It’s a celebration! Your family member is home from deployment and all you want to do is make them as comfortable as possible. With all the sacrifices they had made, and the work you’ve done to keep things running at the home front, everyone needs a break. But, how to we plan a homecoming vacation without using up all of that hazard pay? Here are a few frugal tips for planning a homecoming trip that will be memorable and affordable.
Staycations are Key
One of the last things your service member will want to do is get on yet another plane and travel for half a day, or more. Look for local vacation gems to visit, preferably ones that your family hasn’t experienced in a while or at all. These could be driving distance or just a quick plane trip. The point is to make the experience as simple and memorable as possible, and staying nearby would ensure that you don’t pay an outrageous amount for plane tickets or gas.
Hit the Festival Circuit
One of the best ways to create a unique yet inexpensive homecoming vacation is to search for conventions, trade shows or festivals that may be coming to your area. Look for events that revolve around your hero’s favorite hobbies, or whatever new hobby they may have picked up while deployed. If the are big into fishing, look for the next fishing or boating expo in the surrounding area, and make a weekend out of visiting it. A car ride, booked expo tickets and a 2 night hotel stay nearby will yield big savings compared to a trip out of state.
Accommodations on the Cheap
One of the best amenities that we military families can take advantage of are military discounts at hotels. Hotel and resort accommodations can eat up a budget, but using that discount really helps us to allot more money to planning fun excursions during our trip, or extending our trip. Luxurious yet affordable hotels like La Quinta will provide you with a one-stop vacation destination within every location. Be sure to not only ask about military discounts when booking, but also mention that your service member is returning from deployment and it’s a celebration. They just may be able to provides some surprises once you check into your room.