Soldiers serve their country for years, often living thousands of miles from their families.
They get up early and do intense drills in the heat. Sometimes, they may even be deployed into active combat zones. There are also those who make the military their lifelong commitment and rise up through the ranks, often serving for many decades.
It is enough to say that members of the armed force deserve more than a discount from civilian businesses. Travel discounts are a reward for active duty military personnel who have served their country for a long time.
Discounts on hotels, cruises, and car rentals are just a few of the many benefits that military travelers can enjoy.
Tips for Retired and Active Duty Military Personnel to Get a Discount on Travel
1. Veterans Holidays
Veterans Holidays is part of Wyndham Worldwide and offers resort stays for veterans at $379 per week on a space-available base. A spacious condo with a living area, kitchen, and sometimes a pool is available for less than $100 per night.
This company connects retired military personnel with over 200,000 resort accommodations in more than 100 countries. Veterans Holidays offers free membership to all U.S. military vets. This can make it more affordable to travel to the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa as well as Australia, Australia, and Asia.
Veterans Holidays can only make reservations, but the company has a family policy that states that veterans are allowed to bring their guests on vacations. As a bonus, the Armed Forces Vacation Club membership is completely free for veterans. They just need to create an account online to access these amazing travel deals.
2. Wounded Warriors Family Support Retreats
The Wounded Warriors Family Support is a non-profit organization that provides assistance for military personnel and their families. Wounded Warriors Family Support Retreats are one example of such support.
There are two options for the Retreats: families can apply within their organization to receive five nights at Universal Studios or LEGOLAND in Orlando, Florida.
Families can also apply for a free “staycation,” where the Wounded Warriors Family Support Organization covers the costs of a family staying locally and visiting a new restaurant, concert, or hotel.
The Wounded Warrior Family support nonprofit describes their Florida and Staycation options as ways for military personnel to relax, decompress, and strengthen the relationships they have with their families.
3. Disney Resorts and Theme Parks
For veterans and military personnel, the “happiest spot on Earth” has some great deals.
For $359 plus tax, military personnel has the option of a Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Ticket or a $579 Plus Tax 5-Day Military Promotional Ticket. Both include the “park hopper”, which allows them to hop between Orlando parks.
This is a $60 savings on a ticket that would normally cost nearly $400. It also allows you to enter Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios all in one trip.
This deep discount is available to all active and retired military personnel, as well as their spouses. For family and friends, military personnel can share up to six tickets at a discounted price.
Shades of Green is a military-only resort at Disney. It offers amazing deals depending on your room type. For a standard room, rates start at $154 per night. A family suite can sleep eight people and has one king and three queen beds. The rate starts at $379 per day. You can also enjoy discounts of up to 40% throughout the year at the resort.
Shades of Green offers up to 12% discount on full-priced tickets to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, SeaWorld LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, SeaWorld, SeaWorld, SeaWorld, SeaWorld, SeaWorld, SeaWorld, SeaWorld, SeaWorld, SeaWorld LEGOLAND, Busch Gardens, and other central Florida attractions.
4. Travel Companies
Although many airlines and cruise lines offer discounts for military personnel, they don’t usually advertise these rates online. You can call to inquire about discounts.
Many offer discounts for Veterans Advantage members. This program provides financial services, deals, and insurance for $10 per month to members of five branches. It also offers $60 per year for an annual membership if paid in full and up-front.
Discounts for Military Customers
Below is a selection of travel companies offering discounts for veterans and military personnel.
- United Airlines offers up to 5% off airfare for military veterans, active service members, and their families within the U.S.A and Canada.
- Delta offers an active duty member a free checked bag and special pricing for vacation packages. Call to learn more about special vacation package pricing.
- American Airlines offers discounts up to 10% on domestic and international flights, as well as a variety of free checked bags for active-duty military personnel.
- JetBlue offers a 5% discount to veterans and a special military fare to active-duty personnel who are not on order. JetBlue waives baggage fees from active-duty personnel. It also offers a family policy that includes waivers of baggage fees for dependents.
- Amtrak offers a 10% discount for veterans and their families who travel by train.
- Veteran residents of the San Francisco Bay Area can get a BART discount card that is valid for five years and allows them to use the rapid transit system.
- Trailways offers a 15% discount for all active-duty and veteran military personnel, as well as their spouses and dependents.
- Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruises offer military discounts, but you will need to call to inquire about possible travel dates in order to receive the best price.
- Disney Cruises offers discounted prices for military personnel. They do keep their cruises current, but it is best to contact a Disney representative for the most current information.
- Princess Cruises offers up to $250 in free onboard spending money. This is valid for any cruise, any season.
- Hertz offers discounts up to 10% on their base daily rates for veterans and active-duty military personnel.
- Enterprise offers rates up to 5% on rental cars used by military and government officials for leisure travel.
- Budget offers one of the most attractive military discounts: 25% off base rates for members of the American Armed Forces who sign up for a Veterans Advantage account.
- Avis offers 25% off base rates to the military community when people sign up for Avis’ free Veterans Advantage program.
5. Space A Flights
You can take part in “Space A,” which is available to military personnel who are active-duty and retired.
Here’s how it works. If you are eligible, you can submit a booking request at any military terminal. You will be notified when a seat becomes available on a Department of Defense plane. You should be ready to leave at any moment because terminals usually post-flight schedules 72 hours in advance.
Space A travelers pay a small fee at the military terminal. However, these flights are completely free for military personnel and their immediate families.
Kristin Mickelson (Navy veteran, husband of the Navy) saved $8,000 on round-trip flights between Norfolk, Virginia, and Seattle, Washington with her four-member family.
This is similar to being on standby for a commercial airline. It is possible to be stuck waiting for a flight to your destination. You might fly on a cargo plane. This can lead to you traveling without the conveniences of commercial flights.
“Military Space-A flights have been a major part of our strategy to save money on our frequent travels ever since my husband retired in 2015 from the Army,” stated the spouse of a former Army soldier on the Poppin’ Smoke military travel website. “I’m confident that we have saved more than $20,000 in the last six years of our world travels by using (Space-A flight).
6. Get Travel Supplies
You have booked your Space-A flights and are now looking forward to your much-deserved stay at a resort. But you must pack your bags!
Veterans and military personnel can also enjoy huge discounts on travel gear
Shop My Exchange is a great way to save up to 10% on travel products. Shop My Exchange is open to everyone. However, to buy any item, you will need to create an account to verify your military service.
Shop My Exchange offers a large online selection of products, from jewelry and watches to furniture and small appliances, and even travel items like swimwear, luggage, and other accessories.
For active duty military and veterans, all items are markedly discounted. Shop My Exchange allows you to get the Piel leather duffel bag, which normally costs $257, for only $194 when you log in.
To make sure that you are ready for your next Disney trip, check out the swimwear sections for both men and women.