Ultimate List of FREE Vacations for Military & Veterans

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There are FREE vacations available to military members and veterans. Here’s how to get one!


Take advantage of these FREE vacations for military families! 🇺🇸

Here at Hip2Save, we honor those who have served and feel they deserve the very best care including support and much-needed relaxation. Fortunately, there are several organizations that have stepped up to the plate to provide the therapeutic R&R our soldiers need.

Many of these organizations offer free lodging, meals, and exciting outdoor activities like horseback riding, rock climbing, and fishing!

We compiled a list of the very best FREE vacations, retreats, and events for veterans, active military, and their families. If you know of someone who could use some respite, pass along this helpful list!

Discounted or free vacations, retreats, and day trips available to military families:

The Charlie Long Cabin at the Active Heroes military retreat
Credit: Active Heroes

Active Heroes in Kentucky offers free cabin rentals to active military and veterans.

Created for military families by military families, the Active Heroes Retreat Center seeks to provide a supportive environment for service members. They offer free cabin rentals to military members and veterans. Bring along your family – including your well-behaved pup. Each rental comes with a fire pit and gas grills. Enjoy the hiking, archery, and playground included on the property.

Receive a special discount when you stay at Antler Ridge in the Kansas City area.

The cabin at Antler Ridge is a perfect place to unwind. It can accommodate up to 7 guests. Come stay for a visit and enjoy the 231-acre lake and 11 miles of mowed trails where you can fish, hunt, and watch for eagles. Combat veterans can stay at a special rate. Visit their website to inquire about a reservation.

Armed Services YMCA runs a camp just for military kids.

Moving from state to state can be difficult. Operation Camp provides children of military families the opportunity to make lasting connections with their peers. The program aims to help military children build confidence and social skills. It also teaches them coping techniques to deal with the challenges of being part of the military community. Each year, there are sponsorships available to attend.

In addition to Operation Camp, the Armed Services YMCA offers a plethora of programs and events that military families can access.

B&Bs for Vets lists inns across the country that offer a complimentary night stay.

Need a quick getaway? This website has a list of B&Bs across the nation that offer free vacations for vets – usually a one-night stay for free. Though the site has some outdated verbiage for 2022, the B&Bs listed may have 2023 specials if you reach out to them.

Credit: Band of Runners

Take a long weekend to enjoy trail running at the Band of Runners Trail Camp.

Veterans and surviving family members can score free vacations when they join the Band of Runners Trail Camp. In 2023, you can join the group as they run various trails at the H.E. Butt Foundation Camp outside of Leakey, Texas. You’ll stay at Linnet’s Wings, a campsite across from the dramatic cliffs of the Frio River. You’ll enjoy camaraderie and get valuable information from elite coaches and runners. This opportunity is open to those of all experience and fitness levels.

Base Camp 40 offers FREE outdoor adventure vacations to veterans.

Are you a veteran who is craving some outdoor time to restore, rest, and connect? If so, Base Camp 40, Warriors in the Wild has a pretty sweet offer for you. They take veterans on excursions to hunt and fish in the great outdoors. They have hosted over 400 veterans since inception. Visit their website to register.

Enjoy A PGA Tour event thanks to Birdies For The Brave.

The PGA And Birdies for the Brave have teamed up to help our military members! Not only does this organization raise money for several military and veterans charities, but they also offer complimentary or discount tickets for active or retired military.

Men from the Black Dagger Military Hunt Club on free vacations in Africa
Credit: Black Dagger Military Hunt Club

The Black Dagger Military Hunt Club provides free vacations – even to Africa – to veterans and active military.

Connect with other active and retired military members at The Black Dagger Military Hunt Club. They serve all veterans – well and wounded – regardless of where or when you served. They also work with those who may have a spinal cord injury, loss of sight, post-traumatic stress, or traumatic brain injury.

Get outdoors and join them for one of their trips that focus on hunting, fishing, and shooting. This year, they are raising funds to offer veterans vacations to Africa!

Receive FREE admission to Blue Star Museums.

From Armed Forces Day through Labor Day, active military personnel and their family can receive FREE admission to Blue Star Museums. This offer also extends to National Guard and Reserves. Enjoy some downtime with the family at your favorite nature centers, zoos, and museums. Over 2,000 museums participate! Visit their website for more information.

Active or inactive military personnel can stay for FREE at Blum’s Landing in Michigan.

Created in honor of Sgt. Trevor A. Blumberg, Blum’s Landing is a bed and breakfast retreat dedicated to serving those who have fought during the War on Terror. Enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation. There are plenty of activities to enjoy in the wilderness of Michigan like fishing or kayaking on Orchard Lake and hiking near Ocqueoc Falls.

The Boulder Crest Foundation retreat center in Virginia that offers free vacations to veterans and military personnel
Credit: Boulder Crest Foundation

Get free vacations in Virginia or Arizona thanks to the Boulder Crest Foundation.

This organization sponsors a Family Rest & Reconnection (R&R) program for active and veteran military families. Stay for 2 to 7 nights FREE of charge. They run two locations. One is a stunning property on 37 acres in Bluemont, Virginia outside the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here you can do equine activities, fishing, art, archery, and more.

