If you’re anything like us, you love to travel and see new places! Being in the military, Trent and I take every chance we can to travel by taking advantage of so many military travel benefits. We have been so blessed to have the opportunity to save up money for our trips. Honestly, we are able to travel so much cheaper than most people because we take full advantage of the benefits the military has to offer! Here are 13 different military benefits we utilize to maximize our travels every year! Every purple heading has a link that will take you to more information through their website. I think you are going to find something in here that will spark your travel bug!
Here are my favorite military travel benefits below! They have helped us to save a fortune!
Space-A is the first amazing military travel benefit offered through the military. The Space-A program allows you to fly anywhere in the world on one of their non-mission based planes. Meaning, you can hop a ride on any cargo plane (at certain bases) and fly to certain bases around the world for free! The best time to travel with Space-A is when kids are still in school.
While we haven’t flown with Space-A yet, we plan to very soon. The process is kind of like flying standby on a commercial plane and availability goes by categories. So you’ll need to understand what category you fall into first off. Register within 60 days before your trip to get on the list for that flight. When flying with Space-A you are NOT guaranteed a spot on the plane. The lower the category and larger the amount flying will make it more difficult to get on.
There is also the Patriot Express through Space-A. This is a flight on one of their commercial planes, but it does cost money. It costs up to roughly $35 per person to fly anywhere on the Patriot Express. Definitely super affordable!!! Especially when going overseas!
If time isn’t necessarily a constraint for you, it’s a great opportunity to travel the world for next to nothing!
Some of the more popular Space-A destinations are Germany, Spain, and Hawaii to name a few!
This has got to be my FAVORITE above all else!! Want a 7-night vacation anywhere in the world? No problem! Only $349 for you and up to 5 other people! This doesn’t include flights, but who wouldn’t want to go to Egypt, Germany, Greece, Bahamas, etc. for 7-nights for only $349?
That isn’t even per person, that’s what it costs for the condo! It’s a Space-A program using their different resorts (in over 100 countries) to help fill up unused condos throughout the year, so it’s offered at a discounted rate! You can book up to a year in advance. You don’t have to attend those timeshare meetings or pay for a membership with the AFVC either, so don’t worry about that!
They also have vacations that are in other places and more expensive, but still dirt cheap compared to what they would normally be! (IE 7-nights in Australia for $800!). They offer last minute vacations, shorter stay vacations (anywhere from 1-6 nights), and much more! This is definitely worth looking into!! Take advantage of this while you can!!
Think of how cheaply you could get to the other side of the world if you were able to finagle a trip through Space-A flight AND Space-A resorts! Easily less than $500 for transportation and the resort combined!
This is another PHENOMENAL military travel benefit offered specifically through the military.
Veteran’s Advantage is a community dedicated to pairing with hundreds of companies to bring you an even greater discount. This is a paid membership plan with month-to-month being $9.99 for the primary member and $4.99 for any additional family member. The better deal is the annual plan at $60 ($5/month) for the primary member and an extra $30 ($2.50/month) for any added members. This is paid in full and totally worth it.
You can create a free account to see what discounts they offer – if you want to travel, it is totally worth it! You’ll most likely end up saving more than the $60 you’d spend on the membership! It also includes travel insurance plans that you can sign up for and many other beneficial travel options.
Your VetRewards card will allow you to access discounts for plane tickets, trains, hotels, rental cars, excursions, cruises, all-inclusives, and so much more! It’s definitely worth it to go and check out what they have to offer.
This is a discount parking service available at many airports around the nation. It can bring the cost of parking down to as little as $3.99/day for outdoor valet parking! They have more expensive options, but I think that is an awesome deal! For me, I don’t really care if my car is covered, that’s what those sun shield screens are for!
This isn’t specifically a military program, but they have a great military travel discount! The military discount is when you buy 3 days of parking, you get up to 1 day free and no cancellation fees when canceling at least 24 hours before your first day of parking!
The Disney Armed Forces Salute program offers 4 and 5 day passes to military and their family for a discounted price. Linked above is a blog post talking all about it, scroll down on the link some for the prices.
Currently, for the 2018 Disney Armed Forces Salute:
4-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $226 per person
5-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $246 per person
If you want to add on Hopper Plus, it’s an extra $40 per person.
