Even the most dedicated soldier must, from time to time, take a few weeks off for much needed R&R. Those with families will especially need time to return home and remind themselves why they are serving and who it is they are risking their lives for.
Fortunately, patriotic and grateful Americans across the country are always happy to show much the service of their veterans means to them, so current serving personnel and retired veterans alike can find no shortage of offers and discounts on their vacations. Whether they are seeking a quick weekend blast to let off steam, some quality time with their families, or one last adventure before retirement, there are lots of options to choose from.
What is a Veteran Discount?
Many businesses across the country will offer various discounts and exclusive rates to serving members of the US Armed Forces or former servicemen. Keep in mind that such discounts are discretionary and will vary from business to business, so not every hotel or motel will necessarily have one. Likewise, the amount they discount will differ.
In order to make the most of military and veterans’ discounts, it is always a good idea to join a relevant association such as the American Legion or the Armed Forces Vacation Club (AFVC). These offer fantastic resources for military personnel looking for the best deals and discounts when travelling, as well as advice on various other matters such as healthcare, travel, home ownership or insurance.
Most businesses that offer veterans’ discounts will require some proof of service before they will apply any discounts these. Valid IDs can include:
- Active Duty ID card
- Reserves/Guardsman ID card
- Military retiree ID card
- Veterans’ Affair ID
- State Driver’s License with “VETERAN” stamped on it
How to Ask
Most hotels will offer a discount, though not all of them will openly advertise as such. Always check the hotel’s website to see if it is mentioned, usually it will be listed somewhere on their offers or rewards section. Hotel brochures and adverts may also make mention if veterans’ discounts are available to their guests.
There also exist several websites that offer special discounts for military personnel. So keep an eye out on there whenever booking through them.
If booking in advance, always make sure that there is an offer available when booking so that money can be saved at the point of booking. Some may require an ID number inputted from an active service or veterans’ card before the discount will be applied, while others may simply ask at check in.
If trying to get a room on the day, it never hurts to ask at the desk. The receptionist or their manager will know for sure whether or not reduced prices are offered to veterans.
Top Hotels for Veterans
So now that we have covered military discounts and how to apply for them, we’ve listed below eight top hotel chains that offer discounts for servicemen, former servicemen and their families. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if visiting a hotel not included do not assume there is no relevant discount on offer.
As always, it never hurts to ask.
Booking at the Best Western gives veterans up to 10% off their hotel rates, with higher discounts available at certain sites or on certain dates. Available throughout North America, the discount is offered to members of the Canadian Armed Forces as well.
The vacation club is a collection of lodgings and rooms that are specifically intended for members of the US Armed Forces. They offer various packages, with the Basic Membership being free of charge, which offer different discounts at various hotels associated with them.
Providing special rates and prices for military personnel, the Marriot and its subsidiaries also offer generous offers for use of their leisure facilities as well.
Hilton Hotels and Resorts
Military personnel can enjoy up to 10% off the costs of their stay when booking with the Hilton Hotels group, when a valid ID is presented at check in. They also allow guests to search by military base, so as to ensure rooms closest to where they are stationed.
Disneyland or Disneyworld Resorts
For family entertainment and truly magical memories, the Disneyworld Resorts offer special military rates for their parks and hotels. They also offer various promotions each year.
Active servicemen, veterans and their spouses can save up to 12% at La Quinta should they select military rates. ID will need to be presented when checking in.
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG)
As well as military discounts, the IHG also offers rooms for extended stays. This makes them perfect for military personnel on extended leave.
Available to both American and Canadian personnel and veterans, Beaches provides numerous luxury rooms at their beachside resorts. Unlike some other promotions, the 10% military discount stacks with other offers, allowing greater opportunities to save.
Get an extra bonus thanks for your service by booking with hotels known to welcome veterans and offer military discounts to make the most of your next set of leave.