Are there travel discounts for veterans?
Yes. In 2001, U.S. Army veteran Scott Higgins founded Veterans Advantage, a discount club for veterans, active-duty and retired members of the military. Membership in the club entitles veterans to discounts from 20 different travel companies including airlines, car rental agencies, hotel chains, and other providers. Here is a sampling of some of the current member benefits:
- Five percent off Continental Airlines fares booked through the Continental website.
- 15 percent off the best available fares for Amtrak train travel. There are no blackout periods for this promotion, although the discount is only valid on weekends for Acela Express and Metroliner services.
- Five to 20 percent off Avis rental car rates worldwide.
- Up to 20 percent off rates at Best Western hotels.
- Up to 30 percent off Club Med all-inclusive vacations.
Some restrictions apply.
Membership in Veterans Advantage is open to U.S. military veterans; active duty members of the military, national guard, or reserve; and retired military, guardsmen, or reservists. "Next of kin family" members (spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or sister) can also apply for membership. The cost of belonging to the club is $60 for one year, $150 for three years, or $200 for five years. However, the organization is currently selling 30-day trial memberships for a $5 processing fee. To read more about the club or to join, go to the Veterans Advantage website.
Other travel providers, particularly hotels and car rental agencies, may also offer their own discounts to veterans and active members of the military, so inquire before booking to see if your status entitles you to a lower rate or special privileges.