Wright Patterson AFBHotel
1. Check for military/veteran discounts before you book – This may be a bit of a no brainer, but it’s always worth remembering. Especially if your military status has changed recently (you’ve gone from servicemember to veteran, switched from the reserves to active, etc), as a different or better deal may be available to you. Be sure to compare the discounted room costs and not just the percent rates of the discounts themselves. And, while these price reductions are pretty good at most participating hotels, check them against the deals you can through regular travel discount sites. Sometimes those are even better bargains than you can get with a military discount.
2. Some hotels have larger rewards programs in addition to discounts – Flat discount rates for veterans, service members, their families, and government personnel are pretty common at hotel chains. But some have rewards and membership programs specifically for members of the military community. Signing up for one of these can get you and your family access to all sorts of bonus benefits beyond the standard discount at a particular brand’s hotels all over the world. Find one that has lots of locations in or near places you love or hope to visit. Or sign up for multiple programs and cover all your bases. Sign up for everyone you can, why not?
3. Consider planning your trip through a veteran’s travel organization – Most of the time when you book a hotel it’s as part of a trip. And if you are taking a trip (or plan on taking any trips, for business or leisure, in the future) it’s well worth looking into the variety of travel services offered to the military community by membership organizations, non-profits, and even big businesses. These can offer all sorts of great services and discounts to eligible members of the military community.
4. Bundling is better – Whether you use a veteran organization, a travel agent, or an online booking site to organize and purchase your trip, buying all the pieces of it one place is almost always cheaper than booking them one at a time. Bundling your hotel stay with travel costs, a rental car (if you’ll need one where you’re going), and anything else you might want to include usually knocks the overall price down, sometimes a significant amount.
5. Can’t find a hotel offering a military/veteran discount? – Sometimes you may have to book rooms at place that doesn’t seem to offer a discount, particularly in a remote area, small town, or at a privately owned hotel or motel. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have one. Sometimes minor chains, franchised locations, local inns/B & B’s, and the like offer benefits that might not show up in an Internet search or on their website. It never hurts to ask about it in person when you check in. And, of course, always have your ID card handy to reap the possible benefits.
6. Check your DTS – For those of you booking a hotel for travel on government work or orders, to cover a time gap between arriving at a new post and moving into a home, or for a place to live between the end of a lease and an upcoming PCS, you’ll probably be doing it through the Defense Travel System. Make sure any room rate you book, be it discounted or not, is covered by your per diem to avoid paying out of pocket. And, if you’re lucky or savvy enough to find a room for way below that per diem, you can use this opportunity to put some extra bucks in the bank.