Travel tips for seniors in New York

 New York

New York is the biggest city in the United States and one of the busiest anywhere, and a visit there can be daunting. This can be particularly true for seniors, especially if they have mobility difficulties. New York can also be a costly place to visit, but the Big Apple can sometimes be very convenient and often affordable for senior travelers to enjoy.

Getting to and from the city is often the costliest part of the visit. Organizations that advance the interests of seniors, such as the AARP, National Association of Senior Americans and American Seniors Association, offer travel services that assist with booking and have travel sections on their websites. They have also negotiated discounts with many hotel chains and travel-related businesses, and most hotels as well as Amtrak, bus lines and many airlines offer discounted fares and accommodations for those 65 years and older who do their own booking by telephone or on the Internet. It is often necessary to have an AARP or other membership card as well as photo ID with proof of age before making these trips.

Once in New York, public transportation is a relative bargain for passengers over 65: bus and subway fares are half price ($1.10). In addition to getting around between the major Manhattan sights, the subway can take you to the Battery, from which the Staten Island Ferry will provide a free trip across the harbor and a view of the Statue of Liberty and the skyline day or night. A boat trip to Liberty Island and the Ellis Island immigration museum requires a ticket, but the fare and national park pass needed to visit the Statue of Liberty are discounted for seniors. The reduced bus fare will get you to the Circle Line on the Hudson River at 42nd street, from which tours around the island and through the harbor are available at a discount to seniors, and to the nearby Intrepid Air and Space Museum, which also offers a discount to seniors. The subway can also take you out of Manhattan, to the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Gardens to the north, to still-colorful Coney Island and the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn and to the ethnic neighborhoods of Queens, where you can eat your way in delis, groceries and restaurants from one end of the borough to the other.

A New York CityPass good for nine days will save you time and money, and is discounted for seniors. This pass gets you into the Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History and its planetarium, Museum of Modern Art, either a Circle Line Cruise or a trip to the Statue of Liberty and entry to either the Top of the Rock observation point or Guggenheim Museum. Those under 18 get discounts, too, so you can take the grandchildren.

New York has a lot to offer any visitor, but travelers over 65 get a particularly good deal. Membership in senior citizen organizations can be a very good deal, but a lot of attractions, accommodations and transportation options are available at a discount just for an ID that confirms you are in the golden years.

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