Armed Forces Vacation Club: Here are 9 things you need to know!

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Everything You Need to Know About Armed Forces Vacation Club Armed Forces Vacation Club

The Armed Forces Vacation Club (AFVC) is an organization that offers discounts on numerous vacation spots in over 100 countries. This discount encompasses more than 4000 resorts, condos, apartments, and homes. The discount is can be availed by the members of the United States military and their family members. To avail of this offer, you have to provide them with an identity card that shows that you are a member of the military, or a veteran, or are retired and receiving a military pension, or are a disabled veteran, or a dependent.

Armed Forces Vacation
Armed Forces Vacation Club Membership Levels

If you want to become a member then you can head to their website to register. There are two basic membership plans for the Armed Forces Vacation Club.

Standard Membership:

The standard membership is free of cost. It offers standard rates and 409 Dollars’ worth of resort vacation certificates.

Premium Membership:

The premium membership can set you back around 119 dollars a year or 249 Dollars for three years. The benefit of having a premium membership is that, you get a 10 percent discount on standard pricing. 359 Dollars’ worth of resort vacation certificates which amounts to 50 Dollars in savings, you get to book your sales 24 hours before a standard member can, you will get discounts on last-minute vacation plans, and if you get a 3-year plan, you will get 25 Dollars’ worth restaurant certificates each month.

 

1. What Vacation Destinations Are Available?

It does not matter whether you are looking for the perfect vacation destination closer to your home or are planning to explore the world, the AFVC destination guide available on their website offers a lot of options to choose from. Their website not only offers domestic or international vacation options but also user reviews which will make your selection process a lot easier.

When you choose a destination, the website allows you to compare various resorts in the area that are available. Some of the domestic and international destinations offered by AFVC are;

  • Domestic Vacation Spots:

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

  • International Vacation Spots:

Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Canada, Caribbean, Central/South America, Europe, Mexico, and the Middle East.

2. Accommodation Options

When it comes to accommodation options, there are more than 4000 choices you can choose from worldwide. If you are an eligible member, you can book any one of them, some of them costing less than 50 Dollars per day. You can book your chosen accommodation from anywhere between 2 days to 365 days in advance. And once you have booked your favorite listing, that unit will be taken out of the reservation list which will guarantee your stay.

3. Offers and Deals!

One of the biggest benefits of being a member of the Armed Forces Vacation Club is the plethora of offers and deals that you get. There are different rates and offers for each budget that starts at 349 Dollars a week. Your upgrades, add-ons, and the time of the year you have chosen for your vacation will affect the final rate of these vacation deals.

  • Space-A-Vacation:

This is a one week offer that has a fixed price of 349 Dollars per week. So whether you are a couple of a party of 6, the rate will be the same because the price is dependent on the accommodation and not on the number of people. The website allows its members to choose the amenities, rates, and activities and sort out their accommodation according to these guidelines.

  • Last Minute Vacations:

This offer is for the premium members of the AFVC. This program allows premium members to book hotel rooms or studio apartments for 309 Dollars per week. If you are looking for more than one room, then the rate jumps to 329 Dollars per week.

  • Short Stays:

This offer is for those members who are in search of a 3 to 4-night vacation in a comfortable and relaxing condo.

  • High Demand Getaways:

High demand getaways offer larger accommodation units in a high demand resort during peak tourist season. These resorts are in some of the most sought-after destinations in the world.

  • All-Inclusive Package:

This offer is the most expensive of the bunch since it includes all food and drinks costs. This offer is helpful as it makes it easier for you to calculate the budget for the trip. This offer does not include the everyday resort fee, so keep that in mind when you are budgeting your trip.

  • Vacation Deal On New Resorts

The AFVC offers a 50 Dollars discount on every new addition of resort to their list. The recent vacation deal includes newly built resorts in Hawaii, California, South Carolina, and Florida. If you want to take advantage of these deals, you must keep monitoring the AFVC website regularly.

  • Popular Holiday Discounts:

During the holiday season, the AFVC gives out special discounts in the spirit of the holiday joy. These holidays are Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Easter, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. If you are planning a getaway during any of these holidays then, we advise you to book early as these offers are limited.

Military Vacation Club

4. Resort Certificates

When you are a member of the Armed Forces Vacation Club, you are eligible to buy a non-refundable resort certificate. This certificate is valid for a friend or a family member. The certificate holder can then browse from the inventory and choose their favorite vacation destination. These certificates have an expiry date and must be used within one year of buying. You can upgrade your stay at the time of booking. Whether you want additional nights or an upgraded room, you can do it all. The cost of upgrading ranges between 250 Dollars and 1500 Dollars.

