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AARP's new travel site offers free tools to help plan dream trips

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Ready to travel? Maybe a trip to a sunny beach, historic spot, famous museum, national park, faraway country or off-the-beaten-path gem. Perhaps it’s time to take that long-awaited ocean cruise.

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Wherever you want to go or whatever you want to do, a new travel website - AARP Travel (http://travel.aarp.org/welcome) - launched Friday, April 4, is offering a one-stop online experience to help users take their travel ideas from dream to destination.

The free site features personalizing planning tools like Trip Finder and Map Explorer which can help travelers put together the type of trips they want, along with travel tips and hundreds of articles and information on enticing destinations near and far.

“The features we’ve launched today, along with new content and tools we’ll add to AARP Travel as the service grows, reflect the simplicity, ease of use and convenience people want all under one roof,” Sami Hassanyeh, Chief Digital Officer for AARP, said in a news release. “Whether it’s a weekend family trip or the vacation of a lifetime, we want to enable people to travel intelligently, enjoyably and economically, anywhere and anytime.”

A nonprofit, non-partisan organization, AARP has a membership of nearly 38 million. AARP advocates for positive social change and delivers value to people age 50 and over through information, advocacy and service.

Not surprisingly, travel tops many to-do lists for people age 50 and over who have the time and income to travel. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, travelers age 50 and up account for $120 billion per year spent for travel. That amount is expected to increase as boomers have more time to travel.

AARP Travel helps potential travelers go from dream to destination through a wealth of personalized features that let users explore, plan and book trips at their own pace. The site also offers suggestions on where and when to go, what to do, how to prepare for trips and how to save money.

“I travel for a living, and on any given trip, most of the fellow travelers I meet are older,” AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown said in a news release.

“People tell me how much they love the travel effect on their lives, health, and relationships, but they’re not in love with the sometimes confusing do-it-yourself research and planning process,” Brown said. “With AARP Travel, they’ll have an easy-to-use resource to seize the trip and have fun in the process.”

AARP Travel provides a simple and comprehensive way to manage the often-complicated road of travel planning.

“Through our new online travel study and conversations with our members, we understand what the 50+ traveler is looking for — and looking to avoid,” said Stephanie Miles, Vice President, Member Value for AARP.

“The 50+ are looking to enjoy all aspects of travel. Currently, the market is fragmented and people have to open multiple sites at once just to plan a trip, Miles said. "We built AARP Travel to make travel fun and easy with the tools, information and offerings needed. We want the 50+ make the most of every moment and every dollar.”

AARP Travel’s range of travel tools and features, according go the AARP news release, include:

Trip Finder — a fun, smart and visual series of questions to deliver ideas and recommendations for destinations including some unexpected ones;

Map Explorer — a detailed street-level interactive map that includes attractions, restaurants, hotels, local color and reviews;

My Trips — a personal page where users can save and organize trip ideas, itineraries and related articles in one place and add to or edit them over multiple visits;

Travel Tips - travel tips from AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown, articles specifically geared toward the 50+ traveler and information about hundreds of domestic and international locations; and

Book Trips — booking tools provided through AARP’s relationships with Expedia and Liberty Travel that give you access to member discounts.

For more information: Visit http://travel.aarp.org