MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
For some Marines, booking a flight back home to see family or planning a vacation with the a loved one can be a hair-pulling ordeal. Flights need to leave as soon as possible to make the most of their leave while also ensuring that they make it back on time to check back into their unit. Additionally, hotels, amusement parks or cruises all need to be reserved ahead of time if they plan on doing either of those things and save money as well.
Luckily, the All Points Travel and Information Tickets and Tours help center, near the Main Exchange aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, offers active-duty Marines, their spouses and Department of Defense personnel help with all their travel and vacation needs.
All Points Travel can assist in finding an airline to wherever a service member wants to go, be it Dinosaur, Colo. or Indonesia.
“We call and look around to see which airlines have saved seats which are offered to service members at a reduced rate,” said Dawn Eden, manager of the ITT and APT with Marine Corps Community Services. “And this is offered to our service members for free, all they need to do is come in and tell us their vacation plans.”
The APT does not only work with airlines, if requested they can help book train tickets and even cruises. The Single Marine Program with MCCS recently used All Points Travel to help book cruise tickets to the Bahamas for more than 45 Marines.
“If we can find a military fare when someone comes to us, as opposed to them just looking for tickets online, their prices won’t beat ours,” said Eden. “What can help us help them save even more money is if they come to us a few weeks before they’re on leave, that way we have more time to look for cheaper fares.”
Once a destination is decided on, the vacationers usually want to see what the town, state or country has to offer, which can require them to dish out a few more dollars. For that, located right next to the All Points Travel, is the ITT center.
The ITT helps service members with purchasing tickets to a variety of amusement parks, museums, tours and concerts from Washington D.C. to Florida. Tickets for other events past Florida or D.C. can be arranged but it is not something that is always on hand.
Trips to Busch Gardens, Disney World or King’s Dominion can all be planned at the ITT center. Even discounts for theaters in the Jacksonville area are offered as well as dinner theaters in South Carolina and Florida, where they are more costly but popular.
“We can do anything anyone asks for,” said Eden. “It’s all free too, they just need to come in and ask for help.”
With summer just around the corner, the ITT and APT personnel are gearing up for another busy season. On a weekly basis more than 500 people walk through their doors asking for advice or looking for help to book a ticket, Eden estimated.
One thing that Eden and her staff encourage service members to do is obtain their passports. It is not required for cruises but is still handy to have and can be easily obtained at a local post office.
All Points Travel and ITT are open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Eden can also be contacted by phone at 451-3535.