruises the quintessential senior cruise experience. Also, there are facilities for the deaf/hard-of-hearing and blind/visually impaired. If you provide enough notice in advance, in addition to qualifying for certain senior discounts, Celebrity Cruises can even customize your cruise to meet your individual needs.

Check out this sample discounted Celebrity Cruise: 7-Night Alaska Cruise. It features a 57 percent discount off its list price of $2,198. This deal includes a departure from Seattle, Washington, and stops at Ketchikan, Alaska, Juneau, Alaska, Skagway, Alaska, and the Alaska Inside Passage.

Other Possible Discounts

  • Up to $700 Free Onboard Credit, Free Gratuities, Free Beverage Package, and Free Unlimited Internet for Avoya Advantage Members
  • $100 Free Onboard Credit through American Express Gold Card Destinations
  • Active and Retired Military Save Up to $200
  • American Express Cruise Privileges Program Offers Up to $300 Free Onboard Credit and Extra Bonuses
  • Captain’s Club Benefits – Free Upgrades, Free Internet Plus More for Past Guests
Source: Shutterstock

Silversea Cruises

While not specifically for seniors, Silverseas Cruises offers such discounts as 10 percent off fees and a $500 onboard credit for people who book their cruises far in advance. Silversea Cruises offer spacious, oceanview suites with butler service and private verandas and voyages to over 900 destinations on all seven continents. Transportation to and from port towns, as well as the inclusion of gratuities in your fee, make Silversea the perfect relaxing getaway for seniors.

Check out this sample discounted Silversea Cruise: 7-Night Alaska Cruise. It features a 38 percent discount off its list price of $10,200. This deal includes a departure from Vancouver, Canada, and stops at Ketchikan, Alaska, Juneau, Alaska, Skagway, Alaska, Sitka, Alaska, and Hubbard Glacier, Alaska. The cruise ends in Seward, Alaska.

Other Possible Discounts

  • Up to $500 Free Onboard Credit, Free or Discounted Airfare, and Save Up to $1,000 for Avoya Advantage Members
  • Free or Discounted Airfare for All 2020-2022 Silversea Cruises Booked Thorugh Avoya Travel
  • $100 Free Onboard Credit through American Express Gold Card Destinations
  • American Express Cruise Privileges Program Offers Up to $500 Free Onboard Credit and Extra Bonuses
  • Save Up to 10 Percent and Gain Access to Special Events for Venetian Society Members
Source: Shutterstock

MSC Cruises

Enjoy a seniors cruise on a budget aboard MSC Cruises. While they don’t post their discounts publicly, you can call them at 1-877-665-4655 to find out what senior discounts are available. Even without a discount, MSC offers Caribbean itineraries for less than $300 per person. For a family-centric trip, MSC also offers free sailing for kids under 11 and even kids 12 to 17 on certain trips.

Check out this sample discounted MSC Cruise: 7-Night Caribbean Cruise. It features a 69 percent discount off its list price of $898. This deal includes a departure from Miami, Florida, and stops at Ocean Cay Msc Marine Reserve, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, and Key West, Florida.

Other Possible Discounts

  • Free Unlimited Beverage Package, Free Wi-Fi, and Up to $100 Free Onboard Credit for Select 2020-2021 MSC Cruises Booked Thorugh Avoya Travel
  • Reduced Rates on Select 2020-2021 MSC Cruises Booked Thorugh Avoya Travel
  • Up to 20 Percent Off Cruise Fares and $50 Free Onboard Credit for MSC Voyagers Club Members
  • $100 Free Onboard Credit through American Express Gold Card Destinations
Source: TTL media / Shutterstock

5 Reasons to Go on a Senior Singles Cruise

It’s not hard to imagine why hopping on a luxury cruise ship and sailing around the world is attractive to most people. Sunny skies, catered food, beautiful accommodation, and a new destination to explore every few days are just a few of the driving forces behind the 30 million people hopping on cruises every year. However, on top of everything that comes regular cruise, senior singles cruises come with their own perks.

To help you decide if a senior singles cruise is right for you, below are five reasons to go on a senior singles cruise.

Find the One

Meeting new people is hard enough as you grow older. Finding new romantic partners is even harder. There are all sorts of reasons for this, prioritizing time with friends and family being the main one.

Senior singles cruises are a non-intrusive way to get to know other people who are looking to date. You have a longer period of time — anywhere from days to weeks to months — to more naturally get to know people. This is unlike other forced single events, such as a one-night social gathering where you have limited time with each person. Plus, the longer you interact with people, you get a better sense of how people actually are. What better way to get to know someone than sailing across the ocean and exploring new countries with them? With a better understanding of someone’s real character, you can better decide if you want to pursue them romantically.

