Best Vacations For Military Families Overseas
If you are stationed overseas, or even if you are not, taking a family trip to an overseas location can be a great way to spend time together. There are plenty of options, and many interesting things to see. For that reason, we’ve put together some of the best vacations for military families overseas.
Best Vacations for Military Families Overseas
Here’s a list of some great places to vacation if you’re stationed overseas.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a German ski resort town, in Bavaria, Germany. The Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak, is right there. This can make for an amazing vacation for military families because of where you can stay and all there is to do there, during all four seasons of the year.
You can stay at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, which is a US Department of Defense-owned hotel and resort which opened in 2004. Edelweiss does have a list of eligibility requirements with affordable rates for staying in Bavaria. They offer hotel rooms, vacation cabins, campgrounds, and dog-friendly accommodations.
Whether you choose to stay at the resort or stay somewhere else in the area, you will be able to find a lot to do. You can go on a hike, go see Neuschwanstein, take a drive into Austria, go skiing or snowboarding, or spend time in the cute downtown area of the town. You can also check out the Garmisch military post where you can find a small Commissary and PX.
Go On A Cruise
Taking a cruise with your family can be a great idea when you are overseas. Europe has a lot of options from taking a Mediterranean cruise to a Baltic one.
The best thing about taking a cruise is that you can see a lot of different places in a short amount of time. You also don’t have to keep packing and unpacking at every stop. Many cruise lines have childcare or options for the kids during the time you are at sea.
USAA offers deals on cruises as well as your local SATO or MWR Travel office. You can go for just a few days or longer, depending on leave and how much money you want to spend. If you are stationed in Europe, it will be easier and a lot cheaper to take a cruise from there vs when you move back to the United States and would have to pay a lot more money to fly to the same cruise ports to start your cruise.
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If your family is a fan of Disney, plan a trip to Disneyland Paris during your time overseas. There are military discounts on hotels, as well as family-friendly Disney partner hotels. At Disneyland Paris, you will find Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park as well as the hotels, and a campground called the Davy Crockett Ranch. There is also a Disney village with shops and food, that will remind you of Downtown Disney.
Military families can find 50% off of adult and child tickets on 2-day/2 park and 3-day/3-park tickets. They can be purchased in person with your military ID. Tickets can be bought for the service member and up to 4 others. You can get to Disneyland Paris from other parts of Europe by flying, driving, or taking the train.
For those stationed in Asia, a trip to Tokyo, Japan can be a good idea for a vacation for military families overseas. You can stay in downtown Tokyo at the New Sanno Hotel, which is an American-style hotel for Military ID holders and their families. You can stay in a traditional Japanese room, or more American-style rooms. There are many different dining options, and the hotel is close to many different destinations.
While in Tokyo you can go on walking tours, full-day sightseeing tours, go to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, go to the zoo or museum, visit Legoland, and the Imperial Palace and Gardens.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul, South Korea can also be an amazing place to explore with your family. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and is the country’s biggest city. Visiting in the spring or the fall is the best time to see what the city has to offer. If you go in the spring, you can take in the beautiful cherry blossoms, with April being the best time to go.
While in Seoul, you can visit a lot of the sights around the city. Take in the Changing of the Guard at Changdeokgung and Gyeongbokgung Palaces, climb to the top of the N Seoul Tower, which is 480 meters above sea level, go shopping in the Myeongdong Shopping District, or go skiing, sledding and snowboarding at Oak Valley Snow Park if you are there in the wintertime.
While not an international locale like the others, Hawaii offers great opportunities for military families.
If you are stationed in Hawaii, there are many different trips you can plan to the other islands, such as Maui, the Big Island or Kauai. You can easily travel there on a short plane trip and stay for just a weekend. You can also explore Oahu and all that island has to offer.
You can stay at the Hale Koa Hotel, which is an oceanfront retreat for military families right on Waikiki Beach. You can get a room with an amazing view, with plenty of places to eat right on the property. While in Oahu, you should make the time to visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial to see a part of history. You can also spend time at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, relax on Waikiki Beach, see the island on a bus tour, go on a walking tour, go snorkeling, or go on a glass-bottom boat.
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Wherever you are stationed overseas, make sure to take advantage of travel opportunities in your area. Even going on day trips every month, or a big trip after a deployment is a smart idea. Check and see what is available from your military installation or plan your own trip using travel guides. Taking your family to see the sights will make for great memories and you will be glad you did once you move back to the United States.
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About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.