Have you heard of the Armed Forces Vacation Club (AFVC)? It’s a website that promises seven-night stays at resorts around the world for only $349…total — like for the whole week! Hard to believe right? Well, we bit the bullet and tried it out to see if it really does what it promises. Spoiler alert: This is the real deal folks. If you’re looking for military travel deals, you do not want to miss this one!
What Is It? Is It Legit?
The Armed Forces Vacation Club is a website that helps you book stays at over 200,000 resorts or hotels in more than 100 different countries. Like Expedia.com, Hotels.com, and any other such travel site, AFVC does not own the properties. They just help you book them. Many of the properties listed are Wyndham Resorts.
And, yes, it’s a legit site through which you can book actual resort stays around the world.
Is it a Club You Have to Buy Into, Like a Timeshare?
We’ll answer that with our own short answer — nope — and a word from the AFVC website: “A membership with Armed Forces Vacation Club is free to all active-duty, Guard, reserve, and retired U.S. military and civilian employees of the Department of Defense.”
You can opt to buy a premium membership, which has certain benefits, like early access to deals, but if you choose not to do so, you are not required to pay anything other than the price of the hotel.
Are They Actually Good Deals?
OMG — yes! We stayed at a resort in Orlando, Florida in October 2018. Here’s a breakdown:
- What we got — We stayed in a two-bedroom suite with a fully stocked kitchen and a washer and dryer about 25 minutes from Disney World, across the street from Universal Studios.
- What we paid — Through AFVC, we paid $349 for a seven-night stay. That’s exactly $349. We didn’t pay any extra fees for this one.
- Normal rates — If we had booked it directly through the hotel, we would have paid roughly $1,190 (before taxes and resort fees), according to their published rate online.
They do have several different types of rates — some of which are normal hotel prices, particularly during peak seasons at in-demand resorts. But, if you can snag one of the space-A rates, you’re getting the type of deal outlined here.
As a bonus, they often sell discounted certificates for as low as $299. You purchase these first, then book your resort stay. However, you aren’t just buying these and blindly hoping something is available. You can still search available resorts before you purchase the certificate. This gives you the option to buy a certificate and use it later, or buy a certificate and book the resort you want immediately. Just be sure to read the fine print as the certificates usually have “travel required by” dates.
What’s the Catch?
It sounds too good to be true, right? Thankfully it’s not! The only catch is that they have limited availability at the lowest rates. If you’re willing to travel offseason and are flexible with dates or locations, then you need to check this out. The cheapest rates are the space-A type. However, this does not mean you can be bumped from your reservation. It just means the hotel you want may not be available at that rate on the dates you want.
The Armed Forces Vacation Club is one of the best legitimate travel deals available to military members and their families. It can save you a ton of money on your next family vacation. You can book up to a year in advance and don’t have to pay anything upfront. You have nothing to lose and potentially hundreds of dollars to save!
Our own fine print: Neither the author nor Daily Mom Military received or were promised compensation for writing this article. This is a genuine review of the author’s experience with AFVC. The pictures in this post are screenshots of the AFVC website for explanation purposes. They are not advertisements.
Photo Credits: Eastern Sky Photography NC