Source: Shutterstock

Meet New Friends

As we grow older, our priorities tend to point more towards the family and friends we already have. As a result, meeting new people tends to fall by the wayside.

Even if you don’t come away with a romantic connection, senior singles cruises can then be a great way to meet new people in your later years. This is because unlike non-singles cruises, where people tend to come with their partners, families, or friends, singles cruises by definition have more people by themselves. When people are by themselves, they are more likely to try to meet new people. Plus, if it works out, the connections you make onboard can continue after the cruise is over. As you spend time with these people after the cruise, you can also join their other social circles. Depending on your cruise, there’s a good chance that the people you meet are from different parts of the world. By making friends with these people, you can open up all sorts of travel opportunities to visit them in different countries all around the world.

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Visit Multiple Locations

Why spend all the energy, time, and money planning a trip to one destination when you can explore multiple destinations over the course of one cruise? Cruises are one of the easiest, affordable ways to travel to and explore multiple locations over the course of one vacation. For instance, instead of traveling to just China, you can travel across all of Eastern Asia. A cruise of Easter Asia will likely stop in different countries, including China, every few days.

With cruises offering itineraries to just about anywhere in the world, you’re bound to find a senior singles cruise setting sail to a destination you want to visit. Plus, cruises eliminate the stress involved in booking flights, transportation on the ground, accommodation, and even food over the course of your vacation. All you have to do is board and follow port country deadlines, as everything else is conveniently taken care of.

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Try Different Things

As we get older, opportunities to try different things can become fewer and farther between. This is usually the result of a lack of access and convenience. Fortunately, activities aboard cruises check both of these boxes.

With plenty of activities, classes, and lessons aboard cruises, there are all sorts of different new experiences to be had on a daily basis. There’s also a tendency for us to focus solely on relaxation when on vacation. While there’s nothing wrong with this, cruises provide the opportunity to squeeze in some self-development among your relaxation. For example, after spending a few hours by the pool, you can brush up on your cooking skills. Afterward, enjoy your self-made meal with a glass of wine. In this sense, cruises are the best of both worlds. They make relaxation and self-development equally as convenient and accessible.

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Refresh

Monotony and the negative feelings associated with monotony affect us all. While the feeling of being stuck or bored can happen at any point in our lives, retirement, less energy, and fewer opportunities can all make these feelings more present in our older years. To counteract this, a senior singles cruise is the perfect opportunity to refresh.

From waking up in a new country every day to sipping on your favorite drink overlooking the horizon to ending your day in your suite’s hot tub with a personal butler waiting on you, the opportunities for relaxation and refreshment on a cruise are endless. More generally, you can meet new people, hear new perspectives, try different things, and generally disconnect from your everyday life. Any one of these things — let alone all of them combined — can help you refresh and return to your life after the cruise filled with new motivation.

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How To Sell Your Timeshare

If you find yourself with a beautiful timeshare going unused year-after-year, it might be time to cash out. However, as anyone who has even dabbled in the timeshare world knows, selling timeshares can be an incredibly frustrating, drawn-out process. From understanding your contract to obtaining the right paperwork to understanding pricing to finding trustworthy agents, the hassle involved in selling your timeshare can make the whole process seem not worth it. To help make your life a little easier, below are 4 simple steps you can follow to sell your timeshare stress-free.

Consider Other Options

Before you sell your timeshare, make sure the problem causing you to want to sell your timeshare can’t be solved another way. For example, if you don’t like your allotted time to visit your timeshare, you can almost always trade your week with someone else for a week that works better for you. Or, many timeshares allow you to accumulate points that you can use to vacation at different properties during the dates of your choosing.

Source: Shutterstock

Understand Your Contract

Before you sell, it’s critical that you understand your timeshare’s contract top to bottom. Key details you should know and have ready include:

  • your timeshare’s location (including the country)
  • the name of your timeshare’s resort or developer
  • your timeshare’s size and description (number of bedrooms and baths)
  • any amenities included with your timeshare

In addition to the details above, you should understand who has the actual deed to your timeshare’s property. More specifically, even if you have the deed, clarify whether or not the deed is a “right to use” agreement. Often times, even if it says you have a deed, the physical deed itself will be held by your timeshare’s resort, developer, or a trust company. Before attempting to sell your timeshare, you should get a physical copy of the deed yourself. Also, determine what type of access you have to your timeshare. This might consist of a fixed week during the year, a floating week during a certain period, a time each year based on a points system, or a combination of these things. With point accumulation, it’s also worth checking with your timeshare’s resort to determine how you can transfer points to new owners.

