Finances are often tight during the job search, and if you're a veteran going through a career transition, it's natural to feel suffocated during the process. Regardless of the size of your household, the strain of unemployment can create heightened stress and eliminate extra spending money.
Especially if you have young children at home, you may feel guilty for not being able to treat them as often, go on family vacations, or even short day trips. Partaking in fun, stress-alleviating vacations, or even mini-vacations is a necessity to maintaining your health and well-being, and it doesn't have to cost you a small fortune.
Many local (and national) attractions, museums, tours and more offer military discounts, and they are often easy to take advantage of. There are countless deals available for a wide variety of items, ranging from airfare to clothing. Many local attractions and destinations also have discounts, but may not advertise them as heavily as larger companies. If you don't see anything featured online, it never hurts to call and ask, as many places can be quite accommodating.
This post serves as an unofficial travel guide to help guide you toward the resources necessary to plan a fun, and affordable vacation!
Planning Your Next Vacation
A common budget buster is trying to find a decent place to get a meal, without spending an outrageous amount of money. This military discounts website features a lengthy list of restaurants ranging from fast-food to sit-down dining. The list is not all-inclusive, and never hesitate to ask. Some restaurants require the service member to be in uniform to receive the discount while others simply want to see a military-issued ID.
Finding affordable transportation, depending on the distance you're traveling, can also become a logistical, and financial nightmare. If you're feeling adventurous and want to spend as little as possible, Greyhound busses offer two different type of discounts, one for active military and one for veterans. If you'd prefer to travel by air, OneTravel.com offers flight comparisons for all military discount rates. The site is comparable to Travelocity, but is specifically for military members and their families.
Alamo Rent-a-Car also offers discounts for military members, and has locations in every state, which may help your traveling needs.
Theme Parks and Attractions
The discounts offered by Disney almost deserve a separate post. The Walt Disney Company is widely-known for their military discounts, which change slightly from year to year. The most recent discount rates apply for August 25, 2014 through September 27, 2015.
These discounts are available for both Disney World in Orlando, Fla. and Disney Land in Anaheim, Calif. Military members and their families have the option to choose from several different packages such as park-hopper tickets, and add-ons with the water parks. Discounts for Disney-owned resort hotels are also available. For full details on the pricing and packages available, check out military.com. There is also a specialty Armed Forces Recreation Center, Shades of Green, which is available for only military members and their families and features a host of amenities, free shuttles to the Disney parks and affordable pricing.
If you're looking for a fun family trip to a theme park, but Disney isn't quite your thing, there are plenty of other parks and resorts that offer special packages for military families, including:
- Universal Studios
- Busch Gardens
- Wet'n'Wild Hawaii
- World of Coca-Cola
- Majority of zoos, several offer free admission as well! A long list can be found on discount deals for military.
If you'd prefer a more low key vacation, and would rather go camping instead, many national parks and reservations offer discounts as well. Camp Jellystone offers campgrounds in 24 locations across the U.S., as well as one in Nova Scotia, Canada, that have special pricing packages for military members.
There are countless resources and websites available that are dedicated for keeping track of the most recent and updated discounts for military members. It may occasionally take a little extra time to find deals on what you're interested in, but it can make a huge difference in the long run.