It’s that time of year again. You’re probably already packing for your next family vacation, but before you head out the door, you might want to do a little research on veteran benefits. Did you know that tons of companies out there offer great travel discounts for active military members and veterans alike? All you have to do is find them.
So whether you prefer hiking in Yellowstone or touring Washington D.C., here are some tips on how to make the most of veteran benefits in your summer travels:
Companies like JetBlue, Marriott, U.S. Airways, and Greyhound all offer veteran discounts. The secret to taking advantage of these deals is remembering to ask about them. If you want to fly with a certain airline or stay in a particular hotel, give them a call and ask if they have discounts for veterans. Also check out company websites or Google “veteran discounts” in the city you’ll be visiting. You never know until you ask, but double check that the discounts you’re finding are for veterans and not just active military members.
Get Your VA Card, VFW Card, or Retired Military Card
These little cards come in handy for redeeming all kinds of benefits by proving your military service. Some states, like Virginia, also issue veteran ID cards that do the same thing. If you don’t have a card, talk to your state or your local VA or VFW to find out how you can get one. Depending on what kind of card you have, it can get you discounts on hotels, rental cars, airlines, cruises, amusement parks, and even zoos. It’s probably worth the trouble.
Try Military Lodging
If you’re a military retiree and your travel destination is near a military base, on-base lodging can be a very smart hotel alternative with huge savings. Also consider staying at an Armed Forces Recreation Center. Some popular resorts include the Hale Koa Resort in Hawaii and the Shades of Green Military Resort in Disney World. Check out this webpage on military.com to learn more about military lodging.
Consider Space-A Flights
Another big saver for military retirees is space available or “space-A” air travel. These flights are far less reliable than commercial airlines, but they’re also much less expensive. Check out the Air Mobility Command website to see if there are any options near you.
If you’re more interested in discounts than particular airlines or hotels, do a general Google search for veteran discounts and see what you can find. Websites like veteransadvantage.com and vettravel.com are also great places to look.
Good luck in your summer travels! And while you’re planning your next family vacation, be sure to check out this cool blog post on 10 must-see places in America.