Anyone with military experience knows that there is a lot of travel involved in protecting and serving our country. But what they may not know is that their service entitles them to a ton of travel perks. Whether a retired veteran or still actively serving, there are plenty of military travel perks for you and your family. Need some help figuring out where to get started? Relax — we’ve got everything you need to know about travel benefits that are reserved for the brave men and women in uniform.
If you want free (or incredibly cheap) flights and don’t mind being flexible, then Space-A is a dream come true. Available to veterans and those in active duty with a valid ID card, this service allows you to hop on available flights for virtually no cost (and in some cases, the flights are totally free). You just need to fill out the forms, keep an eye on the flights you’re interested in, and that’s it. You can head to to the airport for “will call” and get ready for your trip. Now keep in mind, you can get bumped from these flights and the availability may be limited. But if you’re flexible and willing to compromise, Space-A can be the best way for military personnel to travel without breaking the bank.
Have an unexpected delay, or an excess of downtime in your travels? Then it might be the perfect moment to try out a USO center. The USO provides military members and their families a welcome respite from the havoc of traveling. Their centers give you a place to relax and unwind, grab something to eat, and even nap if you’re so inclined. Kids getting jumpy after a long layover? There are play centers available that are perfect for burning off that excess energy. Use the USO website to check out the available centers, and don’t forget to bring along your military ID.
For those that prefer to fly the conventional way, there are still plenty of perks to be had. Most major airlines offer perks and benefits to military members and their families. Most airlines provide a significant discount to veterans; some even offer flight discounts to military dependents. You can also get your fees on checking bags waved by certain airlines. Be sure to investigate and find out which flights offer the best deals for you and your family.
Skipping the Line
Nobody likes waiting in line; luckily, military service people don’t have to. As a military member you’re entitled to use the priority lines at TSA, cutting down dramatically on your wait time. Check out the airports you’ll be using during your travels, and ask them about the benefits available to you as a member of the military. Some airports will even push you and your family to first class boarding, letting you step on your plane at the front of the line.
You don’t have to pay a pretty penny to spend your vacation relaxing in comfort; most times, you just need to do a little research beforehand. A whole host of chain hotels offer solid discounts for military members and their families. Call beforehand and see if your ID card can get you any benefits. Oftentimes you just have to ask, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the perks that come your way!
Why waste money on a pricey rental when you don’t have to? Some of the biggest car rental agencies in the world give impressive discounts to veterans and those currently in the military. If you have a Veterans Advantage Card, you are also entitled to a number of rental car and hotel discounts. Be sure to ask what benefits you can expect, and don’t hesitate to shop around for the best possible deals out there.
Know of any other travel perks for military personnel? Share them with us in the comments.