Their other location is a desert haven located on 130 acres in Sonoita, Arizona near the Coronado National Forest. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, archery, and more! Head over to their website to book your stay.

Family Fun Days is a no-cost Florida event hosted by the Camaraderie Foundation.

Gather up your crew for some family time. Family Fun Days events take place in Orlando and Tampa. It’s a day long event where veterans and their families can reconnect and make good memories. The event is hosted by the Camaraderie Foundation, a group dedicated to providing counseling to military and veterans at no-expense. Visit their website to learn more or see a list of upcoming events.

Take your family on a free trip to Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk, WI.

Head to summer camp with your family in tow. Camp American Legion is free of charge to active and inactive military members who reside in the state of Wisconsin. The camp has a veterans resource center, chapel, beach, craft shop, and private hiking trails. You can boat or fish too! Plus, the camp has a dining hall where all of your meals are provided! Visit their website to see a brochure or register for a stay.

They also offer grief getaways and free vacations for widowers and widows of military spouses.

Camp Bliss in Minnesota offers no-cost or discounted retreat getaways to veterans. 

Visit Walker, Minnesota and stay at Camp Bliss, an alcohol-free vacation retreat center located on 48 acres of beautiful nature. You’ll be surrounded by three scenic lakes as you enjoy some downtime with other veterans. Though there are some no-cost trips, most of the retreats at Camp Bliss seem to cost around $75 and the fee includes a multi-night stay and all of your meals! Head to their website to see a brochure or register.

Children and counselors at Camp Corral which gives free trips to military kids
Credit: Camp Corral

Camp Corral offers free camps for kids and for military families.

Looking for grief getaways to support children of ill, wounded, and fallen soldiers? Camp Corral is a free camp nationwide that helps these children learn coping mechanisms and create connections with peers. The only payment required is a $30 fully refundable deposit that holds the child’s spot at camp.

As of 2023, Camp Corral is also offering Family Camps at different locations across the country. Families of ill, wounded, or fallen soldiers get first dibs at available spots. Visit their website to register or see the dates and locations.

Military and veteran families receive free vacations at Camp Gratitude in Minnesota.

Spend a week together with your family at Camp Gratitude, located in St. Croix, Minnesota. This camp is specifically for veteran and military families that have experienced deployment. Your lodging will include a fully furnished cabin with flat screen TVs and wi-fi. You’ll also have access to professional family counselors should you need support.

The 2024 retreat is scheduled for June 14th – June 21st at The Veterans Campground on Big Marine Lake. The organization is currently accepting reservations. To get a no-cost trip, book through Camp Gratitude.

You can also book a stay directly with the Veterans Campground on Big Marine Lake, which is accessible to veterans and military families throughout the year at an affordable rate.

Head to Camp Liberty in Michigan for archery, fishing, hunting, and more.

Camp Liberty sits on 137 acres of beautiful Michigan wilderness. The camp is used to facilitate outdoor reaction programs for veterans, active military, and their families. With the help of sponsors, they also occasionally offer free special events like NASCAR races at the Michigan Speedway. Visit their website for additional information.

Visit Camp Patriot which is a 90-acre Montana ranch dedicated to helping vets.

Apply to visit Camp Patriot, a massive Montana ranch that has access to over two million acres of back-country wilderness. The ranch has two guest lodges, a working barn, and a greenhouse. Ranch activities include horseback riding, ATV adventures, cross-country skiing, hiking, fishing, and more!

Looking for info on veterans vacations? Try the Veteran Family Camp run by Camp Southern Ground in Georgia.

Located in Fayetteville, GA, Camp Southern Ground offers a no-cost vacation for veterans and their families. Participate in fun and engaging activities that are designed to help your family connect and communicate with one another. You’ll also get a chance to support and network with other military families. A $200 deposit is required to reserve your spot. At the end of your retreat, you can choose to get a full refund or donate it to Camp Southern Ground.

Camp Southern Ground also offers a summer camp for military children aged 7 – 17. Visit their website to find more information or register for one of their camps.

a veterans vacation at Camp Twin Lakes
Credit: Camp Twin Lakes

Camp Twin Lakes in Georgia offers free vacations via their military family programs. 

Active and retired military can load up their family and head to Camp Twin Lakes in Georgia for a Family Warrior Weekend. Reconnect with one another and build new skills. You’ll enjoy activities like archery, boating, swimming, wall climbing, and more. Preference is given to families who have experienced combat and trauma or those with a traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress, military sexual trauma, and female veterans.

The only cost to you is a refundable deposit of $50. Head to their website to see the upcoming dates or register.

Attend the non-denominational Christian Warriors Retreat in Texas.

This Christian retreat center in Yorktown, TX hosts two programs that are both completely free of charge and include lodging, meals, and snacks.

The first is the Christian Warriors Retreat for male or female veterans and first responders. These retreats focus on healing and connection through music, worship, and small gatherings.

The second program is the Warrior Wives Retreat which was created for the girlfriends, fiancées, and wives of veterans or first responders. You’ll spend time sharing testimonies, breaking into small groups, worshipping, and reflecting.

Visit their site to register today.

Seek alternative therapies at no cost to you at the Dare To Dream Ranch in Rhode Island.

