Traveling for military members and their families is easier thanks to a resourceful tool called the MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation). The MWR is an office that is located on more than 2,000 U.S. military bases around the world. This organization is designed to provide community support and quality of life programs for members of the Armed Forces, their families and retirees. Some of their services include planning nearby trips and providing equipment for those trips (for example skiing, camping and kayaking). Prices the MWR offers are normally more cost effective compared to the prices outside of the military installation.
Many of the activities the MWR promotes involves the outdoors. They know how stressful the military life can be, so they encourage service members and their families to take time to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Many military families appreciate how the MWR makes family trips easier. Some of the equipment they provide are tents, fishing poles, skis/snowboards and even car rentals.
Coming from a military background, this is something that myself and many other family members are grateful and thankful for. Before purchasing any tickets for any show or theme park, it’s always good to check with MWR. In the past, they’ve provided discounted tickets for shows in Las Vegas, Disneyland and Disneyworld and discounted tickets to Universal Studios. Keep in mind that some dates for certain parks/shows are not available, so it is good to double check with your nearest MWR office to see what is available to you.
Based on personal experience, the MWR office made planning a vacation overseas much easier. Because of this organization, my family and I were able to enjoy our time while living in Japan. Every weekend, the MWR had trips planned that visited different locations. Locations we would never think of venturing to. Another perk to these trips is being able to have a driver (no need to worry about transportation), and a tour guide who was also our translator. The tour guides gave us information about where we were going and the significance and history of that specific location. If you are overseas and want to travel in that area, MWR is the way to go.
The MWR is also very good at putting out information for free events that are happening on and off base. From fireworks on the 4th of July to free concerts, the MWR keeps their community updated and informed. Check your nearest MWR office to see what free events are available to you and your family.
Making New Friends
Going on a vacation doesn’t always mean having to travel far away. Why not make a day trip and attend an MWR function (for example fundraisers, picnics and barbeques)? These events allow military families to meet one another. Moving every three to four years can be tough and also lonely at the same time. Being able to meet other people who can relate to your lifestyle makes a positive impact.
These are only some of the many resources and tools the MWR has to offer. Every location is different, depending on where the service member is stationed. Whether you are looking to travel to a near or far location, check and see what the MWR has to offer. They could potentially save you money, making your trip more enjoyable.