Source: Shutterstock

Determine How Much Your Timeshare Is Worth

Unfortunately, timeshares tend to devalue quite quickly. This means that you’re almost guaranteed to get less for selling your timeshare than what you originally paid when securing it in the first place. In some cases, timeshare owners and managers will let you in on recent selling prices, so it’s at least worth asking around. In other cases, you can use any of the sites below to help you determine your timeshare’s resale value:

Through these sites, find “sold” listings for timeshares with the same number of bedrooms, baths and similar square footage as your own. You can then base the value of your own timeshare off of this information. When pricing your timeshare, understand that you’re probably going to have to list your timeshare for a lower price than other listings for a quick turnaround or even a turnaround at all. If you simply want to sell as quickly as possible, you can even offer to cover closing costs or transfer fees. It’s also important to take into account whether your timeshare is paid in full or whether you’re still making mortgage payments. Sometimes the mortgage can be secured by the timeshare itself. The same applies to maintenance fees, incidental payments, HOA fees and any other costs associated with your timeshare. Not being caught up on all of these can result in you listing your timeshare as encumbered, which can make it very difficult to sell.

Source: Shutterstock

Sell Your Timeshare

When you’ve finished preparing all of the above, there are a number of ways to actually go about selling your timeshare. These include:

  • Resale Companies
  • Agents
  • Yourself

Resale Companies

Before choosing a resale company to sell your timeshare for you, first double-check that they’re legit. According to veteran timeshare real estate agent Judi Kozlowski, a good rule of thumb when dealing with resale companies is to not work with anyone who wants more than $100 upfront. Real agents only collect their fees when your timeshare actually sells. Kozlowski also recommends avoiding resale companies who approach you by postcard or telephone. Finally, it’s worth researching potential companies by checking with the Better Business Bureau and the American Resort Development Association.

Agents

Another option is going through a real estate agent. As with resale companies, it’s up to you to do your own research on any agents you’re considering using. Start by asking the agents you’re considering how many timeshares they’ve sold and how long it took to sell those timeshares. This can give you an indication of how likely they are to sell your timeshare in a timely manner. Of course, avoid any agents that contact you by unsolicited phone calls. While agents can certainly make the selling process much easier, it’s also worth noting that many agents specializing in timeshares take a much larger commission than they do for home sales.

Yourself

For those not wanting to deal with a 3rd party, you can simply use the listing sites detailed above or social media to sell your timeshare yourself. Another tactic worth trying is placing ads in the area where your timeshare is located. This can attract locals who might want to be able to host out-of-town family members or friends and/or want to use the free recreation facilities, all while only having to pay the annual maintenance fee.

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Luxurious Business Class Flight Accommodations

Business class seats are becoming more luxurious than ever. Some would even consider the flight a vacation in and of itself. To give you an idea of what modern-day business class can look like, we’ve compiled a list of 7 airlines offering some of the most luxurious business class flight accommodations.

British Airways

British Airways first revolutionized business class 20 years ago with its introduction of the first fully lie-flat seat and an innovative “Ying/Yang” seat plan. Since then, British Airways has provided a consistently luxurious business class experience through its wide-body fleet and private seating. Plus, British Airways has gone through a serious upgrade over the past couple of years resulting in improved catering (from an internationally-acclaimed Austrian catering company, DO&CO), excellent bedding, and some of the most stylish amenity kits available in the sky. In addition to this, last July British Airways introduced a new suite concept on-board its A350 planes consisting of direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy, luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, 18.5-inch entertainment screens, and 40 % more storage space per seat (including a vanity unit and mirror).

Source: British Airways

Emirates

Business-class passengers aboard Emirates’ Airbus 380 fleet enjoy a staggered 1–2–1 configuration, direct aisle access, and the perfect amount of privacy. They even cater to passenger party sizes, with the window Business Class seats being suited for solo travelers and the dual and more intimate center cabin seats being suited for partners traveling together. Throw into the mix large amenity kits, an extensive in-flight entertainment selection, chauffeur service to the plane, a gigantic Dubai airport lounge, and even a spacious, stocked bar on the upper deck, and Emirates’ A380 becomes the quintessential business class experience.  However, it’s important to know that this Business Class experience is typically only offered on the Airbus A380 and not the Emirates’ Boeing 777s, which offer an inferior 2-3-2 configuration with no direct aisle access for all passengers.

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Japan Airlines

JAL Sky Suites, the name for business class suites aboard Japan Airlines, are completely enclosed for each individual passenger. In other words, all business class passengers have their own private space. Passengers can also control the amount of privacy they want with retractable privacy partitions (which can be lowered when you are traveling with a companion). The JAL Sky Suite III, introduced in 2017, offers an even more spacious 1-2-1 configuration, providing all passengers with direct aisle access. Inside each Sky Suite, passengers have access to ample storage space beneath an ottoman, a 23-inch LCD monitor (one of the largest in its class), and comfortable bedding with a highly resilient airweave mattress and pillow. As far as other perks, JAL offers both Western and Japanese menus created by world-renowned chefs. Without even so much as peaking your head out of your Sky Suite, you can order in-flight meals from an a la carte menu by simply tapping a touch screen. You can also order food at any time, and as often as you wish.