Enjoy fly fishing, woodworking, beekeeping, equine therapy, horticulture therapy, and agri-therapy at the Dare to Dream Ranch. These services are no-cost to service members, veterans, and their families. Visit their website to learn more about the facility.

Deployed Family Outdoors hosts trips for military families in Texas and Louisiana.

If your family enjoys outdoor adventures, check out the organization Deployed Family Outdoors. They are dedicated to providing memorable vacations where families can embark on new adventures and connect with one another. They have a focus on hunting, fishing, and community. Visit their website for more information.

Mickey Mouse at Disney World

Military members can enjoy a BIG discount at Walt Disney Word.

Spoil your family with a trip to Walt Disney World. Their website doesn’t specify the exact discount on lodging or admission, but we hear it is pretty sizable. Each year, there are only a limited amount of spots available so make sure to book soon. You’ll need to shore your military ID upon arrival. Visit their website for more information on who to contact and what is included.

Eagle Rock Camp in North Carolina offers free vacations for those who want to restore their families.

Families who wish to strengthen marriages and heal from trauma are welcome at Eagle Rock Camp. The Christian-based organization promotes faith in action. Enjoy a retreat where your family can participate in interactive workshops and therapeutic recreation. Activities may include kayaking, hiking, archery, art, dance, journaling, campfires, and more. The organization is proud to report that none of their alumni has fallen victim to suicide and 97% of their marriages are still intact. Visit the organization’s website for a list of upcoming retreats.

Heal through nature with free veterans vacations from Eagle River Outfitters in Iowa.

This organization has a beautiful lodge in Washington, IA where they host free retreats for veterans and their families. The property is surrounded by 40 acres of woods and hiking trails. Come for a relaxing retreat where you can hunt and fish with others. The organization has a focus on accommodating disabled veterans and also serving Blue Star, Silver Star, and Gold Star families.  When not in use, the lodge can be rented as a VRBO and all proceeds go towards hosting retreats for veterans. Visit their website for a list of upcoming events.

Military members can score a discounted vacation through Epic Pass.

Active and retired military get a discounted rate at some of the most highly-rated parks across the globe. You’ll find the pass valid at vacation spots from the Rockies to Switzerland. The discounts are valid on food, lodging, golfing, hiking, skiing, and more.

Enjoy boating and discounted stay at a Florida cabin through FAVE Boating Expeditions.

If you’re near Ruskin, Fl, check out FAVE Boating Expeditions. Military, veterans, firefighters, and police offers can enjoy complimentary boating trips and a discount on lodging at the My Warriors Place Retreat Center.

Two veterans at the Fishing for Freedom free vacation and tournament

Fishing for Freedom offers veterans free vacations to participate in fishing tournaments in Illinois & Missouri.

Head to Quincy, Illinois for a fun-filled 3-day event. Participate in a no-cost fishing tournament and enjoy other activities like a fish fry, archery, and seeing live music. No fishing license is required as the state has provided an exemption for this special event. Visit their website to register. They also host a similar event in Truman Lake, Missouri.

Full-time active military members receive a discounted rate at Forest Home in California.

Apply for a Campership from Forest Home. You’ll receive reduced rates to the Forest Home Family Camps or the Men’s Retreat, Women’s Retreat or Children’s Retreat. This Christian-focused retreat provides meals, lodging, and activities like waterslides, mini golf, ropes courses, and zip lining. They even have a shack shake that provides yummy desserts and coffee. Visit their website to register.

Enjoy an outdoor excursion with Freedom Hunters.

This organization provides outdoor adventures to active military, combat veterans, children of the deployed, families of fallen soldiers, and those who have been wounded or injured. Excursions focus on hunting, fishing, and marksmanship. Apply for an adventure today.

Freedom Waters Foundation of Florida provides boating and fishing trips to veterans.

This organization provides therapeutic fishing experiences to veterans. Excursions take place year-round in Southern Florida with special annual events in Atlanta and Indiana. Visit their website to sign up.

Score FREE tickets to college sporting events thanks to Gameday For Heroes.

Attend a sporting event free of charge. Apply for Gameday for Heroes and you and your entire immediate family can enjoy some quality time at a college baseball, basketball, football, or other sporting event. Join other military families for a fun-filled tailgate. Visit the Gameday for Heroes website to sign up!

soldier playing with a dolphin at a Gratitude America military retreat

Enjoy a 4-day free military vacation through Gratitude America which is based in Florida.

This organization provides free veterans vacations to those who have served the country. Connect with peers and enjoy an immersive nature-based retreat. Examples of activities include yoga, kayaking, and dolphin experiences. You’ll develop coping skills and have access to a personal counselor if needed.

They also host vacations for widowers and widows of the fallen. Plus, they have small groups and online support for combat veterans and first responders. Visit their website for more information.

Join the Heroes’ Hunt for Veterans in Waupon, WI for camaraderie and great food.

The organization Heroes’ Hunt for Veterans is located in the Wisconsin wilderness. On many Friday nights, they host a fish fry and on many Saturdays, you can participate in a hunt and a steak dinner. Applications for the 2024 hunts are now being accepted.

Home Base runs free events in New England and also offers clinical treatments for healing vets.

