You have sacrificed the best years of your life in defending your country and served the nation to the best of your ability. Now that you have retired from the military, it is the turn of the nation to serve you. And you are not alone. If the United States Census Bureau is to be believed, you are one of the whopping 18.8 million military veterans who joined the civvy street in 2015, and you deserve the best.
The nation does express its gratitude in honoring its veterans by holding events, such as Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and the like. What is really great is that several travel companies offer great military travel deals for veterans and their families as a mark of gratitude. So, you can pick and choose from several options for enjoying an armed forces vacation that is not only exciting but also helps save travel expenses.
Get information on military travel discounts
There are plenty of military discounts on travel available for veterans. The key is to take full advantage of them. Here are some travel tips for military veterans:
● Don’t be reluctant to ask: Even if you are visiting a website that doesn’t specifically mention discounts for veterans, you will do well to inquire about it. Chances are you might just get them.
● Check eligibility for discounts: Make sure the discounts that are offered to members on active military duty are also applicable for military veterans.
● Requirements for discount: Be clear when should you submit proof of being a military veteran to the travel agency; whether it is at the time of booking or when you show up at the location.
● Always carry your ID: Without ID proof, you will be denied any military discounts. So, always carry your ID.
● Confirm discounts beforehand: Since discounts may vary due to supply and demand for hotel accommodation, air travel, etc., it is best to be clear about them beforehand.
● Go beyond military discounts: It is not necessary that military discounts are the cheapest; there may be other non-military options that are worth more. So, shop around for the best bargains.
Veterans’ travel guide
The following are the organizations that US veterans can apply to online for getting discounts:
● Armed Forces Vacation Club (AFVC): If you are aiming at weeklong resort vacations, AFVC is for you. It offers thousands of resorts in 100 countries at meager prices. It also has a Vacation Planning Resource Center that offers travel tips for military veterans.
● Vietnam veterans founded GovArm: Short for Government and Armed Forces Travel Cooperative. It collaborates with travel companies to obtain discounts on travel and leisure activities. It also offers full trip itineraries for locations around the globe.
● In Honor of Our Troops Foundation (IHOOT): IHOOT offers veteran advantage by giving one free vacation per year with the aim to reconnect with families, and also for rest and recuperation. You can get discounted accommodation through the IHOOT Acquisition Program. It offers a choice of over 100 destinations.
● Operationwearehere.com: This website offers different resources for veteran travelers all in one location. It also provides external links to help you in making travel plans.
● SMART RVing: An acronym for Special Military Active Recreational Travelers, this website provides sources for most competitive rental and accommodation prices, and also information on regular rallies being held across the country.
● Themilitarywallet: The Military Wallet provides a free newsletter that gives out the latest deals and incentives for budget travel.
● United Services Automobile Association (USAA): In addition to providing insurance, banking, investment, and retirement services, it also offers veterans and their family members exclusive travel deals. These include car rental services and deals on flights, hotels, cruises, etc.
● Vacation for warriors: Especially set up for those wounded in combat, this non-profit organization collaborates with American Airlines to obtain incentives such as air miles, hotel points, and timeshare options.
● Veterans Holidays: Part of Wyndham Worldwide hospitality group, it offers heavy discounts on over 20,000 resort accommodation in 100 different countries.
● Vettravel: Veteran’s Travel Resources gets discounted rates for military veterans and their dependents.
The nation owes it to our military veterans, who have served this country selflessly, to provide them and their families all kinds of benefits. To this end, they can avail numerous travel discount offers from various organizations.