I am being compensated for this post as part of the Operation In Touch Brand Ambassador Program via MSB New Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s soon summer… and I have the travel itch! Last summer we weren’t able to take more than a staycation in cute town a few miles away. This year, I’m looking forward to a much larger trip. Maybe you’re in the same place… or maybe you’re looking to enjoy a few days away close to home. Regardless of your plans, I’ve collected a ton of discounts and services specifically available to military families that should help get you more– have more fun, enjoy more time, and perhaps even stay a day or two longer. Check ’em out:
Amtrak: Active duty military members and spouses get a 10% discount on tickets. Online, make sure you choose this option in the discount section. On the train, ou’ll need to have your military ID ready to show the conductor if needed. (I’ve never been asked, however.)
Amtrak: Pair your military discount with an Amtrak Rewards card. It’s free and can earn you free tickets. Woo hoo!
Armed Forces Vacation Club: You’ve probably had a Facebook ad or two pop up about the AFVC. They offer deeply discounted travel and vacation options– including cruises.
USAA: USAA offers travel discounts and benefits to its members. Learn more here.
US Leisure and Travel Offices: The Army, Navy, and Marines offer travel planning services. The links to these offices and their contact information are available here.
GovArm.com: Much like the AFVC, you can use this partnership and cooperative between the government and armed forces to book flights, hotels, rental cars, condos, and cruises. Learn more here.
Airport Parking: Park Ride Fly USA offers discounts for airport parking and waives cancellation fees for military.
MWR/ITR Office: The MWR/ITR Office on base offers the opportunity to purchase tickets to many attractions at a discount. When John and I visited Disney and Universal Studios, we purchased our tickets this way– it does, in fact, work!
Southwest Airlines: Southwest offers military discounts on tickets, but you’ll have to call to book; you can’t do this online. Contact 1-800-I-FLY-SWA for more information.
Norfolk International Airport: Many discounts are available including ground transportation, hotel booking, and shop discounts inside the airport. For more information.
USO Lounges: The USO offers lounges with amenities in airports all over the country (and world). For more information.
Carnival Cruises: Carnival offers military discounts that are available on their website.
Lodging, Hotels, Resorts
Paths Across America: Paths Across America is a network of Army campgrounds and RV parks on installations. Find them here.
Navy Getaways: Find vacation rentals, RV camps, cabins, and tent sites all over the country. The website is easy to navigate.
Navy Lodge: If you don’t mind staying on base, you can spend the night at a Navy Lodge for significant savings– especially in tourist destinations like Washington DC and Virginia Beach. Navy Lodges can be found across the country and across the world. They also offer PCS packages.
Navy Gateways: This is another option for lodging on naval bases and can be found across the country and world.
Inns of the Corps: The Marines also offer lodging at savings in select areas. Find out more about the Inns of the Corps.
Shades of Green: If you travel to Disney World, you might want to consider the Shades of Green hotel. There are specifications and requirements that you’ll want to be aware of before you book the rooms as it is an AFRC resort. Room rates are contingent upon rank.
Hale Koa: Feeling like spending some time at Waikiki? The Hale Koa on Fort DeRussy Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) is a resort that might peak your fancy. Room rates are contingent upon rank.
Dragon Hill Lodge: Located in Seoul, South Korea, the Dragon Hill Lodge is another AFRC resort that is available only to military members and their families. Room rates are contingent upon rank.
Edleweiss Lodge and Resort: If you’re planning a vacation to Germany, put this AFRC resort on your list of possible places to stay. Room rates are contingent upon rank.
The New Sanno: Another AFRC resort, the New Sanno is located in Tokyo. Considering Tokyo is the most expensive city on the planet, if you’re visiting, you’ll probably want to take advantage of the hotel’s discounts and amenities.
Bed and Breakfasts: Some bed and breakfasts offer military discounts– especially in military-heavy areas like Virginia Beach. Before you book your B&B, call ahead and ask. It can’t hurt!
Bed and Breakfasts on Veterans Day: Many bed and breakfasts offer Veterans Day discounts– including free nights for veterans. Be careful– these opportunities fill up fast, so you’ll want to be on top of this particular offer. Check out B&Bs For Vets’ Facebook for more information.
Double Tree: Double Tree offers military discounts. Make sure you ask when you book!
Great Wolf Lodge: Great Wolf Lodge offers a Howling Heroes discount on stays– up to 20% off! That includes water park passes.
Wyndham Resorts: Get up to 20% off your stay’s best available rate at Wyndham Resorts with a valid military ID.
TripAdvisor: If you’re looking for lodging in a specific area, search TripAdvisor using “military discount” as a term. You’ll save time and find hotels with discounts quickly.
Entertainment, Sightseeing, Stuff-to-Do
National Parks: The National Park System offers a free annual pass to active duty families. You just need to show ID. The pass covers the active duty member and up to four people (basically, a carload of excited sightseers). John and I received ours at a NPS visitor’s center, but you can also order them.
Blue Star Museums: From Memorial Day to Labor Day, enjoy waived entrance fees at many museums across the country. See how we saved over $150 last summer.
Blue Star Theatres: Take advantage of free or reduced tickets to live theater events at more than 105 venues all over the country.
Crayola Experience: If you’re in Southeastern PA and you’ve got small kids, you’ll want to know that the Crayola Experience offers $3 off tickets for military and their dependents.
Downtown Disney: If you’re heading to Disney World, you’ll want to check out this extensive list of discounts offered at Downtown Disney’s restaurants and entertainment.
Busch Gardens, Sea World, Adventure Island, Aquatica, Sesame Place: Through the program, Waves of Honor, active duty military can receive a complimentary one-day pass for themselves and up to 3 complimentary one-day passes for their dependents.
LEGOLAND: In Florida, LEGOLAND offers a free ticket for the active duty member and discounted tickets for dependents. Find out more here. In California, you’ll want to call and ask about their military rate to stay at a LEGOLAND hotel. California’s LEGOLAND offers military discounts on tickets, but not complimentary ones.
Cedar Point: This Ohio theme park offers $21 off a regular all-day ticket for military members and their families (up to 6 tickets). You’ll need to buy this at the gate; you cannot purchase it online. Find out more information here. Cedar Point also has Military Appreciation events throughout the year.
Colonial Williamsburg: Receive 10% off a one-day admission with valid military ID. Offers are also available from MWR/ITR office. For more information.
Williamsburg, VA: And while you’re in Williamsburg, there are many other military discounts around town. For a full list of all of them, visit this site.
Dollywood: Dollywood offers 30% off one-day admissions for military personnel and their dependents with ID.
Six Flags: Receive 20% off one-day admission at the Six Flags gate with a military ID. Discounts on tickets are also available through the MWR/ITR office.
Myrtle Beach, SC: Myrtle Beach has an entire page of up-to-date discounts and packages for military families.
Kissimmee, FL: Check out the town’s page of updated discounts for military families.
Park City, UT: Park City offers a complete list of military discounts for the area.
Orlando, FL: Find Orlando’s comprehensive list of military discounts here.
The Washington, DC Area: Check out this list of military discounts for DC and the surrounding area.
Philadelphia, PA: Website offers list of discounts as well as itineraries for military families.