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The Ultimate Staycation Guide For Military Families

9 November 2017 by

The Ultimate Staycation Guide For Military Families

One of our family’s favorite ways to explore a new military duty station is to plan several mini staycations.  If you haven't heard of a staycation, it is a vacation spent in one's home town often involving day trips or nearby weekend getaways to local attractions.  A staycation can be one of the best ways to get to know your new town at your military duty station.  Staycations provide an affordable and fun way to get some R & R with your family. 

If you want to plan the ultimate staycation in or around your military town, follow these tips to make it the best vacation yet!


If your staycation involves an overnight or weekend getaway look for hotels that offer a military discount.  Luckily, the majority of major hotels offer military rates.  Finding a hotel within budget that offers a military rate will help you save some extra dollars.

Some suggestions of hotels that offer military rates are Red Roof Inn, La Quinta, Econo Lodge, Extended Stay America, Radisson Hotels, Hilton, Best Western, to name a few.  If your staycation involves a nearby resort, most will offer some type of military discount if you are near a military base.   The best way to find a hotel or resort within budget is to call and ask about their military rate.  If you are planning a weekend getaway also compare the military rate to a weekend package deal.

Another great option for keeping your staycation on budget with extra perks is to sign up to receive your complimentary Expedia+ Gold status from Expedia.com. It is complimentary to active duty, veterans, military spouses, and dependents that sign up by verifying their military status. Expedia+ Gold Status is valued at $10,000 and includes benefits like bonus points, complimentary upgrades, and exclusive amenities.  Perfect for military families looking to plan the ultimate staycation in or around their military duty station with budget and fun in mind. Sign up for the Expedia military offer here.


My favorite part of planning a staycation is deciding upon what attractions our family will visit. Whether you live in a populated military town with tons of attractions or a smaller more rural area it is important to remember that every duty station is what you make it!  That is why staycations are such a great way to really get to know your new town. 

If you plan to spend your next couple years at your military duty station incorporating several weekend staycations, a fun way to pick attractions that appeal to the entire family is create a bucket list.  The entire family can be involved in the activities and staycations you plan.  Have everyone in the family create a top ten list of things to do and see in and around the area.  Put your family members names into a jar and pick a name.  Whoever's name is selected gets to pick one or more of their top 10 staycation activities for an upcoming weekend.  It can involve a weekend getaway or several mini activities depending on what makes sense.

By creating a bucket list and picking a family member you get the entire family involved in planning your perfect staycation ensuring you find attractions that appeal to everyone.  

You can also keep your staycation on budget as most attractions offer some type of military discount if you are located in a larger military town.  Do your research and check online for their military rates.  Put together a plan for your activities on what makes sense for your time and budget.


The great benefit of a staycation is it can be anything you want it to be.  Military life is often very hectic, dealing with deployments, TDY's, new schools, new military towns, etc.  Many military families don't have the ability to plan an exotic vacation to a far-off destination.  Consider planning a staycation surrounding a far-off destination, yet in your home town. 

For example, let's say you want that tropical experience.  If you live in or around a beach, plan a day there.  After you have had your beach day, plan a dinner at an ethnic restaurant.  You can either keep in theme and find a tropical themed restaurant or go with another cultural experience.  Most towns offer an opportunity to experience a different culture allowing you to feel like you are in another country.  Whether it be a cultural activity such as a museum or an ethnic restaurant you can certainly have fun in planning your far-off, yet close to home getaway.  Picking a theme for your day or weekend can really make your staycation fun and feel like you are in another land.  Give it a try and change it up.

Military families are unique in that they move on average of once in every three years.  This provides a great opportunity to explore different parts of the country. Many families may often move to their new military town and not explore what the area has to offer missing out on some great local attractions.  Staycations provide that opportunity to take advantage of what is often missed.  Where will your next staycation take you?

Military Bridge wrote this post in collaboration with Expedia.com and SoFluential Media. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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