Source: Japan Airlines

United Airlines

New to the upgraded business class experience is United Airlines. United introduced their new Polaris Business class concept just a couple of years ago, which features staggered seats that allow every other row to have “true” window seats. These seats still maintain a high degree of privacy, and, similar to Emirates, every other row also has “honeymoon” seats in the center section that is perfect for traveling couples. Outside of seating, United Polaris offers bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, restaurant-quality dining with a rotating monthly menu, cozy slippers, premium skincare items from Sunday Riley, earplugs, an ergonomic eye mask, and even pajamas on flights longer than 12 hours. United Polaris can also take advantage of the United Polaris lounge in select airports around the world. Keep in mind that United Polaris is currently only available aboard all United Boeing 777-300ERs and 787-10s, and some 767-300s and 777-200s.

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JetBlue

Despite being otherwise known as a low-cost airline, JetBlue’s Business class offers very unique perks not offered by other, higher-end airlines. Mainly, JetBlue is the first to provide business class seats with doors. Otherwise, JetBlue’s Mint Suites provide lie-flat seats (which extend to 6’8″) and plenty of storage space. Outside of the cabins, JetBlue Mint offers artisanal dining, tons of free entertainment, award-winning service, and a complimentary Hayward & Hopper amenity kit. JetBlue Mint can be found aboard all Mint configured Airbus A321 aircrafts.

Source: Jet Blue

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways’ newest business class experience provides seat configurations catering to all kinds of travelers. Solo travelers can enjoy the spacious window seats and couples can enjoy the “honeymoon” seats in the middle of the cabin. Both options offer plenty of privacy and ergonomically-designed, comfortable seating. Other than this, Business Class passengers aboard Etihad Airways benefit from direct aisle access, more than enough storage space, seat upholstery by Poltrona Frau, and 22-inch wide seats that convert into lie-flat beds (which support up to 6 feet and 8 inches in length). There’s even a lounge aboard A380 aircraft located between first and business class that seats up to six guests. In this lounge, passengers can take advantage of a power supply and connectivity ports.

Source: Dmitry Birin / Shutterstock.com

Eva Air

EVA Air’s ‘Royal Laurel Class’ Business class experience maximizes space for its passengers through its reverse herringbone 1-2-1 layout. When it’s time to sleep, seats can be converted into beds approximately 82 inches long providing more than enough space for passengers to stretch out and relax. Passengers can also take refuge in the fact that they can use fixed panels to create their own space and enjoy as much privacy as they like. Like coming home to your apartment, Business class passengers even have a space to hang clothing, a shoe cabinet, a retractable armrest, and a cocktail table. Also provided are amenity kits, noise-canceling headphones, Fiji water, seasonal cuisine, and the over-the-top attendant service (in the best way possible) that EVA Air has become known for. Similar to United Polaris, EVA Air is also one of the few airlines to offer pajamas in Business Class.

Source: EVA Air

Top European Cruise Deals

European cruises offer you the opportunity to experience several destinations in one trip, on a budget! This is because accommodations, travel, and food are included in the cruise travel package. Follow along as we round up the top European cruise deals that will offer you an experience of a lifetime.

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International is one of the largest and most affordable cruise lines on the market. They have 20 ships in operation sailing to 260 ports in 68 countries across six continents, including many European cities. A quick search on their website shows 3-night European cruises across Italy and Spain for as low as $469 USD per person (before taxes and fees). From the perfect vacation with your family to a romantic getaway with your partner, there’s something on board to accommodate all kinds of trips.

Source: Phuong D. Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises‘ 10 beautifully designed ships, on-board food options, diverse itineraries, and kid-friendly activities make it perfect for family getaways. As explained on their website, among other things and places,  you can enjoy the sun-kissed beaches and irresistible food of the Mediterranean, explore the dramatic landscapes and natural wonders of Scandinavia, tour castles and monuments in the British Isles, or stroll along the shore of the world’s oldest lake in Russia. As an example, Celebrity offers 7-night cruises across Italy and Greece for as low as $989 USD per person (before taxes and fees).

Source: Shutterstock

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line may be known for its more luxurious cruise ships, but they also offer plenty of affordable European cruises as well.  What’s even cooler is that Norwegian ignores typical cruise ship rules such as assigned dining times and dress codes, allowing for a much more relaxed experience usually only reserved for more expensive, luxurious cruises. A sample itinerary with Norwegian is a 2-week cruise across Ireland, France, and England for $985 USD per person.