Join the Adventure Series at Home Base and attend one of their free New England events for veterans, active military, and their family members. You may participate in hikes, skiing, or even baseball games. In addition to these free events, Home Base supports several clinical treatment programs to help those healing. Visit their website for additional information.

Score a FREE membership to the Heroes4Horses Equestrian Center in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Family Equestrian Center offers free memberships to active-duty military and veterans (and also first responders, teachers, and nurses). The center is located on 2.5-acre ranch in northern Las Vegas. You’ll be able to get heavily discounted horseback riding lessons and enjoy a plethora of activities for military members. Visit their website to claim your membership.

The House in the Woods retreat center where military vacations and veterans vacations are free

Head to Maine and enjoy free vacations for military members at House in the Woods.

The mission of House in the Woods is to provide life-saving healing to active military members, veterans, and their family members in the form of free therapeutic retreats and grief getaways.  Located in Lee, Maine, the center is surrounded by expansive wilderness and provides ample opportunities for kayaking, fishing, canoeing, swimming, wildlife observation, and connection.

The center is owned by Paul and Dee House who made it their mission to help others after losing their own son, hero Sgt. Joel House, their community member, hero Sgt. Blair Emery, and many of the men’s fellow soldiers to roadside bombs in Iraq. Visit their website to print a brochure or register for a retreat.

Hunts for Healing in Pennsylvania offers free veterans vacations for post 9-11 combat vets.

Enjoy home-cooked meals, supplies, and sleeping quarters when you attend an event run by Hunts for Healing, located in Pennsylvania. Several of the staff are vets themselves and are dedicated to providing you with a healing environment. Events consist of small squads. Each participant will be assigned a mentor for their stay.

Enjoy outdoor activities geared toward physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. These may be hunts, fishing outings, or even family camps. Several guests of Hunts for Healing have eventually gone on to become mentors or staff themselves! Head over to their website to see what they’re all about.

In Honor Of Our Troops hosts free vacations for veterans and active military at over 600 resorts.

Save up to $7,200 for a week-long vacation by booking at one of the 600 partner resorts of In Honor Of Our Troops. The organization is affiliated with popular hotels like Club Wyndham and Holiday Inn. You can bring whomever you wish to join you (provided you are not above the resort occupancy limit). Visit their website to view the different resorts and apply for a free vacation. Expect to wait around 12 weeks to find out if you’ve qualified for the trip.

Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch in Minnesota offers grief getaways and free retreats for military members and their families.

This faith-based program is free to all attending. They host grief getaways, family camps, marriage camps, and programs for disabled veterans. Depending on what time of year you visit, you’ll experience activities like snow tubing, sleigh rides, craft projects, horseback riding, zip lining, mini golf, swimming, and more. Visit their website to register for an upcoming event. Lodging and retreats are free of charge though there may be a refundable deposit required to secure your spot.

The Kieve retreat center where veterans get free vacations

Head to Maine to enjoy a free military vacation at the Kieve Veterans Camp.

Kieve Wavus Education (KWE) offers three different no-cost veterans vacations where vets can enjoy a week of stress-free relaxation. They offer a special Vietnam Veterans Camp, a Women’s Veterans Camp, and a camp for all vets and their families. Enjoy fun activities like an outdoor high ropes course, snowshoeing, pottery, woodworking, fishing, ice fishing, cross-country skiing and more. The camp is funded by KWE with the support of many organizations including the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA).

Join a Mountains Move Warrior Retreat to practice horsemanship & climbing in Colorado.

Enjoy a 7 to 14 day retreat led by a staff of veterans. The focus is on healing and recovery. During this time you’ll enjoy delicious meals, cabin lodging, camaraderie, campfires, relaxation, and adventure. Active duty, guard, reserve, and veterans of all services are welcome. Visit their website to apply or learn more.

Interested in helping Mountains Move raise funds? If you love to rock climb, join their 14ers For Veterans fundraiser where the Mountains Move team is attempting to summit all 53 of Colorado’s 14,000 feet mountains. They aim to raise 1.5 million dollars by Veteran’s Day 2024 and you’re welcome to join them in their efforts!

My Warrior’s Place in Florida offers low or no-cost programs for military members & first responders.

This retreat center was founded by Kelly Kowall in honor of her amazing son, Spc. Corey Kowall, who lost his life to an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan. She and her dedicated team aim to provide honor, support and hope to those who have served and their families. You can enjoy a stay in one of their cottages or RV spots for an extremely discounted price. Proceeds go towards funding their various programs which also include boating expeditions. Currently, My Warrior’s Place operates in Ruskin, Florida with plans to move to Punta Gorda, FL. Visit their website for more information.

The National Military Family Association hosts camps in multiple locations.

Make happier memories when you sign up for one of the FREE Operation Purple Programs including family retreats or week-long camps for military children. Based in Alexandria, VA, the National Military Family Association hosts these camps at several locations including in TX, AZ, NC, MA, AK, and more. Visit their website for more information.

Receive a military pass to receive FREE admission to National Parks.

For just a $10 processing fee, you can apply for an annual military pass to the country’s National Parks. Your dependents can receive a pass too! Visit their government website for more information on who is eligible and how to apply.

