In past blog posts, we’ve explored special military vacation discounts and deals like the free national park passes available to service members, special Disney deals, and the great bargains available when vacationing at an Armed Forces Recreation Center.
One special money-saving military benefit that we haven’t talked about is the wealth of options available on bases at Information, Tickets and Travel offices. Although these offices provide a wealth of important benefits, many service members and families may go years without ever visiting them or even knowing they exist! But any family with an interest in saving money on entertainment and vacations should visit ITT. Why?
Discounts may be steeper than anywhere else
Although many military discount deals are also available on attraction websites or at the attractions themselves, the discounts at the actual ITT office may be steeper, and tickets may be exempt from tax. You also may be able to purchase tickets for more people than you can at the attraction itself.
To take just one example, those visiting the Monterey Bay aquarium can only purchase tickets for themselves and a spouse at the military rate when purchasing at the aquarium. But when bought at ITT, the purchaser can obtain discounts for his or her entire group.
Taken together, all these factors can result in substantial additional savings.
It’s like having your own personal vacation and entertainment advisor
The staff at ITT know just about everything there is to know about the attractions in their area, both well-known and undiscovered. You may think you’ve located all the cool spots to take the kids or to go on a date, but chances are that many places are poorly advertised or known mostly to locals. ITT has the scoop and can provide personalized service for free.
You can book a cruise or a package tour
In addition to offering info and tickets to day trips and area attractions, it’s possible to book special military cruises and vacation package tours (including Disney) through ITT. You can book trips through the Armed Forces Vacation Club at ITT, which offers week-long resort stays for only $350.
It’s easy to compare packages, deals, offers, and attractions
Since ITT works for the military, not for attraction owners, they can do things like type up price lists that allow you to scan all available offers in the area at once and compare them. This type of thing is rarely available online and saves you a lot of work.
The possibilities are broader than you may be imagining
ITT may be able to offer to discounts to any or all of the following: theme parks; sporting events; tours; musical shows; museums; movie theaters; car rentals; hotels..the list is long!
You can receive personal service from travel agents, free of charge
Many ITT employees are travel agents, a bit of a dying breed in today’s day and age when most of us plan vacations online. If you have a complicated trip to plan, their services can be extremely valuable
Information, Tickets, and Tours may also be known as Information, Tickets and Travel or Morale, Welfare and Recreation or Leisure Travel Services. The office may be small and staffed only at certain hours, especially on smaller bases, so call or research ahead to find out when to come. Even if you have to wait, it’s certainly likely to be worth it. Look for info on individual ITT offices in the Moral, Welfare and Recreation section of base websites.
Of course, when planning vacations, don’t forget that even when you “save money,” you still spend money. To make a great vacation happen, it can be helpful to set up a dedicated savings fund ahead of time, diverting a small amount from each paycheck so that the final sum is accumulated in a relatively painless way. Another innovative way to save for a short-term goal like a vacation is to use one of the new automatic savings apps out there that “round up” purchases or make small automatic deposits, such as Digit, Qapital, or Dobot. Enjoy the benefits ITT has to offer.
Lightfoot, L. (2017). All the Ways You Can Save with ITT – Information, Tickets, and Tours. Retrieved from http://themilitarywallet.com/information-tickets-tours-itt/
Veterans Navigator. Information, Tickets, and Travel (ITT). (2016). Retrieved from http://www.veteransnavigator.org/article/63524/information-tickets-and-travel-itt%20