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Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises offers friendly getaways for passengers 18 years and older. They offer 17 ships, plenty of on-board food options, and an array of other activities and workshops like cooking lessons, history lectures, poolside movie screenings, and magic shows. You can find 7-day Mediterranean cruises across Italy and Spain for as low as $712 USD person.

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line offers cruises that both adults and kids can enjoy. Adults can enjoy the many activities and amenities that make up Carnival’s party at sea, and kids can enjoy Camp Ocean, Circle “C”, and Club o2, all of which cater to different age ranges. There are also rope courses, mini-golf, ping-pong tables, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and plenty of other sports options to keep people of all ages entertained. Itineraries cost as low as $689 USD per person (before taxes and fees) for 8-day cruises across Italy, Sicily, France, and Barcelona.

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Holland America Line

With options for both kid-friendly and non-kid-friendly ships, Holland America Line is a super affordable way to get exactly the kind of cruise experience you’re after. Adults can enjoy the refined atmosphere and low passenger-to-crew ratio that Holland America Line has become known for whereas kids can enjoy sing-along story times and even ice cream eating competitions. You can set out to sea for as low as $699 USD per person (before taxes and fees) for a 14-day cruise across Portugal and Italy.

Source: Bjoern Wylezich / Shutterstock.com

MSC Cruises

Free sailing for kids under 11 (and even kids 12 to 17 on certain trips), affordable itineraries, and plenty of adult-activities make sailing with MSC Cruises the perfect getaway on a budget. Parents can relax in the adults-only pools while kids enjoy theaters showing 4D movies — essentially a combination of a rollercoaster and a normal movie theater. Passengers can enjoy 4-day cruises across Germany, France, and the UK for as low as $239 USD per person (before taxes and fees). It’s worth noting, however, that MSC caters primarily to European cruisers and there are only a few departure ports in North America.

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Costa Cruises

Hop on a Mediterranean cruise for cheap with Costa Cruises, a member of the Carnival family. Based in Italy, Costa Cruises offers family-friendly amenities, as well as activities like dance classes and theater productions for adults. Most of their smaller ships offer a more intimate, quieter experience, while their larger fleets offer a more festive, livelier atmosphere. Regardless of the ship you choose, they guarantee one crew member for every three travelers for the best possible attentiveness. You can sail with Costa Cruises for 10 days across Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany for as low as $849 USD per person (before taxes and fees).

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Seven Seas Cruises

Supporting up to 750 passengers per ship, Seven Seas prides itself on a nearly 1-to-1 crew-to-guest ratio. This means that passengers are supported and attended to by crew members at a level that’s almost unmatched by any other cruise line. With some of the largest on-board accommodations available on the sea, all 375 suites include spacious balconies, marble bathrooms, walk-in closets, interactive flat-screen TVs and unlimited Wi-Fi. Plus, you can enjoy eight dining areas that range from the casual Pool Grill to Asian creations at Pacific Rim. Daytime activities include cooking demonstrations, lounging by the pool, and relaxing at the library, while nighttime entertainment includes casino games, cocktail lounges, and shows in the Constellation Theater. Offering more luxurious cruises to its passengers, you can find 7-day cruises offered by Seven Seas across Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Germany, and Denmark for as low as $1278 USD per person per night (before taxes and fees).

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Top Hotel Deals For 2020

With a new year comes new vacation plans. Of course, whether you like it or not, with every new vacation comes hotel costs. To help you enjoy the trips you take this year without worrying about hotel costs biting into your wallet, below are 11 tips you can use to find the best hotel deals in 2020 no matter where your trips take you.

Book in Advance

Like anything, the farther in advance you begin looking for hotel deals, the more likely you are to find them. Not only that but booking far in advance can also allow you to book during otherwise unavailable data ranges, which can improve your visit (visiting during peak season, for example). With these two things in mind, it’s useful to start the search for hotels as far out from your visit as possible.

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Look for Last-Minute Deals

On the other hand, you can also find incredible hotel deals by searching for accommodations last-minute. In an attempt to fill otherwise non-booked rooms, many hotels will offer their rooms at lower-than-normal prices. You can search for last-minute rooms manually, or use apps like HotelTonight, One: Night to make the process easier. You can also use Priceline, a website that posts “tonight only” deals every day at 11 a.m.. Keep in mind that the type of trip you’re taking can affect the availability of last-minute hotel deals. For example, if you’re traveling to a city for a conference, hotels in the area know that people will need rooms. If anything, booking last-minute in this scenario will have you paying more rather than less.

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Be Flexible With Your Dates

If you have a hankering to visit somewhere but aren’t tied down to a specific date range, researching hotel stays for different dates can help you discover the cheapest time to take your trip. This also applies to the days of the week your visit covers. Generally speaking, since hotels see the most visitors on Friday and Saturday nights, mid-week stays such as a Monday through Thursday stays will result in much cheaper prices.

