As the world opens back up, use these military discounts to get out there. Keep a little extra money in your wallet, and remember that it never hurts to ask if a military discount is available.
Planes, trains, and cars
Airfare discounts for military families
Many airlines offer discounts to military service people and their families. Unlike government fares, military fares are set aside by airlines for military personnel on leave. To take advantage of the rates, call the airlines directly to inquire about a discount.
Service members and their families can use Space-Available flights to travel around the country and world at little to no cost. Though often unpredictable, military flights are perfect for families with flexible schedules and great planning skills. Contact your closest Air Mobility Command passenger terminal for specific information. Most terminals have a Facebook page where they post flight information, including their 72-hour flight schedule. More information and eligibility requirements can be found here.
Baggage fee discounts for military families
Many airlines—Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, and JetBlue—will waive or discount baggage fees for military families. After booking a flight, check the airline’s rules for checked luggage.
Travel perks through American Express Platinum
American Express now waives its annual fees on its credit cards, including its Platinum credit card. The card provides concierge booking services, five times the points for flights, worldwide airport lounge access, a $200 airline fee allowance, monthly Uber credits, and reimbursement for the TSA Precheck fee. Apply for the credit card and be sure to request its service member benefits.
Travel perks through Chase
Chase now waives its credit card fee for the elite card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for military members. The card comes with a variety of travel perks, including a $300 travel credit, Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit, car rental privileges, and complimentary airport lounge access. Apply for the credit card and be sure to request its service member benefits.
This new travel booking website, the co-brainchild of Priceline and the Department of Defense, provides an easy platform where military families can easily access unique rates on hotels, airfare, rental cars, vacation packages, and cruises.
Military families are eligible for a 10% discount on the lowest available fares, and military children up to 12 years old are eligible to receive a 10% discount on top of the standard children’s 50% discount.
Active and retired military service members and their families receive 10% off full-price tickets when purchased at the station.
USAA touts that it can save people up to 25% on car rentals, or even up to 35% if the car is paid for in advance. Plus, fees for additional drivers are waived.
Lodging discounts for military families
The all-inclusive resort company offers a year-round 10% discount that is added to any existing promotional rate for all military personnel.
The DOD has hundreds of places to stay around the world, sometimes in basic accommodations and other beachside condominiums, all for military-only guests and at genuine deals.
Wyndham Worldwide Corporation offers a free membership program to military families. These condominium-style timeshares are located around the world for prices as low as $349 per week. Applications are required.
Prestigious military clubs around the world
For a nominal membership fee, military families can gain access to Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel in San Francisco, only a few blocks from the Golden Gate Bridge. Reciprocal clubs around the world include the Victory Services Club in London and New York Athletic Club in Central Park.
The nonprofit In Honor of Our Troops Foundation offers free weeklong vacation accommodations for active-duty service members once a year. Restrictions apply.
Free and discounted campsites
Fees at various campgrounds across the nation are eligible to be waived or discounted. For instance, state parks will often waive day use and camping fees on a walk-up, first-available basis and via reservations if a military ID is presented. Tents for Troops is another nationwide program that connects the military with a minimum of two-night complimentary RV and tent sites. Other camping organizations, like KOA, may offer discounts on a location-by-location basis.
Adventure discounts for military families
The following resorts offer the Military Epic Pass, which costs $189 for active-duty, retired military, and dependents, as well as $579 for veterans and their adult dependents: Beaver Creek Ski Resort in Colorado, Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado, Keystone Ski Resort in Colorado, Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe and Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont.
Discounted ski passes for the 2021 winter season
A variety of other discounts are available on the slopes, including:
- Attitash Mountain Resort in New Hampshire,
- Bear Mountain Resort in Southern California,
- Camelback Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania,
- China Peak in California,
- Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire,
- Crystal Mountain in Michigan,
- Diamond Peak, located in northern Lake Tahoe,
- Dodge Ridge, near Pinecrest, Calif.,
- Eagle Point in Utah,
- Grand Targhee Resort, located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Wyoming,
- Homewood Mountain Resort, located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe,
- Hunter Mountain in New York,
- Killington Resort in Vermont,
- Monarch Mountain in Colorado,
- Mt. Shasta Ski Park in California,
- Sierra at Tahoe Resort, located in California south of Lake Tahoe,
- Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in California,
- Wildcat Mountain in New Hampshire, and
- Winterplace Ski Resort in West Virginia.
Check specific sites for details.
Free admission to select amusement parks
The Waves of Honor program permits any active-duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman and three of their dependents to one free admission per year to Sea World, Busch Gardens, or Sesame Place. Guests must present a military ID to participate and need to apply for the program in advance online through its Troop ID program.
Museums across the U.S. commit to giving military families free access.
The Public Benefit Corporation provides a wide variety of discounts ranging from car rentals, hotels and resorts, dining, movies, and especially for theme parks including Universal Parks, Six Flags, Seaworld, Legoland, and more.
For country music fans and adrenaline junkies alike, Dollywood offers 30% off a one-day theme park ticket to active duty, retired, disabled veterans, reservists, and dependents.
This internet retailer website not only provides discounts on tactical gear, tools, and accessories but also on travel-related items like rental cars, hotels, cruises, and theme parks. It also offers discounted tickets for sports events like baseball, basketball, or hockey games in addition to race registrations and concerts. The membership is free.
The annual pass, normally $80, is free for active-duty military members and dependents including Reserve and National Guard members. Obtain the pass in person at any recreation site by showing a valid form of military ID.
Both Legoland resorts offer 10% off admission tickets for active military personnel when purchased at a ticket booth when a valid military ID is presented. Legoland Florida Resort & Water Park, though, gives active-duty service members free admission to its park without any restrictions or blackout dates and can be redeemed at the ticket booth.
This California amusement park offers discounts on admission tickets to active-duty personnel when a military ID card is presented. They also offer a Military Tribute Days program that gives free admission to active-duty service people, retirees, veterans, and one of their guests on specific days throughout the year.
Princess offers up to $250 in onboard spending money, depending on the length of the stay, for free. The benefit must be applied for in advance no less than 14 days from the departure date.
Carnival offers reduced deposits, free room upgrades, and up to $50 onboard credit for trips booked months in advance. One must submit documentation to prove eligibility in advance otherwise benefits could be rescinded.
Food discounts for military families
Major restaurant chains like Hard Rock Cafe and Applebee’s often offer a significant discount on the overall bill if a military ID is presented before paying.
Retail, gas, and camping discounts for military families
With the Good Sam Club membership, which is more than half off its normal cost of $29 for active-duty military, people can access discounts on fuel at Pilot Flying J gas stations, Camping World SuperCenters, Good Sam parks and campgrounds, and other retail locations.
Walt Disney World offers special military pricing on four- and five-day tickets that include the Park Hopper option so families can come and go from resorts as they see fit.