With summer upon us, it’s time to think about vacation. Did you know that as a member of the United States military, you are eligible for fantastic deals offered by the Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) resorts and the Armed Forces Vacation Club (AFVC)? Read on to learn how you and your loved ones can find adventure and create lasting memories, all without breaking your budget.
Armed Forces Recreation Centers
When you’re seeking luxury accommodations at a budget-friendly price, check out Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) resorts. In existence since the end of World War II, these centers have expanded to include four unbeatable travel destinations:
Whether you’re traveling solo or with your family, you’ll enjoy a streamlined booking process, tours with on-site pickup, top-notch restaurants, and a host of other amenities. These AFRC resorts are also capable of handling your destination wedding, family reunion or even an organizational meeting.
To vacation at one of these top-tier resorts, you must be active duty Military Personnel (including Guard and Reserve) and families, DoD employees, retirees, and Veterans awarded the Purple Heart, Veterans who are Medal of Honor recipients, Veterans who are former prisoners of war and Veterans with service-connected disabilities. However, eligibility may vary by resort.
Armed Forces Vacation Club
Looking for a vacation in a location beyond the AFRC resorts? The Armed Forces Vacation Club (AFVC) can help. This “space available” program offers military and other DoD employees vacation rentals at popular destinations around the world—including the United States, Mexico, South America and Europe. You’ll have access to accommodations at more than 4,000 resorts, apartments, condominiums and homes in more than 100 countries.
Membership in the Armed Forces Vacation Club is free to all active duty, veterans and retired members of the U.S. military, National Guard, Reserves (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard), Gold Star families, civilian employees of the Department of Defense, and immediate families (spouses, parents, and/or children). Armed Forces Vacation Club is a part of Wyndham Worldwide, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies. Wyndham offers free AFVC membership as a way to thank you for your service to our country.
Planning the Perfect Staycation
Although getting away can be wonderful, sometimes what you want most is to be a tourist in your own city or town. Check with your installation’s Information, Tickets and Travel office, (also known as Morale, Welfare and Recreation) to access discounted recreation opportunities for you and your family. You can find discounts on:
- Local attractions
- Concerts and sporting events
- Day trips and tours
- Rental cars
- Leisure travel services and more
Best of all, some offers are exclusive to service members. Check your installation’s website—it may include a list of available attractions, events and destinations that lets you compare prices.
Free Access to National Parks
Have you always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, Arches or Yellowstone? Thanks to your military service, you are eligible for a free pass that will get you into all national parks at no cost. That’s a savings of $80 per year.
As a member of the U.S. military, you are eligible for free lifetime access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, wildlife refuges and forests. Before you plan your vacation to one of these locations, be sure to review eligibility requirements and find out how to obtain your military pass.
Get Travel Tips from the Vacation Planning Resource Center
Are you ready to start planning your next vacation? Turn to the Vacation Planning Resource Center for ideas on exciting destinations—whether you’re looking for a destination outside the country or a road trip a state or two away. You also can pick up tips on how to make travel with children more enjoyable for all of you. And you might even be inspired to turn your next PCS move into a vacation opportunity. Please click to learn more.
Ensure Peace of Mind With 24-hour Emergency Travel Assistance
When you’re a USBA member, you and your family can sign up for Emergency Assistance Plus® (EA+®) at a special annual rate (Member only: $129, Member & Family: $169). EA+ protects you with 24-hour emergency assistance while you’re away from home—whether you need medical evacuation or assistance replacing lost or stolen travel documents. Why not add peace of mind to your vacation plans?
USBA is a not-for-profit Association that provides group life insurance, health insurance supplements, and other products and services to military personnel, Federal employees, National Guard and Reserve members, Veterans and their families.