Military life often demands that family members live far away from each other. The added expense of traveling for Thanksgiving can be challenging for deployed, wounded, and veteran families. It also does not help that traveling during holidays is often more expensive than traveling at other times of the year. Thankfully, you can offer military family travel assistance to help military families and veterans keep travel costs down and make traveling during Thanksgiving easy and efficient.

Check Travel Dates

You can help military and veteran families by checking and sharing with them days when air travel and rental car prices are cheaper. Some airlines offer a low-fare calendar. They highlight which days have the most expensive or cheapest prices. 

Different pick-up and return dates can significantly impact the total cost, even for car rentals. If the price difference is too big, or if one family member needs to get back to work or school urgently, you may advise them to travel on different dates to maximize their savings.

Book Hotels

Armed Forces Recreation Centers (AFRCs) are a string of joint service facilities and resorts run by the US Department of Defense, Welfare, and Recreation Programs. There are affordable full-service resort hotels in most vacation destinations worldwide, and they’re always open to service members and their families. Room rates vary by rank, duty status, pay grade, room size, or room location. You can help military families make their reservations well in advance because the facilities usually fill up quickly.

Offer to Drive

Flying is often expensive, and costs can spike depending on holiday dates. If distances can be covered by car travel, you can offer to drive the military families or persons to each other. Or you could help them book a rental car. Be sure to factor in hotel costs and reservations if the drive is too long to manage in one day.

Host a Military Family

If you live near a military base, you can offer to host family members of a military person. This will help them to worry less about a place to stay and only about the travel logistics. You can plan fun activities and if they have children, you can offer to babysit so they can take some time off with their spouse.

Donate Money for Military Family Travel Assistance

You can make thoughtful financial donations to organizations that facilitate military family travel assistance. Some nonprofit organizations provide free or subsidized emergency travel services and flight tickets for the loved ones of sick or wounded army members, veterans, and fallen soldiers during holidays, hospital stays, and rehabilitation.                              

Donate Your Vehicle                             

Donating your car, van, truck, SUV, boat, ATV, RV, trailer, motorcycle, or airplane has never been easier. Numerous charitable organizations provide free pick-up from anywhere in America and some areas of Canada. These vehicles can ferry military families back and forth to their families this Thanksgiving.

Get Your Team Involved in Giving Back

You can have your company partner with nonprofit organizations to provide travel assistance to military families. These corporate engagement volunteer opportunities create an exciting background to teach your team about the needs of the military and veteran community. It also provides opportunities to discuss the challenges those communities face. Get involved in making a difference in the lives of service members, military families, and veterans across all generations.

Purchase a Thanksgiving Vacation

One of the easiest and safest ways to help a military family is to give a gift card for an experience they will love. You can give an airline gift card so they can fly anywhere they choose. Even a cruise line gift card will allow them to spend quality time together. Check with various hotel chains or Airbnb to see if they offer gift cards.

Make it Worthwhile

The holiday season can be filled with joy, laughter, gifts, and quality time with family. For many, this is the most wonderful time of the year. There’s much to be thankful for. Military families require a little extra love and creativity to make the holiday complete. Purchasing a travel gift or donating to charities that facilitate free travel can make it worthwhile. Choose today to help military members and their families have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

By Manali

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