Spring is so close we can almost feel it. Even if your fingers aren’t yet thawed out from the winter cold, it's time to start planning for Spring Break.
You may think your budget can't allow for too much fun, but with the help of military discounts, you can have tons of Spring Break fun without breaking the bank.
If you're thinking about traveling, start your planning process with the American Forces Travel, an exclusive discount travel website managed by Priceline.
Need some suggestions for what to do? Here are five Spring Break ideas for the entire family:
1. Plan a staycation
Staying home doesn't have to be boring. Do you live in an area that has attractions to offer visitors, but you never take advantage of visiting them? Spring Break is the perfect time to check out what your area has to offer.
Visit your local military installation’s ITT office to get some ideas and possibly discounted tickets to local attractions.
You can also use this time to check out local restaurants you haven't had a chance to try. Some restaurants, like Bonefish, Greene Turtle, Carrabba’s and Hard Rock Cafe, advertise military discounts, but many restaurants don’t advertise so make sure you ask wherever you dine.
Then go see that movie you keep hearing about. Movie theaters like Cinemark and Regal offer military discounts.
2. Hit the road
Spring Break is a great time for a road trip. Whether you’re visiting family and friends or heading out for some sight-seeing, make sure to use all the military discounts out there while you travel.
Need a rental car? There are lots of military discounts on rental cars, including Alamo and Sixt.
Need somewhere to stay? Hotels like Red Roof, Hilton, Best Western, Choice Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group and Motel 6 all offer military discounts.
3. Learn a lesson
Learn during Spring Break? Really? Remember, learning can be fun and can create wonderful memories for everyone. Visit places like the Museum of Modern Art, Colonial Williamsburg, The National Aquarium and National Parks -- all with military discounts.
Another learning experience for Spring Break is to find some local volunteering opportunities. Depending on your family members’ ages, you can volunteer at local soup kitchens or work with animals at the ASPCA. Volunteering not only makes an impact on those you help, but your children can also learn the valuable lesson of helping others.
The kids may not have assigned schoolwork during Spring Break, but maybe they could use the time to get some extra help. Tutor.com offers free tutoring for military families.
4. Visit a theme park
Is there a theme park your family would love to visit? A wide variety of theme parks, like Disney World, Busch Gardens and Dollywood offer military discounts. (Check out our full list of amusement park military discounts for more fun options.)
5. Take a cruise
Have you always wanted to go on a cruise but worried it wasn't affordable? Many cruise lines offer military discounts including Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Disney Cruise Line.
6. Relax at a resort
Sandals resorts offer a 10% military discount. They have locations in beautiful places like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados and more.
You can also check into Armed Forces Recreation Centers, or AFRCs, which are Joint Service Facilities operated by the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs. Probably the best known AFRC is Shades of Green, located at Disney World in Florida. You can get great room rates (and if you're a golfer, check out their discounted golf rates for military).
So book your stay at a resort and spend your Spring Break relaxing in the sun.
Sharon Wood contributed to this story.
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