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Bid on a Room

If you’re okay with a little uncertainty, some services allow you to bid on hotel stays that fit within your desired price range. For example, Priceline’s “name your own price” feature lets you select neighborhoods and star levels when you bid, but doesn’t reveal the name of the hotel until your bid is accepted. Before you bid on anything, Priceline suggests researching hotels for your specific star level around the neighborhood you plan to stay in to give you an idea of what you might end up with. This is especially important considering that your credit card is charged as soon as your bid is accepted and you cannot change or cancel your reservation.

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Travel During the Off-Season

If hotels know that lots of people will be looking for stays in their area, such as during peak travel season for that area, then it doesn’t make sense for them to offer any discounts. People are almost guaranteed to pay full price regardless. With this in mind, to save money on hotels, plan your visits for the off-season when there aren’t floods of tourists looking for hotels.

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Pick a Different Neighborhood

It might be convenient to stay right downtown in the city you’re visiting, but it’s also more expensive. To find cheaper hotel stays, look in neighborhoods farther away from main areas. However, it’s also important to factor in the cost of transportation to anywhere you plan to visit. In some cases, staying in a cheaper hotel farther away and taking public transportation every day might be more expensive than just biting the bullet and paying more for a hotel closer to downtown.

Use Hotel Search Sites

Sites like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Momondo can help you quickly find hotel deals no matter where you’re visiting. For example, with Skyscanner, you can put in your destination and date range, among other filters, and Skyscanner will connect with its 1,200+ partners to find what hotels offer the cheapest stays for your travel period. Or, if you’re flexible, you can put in your destination and see which dates offer the cheapest hotel stays.

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Compare Sites and Deals

As useful as hotel search sites are, it can sometimes be cheaper to do your own research. You can start by using sites like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Momondo to give you an overview of the hotels in the area you plan to visit, but you should research those hotels on your own after. This is because some hotels offer the best rates only when you book through them directly. When searching on your own, be sure to search around Google and the hotel’s website for promotions and perks such as free parking, meal discounts, complimentary WiFi, and so on.

Take Advantage of Rewards Programs

If you repeatedly stay with a specific hotel chain or hotel group, then it might make sense to sign up for any rewards programs they offer. Like perks you would get for using a specific credit card, many hotels offer perks for being a part of their rewards program. For example, with enough earned points, Wyndham Rewards members can redeem free stays at any Wyndham property worldwide, from the cheapest Days Inn to the most expensive Wyndham Grand resort.

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Use Your Affiliations

It’s always worth asking your hotel if they offer discounts for people with any associations you may have. For example, many hotels offer discounts for seniors, government employees, students, members of the military and AAA members.

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Negotiate Your Rate

Did you know that people who negotiate their room rate with hotels pay less or get a better room nearly 80% of the time? After doing your research and coming up with a number of hotel options, it’s worth getting in contact with each of your options one by one, explaining the prices being offered by their competitors, and asking them if they can offer a better price.

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How To Get The Best Timeshare Deals For Seniors

Owning a timeshare may be the perfect way for seniors to enjoy vacation destinations all across the world. That said, it’s important to be wary of potential pitfalls that may cause seniors to pay more than they should. To help seniors ease into their golden years, below are 3 tips to help secure a timeshare that fits their needs as affordably as possible.

Understand Your Ownership’s Responsibilities and Limitations

In most cases when you buy a timeshare in the U.S., you’ll get what’s called a “timeshare state” which allows you to rent, sell, exchange, and pass down to heirs your share of the property. However, outside of the U.S., you are usually only provided with “timeshare licenses” or “memberships”. These allow you to use the property for only as long as the contract permits and typically enforce other restrictions. Seniors should also know that signing a contract for a timeshare outside the U.S. means that you are not protected by U.S. laws.

More specifically, the types of timeshares available to seniors include:

  • Timeshare ownerships: Timeshare ownerships allow travelers to purchase one week of access per year. Timeshares are designed so that each unit has about 52 individual owners, each with access to the unit annually.
  • Fractional ownerships: Companies that sell fractional ownerships make units available to owners anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks per year. These properties are often more upscale than standard timeshare properties. Owners can choose how much stake they want in a property, whether that’s for 1/26 of a property or 1/13.
  • Variety of ownership plans: Some companies have properties that sell both timeshares and fractional ownerships and thus attract a broader base of clientele with different wants and needs.

Additionally, it’s worth noting if you’re buying an unfinished timeshare, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that money be placed in an escrow account registered to a local bank until the property is completed, and be sure to include a “non-performance” clause in the sales contract. This is to help protect you in the case that the timeshare developer goes bankrupt or defaults before the property and unit are finished. Finally, like any other owned property, you have to pay required maintenance fees and property taxes each year. Otherwise, the timeshare company has the ability to foreclose the property.

