After years of service, military retirement holds endless possibilities like traveling abroad without assignment. Read below for the go-to traveler’s guide for military retirees and more information on saving after duty.
Space-A Resources and Forums
Space-Available flights (otherwise known as “Space-A”) are non-commercial airlines solely used for the carriage of service members, retirees, veterans with disabilities, and their families. Flights are typically no or low-cost. Due to its unpredictable scheduling and seat availability, Space-A travelers need to be flexible and must plan accordingly.
Start researching about Space-A travel at AMC. This military site provides answers about eligibility, updated posts and news, and an interactive map of all Space-A terminals. Always seek out AMC for the most up-to-date information.
Military OneSource is a reliable database of resources. Visit this online site for a simple breakdown of category eligibility and necessary forms.
SpaceA.net is an unofficial site with additional Space-A information. Look to the directory on FAQs on flying, lodging, and dependents who use Space-A.
This Blogspot site has a unique graphic layout for visual readers. Along with the usual flight maps and terminals, check out the alternative transportation markers like car rentals and bus schedules.
This website is authored and maintained by a military retiree. It’s a great resource for Space-A base and lodging information. Click on the state or country to view details at the intended location.
TakeAHop is a remote request form for Space-A airports. Authorized DoD users can access the website from a PC or via a mobile app. Read all fine-print before proceeding. Doing so will not guarantee a seat.
For more information, visit our page Space-A Travel Tips
This social media platform is popularly used by the military community. Facebook Groups are designed to cater to specific needs or common interests of a group. If you are an active Facebook member, join these closed groups to get answers or insight to your travel needs.
This is the largest Space-A Facebook hub of the roughly 250 Space-A Facebook terminals online. The group consists of over 80,000 members but does not serve to answer individual questions, rather posts daily updates on Space-A travel and policies across the United States.
It’s a good idea to identify your category before traveling. Retirees are often CAT VI and can join this unofficial Space-A group to get focused answers to their questions.
While you’re there, visit this Facebook group recommended by the USA Mil Forums group. These groups are smaller and can answer a greater capacity of specific questions that you may have regarding your travel retiree status.
Travel swapping and housesitting is a great way to stay at non-establishment housing and save money. The group is monitored by a military retiree for Space-A travelers who would like to swap houses and cars, host, or pet sit.
This is a Facebook club for those who want companionship along the way. UJ Space A Traveling Club is monitored by the same administrator as the house swap group and is a closed group for active Facebook members.
Dawn Crowe is a former certified travel agent and military spouse. She posts deals and discounts on cruises in and around trans-Atlantic lines.
Personal narratives are a useful resource for those who would like tips or advice about traveling abroad as a retiree. Many of the blogs listed are retired or active-duty service members and their families, so you’ll not only get the scoop on how to get to your destination but unique things you might encounter during your trip.
The authors, Sean and Julie Chickery, blog about their RV travels on their 30’ Arctic Fox Fifth Wheel after 20 years of service. Their blog showcases their statewide experiences, camping experiences, and advice on financial travel.
Todd, Theresa, and their seven children have traveled for over 20 years all over the world. This blog is useful for readers who are curious about what it’s like to navigate continents as a family. They not only blog and vlog about their awesome excursions, but they review products and gear. Read more and be sure to check out their incredible pinpoint travel map.
Co-founder, Scott Drake, is an Air Force retiree and one of the authors of the Ecuadorian-travel based blog. NYAA specializes in the culture and landscape of Ecuador but is expanding to other Andean nations and South America.
Former Marine, Jonathan Tompkins, and his wife, Teaya tour the globe with their small children in tote. They’ve managed to travel via RV, sailboat, and Space-A.
Personal Financial Websites and Resources
Planning ahead before retirement can help you meet your travel goals. Here is a list of informational websites and blogs on financial topics and budgeting for military members.
The Military Guide is a website authored by former Navy sailor, Doug Nordman, and inspired by his book, The Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement. After struggling with personal finance and the everyday family budget, Nordman and his wife have lived over 20 years in retirement with financial independence. He collected his knowledge and that of over 60 veterans to help those who wish to budget for retirement.
Military Life Planning seeks to educate and advise former military and active-duty on benefits, pay, taxes, budgeting, and savings. The blog author, Daniel, is a retired officer who focuses on optimizing the dollar for service members.
Military Discount Categories
Cristina Van Orden is a literary writer and active military spouse. She holds an MFA from Antioch University and taught K-12 English before working in editorial. Cristina currently resides on base with her husband and children.