How to Travel & Save Big!

Corrinne McKenna, AFC® Candidate, FINRA Foundation Fellow

Members of the millennial generation tend to place a higher value on travel and experiences than they do on tangible items, such as cars and homes. If you’re a military millennial, there are dozens of resources you can take advantage of to save yourself big bucks on incredible travel adventures. Here are some ideas to get you started!


  • Tap into your network. Ask other people in your military community where they have traveled to recently and if they can pass on tips. Visit your base’s ITT or Travel Office to learn about discounted tickets and travel savings.

  • Share costs with fellow travelers. All service members earn 2.5 days of leave every month. That means it should be pretty easy to find a travel buddy with vacation time on the books! Discuss your travel ideas with friends to see if they’d be interested in joining you for a trip and splitting certain costs like car rentals or hotels.

  • Take advantage of lodging perks. There are incredible military lodges, inns, campgrounds and special recreation centers around the world that are accessible only to military personnel. You can affordably stay at an Alpine lodge in Germany or a beachfront hotel in Hawaii through the Armed Forces Recreation Center program and DoD Military Lodging program.

  • Save by renting adventure gear. Camping and outdoor equipment can be expensive. You can save hundreds of dollars by renting it from base instead. Many bases have outdoor recreation or equipment offices where you can rent tents, coolers and even camping trailers. Combined with your access to military a campground, camping is one of the most affordable and convenient vacations you can take!

  • Take a chance on space available flights. Space available flights allow you to fly to destinations around the world for a fraction of the cost by filling vacant seats on military flights. But keep in mind, this program requires you to be very flexible with your travel. You may end up having to purchase commercial airline tickets to return from your destination if no military flights are available. Before participating in Space-A travel, make sure you do your research and understand the rules and risks associated.

  • Use work travel as an opportunity for personal travel. Often military duties can take you to destinations that are entirely new to you. Whenever a work trip comes up, research which other attractions are nearby. You might find yourself with some free time to explore while you’re there. Be prepared with ideas in advance so you can make the most of it!

  • Most importantly, make a travel budget. All good investments require money, and the experience you gain from travelling is one of the best investments you can make. It is important to set up a travel budget within your monthly spending plan, so these adventures don’t cause a financial burden. Create an automatic deposit into your savings account and start stashing away your vacation fund!

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