New Hampshire State Parks give free day passes to disabled veterans and active military.

Enjoy a free day at a New Hampshire State Park. This discount is for the service member only. See their website for more information.

The Northwest National Horsemanship Center in WA hosts FREE Warrior Family Retreats.

Head to Falls City, Washington for a weekend getaway with your family. On-site are Equine-Assisted Certified therapists and professional natural horsemanship instructors. You’ll learn to ride a horse, do equine-assisted team-building exercises, have a BBQ and campfire, and do other family and couple activities. These retreats are completely FREE vacations for military families with hotels and meals included! Visit their website to sign up.

Credit: Operation at Ease

Enjoy free vacations in North Carolina thanks to Operation At Ease.

Active duty military personnel and their families can enjoy a complimentary weekend of rest and relaxation in beautiful St. James, North Carolina. These free vacations are “no catch.” You’ll receive a two night stay in a condo and your meals are also provided! You’ll receive Friday dinner, Saturday and Sunday breakfasts completely prepared for you and waiting in your condominium upon arrival. For Saturday lunch and dinner, you’re provided a voucher for lunch at a local restaurant.

You also receive a free activity which could be mini golf, a trip to the aquarium, or a boat ride. Lastly, you’ll receive access to the St. James Beach Club and two swimming pools. Gather up your family and enjoy a well-earned FREE vacation! Visit their website to apply.

Go camping in select Maryland state parks thanks to Operation Campout.

Grab your sleeping bags and some food and go camping in select Maryland state parks for a low rate per night. Operation Campout will supply the rest of your gear at no cost to you. This includes a tent, sleeping pads for six, a cook stove, chairs, a lantern, and more. They will even supply you with some recipe ideas and a packing list. Your pup is welcome to join you, as well. The parks that participate include Cunningham Falls State Park, Swallow Falls State Park, New Germany State Park, Rocky Gap State Park, Patapsco Valley State Park, Pocomoke River State Park, and Janes Island State Park. Visit their website to learn more or book a reservation.

The Cabin used for Operation Black Hills Cabin

Enjoy a relaxing week with family in South Dakota courtesy of Operation Black Hills Cabin.

Operation Black Hills Cabin provides a week-long getaway in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota to qualifying combat-wounded veterans and their immediate families, from any post-9/11 military operation at little or no expense to them. OBHC is the perfect opportunity for families to get reacquainted in a leisurely, therapeutic environment that’s quiet, peaceful, and far away from the stresses of daily life.

To be considered, you can head here and submit an application if you meet the qualifications.

My family had the honor to go last summer, and we had the most amazing time! The organization and really the whole town make such a special, memorable time for military families— a great time to heal, reconnect, and of course have fun! – Hip Reader, Mary

Attend a Northern California event for free thanks to Operation Comfort & Care.

If you’re located in the San Francisco Bay area or Northern California, you can receive complimentary tickets to a sporting event or entertainment event. These tickets are for military active duty, reservists, veterans, military retirees, and Gold Star Families located in California. Donated tickets usually come up at the last minute so sign up in advance to be considered. Make sure to follow the Operation Comfort & Care Facebook page too and they often announce available tickets. Head to their website to sign up for their Tickets For Troops program.

Operation Oasis at Sandy Cove Ministries in Maryland offers FREE vacations.

Any service member (including those in the Reserve of National Guard) who has returned home from a deployment in the last 12 months may receive a FREE stay at Sandy Cove Ministries for themselves and their immediate family. Sandy Cove Ministries is a non-denominational and non-profit organization that hosts these FREE stays year-round. See their website to apply.

Two people on an Outward Bound FREE Veterans Expedition in the mountains

Take a 5-7 day FREE vacation in the wilderness thanks to Outward Bound.

Want to refresh and restore your body and mind by exploring nature? Join Outward Bound. They host FREE veterans expeditions across the country. These wilderness outings are open to active duty military and veterans of all conflicts who have been deployed. Some of the recent expeditions include Blue Ridge Mountain backpacking, Maine coast sailing, Florida Keys sailing, Joshua Tree backpacking, and more! Visit their website to register.

Soon you can head to Hill Country in Texas to stay at the Patriot’s Hall in Dripping Springs.

Patriot’s Hall is a 10-acre permanent retreat for veterans and their families. They are currently building out the campus to include rotating art classes, therapeutic workshops, fitness trails, a gathering hall, a fishing pond, and even a wellness center. The campus is currently being built and developed, but keep it on your radar for the future!

Project New Hope offers FREE vacations to military families in a number of states.

Enjoy a complimentary weekend retreat for you and your family (or a friend) thanks to Project New Hope. Connect with one another while exploring the wilderness. All meals are provided. You just need to bring your sleeping bags, blankets, fishing license, and personal items. Counselors are on site if you wish to speak with them. Visit their website to find a retreat in your area.

Head to the Northeast to Project New Hope, Inc. and join one of their several retreats.

