Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventures

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Photo Courtesy of Traveling Wonk

By Maryann Hammers

Want to travel to exotic lands? Hit the high seas? Learn to cook authentic Italian — in Italy? We’ve found military discounts for all that and more.

Take a tour


Traveling Wonk, a travel firm specializing in the island nation of Sri Lanka, offers custom tours focused on wildlife conservation, culture, education, and geo-political issues. “Tours are led by university professors who are experts in their fields,” says CEO and Founder Chris Helli, an Iraq War veteran who served as armor officer in the U.S. Army. He offers military veterans a 20-percent discount. Call (612) 234-5726.


Namu Travel Group, a network of luxury Central America-based travel agencies, offers active duty military personnel a 10-percent discount on custom vacations to Costa Rica (call 800-606-1860), Panama (call 800-237-3237), and Nicaragua (call 8660347-4012).

Sail the seas


Sunsail, a yacht charter company, rents monohulls and catamarans in 25 destinations worldwide. “This is great for anyone looking to get the experience of boating with resort-style accommodations in places from the British Virgin Islands to Greece, Thailand, and beyond,” says Andrew Silverstein, the company’s assistant marketing manager. Active duty military members get a 20-percent discount on yacht charters departing within 30 days. There are a few restrictions: For most destinations, you’ll need to book at least five to seven days, and Tonga, Italy, and Vancouver Islands are excluded. Call (877) 651-8661 for details.

Cook in the Italian countryside


La Tavola Marche, a farm, inn, and cooking school in Le Marche, Italy, offers a 10-percent discount to active duty military members with ID. The centuries-old stone farmhouse has five guest apartments and “feels like a little slice of home deep in the Italian countryside,” says owner Ashley Bartner. “Over the last 10 years, we’ve had many wonderful military [members] stationed in Europe [as our] guests.” Book online using promo code MILITARY2017. The offer is valid through Dec. 31, 2017, except for July and August.

Ride a Harley


Harley-Davidson offers a free Riding Academy for military members (learn to ride free — more details here). A bit of trivia: The first American to enter Germany after World War I — just one day after the signing of the armistice — was a corporal riding a Harley. “We are extremely proud of our deep ties to the military,” says spokesperson Tim McCormick.


If you plant to visit Milwaukee, don’t miss the Harley-Davidson Museum, with exhibits that cover history, art, design, and pop culture. Active duty and retired military members with ID and anyone over age 60 get in for $14 (regular admission is $20). During the week of Veterans Day, admission is free. The museum is open daily, year-round. Call (877) 436-8738.

Dress for the occasion

Aviator, a line of high-quality, California-made clothing combines style with function, so you’ll always look great, no matter where your travel adventures take you. Owner Colby Kane — the son of a Vietnam Army veteran — offers veterans 20-percent off Aviator’s line of premium travel and active wear. Plus, shipping and returns are free. To get the discount, order online, using code USVET. Call (877) 500-7664 for more information.