Going Home Without Going Broke: 4 Strategies for Traveling

By Andrea Downing Peck


Barbara Cooper (right), member since 2008, visits Arlington National Cemetery with her husband and grandparents.

THE ARMY MADE a savvy traveler out of Barbara Cooper. When she was stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas, holidays usually involved jumping on a flight to Baltimore, where her family lives.

Cooper learned to buy tickets online on Wednesday afternoons to snag the best deals, and she avoids Sunday return flights. She also packs light to avoid checking bags.

Holiday travel can tax both your patience and your wallet. Airfare and hotel rates are often at their peak. Corinne Vela-Zapata, USAA product management director, suggests these money-saving strategies:

  • Fly with Space-A. Service members and their families can travel on military flights at little or no cost. Learn more at spacea.net.
  • Seek bargains. Take advantage of discounts for USAA members on flights and hotels by visiting USAA’s Travel Deals page.
  • Avoid car rental fees. Go through USAA to reserve your rental and avoid fees for young or additional drivers and receive exclusive discounts.
  • Get organized. Download the USAA Mobile App to access a travel checklist with tips on budgeting and planning. Set up USAA travel notifications to avoid credit card blocks.

 Book through USAA for price match and other member benefits. 

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