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Don’t Get Distracted By Extra Perks

Timeshare companies know that it’s almost always cheaper to buy from existing owners on listing sites than to buy properties from them. To counteract this, timeshare companies often offer closing incentives and other perks. However, you will almost always save more money by ignoring these perks and buying from an existing owner than to buy from a timeshare company with extra perks.

Fees that seniors can expect to pay when dealing with timeshares include:

  • Annual fees: Some timeshare companies charge timeshare owners annual fees to maintain ownership of their timeshare; these fees start at a fixed rate and often increase through the years of ownership.
  • Fee-free: Timeshare companies that are fee-free charge means owners owe nothing more than the cost of buying into the timeshare. This means that once the timeshare owner has purchased their right to use the property, they never have to pay the timeshare company again.
  • Maintenance fees: Timeshare owners often pay additional maintenance fees that increase every year to cover things like weather-related damage or damage caused by natural disasters.
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Choose a property that fits your travel needs

The main benefit of having a timeshare is that you’re able to trade your own timeshare for other timeshares in other destinations around the world. Therefore, you should know how to do that. Seniors that are part of a larger group or resort network can simply trade internally, otherwise, they’ll have to go through an exchange company such as RCI. Not only do exchange companies like RCI require you to pay additional membership and exchange fees, but they also don’t guarantee that you get the exchange you want. This is why seniors should prioritize timeshares that allow them to trade internally with other owners.

Seniors should also understand their timeshare’s schedule, which can include:

  • Fixed schedule: Fixed schedule timeshares allow owners to access their unit at a specific, fixed time each year; this means that for the length of their purchase, timeshare owners will return to their timeshare on the same dates annually.
  • Floating schedule: Timeshares with a floating schedule designate an amount of time a timeshare owner can access their timeshare each year, and they can choose the dates they want. This is a good choice for consumers who may be changing jobs or school situations and will want to vacation at a different time depending on the year.
  • Combinable time: Some timeshare companies allow customers to skip timeshare weeks, and then make up their vacation time during another year or at a later date. While these are less common, they do allow for travelers to skip a short vacation one year to then go on a much longer one the next year.

Schedules also depend on the destination restrictions related to your timeshare, which include:

  • One destination timeshare: A company with one destination for timeshares has only one location for owners to vacation.
  • Multi-destination timeshare: Some resort timeshare companies have a number of properties where owners can choose to vacation.
  • Points-based timeshares: Points-based timeshares have multiple locations that are each worth a certain level of points. Timeshare owners only have access to high-level properties after accumulating points from buying into properties or purchasing points from the company.
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5 Best Timeshare Deals

One of the more affordable ways to explore destinations around the world and everything they have to offer is through timeshares. However, finding a timeshare that fits your travel needs isn’t always easy. To help you out, below are 5 of the best timeshare deals that cater to a variety of different travel needs.

Casa Dorada Vacation Ownership

Enjoy the beautiful weather of Los Cabos, Mexico by staying at one of the many units provided by Casa Dorada. With so many units available, Casa Dorada timeshare resales are one of the most affordable timeshare deals around. Available suite types include junior suites, one-bedroom suites, two-bedroom suites, and penthouse suites. Most suites include flat-screen TVs, WiFi, furnished terraces, kitchenettes, air conditioning, and more. In more luxurious suites, you’ll find ocean-view jacuzzis, full kitchens, bars, and extravagant entertainment systems.

Outside of the suites themselves, resort amenities include:

  • 2 swimming pools
  • 4 restaurants and bars
  • Gelato shop
  • Coordinated children’s activities
  • Health spa
  • Clubhouse
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Marriott Vacation Ownership

You’re likely familiar with Marriott as a hotel chain, but they also offer luxury timeshare resorts through their Marriot Vacation Club. The biggest benefit of the Marriot Vacation Club is having access to destinations all around the world. The Marriott timeshares themselves consist of luxury villa or suite-style units and are considered deeded timeshares, which means that once you own your timeshare, it is yours to sell, rent, or pass on as you choose. Unlike traditional hotel stays, a membership with the Marriot Vacation Club also unlocks exclusive bonuses and extras that other guests may not have access to.

Marriot Vacation Club’s resort network inside the United States includes:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Marriot Vacation Club’s resort network outside of the United States includes:

  • Aruba
  • France
  • Spain
  • Thailand
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Silverleaf Resorts

Silverleaf is a timeshare resort chain offering affordable family adventures and outdoor experiences in destinations all throughout the United States.  From Orlando to the Ozark Mountains, families can enjoy spacious lodging and country club-style amenities for the whole family usually only reserved for more luxurious resorts at an affordable price. Silverleaf timeshare owners also have the flexibility to exchange timeshares with Silverleaf’s network, making it easy to enjoy vacations in new locations every year. There is even the opportunity to explore destinations beyond Silverleaf’s network due to Silverleaf’s affiliation with RCI, the world’s largest timeshare exchange company.