A regular 4-Day Park Hopper ticket would be $455 and a regular 5-Day Park Hopper ticket would be $470! That’s roughly a 50% savings if you go through the Disney Armed Forces Salute program! Can’t beat that!!
Shades of Green is a military hotel through Disney World. They offer awesome hotel discounts to military towards their resorts. For example, if you wanted a 5-night stay for two adults and two kids, and your rank is anywhere from E1-E6, it is as low as $115/night (taxes and fees included) in the middle of August.
So $575 for 5 nights plus four 4-day park hopper tickets = LESS THAN $1,500 for four people excluding flights/fuel and food. That’s a pretty great deal!
Staying at other Disney Resorts, it averages at $350/night! Holy cow! So a 5-night stay and four 4-day park hopper tickets without the military deals = $3,570! That’s excluding flights/fuel and food! Sheesh!
That’s a 60% savings if you use the military programs Disney offers!
The Waves of Honor program gives each active duty member and up to 3 dependents free tickets into one of their parks once every year! Check the website to see which locations this offer is valid at.
We take advantage of this military travel benefit every year! Being stationed only a few hours away from the Tampa Busch Gardens location, we rent a hotel at MacDill AFB for a night or two, spend the day at Busch Gardens, and head home the next day! For the two of us, food and fuel included this is a weekend trip that costs us less than $150-$200 depending on if we stay one or two nights!
This summer Wendy’s was doing a promotion where if you ordered a drink with them, you were given promo codes to receive up to 6 free souvenir drink cups! The day we went, they had free refills! I think other days they are roughly $0.99 per refill! The free cups saved us a lot!
Cheap and quick weekend getaway, if you’re close to one of their locations!
Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruises, and more all offer great military discounts! They all offer different packages and opportunities that need to be taken advantage of! You’ll definitely need to call the cruise line of your choice to get more information and book with your military ID.
Almost all bases have some sort of lodging that you can stay at. Any branch can stay at any base! Perks of military travel, business or pleasure! Air Force bases do have the most lodging available. The best part is, almost everywhere you go, lodging is $60-$75/night flat! Depending on your rank and room type, the price will vary by a few dollars. The higher the rank, the higher the rate, and the better the room. Wherever you go though, even $75/night is a great deal!
When we spent ten days in Colorado, part of our trip was spent in CO Springs. We stayed at Peterson AFB while hubby was an E5 and received a TLF (temporary living facility) for $63/night! It was great!
It often depends on the time of year that dictates what type of room you get/availability of rooms. PCSers get the first priority for lodging, then whatever is leftover is what you get. You also can’t book more than 2-3 weeks in advance!
We don’t stay in hotels anymore unless it’s military lodging! It’s fun to see different bases and saves so much money. The majority of the hotels are very nice as well!
NATIONAL PARK PASSES
Active duty military can get into any national park for free! All you have to do is hand them your ID when you get to the entrance and they should give you a pass, if they don’t, just ask for it! This pass is good for a year, but can be renewed at any national park at any time! This is an awesome way to see some breathtaking beauty and history for free. Another good way to fill up some days during a trip! Especially if that trip is to Washington D.C. area! 😉
Want to take a trip by train? Amtrak offers 10% off for all military! For Children 2-12, they receive 50% off already and then the 10% off on top of that for an added military discount! What a steal!
If you sign up for the Veteran’s Advantage, one of their travel partners is Amtrak. They are able to offer 15% savings instead of the 10% by being a member!
FREE/DISCOUNTED BAGGAGE AND TSA PRE-CHECK
Almost every United States airline offers free baggage for at least the active duty member, some also offer it for family members as well or at least discounted baggage. It just depends on the airline! You also get early boarding privileges!
Not too mention, you get free TSA pre-check by being a military member! You can either register online or with most airlines, go up to the ticket counter and show your ID to get it updated on your boarding pass. Make sure to double check with the airline you book with beforehand to see how to obtain these benefits!
This is a huge money saving military travel benefit for us!
CAR RENTAL DISCOUNTS
Hertz, Budget, Avis, Sixt, Ace, Penske, and Alamo are just some of the car rental companies that offer military discounts! Anywhere from 5%-20% is what I’ve seen so far. That’s a good amount saved.
Good to know if you’re PCSing, Penske offers 20% off for military! Take advantage of that, I know it saved us over $200 during our PCS!
What are some other military travel perks that you’ve utilized? Let me know below! I’d love to find more ways to save on travel!