There’s a fantastic new website that saves military personnel and their families tons of money on leisure travel. It’s American Forces Travel and they have military travel deals all around the world on hotels, vacation packages, car rentals, airfare and more.
This is a website developed by Priceline and the Department of Defense.
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American Forces Travel Eligibility
The great news is millions are eligible including all active duty military personnel, retired military members, honorably discharged veterans and DOD civilians.
The website is super easy to use. To access the site it will ask you some basic info like the last four of your social security number, birthdate, and last name. It only takes a few seconds for the system to verify you. Once you are verified you can start using the website right away.
Military Star Card Accepted
If you are booking a hotel you may be able to use your Military Star Card to book it. There are many global hotel brands that will accept it when booking through American Forces Travel. Note that only eligible hotels will have MILITARY STAR as a payment option at checkout. If there’s no option while booking it means that particular hotel is not participating in this part of the program at this time.
How Much Savings
You can expect to save a little on everything, but there are also some really big discounts where you can save up to 40 – 60% off.
I booked a last minute flight last week to go meet my new niece and saved $200! This was a savings of around 30%. The site is really robust and found two cheaper one way tickets that I could buy instead of a more expensive round trip ticket. Considering there was basically no way to save on airfare before the launch of this site this is HUGE!
While I was booking my flight it did ask me to input my frequent flyer number so I am still earning points on my flight!
I looked up some hotels in Houston recently and I could save around $50 a night on the hotel we wanted to stay at. The discount varies depending on the city and time of year, but to me $50 is fantastic.
When you arrive at the hotel you will not be required to show id since the system that allowed you to book your travel has already vetted you.
If you need to bring your pet or service animal you can sort by specific amenities to include pet-friendly hotels.
Discounted Car Rentals
Considering there is a nationwide shortage of rental cars in the United States any savings at all will make a difference right now!
Discounted Vacation Packages
You know we love Cancun, so I went ahead and priced out a hypothetical last minute trip to Cancun in a few weeks for our family including airfare and an all-inclusive hotel to see what it would cost. I felt good about the prices it showed me. After so many trips down there I am familiar with the prices but I went a step further to check the regular rates of the same exact stay. Using AmericanForcesTravel.com I would save $54 per person on this trip. Times that by a large family and that’s a couple of hundred bucks in savings! (There are many all-inclusive hotels included which is definitely the way to go down there if you can swing the cost. If not there were many regular hotels available as well.)
Discounted Event Tickets
They even offer discount event tickets. These are not major events but the smaller more locally known events. So if you are headed to an event it would be worth checking to see if they offer a discount. I checked to see if they had any major concerts but didn’t see any.
Money is Reinvested Into Military Programs
One of the unique elements of this program is that it gives back to the military. They take a percentage of each booking and send the funds back into military programs like MWR programs. (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) The purpose of the program is to help service members refresh and reconnect with loved ones which is also one of the goals of the MWR program.
If you are not familiar with the MWR program where you are stationed I highly recommend checking it out. They often have a variety of offerings whether it be fun rentals like kayaks or tours like a day excursion to do something cool nearby for a discounted price.