That said, Silverleaf’s resort network includes:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Texas
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Diamond Resorts International Timeshares

With over 400 resort destinations available worldwide, including the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia and more, Diamond Resorts is one of the best ways to travel the world for less. The benefits of owning or renting a timeshare with Diamond Resorts span beyond the timeshares themselves. Benefits also include access to discounts on flights, entertainment, and extended travel options.

Diamond’s resort network inside of the United States includes:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

Diamond’s resort network outside of the United States includes:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Spain
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SVC Timeshare Ownership

If you’re looking to explore the most beautiful destinations in North America, the Shell Vacations Club (SVC) might be just what you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the beaches of Hawaii, the powdery ski slopes of Canada, or kid-friendly attractions of Florida, you’re bound to find a Shell Vacations Club timeshare resort that fits your needs. You can buy or rent SVC timeshares, allowing you to experience resort life on a dime, and gain access to amenities like pools, activities for all ages, entertainment, and more. Owners are also allotted points based on their specific ownership detail that can be used for vacation perks like travel, golf services, spa services, and more.

SVC’s resort network inside of the United States includes:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Hawaii

SVC’s resort network outside of the United States includes:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
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10 Best Flight Discounts For Veterans

Many airlines offer discounted flights to active military and veterans of the Armed Forces. Unfortunately, as with most discounts, they aren’t always the easiest things to find. To help active military and veterans easily track down the flight discounts they deserve, below are 10 airlines offering the best flight discounts for military personnel.

Jet Blue

Jet Blue offers discounts for both veterans and active military. Veteran Advantage members can save up to 5% off airfare and get 2 free checked bags, and active military and their families can qualify for ‘military class fare’. This removes advance-purchase requirements, which require you to buy tickets a minimum number of days before the flight. Plus, with military class fare, active military can also check up to 5 bags for free.

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United

Active military and their families aboard United flights get up to 5 free checked bags for work-related travel. For all other types of travel, they can still check up to 3 bags for free. Active military also gets free access to the United Club Lounge at the airport, which means free food and drinks. Members of Veteran Advantage are also eligible for discounts which include up to 5% off flights purchased on the United site.

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American Airlines

Similarly, American Airlines offers active military and their families up to 5 free checked bags for work-related trips and up to 3 bags for all other trips. However, they make a point to say that family members not traveling on military orders must still pay standard baggage fees. American Airlines also encourages people to contact them directly to stay updated on all available military discounts.

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Southwest

The only discount that Southwest offers relates to baggage fees. All baggage fees for active-duty military personnel are waived (even if overweight or multiple bags). Veterans can check up to 2 bags for free. There’s also no change fees or cancellation fees for veterans. All other military discounts change depending on availability and flight. To see what discounts are available, they encourage you to call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA for more information.

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Delta

In addition to offering checked baggage discounts (5 when on military orders; 2 for personal travel) to active military and their dependents for both work and personal flights, Delta also offers military discounts on Delta Vacations (package deals, for example). To see all other available discounts for both active military and veterans, you can contact their reservations department.

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Allegiant Air

For active military, their families, and veterans, Allegiant Air offers free checked baggage (up to 3 bags), free over-sized baggage, and 1 free carry-on per passenger. In addition to this, military and veterans also benefit from complimentary seat assignment and 1 pet permitted within the cabin. Allegiant also offers discount flight promo codes from time to time.

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Hawaiian Airlines

For members of the Veteran Advantage Program, Hawaiian Airlines offers 5% off airfares year-round with no exclusions. They also offer 4 complimentary checked bags for military traveling on orders and 2 complimentary checked bags for military traveling on personal business.

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Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines offers free checked baggage for active military on duty. Specifically, this means 1 free personal item, 1 free carry-on bag, and 2 free checked bags for any passenger that belongs to the armed forces, reserves, and national guard.

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Alaska Airlines

For both active military and their families, Alaska Airlines offers free checked baggage up to 5 bags, including over-sized baggage (up to 70 pounds). This discount only applies to families of active military if they are also on travel orders. Otherwise, standard baggage fees apply.

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Virgin Atlantic

With Virgin Atlantic, you’ll need to first register with the Defence Discount Service to access the official MoD discount service for the Armed Forces. Veterans and current members of the Armed Forces community can redeem discounts on flights going all around the world. However, these discounts are only available for flights departing the UK. MoD discounts are also not available on sale fares and can not be combined with other promotions.

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