There is another organization called Project New Hope, Inc. and it hosts a variety of military retreats in the Northeastern States. In 2023, they are hosting a Post Traumatic Stress Veterans Retreat in CT and a Men’s Trauma Retreat in MA. In the past, they have hosted LGBTQ Military Retreats, Equine Military Retreats, Caregiver Retreats, and Family Retreats. All retreats are at no cost for lodging, meals, and activities. There may be a refundable registration fee to hold your spot. Visit their website to register or learn more about the program.

Military families on a white water rafting excursion thanks to Project Sanctuary

Project Sanctuary hosts therapeutic retreats in several different states.

Are you an active military member or a veteran looking for hope and healing? Project Sanctuary retreats are staffed by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists. licensed counselors, and social workers. For just a $100 reservation fee, you and your family can join one of their 30 annual retreats. Lodging, meals, and activities are all provided at no cost to you. Activities are designed to help your family reconnect and build trust with one another. Several workshops, like Strengthening Family Finances, are provided along with fun recreational activities like hiking, horseback riding, swimming, bowling, white water rafting, zip-lining, and more. This year, retreats are located in WA, CO, GA, MD, and TX. Visit their website to register today.

Spend a free week at the Boundary Waters with the Richard L. Bong Veterans Historical Center.

Join other vets for a FREE week-long retreat at the Boundary Waters. You’ll go fishing, camping, and do other fun activities with other veterans. They take applications every spring so mark your calendars! The Richard L. Bong Veterans Historical Center is located in Poplar, Wisconsin and they also serve FREE Thanksgiving Dinner each year to vets and their families. Visit their site for more information.

Visit Rick’s Place in North Carolina for free from dusk until dawn.

Rick’s Place is a 50-acre interactive green space that is located 5.5 miles from Ft. Bragg. Military families can access the park for free year-round! Rick’s Place was created in honor of Sergeant 1st Class Richard J. Herrema who lost his life in the 2006 Operation Iraqi Freedom. Visit their website for a list of rules and additional information about the park.

Score FREE SeaWorld Military Tickets through the Waves of Honor program.

Thanks to a program called Waves of Honor, active military members can receive complimentary tickets to several amusement parks, like SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, for themselves and up to three direct dependents. This offer also extends to National Guardsmen and activated or drilling reservists!

Not only that, but many of the parks offer additional savings throughout the year and some also have special deals for veterans.

Challenge yourself with a week-long experience at Semper Fi Odyssey in Pennsylvania.

Enjoy a week-long retreat with other veterans at Semper Fi Odyssey. You’ll work together as you engage in high adventure activities and various resiliency classes. The retreats are designed for retired and active service members who are ill, injured or wounded. Outdoor Odyssey also hosts camps for the children of military members, ages 9 to 18. Visit their website for more information or to register for a retreat. The program is not limited to those serving in the Marines.

S.K.I.F.F. sends military children on FREE fishing trips in Texas.

S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun and they host FREE fishing trips in Salado, Texas. Children separated from a parent due to military duty, children of Gold Star Families, and children of disabled vets are eligible to participate. The trip is free of cost and paid for by the Austin Fly Fishers group from Austin, TX. Visit the S.K.I.F.F. website to learn how to register.

Soul Survivor Outdoors hosts events across the country – including the Caribbean.

Join up with fellow soldiers at a Soul Survivor Outdoors event. This faith-based organization hosts a variety of retreats out in nature, including the California Coast, Joshua Tree, and the Rocky Mountains. Visit their website to register.

Three horses in a field
Credit: Special Liberty Project

Attend a nature-based healing retreat hosted by the Special Liberty Project of NC.

The Special Liberty Project hosts several retreats for veterans and grief getaways for Gold Star Families. Attend a Veterans Exploring Together retreat to focus on connection while you camp, hunt, fish, and more. Or, attend a nature-based vacation for widows and Gold Star mothers where you’ll learn skills like yoga and meditation while also doing activities like hiking. They also host a series of Equine Retreats for Veteran Spouses where you can participate in non-riding trust-building activities. Visit their website for more information or to register for an upcoming event.

The Sportsman’s Foundation for Military Families put on Hunts For Vets.

Find healing through participation in outdoor sports. The Sportsman’s Foundation for Military Families hopes to teach you the coping skills needed to thrive. Active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard are all eligible. So are honorably discharged veterans and immediate family members of those killed in combat. Those with disabilities are more than welcome, so please apply if interested.

Visit Colorado’s Spring Canyon Conference Center for an affordable rate.

The Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF) hosts events for the military and their families throughout the year. Join them for an adventure. Do a retreat at Spring Canyon, a 107-acre campus surrounded by the San Isabel National Forest. Here they host the Rocky Mountain High event where you can do rappelling, whitewater rafting, climbing, and more in the Colorado backcountry. This four-day/three-night trek costs $610 but for those needing financial assistance, there are scholarships available. Visit their website for more information.

Take A Soldier Fishing hosts FREE fishing events in Oregon.

Spend a day of fishing with other soldiers who are veterans or active military. The day is of no cost to you. Come join an event to experience camaraderie and sportsmanship. Head over to their website to keep an eye out for any new events.

Tents for Troops offers FREE camping at various sites across the country.

This cool initiative is a “pay it forward” program where veterans and active military are gifted a free two-night stay at a campground or RV park. To score these free vacations, you will need to reserve your spot in advance and show your military ID upon check-in. Visit the Tents for Troops website to see a list of participating parks – there are TONS of them!

