Ways to Save This Holiday Season

Fri, Dec 16, 2016 @ 08:12 AM Guest Blogger Military Life, Travel Tips


You don’t have to travel far — or spend a sleigh full of cash —to create holiday memories that last longer than Aunt Edna’s fruitcake. Whether your plans call for a quiet holiday at home or a grand adventure, a little planning and deal-sleuthing can keep the green in your pocket and the good times rolling.

Focus on Experiences

Experiences are popular among consumers, particularly among younger ones, and taking a trip, whether close to home or halfway around the world, is a perfect way to enjoy quality time with loved ones — a gift unto itself.

Choosing your destination wisely can mean big savings, says Corinne Vela-Zapata, a product management director at USAA. She adds that it pays to scout out destinations closer to home in Central Texas, such as resort packages for USAA members through Explore Cruise & Travel, or in Florida and a host of other locales that are easier on the budget than an island getaway.

“There are great resort stays for families that want to do something outdoorsy or different; some are even pet-friendly,” says Vela-Zapata. “You don’t have to go to Cozumel or Cancun. You can do a resort and have a great experience in the U.S.”

Travel Takeaways

Before you hit the road or hop a flight, remember:

  • The car rental program for USAA members charges no extra fees for an additional driver or young drivers, and it includes unlimited miles.
  • Burglars know the holidays mean empty houses. Help protect your home — and your holiday — with a home security system. ADT offers discounts for USAA members on security systems, including deals on installation, service and monthly monitoring.  
  • No matter how far you travel, consider travel insurance, which can radically limit your losses if a trip is canceled or cut short by illness or other unforeseen circumstances.

“Let’s say you’re on a great ski trip and you break your arm,” Vela-Zapata says. “Travel insurance could cover your medical expenses or costs from having to cancel or change your plans. That product is very important when you are doing big, thrilling excursions or traveling adventures.”

Holidays Bright, Budget Light

When it’s time to buy gifts, sharpening your discount savvy will keep your budget in the black.

  • Take advantage of deals at more than 800 merchants participating in the MemberShop program for USAA members. Signing up means you save with discounts and still accumulate any rewards your credit card may offer. Shoppers can save $10 plus rewards for $150 or more in purchases made on MemberShop between Nov. 14 and Nov. 20, says Pamela Hawley, a product management director at USAA.
  • Ship smart. Don’t spend a fortune sending packages to friends and family. USAA members who sign up for a free account with FedEx are eligible for discounts. 
  • Floral arrangements are a beautiful way to decorate for the season. Whether you are hosting a party or want to treat the host, members can save 35% in December on a Holiday Cheer bouquet and 25% on all other floral orders through FTD.
USAA members get exclusive deals and discounts.

By Kate Hunger for USAA. Content provided courtesy USAA. Used with permission. 

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The ADT home security program for USAA members is offered by ADT Security Services, Inc. Two-year monitoring agreement required. All prices, terms and conditions subject to change. For conditions, restrictions and license information, please call or visit usaa.com and select Shopping and Discounts.

Depending on the merchant, members receive between 1% and 20% of the retail purchase price in rewards on their purchases.


The discount applies to FedEx Priority Overnight®, FedEx Standard Overnight®, FedEx 2Day®, FedEx Express Saver®,FedEx International Priority® and FedEx Ground. Savings apply to transportation charges only, not to special handling fees, surcharges or other charges, including duties or taxes. Rates not available to package consolidators. Credit card required to establish an account. Discounts and availability are subject to change.

A discounted service fee of $13.49 will be added to each item delivered by a local florist, and standard service fee of $16.99 to each item shipped direct, although service fees may be higher based on day of delivery or product type or during high volume holiday periods. If an item is not available, a comparable substitute will be provided. Due to the perishable nature of our products, please make any customer service inquiries within 7 days of delivery. 25% discount is applied to the standard retail prices set forth on the FTD.COM website (standard retail prices shall not include sale prices) and is not applicable to any products featured under “Add a Gift”, or fees such as service fees, shipping/handling fees or applicable taxes. This offer is not available in retail stores. Promotion cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. ©2016 FTD.COM Inc.