This blog post was updated on November 9, 2021.
If there’s any type of person used to traveling, it’s someone with a military background. Whether you’re on active duty or you’re a veteran, you know that travel is a constant in the lives of most military personnel. So, it comes with no surprise that once you finally gain some downtime with your family, you may prefer to stay close to home to avoid additional traveling. But we think you might just change your mind about that when you read up on the many travel deals available to active duty military members, veterans, and their families.
Not sure where to start? Planning a trip to Disney World or a cruise through the Caribbean will be a breeze with this simple guide to finding amazing travel perks and discounts as a military member. Check it out!
Fly in Style, Without Paying a Fortune
While vacations on a budget are difficult to plan, they’re not impossible! Since airfare is arguably one of the biggest expenses for travel, your first step to an affordable trip is some cheap plane tickets, which, are not as hard to come by as you’d think! And they’re available throughout the year, not just as cheap flights for Veterans Day.
As a member of the military, you receive numerous discounts on airfare and other incentives from select airlines. Jet Blue, United, Frontier, Delta, and Southwest are just a few of the many airlines that offer discounts to active duty military personnel and military veterans. Whether you receive reduced airfare or a free checked bag, contacting the airlines to discuss potential military discounts saves you a decent chunk of change.
In most instances, you must contact the airline directly to receive military discounts as they are not always accessible through the airline’s website. Once you’ve found the perfect destination, contact the airline and ask to discuss possible discounts for your trip to and from this location. This presents you with the opportunity to save some money on your vacation which can be used to pay for the experiential parts of your trip like dinners, souvenirs, or even a few extra days in paradise!
Tap Into Affordable Lodging
Travel deals for members of the military are available through hotels and lodgings as well. One of the easiest ways to receive a deal on hotels is to stay at the on-base accommodations closest to the destination you are visiting. This isn’t always easy to accomplish if you’re visiting a remote area, but often there are several bases in the general area where you can stay for an extremely discounted rate. Resorts and hotels, particularly those near theme parks, offer a discounted rate for active-duty military members, military veterans, and their families as well, so be sure to take advantage of them!
If you don’t want to stay directly on a military base during your vacation, some hotels offer a military rate. Call the hotel you’re hoping to book in advance and see if they offer any military discounts. Depending on where you go, hotels near a military base often offer significantly reduced rates for members of the military. If you’re planning on staying in this location for an extended time, additional discounts are available since the rate per day typically decreases when you’re staying for a week or more.
Pro-tip: When you’re planning your trip, take time to write down the discounted rates for on-base accommodations, hotels near the military bases, and chain hotels and resorts in the area that offer military discounts. This helps you gain a better understanding of how much you save at each property and which hotel offers the best amenities for the price.
Save a Ton on Family Fun!
If you’re bringing the kids with you on your next vacation, look into the travel deals provided by select theme parks and resorts. Both Disney World and Universal Studios offer packaged deals at a discounted rate for members of the military. These deals commonly include hotel or resort accommodations and theme park passes, which keep the costs in a more affordable bracket for you and your family. Theme park passes are often expensive, and while the parks themselves typically offer a military discount, you’ll ultimately save more money if you opt into one of the packages available through nearby resorts. Added incentives are usually included, such as fast passes to use within the theme park to reduce the amount of time you spend waiting for one of the numerous thrilling rides.
When you’re looking for an educational family trip, visiting museums is always a good option. This provides you with the chance to spend quality time with your kids while teaching them about science, art, history, and more. Many museums either offer free or discounted admission to members of the military, veterans, and their families. Some restrictions may apply, such as the reduced or free admission only being available on select dates throughout the year, designated days of the week, or specific times throughout the day. This is easy to navigate around though as you can easily plan other fun activities to enjoy while you’re waiting for your free or reduced admission to these museums. If your significant other wants to take the kids to a museum while you’re away, he or she simply needs to show a military identification card to receive reduced or free admission.
Sail Off with Savings on a Romantic Cruise
For those who want to plan a romantic getaway and leave the kids at home with their grandparents, military travel discounts are available through different cruise lines. Some cruises offer discounts for military members, which makes it easier to plan your trip because many of these are all-inclusive. You receive lodging, food, and experience all wrapped into one conveniently priced travel deal. Cruises are available in multiple locations, so you can set sail and live out your dreams of basking in the sun on the beach in the Bahamas or you can escape to Scandinavia and view some of the most breathtaking views from the comfort of the ship. Cruises allow you to see different parts of the world with minimal planning, which is perfect for members of the military who want to focus on spending quality time with their significant other without an added hassle.
Do you have any tips or advice on how to tap into military travel discounts? Let us know in the comments below!