Head to Manistee, MI and join the Tight Lines For Troops Annual Fishing Tournament.

Get ready to cast your reels! The Tight Lines For Troops organization hosts an annual fishing tournament for Michigan veterans. This free event books up fast. Registration for the 2024 event opens on November 1st, 2023. Visit the Tight Lines for Troops website for more information.

Hip Tip: For discounted tickets to sporting or entertainment events, verify your military status with Ticket Club.

Visit Maine and stay at the Travis Mills Foundation Retreat Center – all expenses paid.

Injured post-9/11 veterans can receive an all-inclusive, all-expenses-paid experience at the Travis Mills Foundation Retreat Center located in Maine. Enjoy rest and relaxation while bonding with other veteran families. They offer multiple programs including a family program, the Warrior PATHH program for those with trauma, a virtual program, and even a caregiver program. The retreat now has a Health & Wellness Center right on site! Visit their website for more information on the programs and to learn about the wounded warrior who started it all, Retired US Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills.

The Sandpearl Resort hosts free veterans vacations and grief getaways thanks to Troop Rewards
Credit: Troop Rewards

Troop Rewards sponsors free vacations to places like Key West & Clearwater, FL.

Looking for some R & R? Apply for an RnR retreat hosted by Troop Rewards. They select a certain number of families to participate at each retreat. Past retreats have been at places like The Sandpearl Resort & Spa in Clearwater, FL and the Sunset Key Guest Cottages in Key West. You’ll have plenty of time to relax and will also have the opportunity to meet other military families in similar situations. Visit their site to apply for an upcoming retreat.

Hip Tip: Love conservation efforts and being on the water? All veterans and first responders can receive a FREE one-year membership to Trout Unlimited, which includes four issues of TROUT Magazine, access to special offers, and membership to a local TU chapter.

Find community with the Fresh Air Program by The Unquiet Professional (nationwide).

The organization The Unquiet Professional fights for our military and veterans. They offer the Fresh Air Program which hosts wilderness retreats across the country like hiking the John Muir Trail in California and exploring Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness. The goal is always to revive your sense of community and connect with others. Visit their website for more information.

Find healing with the Ultimate Veterans Adventures which run retreats nationwide.

This program is open to veterans, Gold Star Families, and first responders. Go hunting and fishing with others in the military or first responder community. Visit their website to register or send an inquiry.

Join a non-cost sailing clinic hosted by the Valhalla Sailing Project in Maryland.

Feel a sense of camaraderie with other veterans. The Valhalla Sailing Project aims to decrease suicide among soldiers through the art of sailing. Each year, they host sailing clinics at the Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, MD. Everything including your lunch and a Saturday BBQ are included. If you’re interested in learning to sail, visit their website for more information.

Veterans on a mountain summit holding up a sign
Credit: Veterans Expeditions

Get adventurous with a low cost trip hosted by Veterans Expeditions (nationwide).

For a low cost of around $25 a day, you can join other veterans for some serious adventure. Veterans Expeditions runs vet-led outings across the country that are designed to uplift and empower. They are certainly worth looking forward to doing! Mountain biking in Moab, rafting in New England, and rock climbing in the Grand Tetons are all examples of recent excursions. Visit their website to buy a ticket for an upcoming trip.

Get FREE tickets to sporting and entertainment events across the country with Vet Tix.

Vet Tix provides FREE tickets to military and veterans. You’ll pay a small delivery fee for your tickets, but that’s it! The purpose of Vet Tix is to show recognition for your service and help boost the quality of your life. Sign up on their website to see available tickets to over 2,000 events nationwide.

Enjoy a day of fishing on Saginaw Bay, Michigan thanks to Walleyes for Warriors.

This annual fishing tournament is at no cost to veterans. Join up for a day of camaraderie on the water. In 2023, 200 vets joined in on the fun. The event kicked off with a hot dog lunch at the marina on Saturday. Come Sunday, vets were assigned a captain and a boat for a fun-filled day of fishing. Keep an eye out on their website for next year’s event to be announced. You’ll want to register right away to reserve your spot.

Veterans Back 40 motorcycle tour is a free vacation for veterans

Enjoy a Northwest outing with Warfighter Outfitters & their Veterans Back 40 Adventure.

Connect with other veterans out in nature. Warfighter Outfitters regularly does outdoor adventure retreats in the Northwest that are focused around hunting and fishing. Check EventBrite for upcoming events. Those who enjoy motorcycle riding can attend the Veterans Back 40 Adventure where beginners and experts ride motorcycles off-road. Visit the VB40 website for more information.

Hike, bike, or paddle long distances for FREE with Warrior Expeditions (nationwide).

Warrior Expeditions was created with the intent to help soldiers transition from combat. Enjoy a long-distance expedition at no cost to you. Equipment, clothing, supplies, and training are all provided. These free “vacations” span a few months time to allow you to clear your head and reconnect. Join the Warrior Hike program to trek the country’s best long-distance trails like the Appalachian Trail, Arizona Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and more. The Warrior Bike expedition lasts from May to July where you’ll bike The Great American Rail Trail. Meanwhile, the Warrior Paddle Trail runs from June to September where you will paddle the entire Mississippi River. Visit their website to sign up or learn more.