5. Club Reviews

The Armed Forces Vacation Club is promoted by the Department of Defense and the Department of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. The department of morale is responsible for the leisure services for the military. This department deals with all the deals that have been negotiated to facilitate our veterans and serving members. This enables them to offer great deals and discounts on various vacation location, and a portion of each sale goes to the military.

The reviews that you find on TripAdvisor are designed to tell you about the pros and cons of the resort or a condo instead of telling you about the benefits of the AFVC. A typical review on TripAdvisor fails to convey the price you pay if you are a member of the AFVC member.

6. Pros and Cons

The biggest pro of the AFVC membership is that it is free compared to most of the other vacation memberships that you might have come across come with a price tag attached to it. On the other hand, a major con is that you have to stay a whole week in a single destination. Moreover, the accommodation that you prefer might not be available during the peak traveling season. In addition to that, the resorts’ and accommodations’ inventory may differ or may not be available at all. This all depends on whether they are a part of the AFVC network or not.

7. Discounts and Comparing Other Options

When you compare your cost with other booking platforms like Expedia or Booking.com, the AFVC rates are very discounted in comparison. When you are comparing your options, it is important to add the same dates and read the details of the room thoroughly to make sure you are not comparing apples with oranges. When you are looking to save money, it is never a bad idea to do a bit of homework before deciding anything. Some examples of comparing offer among AFVC, Expedia, and Booking.com are;

  • A one-week stay at Velas Vallarta Suites Resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for two bedrooms is $845 on Expedia and $349 on the AFVC website.
  • A stay at the Grand Beach Hotel in Miami, Florida in a three-bedroom suite is $1,449 on Expedia and $869.99 for standard AFVC membership, and $807.29 for premium members.
  • In the Berkshires of Massachusetts, a week at the Berkshire Mountain Lodge on Booking.com is $837, compared to the AFVC offer of $349.
  • In the high demand area on the AFVC website, Barefoot in the Keys, Florida starts at $688 a week for a one-bedroom and, on Booking.com for the same time, the room is $1,021.

This assessment was taken from travel.lovetoknow.com.

8. Tips and Tricks to Get the Best Experience

The AFVC is like any other large vacation club. Its inventory changes almost daily. If you are looking to go on a vacation while saving a lot of cash, you must keep an eye on the website and plan your getaway accordingly. Apart from that, there are some other considerations as well that you should keep in mind.

  1. Be Flexible:

When you are planning your vacation, you must stay flexible. There may not be that many deals during the peak season as the accommodation offered might be time-shared or the resort space is not in use.

  1. Budgeting Your Time:

Resort stays or timeshare often require a one-week stay, therefore you must plan and make sure that you have enough time to spend and avail of this offer. If you are looking for a shorter getaway at an all-inclusive resort then you might have to pay a bit of extra cash.

  1. Always Compare:

To get the best price on your vacation, it is very important to compare your deal with other booking platforms, to make sure you are getting the best value.

  1. Being Proactive Is Key:

When you are planning a vacation, you must be taking charge. Researching the resort you are planning on going to helps a lot. You can adjust your expectations as well as compare your offer with other options available in the market.

  1. The Devil is in the Details:

If you planning to go to an all-inclusive resort, it is important to read every line of the disclaimer with the utmost attention. You will come to know that the daily resort fee is not included.

9. Getaways On a Budget!

If you are a member of the armed forces, and you are looking to go on a vacation then, the Armed Forces Vacation Club offers some of the best deals you can find anywhere. With their diverse listings to free of cost membership, the AFVC is the perfect platform to plan your annual vacation. All you need to do is be aware of some of the limitations of the membership, plan your trip to avoid any inconvenience, and understand that if you are planning to go during the peak seasons you might have to a bit of extra money.

Final Word About The Armed Forces Vacation Club:

The Armed Forces Vacation Club is an organization that is built on the notion that our armed forces deserve the best. And to back their claim, the club offers weeklong space-available resort stays which cost so low that would make you think that it is too good to be true. Starting from 50 Dollars per day, these deals are an absolute steal.

The Armed Forces Vacation Club inventory is one of the largest ones you can find anywhere with access to accommodations in more than 100 countries with a wide range of options. The options start from a studio apartment to a two or three-bedroom apartment. The best part is that these rental properties are fixed priced. That is because the units are priced according to the accommodation and not the number of people. This is my favorite military vacation club out there!

Would you consider it related content if I included a link to my Airbnb Hosting article here? Maybe Airbnb hosting isn’t specifically a part of this military vacation club but you staying in, or hosting a short term rental is fun too!

References:

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David Pere

David Pere

David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to teaching personal finance and real estate investing for service members, and the working class!

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