Planning a Military Family Trip

We are so proud of the men and women who serve in the American military.  The sacrifices they make are without number, and by extension, the sacrifices their families make are also without number. We’ve compiled a list of tips below to support military families when they reunite (usually over 4-day breaks) and get a chance to spend time with one another.  Just remember to always ask for military discounts!  Below, please find just a few of the ways America gives back to our service men and women:

Research hotel options or stay on base: Many hotels offer military discounts and free rewards programs, but other locally run hotels may offer even greater discounts.  A few hotel groups that offer discounts include Choice Hotels and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).  Take some time to research hotels before your military family member goes on break.  You can also call the lodging office at any service base to search for space-available rooms on the bases.

Budget your time: 4 days can be viewed as a lot of time or very little time: It’s all in your perception!  Again, take some time to research where you would like to go and the amount of time you would like to spend at each attraction.  If you’re your own tour guide, you can keep everything running smoothly.

Budget your money: You can always save money (and time) by packing travel food, depending on how you are choosing to travel.  Remember to bring extra cash for souvenirs and credit cards for any possible mishaps, but only spend what you budget to spend, and everything should go smoothly.  Try to use cash as much as possible to stay within your means.  And speaking of traveling by plane, visit the Air Mobility Command website to access free (or nearly free), space-available worldwide travel for military members and their dependents.  USO offices in select airports also offer discounts on various things.  Research discounted cruises and train rides as well!

Military Vacation SideMaybe look no farther than your own backyard: Research your local area chamber of commerce, convention centers, and parks and recreation websites.  You never know what may be going on locally during your 4-day breaks.  Oftentimes, there are many stones of fun left unturned in our own backyards.  Many bases also have Ticket and Tours Offices where discounted or free tickets to local attractions will be offered.

Think about a Disney vacation: Walt Disney World Resorts offer various ticket packages for military families as part of Disney’s Armed Forces Salute.  They offer 4-Day Disney Park Hopper Tickets, which provide access to all 4 parks for all 4 days.  They also offer 4 Days of Single Disney Park Admission PLUS 4 days of Water Parks.  You can only choose one Disney Park per day (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) and one Water Park per day (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach).  Disney World Resorts and Disney World Value Resorts also offer military discounts, as does Downtown Disney.  You can also check out Shades of Green, which is the official Armed Forces Recreation Center-run resort on Disney World property.  Lodging is provided on a sliding scale.  Similar discounts can be found at Disneyland as well.  Check out other theme parks (e.g., Sesame Place, SeaWorld) and national parks for discounts, too!

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