Six Tricks to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation

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By on June 13, 2017 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments


Hat, sandals and a shell on a tropical beach in the Caribbean with turquoise ocean water

As summer approaches, it is time to start planning your summer vacation. The travel and tourism industry is booming, making trips more expensive.

As a federal employee, you can utilize several travel perks and benefits. These perks are a great way to save some money while planning an unforgettable vacation.

Here is a list of six tips to help you get the most out of your travel dollar as a federal employee.

1. Airline Tickets

Most airlines offer a federal employee discount. If you are unable to find information regarding a discount, call the airline directly.

Some airlines offer discounts that are not advertised on their website. Jet Blue has a General Services Administration (GSA) contract that offers lower rates to federal employees in some markets. If there is a less expensive airline rate in a different market, Jet Blue will match it. Jet Blue also offers special rates for active-duty military personnel and members of their immediate families. Check with your favorite airline and see what discounts they can offer.

2. Hotels

When booking a hotel online, look for a menu option that allows you to book as a government employee. Some booking sites can also help you determine if you qualify for a government rate. To ensure you receive the least expensive rate, check on federal discount lodging websites.

3. Theme Parks or Museums

Depending on where you plan to travel, there may be a theme park or museum in the area that offers a federal employee discount. During certain times of the year, parks like Walt Disney World offer promotional discounts for government employees. Research your destination to see what local attractions are available to you at a discounted rate.

4. Campgrounds and Recreation Parks

If your travel plans include camping, double-check for government discounts before you book your campsite. Some campgrounds offer discounts on cabins as well. Check to see if your travel dates will coincide with special weekends dedicated to government employees and active and retired military personnel.

5. Cruises

Cruises offer an all-inclusive vacation that allows you to visit multiple places while you travel. Most cruise lines offer a discount for federal employees. This travel choice can be pricey, so if you do not see any discounts offered on a cruise line’s website, visit, which specializes in getting the best pricing on cruises for feds.

6. Car Rentals

All major car rental chains offer a federal employee discount. Some car rental companies are not forthcoming with the discount information on their websites, so you may need to book your car rental over the phone.

Top Federal Employee Discount Websites

Many websites have organized the discounts that are available to federal employees. Be mindful when browsing these websites – some require that you provide your government email so they can search for qualifying federal employee discounts.

Here are some top discount sites that can help you plan your summer vacation.

Government and Armed Forces Travel Cooperative

This website offers discounts on condominium rentals, cruises, car rentals, hotels, golf resorts, and vacation packages. Checking their offers might help you determine the best destination for your family’s vacation.

Government Vacation Rewards

This business offers a vacation rewards program for federal employees. They offer benefits such as $150 travel savings credits and member-only travel benefits. There may be an initial fee, but the benefits will show a return on your investment.

Federal Discount Lodging Directory

The Federal Discount Lodging Directory has compiled a list of the best hotel discounts available to federal employees. Using this website gives you the opportunity to see different discounts on the hotels in the area where you will be traveling.

Sato Vacations

Sato Vacations is a travel booking website that includes any federal discounts that are available, including hotels, car rentals, flights, cruises, activities, and tours. Sato Vacations travel agents can make your trip planning less stressful, and they’ll ensure you receive all applicable discounts.


Ebates is not just for feds, but it’s such a great way to save that it’s worth mentioning here. By using Ebates you can save 10% at Expedia, 12% at Priceline, and 5% on These are just a few of the discounts available when you join this free membership cash back site.

More Ways to Ensure You Receive the Most Discounts

No matter what type of summer vacation you are planning, often a federal employee discount can be found for most activities and attractions. Here are some other ways to make sure you receive the maximum benefits.

Ask Everywhere You Go

It is common for most businesses to offer a federal employee discount without advertising it. When you book your flight, hotel, car rental, cruise, resort, or activities, ask a representative if their business offers a federal discount.

Stay Connected

Join travel websites like the ones listed above to receive updates on current discounts available to you. Most of these businesses send out newsletters informing you of the best packages available at the time. Staying abreast of current discount rates might enable you to plan a trip that you otherwise could not afford.

Take Your Time Planning

Don’t make quick or abrupt decisions when planning a vacation. Spend time researching hotels and vacation destinations. This extra time will pay off as a memorable and affordable family vacation.

Time to Start Packing

After you have done your research and found the best deal possible, it’s time to start packing. If you will be traveling overseas and you hold a security clearance, be sure to submit your travel itinerary to your facility security officer at least 30 days before your planned departure.

© 2019 Jason Kay. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Jason Kay.


About the Author

Jason Kay is a professional resume writer and regular contributor to, a professional federal resume service and repository of sample KSA statements.