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It pays to be born. Beyond a complimentary dessert at your favorite restaurant, there are plenty of free birthday travel promotions that should be on your radar. Whether it’s extra bonus miles, hotel discounts or even upgrades on long-haul international flights, you’d be surprised how much you could potentially save on your special day.
Getting excited to celebrate? Don’t worry, we already did the hard work. Check out our list of places that offer the best birthday freebies.
Even though you may not get anything for free when turning a year older, Southwest Airlines loves to celebrate other holidays at 30,000 feet in the air. Travelers have reported receiving free premium drinks when flying on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day and other holidays.
Plus, Southwest does celebrate its own birthday on June 18. So make a note and feel free to plan around it during the summer.
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This may not seem like a lot, but a discount is a discount. If you book a flight during your birthday month with China Airlines, you’re eligible to receive 5% off economy tickets and 10% off on business class routes in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Guam, Palau, Hong Kong and China.
You just have to sign up for the airlines’ loyalty program to take advantage of the promotion (it’s free to sign up).
There are no guarantees, but it could pay off to indicate your birthday on your account to increase the odds of receiving an offer like this someday. The best part is that the night might count toward the number of stays you have to accrue for a certain loyalty status. To put things in perspective, you only need 10 nights to gain Marriott’s lowest Silver status.
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Some customers have reported getting birthday surprises from Kimpton Hotels. These could include balloons or dessert placed in their room after giving the property a heads up they were celebrating a birthday. This isn't guaranteed every time, but it doesn't hurt to let the hotel know it's your big day and see if they reward you with something special.
If Vegas is on your birthday itinerary, it’s worth checking if you can get a little something for free as you celebrate another year. For example, the Wynn Las Vegas offers complimentary credit to use at its properties, along with a dinner credit for many of its locations, to those with Platinum or Black Wynn Rewards Tier membership.
The Plaza makes it even easier to score a freebie with its birthday discount, which just requires using the provided promo code when you make a reservation.
The next time you're in Vegas, let the hotel or restaurant know it's your big day, and see if any surprises come your way.
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Again, it’s not much, but with Alaska Airlines you might be able to save up to 5% off tickets for you and a friend. The promo codes are reportedly unique to each member account and emailed to you around your birthday. It doesn’t hurt to get an already affordable flight for even cheaper.
Singapore Airlines is also known to offer birthday freebies for travelers, from a host of hot and cold drink options to birthday cake, as a former flight attendant recently detailed on Tiktok.
@geiwosushi Reply to @_xiaotheng_ PART 2: 🍝🥪🍎🍬🍰🍦#fyp #singaporeairlines #tiktoksg ♬ original sound - OMGXIAOQIAN
To score the free cake on your birthday, you’ll want to let the airline know in advance so they can bring it on board, but in general, free drinks and some foods are available most of the time on Singapore Airlines, birthdays included.
Leave it to the happiest place on Earth to make your birthday magical. At Disney World and Disneyland, guests receive a free birthday button so the staff can properly greet you as you make your way through the grounds. It’s also an easy way for employees to know when they should give you the series of freebies from the different theme parks.
A few examples include a free pretzel at Disneyland’s Wetzel’s Pretzels with no purchase necessary, or a special offer at the Lego store. However, you have to sign up for the loyalty program beforehand. At Disney World, you might snag complimentary birthday desserts at an array of restaurants or an Icee from Club Cool in Epcot.
Additionally, outside franchises like Starbucks and Earl of Sandwich scattered around both parks sometimes honor their company’s birthday freebies for loyalists. It may only save you a few dollars, but nothing beats a free Frappuccino or Earl’s popular roast beef sandwich.
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If you love the water, you might be able to swing a free cruise on your next birthday. While you’re unlikely to get a free oceanfaring weeklong cruise for free, some companies offer free harbor cruises on your birthday. Captain Cook Cruises, in Sydney, Australia, does, and they also offer a dining discount on birthdays. If you’ll be stateside for your big day, City Cruises in San Diego also offers a similar harbor tour the week of your birthday.
Tell People It's Your Birthday
As seen here, not all birthday promotions are officially advertised, so one of the best ways to score a deal on your big day may be just to ask. If you're flying, dining at a favorite restaurant or visiting a hotel, it could pay to let people know it's your birthday.
Best case scenario, you'll get a free piece of cake or a nice discount. Worst case, someone will wish you happy birthday—and while that won't do much for your bank account, it's always nice to hear.
Make sure you’re always getting the best prices when you travel by setting a Deal Alert. We’ll let you know as soon as there’s a new offer for your favorite airline or hotel.