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How to Use Military Discounts While Traveling

Luggage on an airstrip next to a cargo plane.

If military families are experts on anything it’s traveling. Whether we’re PCS’ing cross-country, taking a road trip to visit family, or sneaking away for a post-deployment vacation, we’re always on the go.

Traveling is even more fun when you find great discounts to help you out along the way. Military families also have access to benefits available to them for many of their travel needs.

There are lots of different ways to travel and lots of ways to use military discounts and benefits. What kind of traveler are you?

Travel by Air

One fun way to travel is to fly Space Available or Space A. Service members, retirees and their families can fill seats on DoD-owned or controlled aircraft that aren’t filled by space-required (duty) passengers and cargo.

While this is a great way to find discounted flights, it requires more flexibility and patience than flying on commercial airlines because schedules are subject to change and, as the name implies, seats aren’t always available on the flight you want.

Visit Air Mobility Command for more information on necessary documentation and terminals.

Want to stick with commercial airlines? Some airlines, like Southwest offer discounts to military personnel so make sure to ask about military discounts when booking your flight. 

You can even use your military benefits to ease the hassle of layovers in between flights by relaxing at a USO center. USO’s offer military families a place to kick back and watch tv, access the Internet, have a snack, let the kids run around in a play area, and even take a nap. Click here to locate a USO center. Don’t forget your military ID!

TSA also salutes the military by offering expedited screening. Eligible members on personal or official travel don't need to travel in uniform to participate, and accompanying family members ages 12 and under can be processed through expedited screening as well. Click here to learn more.

Travel by Land 

Not a fan of flying? You can find great military discounts when traveling by land as well.

Some families prefer to pack up the car and hit the road, but if you don’t want to put extra miles on your personal vehicle or travel requirements leave you longing for a larger vehicle, consider renting a car. You can find great military discounts at AlamoAvis, BudgetDollar, Penske and Sixt.

Have you always wanted to travel the open road with your family in an RV? No problem. Many MWR facilities rent campers (and you can find military campgrounds to park that camper as well). Check with your local MWR office for more details and pricing.

Want to leave the driving to someone else? Hop on a bus or train. Greyhound and Amtrak both offer 10% military discounts on rail fare. Amtrak also shows their appreciation for our troops by allowing uniformed service members to the head of the ticket line.

Travel by Sea

Sometimes the best way to travel is by boat. A really big boat.

Cruises are fun and relaxing family vacation options. And cruise lines like Carnival, Norwegian Cruise LinePrincess Cruises, MSC Cruises and Disney Cruise Line all offer military discounts.

No matter what your travel method of choice is, you can always find military discounts as well as military benefits you already have. Safe travels!

Need a place to stay? Click here to learn more about military discounts on lodging.

Click here for a list of more Military.com articles about discounts.

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