Hotel and Lodging:
The Hale Koa – This resort hotel is owned by the United States Department of Defense and is a great resource in Waikiki (where all tourists should try to stay at!) for military members and their families. It is located between the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Outrigger Reef Hotel. There are two hotel towers, three restaurants, a full gym, an arcade, 3 swimming pools, snack bars, lounges, and a beach side Barefoot Bar for adults. There are a several different military discounts and rates range from $91-$289 per night, all depending on how you served in the military (deals are offered for widows and foreign military as well) and the type of room you’re looking for.
If you’d rather stay at a beach cabin than a hotel room, make a reservation at Bellows Air Force Station- This United States military reservation is about 20 miles away from Waikiki near Waimanalo. They offer cheap cabins, campsites, and a condo unit. Some smaller and less expensive campers have no toilets or bathrooms, so make sure you know how “wild” you want to get.
Hale Koa Luau – Located in the Hale Koa Hotel, it’s less expensive than larger luaus and better for the family. They have a very talented 11 year-old champion fire dancer who performs, and they serve dinner family style at your table. There is a multitude of games and entertainment options on the lawn before the dinner and show.
Pearl Harbor – This magnificent and tragic site is one you can only see in Hawaii. You can see the USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, USS Oklahoma Memorial, and Pacific Aviation Museum. The USS Arizona Memorial, Boat Transfer, and Museum are free, as well as the Bowfin Park Outdoor Exhibits and Submarine Memorial. The other exhibits cost a small fee. If you want to visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial, for military, admission is $17 once you get to Ford Island instead of the $22 at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. In Oahu, there are many military discounts so don’t forget to ask and show your military ID when you get to the exhibit!
Hawaii Shark Encounters – In Haleiwa, you can swim with the sharks! You’ll go out on a boat, and then with your snorkels, get lowered into a cage surrounded by huge sharks and protected by a polyglass window. You’ll also be given plenty of facts about shark biology, behavior, conservation issues, and how they relate to Hawaiian culture and mythology. Normally for adults the price is $105, but for military you’ll get a $15 discount, which brings it down to $90. Kids under 12 are $75.
Hanauma Bay– Go snorkeling at this beautiful and popular snorkeling site. There are tons of unique and colorful fish to see, and it’s perfectly safe for kids. Since Hanauma Bay is a nature preserve, everyone over the age of 12 is required to pay a $7.50 entrance fee, but active duty U.S. Military get in for no charge.
By Military Travel Exchange