Military Space Available Travel-Trip Plans A and B  
   
by Ed Prifogle

         ed
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These are troubled times when travelling abroad. Use caution and plan thoroughly.

If I can assist you in any way, my  email address is gprifogle@cox.net

Lost Luggage Advice

BOOKMARK THIS PAGE to look at some alternative military space a travel resource suggestions. This page assists you to :

  1. Plan and Research your Space A Trip (Plan A)
  2. Helpful Hints When Stranded (Plan B)
  3. Cheap air fares, and Lodgings in the event of travel difficulties
  4. Medical and personal emergency information
  5. An article on Military Space Available Travel .
 
A Suggestion
drink 



1. Plan and Research Your Space A Trip-PLAN A

The key to a successful Space A trip is planning.. There are several methods for planning and researching your trip. A suggested approach involves asking yourself several basic questions:

a.  Where do I want to go?

b.  How much time do I want to spend on vacation?

c.  What do I want to do?

d.  How much money do I need?

e.  What type of clothing and equipment i.e. cell phones, lap tops, cameras do I require.?

f.  If driving to the AMC center, where to I find long term parking?

g.. Do I understand the Space A signup instructions?

h. What other resources do I need, to do what I want to do?

i. Do I have an alternative plan in case of emergencies like who to contact?

j. Do I have a Military Space Available Travel Guide

k. Have I read these tips for women travelling alone or with children?

l. Have I researched the type of aircraft I may be flying and does it require any special considerations.



After answering these questions, view this link as the first step prior to taking your trip. Then write your answers in a trip planning document (Plan A).   Travel planning is the key to an enjoyble and rewarding trip. 

The internet literally makes it possible for you to take your planned trip in the Virtual World. It allows you to visit the destinations virtually, create the mapping of your proposed trip down to the finest detail, as well as view the experiences of others.

Read other Space A traveler trip reports and more trip reports to your selected destinations.


2. Helpful Hints When Stranded-PLAN B

Bring along your Space A Travel Survival kit which includes:
  • Your Trip planning book, log, or document (PLAN A)
  • Your Space A Travel Guide for military lodging information
  • A printed copy of this page
  • A credit or debit card with sufficeint funds to buy a one way fare either to or back from your destination or a travel voucher (see below)
  • A sleeping bag or sufficient funds to stay in a hotel. Check with the USO for best sleeping arrangements
  • Snacks and goodies. You do not want to miss your flight while eating in a restaurant
  • Reading material. I suggest a big novel. It can get pretty boring waiting all day and evening in the terminal
  • A cell phone or pager (See paging instructions below)
  • The phone number of a wealthy relative that you are on good terms with and the information on the closest Western Union Office
  • Do not isolate. Speak with the PAX representative and the USO. They are there to assist you.
  • Talk to your fellow strandees. They are not the enemy. They are in the same situation you are in. Some are very experienced travelers and know the best procedures to follow.
  • Consider sharing resources and information with your fellow passengers. Sharing the expense of a rented auto and lodgings could save you considerable money.
  • Form a group of strandees and set up a paging system using a cell phone or pager. Its a great way to avoid anxiety. You will be able to eat, relax in your hotel room, see the sites, and not spend hours viewing the AMC center decor.
  • Misery is optional. Be creative. This situation could be the most enriching time of your space available travel experience. Meeting new people and sharing your experiences with others are what space available travel is all about.

                              NOTE:

For travelers who live in the interior of the country, most major AMC Centers are located on both coasts,  A connecting commercial flight to the desired AMC center may be  the best option These links offer reasonable connecting airfares to major AMC Centers both foreign and domestic.

3. General Travel  Discount Resources

Military Travel
Space Available and MWR Library Resources
Travel  Discounts
Lists the best travel discount sources on the Internet.
 Travel Aids
A complete list of Travel Assistance and Planning Sources

Special Travel Discounts

                       AIRFARES and TRAINS

HOTWIRE
PRICELINE
CHEAP FLIGHTS
Southwest Airlines Discounts
Jet Blue
Airtran
BEST DAILY AIRLINE RATES
ORBITZ-Over 400 airlines discounts
US Airways
Daily Airfare Bargains
Discount Airlines Foreign and Domestic
European Travel Resources
Asian and Australian Travel Resources


                     CHEAP LODGINGS

Best Inns
Military Discounts at Quality Inn, Choice Hotels, Clarion Hotels
Days Inn-Senior and Military Discounts
Microtel Inns
Red Roof Inns
Eurotrip Hotels and Hostels
Hostels
More Hostels
Free Foreign Lodgings
Hickam Lodging Info





4. Emergency Contact Information

The USO is a good source for transportation and lodging assistance in foreign countries.  For difficulties encountered in Foreign Countries, contact the nearest US Consulate Office. Contact information is located on the following sites:

US Consulate.-Financial,  Legal and Medical Assistance
Hospitality Club-Possible Free Lodgings
Western Union
USO-Transportation and Lodging
Travelers Aid

5. Flying Military Space Available
        
                         Warning:

Because of recent world events, approach each trip in a foreign country with caution
.

Military Space Available Travel is an adventure. Like any adventure it contains unexpected and surprising experiences.  It allows you to fly for free on military aircraft on a space available basis to and from many foreign and domestic locations. In most cases, this privilege saves you the cost of the airfare. and coupled with the use of Military MWR and other resources, most trips can be financially rewarding. To assure that your Space A trips are successful economically, experienced Space A Travelers plan their trip before hand and expect the unexpected.

For some Space Available Travelers, the adventure and the uncertainty are its appeal. If you have to get to a specific location within a specific time frame, I suggest that you fly commercial. Approach your trips with anticipation and in some cases, with only a general idea of where you wish to fly and when you intend to get there. Ending up in different locales en route, and talking with other Space A travelers in AMC Centers throughout the world are part of the Space Available Travel Adventure. Finding yourself in out of the way places should be viewed as enjoyable and rewarding experiences. These experiences become part of your new Space A story. Space A Travel also keeps you in touch with your military society.


The key words for Space Available Travel are flexibility and contingency planning. Experienced Space Travelers have a Space Available Travel Guide with them at all times. There are no guarantees that you have a seat until boarded on the aircraft. All Space Available flight bookings are one way. You should always brings sufficient funds in case you have to buy a commercial flight home, or pay for a hotel while waiting for a return flight. With the exception of Patriot Express flights, there are no assurances of the type of plane, the arrival and departure times, hot meals, and comfortable seating.

You must consider several factors prior to flying Space A. Two factors are the time of year, and the destination of the trip. In general, its best to make Space A travel plans during off peak travel periods of the year. For example,  avoid returning from Europe in late June as many seats are used by students returning from Europe. Also summer time is when the active military take their children on vacation using up most Space Available travel resources to and from Europe. To fly Space Available within this time frame,  have an alternative plan. Also trips to Hawaii in the fall and winter are very popular.  Prepare yourself for long waits at the AMC terminal for a return flight, and have sufficient money for a commercial hotel and a possible commercial return flight.

In some instances if the goal is just to save money, flying commercial makes more economic sense then flying Space A. For example, if extensive travel to the AMC center is required, and the ultimate destination requires extensive travel from the destination AMC Center, the realized savings by flying Space A might not exist. A direct round trip commercial flight from the departing location to the ultimate destination might be cheaper. Combining a commercial flight with staying at military lodgings may be the best alternative especially during space a travel peak periods.


For up to date flight information,  call Amish Airlines
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