Post 9-11 veterans can join a fishing or hunting trip with Warriors & Quiet Waters in MT.

This program was started to help post 9-11 combat veterans and their caregivers find support and healing. They offer several expeditions that can help you find a sense of purpose and community. Join a beginners or caregivers fishing trip or join the Hunt For Purpose program. These trips are completely FREE “vacations” and include airfare to Montana, lodging, and meals. Trips last 5-8 days and your service dog is welcome to join. Visit their website to apply.

Enjoy free vacations at Wilwin Lodge Sanctuary in Custer, Mi.

Veterans, their families, and their service dogs can enjoy a respite at Wilwin Lodge at Cygnet Cove. You may stay up to 5 days a year at no cost. Fresh linens, towels, and cooking utensils are provided, but you’ll be responsible for your food. There is a 65-acre lake, swimming beach, and playground on site. There is also a deer sanctuary nearby and 15 miles of trails for hiking, biking, or golf cart cruising (golf carts are available on the premises). Therapeutic activities like equine therapy may also be available. The lodge is also located near golf courses, wineries, a casino, and sand dunes. Visit their website to book your stay.

Female veterans get no-cost stays at the Women’s Veterans Glamping retreats in Maine.

Take a veterans vacation to Maine where you can go deep sea fishing or go glamping in a Yurt. Lodging, food, and activities are provided. Enjoy the camaraderie and connection of other female veterans while experiencing the majestic wilderness of Maine. Visit their website to register for an event. As they receive many applications, spots are chosen via an anonymous raffle.

Younglife hosts retreats for soldiers and their families in various parts of the country.

The Christian organization Younglife hosts 5-7 day-long events for soldiers and their families. Each event is conveniently located near different bases like Ft. Hood or Ft. Carson. These trips are at no cost to you except for a small registration fee. Your cozy lodging and food are provided. Sign up today to enjoy some family time out in nature.

Hip Tip: Military and veteran families get a 15% discount on stays at the YMCA Family Camp Pinewood in Twin Lake, Michigan. Use promo code PWMIL15 to snag the offer.

Don’t miss these recent deals available to active military and veterans!

About the writer:

Kara is a writer and photographer from the Midwest. Her creative work has appeared in various publications over the past decade. With a background in finance, she loves to be money-savvy.

Join The Discussion

Comments 20

  1. April

    Wow! This is a great list. Thank you for taking the time to put it together. I sent it to my daughter and son-in-law who is in the Coast Guard. I know they will be excited to use some of them.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, April! πŸ’“ So glad this post will be helpful to your family! πŸ€— Thanks for passing it along!

      • Tree

        By any chance you know of a program that helps fly a parent to see their child when there station in Germany?

        • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

          Great question, Tree! We’ll keep an eye out for that and I’ll be sure to ask the team if they have any tips! πŸ’—πŸ’—

  2. acgold

    THANK YOU! This is an amazing list. I am going to pass these along. My husband is a wounded veteran and knows many at the VA that could use these retreats, services and therapies.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re most welcome, acgold! πŸ₯° Sure appreciate you sharing with others! Thank you for your family’s service. ❀️

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome! ❀️ Thank YOU so much for the super sweet feedback, nldaadmin! I’ll be sure to pass along your comment to the team! πŸ₯° We’re so glad you enjoyed this post!

  3. ev

    I agree with the above commenters. It’s a comprehensive and very useful list. Thank you so much for the time and effort it took to research and compile it. Many of the offers are totally new to me.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome! Very happy to hear how helpful this list is for you, ev! πŸ€—πŸ’–

  4. riss

    Excellent list. I already send the link to the golf/PGA tour to my husband.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you, riss! Glad you enjoyed this list and was able to share with your husband! πŸ₯°

  5. Brent C

    This might be one of the most comprehensive list of benefits for unknown or “non-mainstream” discount offering for military members that I have ever seen. Thank you for taking the time to put this list together. I plan to save the post link, so I hope to be able to reference in the future as needs arise.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome! Thank you for the super sweet feedback on this post, Brent! πŸ€—πŸ’–

  6. Amanda

    Thank you for the time and effort put forth on this amazing list! I’m certainly going to be looking into many of these. Appreciate this so much!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, Amanda! πŸ’ž Happy vacation planning! πŸ€—

  7. Rainy

    Seaworld offers 6 free daily tickets per year for active/retired/dependent duty members! Must purchase at gate

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for mentioning that, Rainy! We have a post on that offer here, if you wanted to see the details on that. We’ll get it added to this list too! πŸ™Œ Much appreciated! πŸ’ž

  8. Mary

    Thank you for compiling all of this! Can you add another to the list? Operation Black Hills Cabin is a week long retreat in Custer, SD for combat wounded veterans. My family had the honor to go last summer, and we had the most amazing time! The organization and really the whole town make such a special, memorable time for military familiesβ€” a great time to heal, reconnect, and of course have fun!

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome, Mary! Thank you for sharing about your experience at Operation Black Hills Cabin! I will pass this request along to the team! πŸ€—πŸ₯°

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