Ultimate Guide to Travel Discounts (2019): Military, Students, Seniors & Groups

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It’s no secret that traveling can be very expensive.  Booking free travel with miles and points earned from the best travel credit cards may not always be an option, and costs for hotels and airfare tend to add up very quickly, especially if you’re buying multiple tickets for family members.

Fortunately, there are still ways you can save money on travel!  Many airlines and hotels offer travel discounts for students, seniors, and those part of a large group.  Members of the military and government employees are also eligible to receive discounted rates on hotels and airfare.

Members of the Military and Government Personnel Are Eligible for a Number of Travel Discounts!

If you fall under one of these categories, we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of airlines and hotels that offer travel discounts to help you save you hard-earned cash!

Groups Eligible for Travel Discounts

As valuable as miles and points can be, sometimes you don’t have a choice but to pay out of pocket for travel.  Perhaps you have a last-minute flight and there’s are no available award seats, or the hotel you want to book does not take any of your points.

Fortunately, if you’re a member of one of the following groups, you could be eligible for significant travel discounts for hotels and airfare.

Military & Government Personnel Discounts

As a way of thanking military members for their service, many companies offer discounts for military personnel and their families, and many offer these deals with a simple verification of your military status, such as:

  • Active duty ID card
  • Veteran ID card
  • Military dependent ID
  • Retiree military ID card
  • Guard/Reserve military ID card

The following is list of airlines and hotels that offer discounts for military personnel and their families:

Military Airline Discounts

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Military Hotel Discounts

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Student Discounts

  • Student Universe:  If you are a student between the ages of 18 and 25, you can receive special discounts on flights and hotels
  • STA Travel:   Flights are available for all ages here, but certain itineraries have special rates for students under the age of 26
  • CheapOair:   Those between the ages of 16 and 25 may be eligible to receive special discounts when booking through their website
  • Generation Fly:   Lufthansa’s student travel program, you’re eligible as long as you provide an eligible .edu email address
  • Travel Cuts:   A Canadian-based student travel agency, you’ll be able to book a number of flights, hotels, and other travel-related tours and guides through the website
  • Student Advantage Card:   By paying a low annual fee, you’ll receive tons of travel discounts, including 10 to 50% savings over sites like Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline

It may also pay off to carry your student ID card with you when you travel, because you never know which shops or retailers may have student discounts.  For example, on my recent trip to Italy, I received a student discount for museum tickets when I presented my University of California graduate-level student ID card.

As a student, you may also want to consider applying for an ISIC card.  ISIC stands for International Student Identity Card, and is the only internationally-recognized student ID.  The ID is available in both plastic and mobile versions, allowing you to instantly provide proof of your status as a student.  Furnishing this card at certain retailers and travel agencies could qualify you for even more discounts, and you’re eligible to apply for the card as long as you’re a full-time student over the age of 12. 

Senior Discounts

Senior Airline Discounts

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Senior Hotel Discounts

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Group Discounts

Group Airline Discounts

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Group Hotel Discounts

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Tips for Planning Your Travel

1.   Create a Budget

Travel expenses tend to add up very quickly, so it’s a good idea to create a budget to help you keep your spending under control.  Try to think about things like eating out, tickets for museums and other attractions, and transportation expenses.  After all, it’s almost a moot point if you save money on airfare and hotels, only to blow your savings elsewhere on the trip!

2.   Shop Around

This can actually apply to your regular day-to-day expenses at home, but it can be particularly handy when you’re traveling!  By shopping around, you could find a better deal elsewhere and save much of your hard-earned cash.  A few dollars saved here and there can really add up over the course of a trip!

3.   Travel During Off-Peak Season

Prices for airlines and hotels can fluctuate greatly throughout the year.  Many companies change their prices according to the busy season.  If you’re short on cash, it may be worthwhile to travel during off peak season.

Sure, the weather may not be as nice, but you’ll still be able to travel, and at a substantial discount.  Plus, you probably won’t have to deal with the huge tourist crowds that peak season often brings.

4.   Combining Miles and Points With Discounts

If you’re looking to save even more money, you can always try combining any travel discounts you receive with your miles and points!  For instance, if you have one of the best airline credit cards, you could redeem your miles for flights and spend your cash on discounted hotels.

Bottom Line

Traveling can be pricey, but you can save quite a bit of money if you know where to look.  When miles and points or rewards earned from top travel credit cards are not an option, you can still score serious discounts on airfare and hotels if you’re a student, senior, or purchasing tickets as part of a large group.

Discounts are also available for members of the military, government personnel, and their families, which can make it easier to reunite loved ones without breaking the bank.

We hope you found this guide helpful.  Let us know if you’ve had any experience with requesting these special discounts!

Andrew Wan is a contributor for Million Mile Secrets where he covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines and hotels. His work has also appeared in The Simple Dollar.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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