Changi International Airport
With a butterfly sanctuary, coy ponds, free movies for the budget conscious, and an exciting 40-foot slide that’s Singapore’s longest, Changi feels more like a Wonderland of today than an airport. Changi has earned more than 400 awards and counting, and it continues to expand the list of attractions available to military travelers. A new highlight for military families is Terminal 3’s butterfly garden, boasting more than 1,000 butterflies, a 27-foot man-made waterfall, and tons of native plants. Weary travelers can also take a relaxing and soothing swim in the airport’s Balinese-themed rooftop swimming pool. Military families should stop by the information booth for a free city tour or enter a promotion for a chance to win prizes.
Hong Kong International Airport
This structure sits on a man-made island off of Hong Kong Harbor. This amazing and active futuristic-like airport has endless entertainment alternatives that keep the mass of international travelers passing through as very “Happy Campers”. The nine-hole regulation golf course is really cool, open 24/7. Army, Navy and USMC travelers craving some downtime can reconcile into a cool IMAX movie theater, it shows both 2D and 3D films. Two Traveler Lounge locations offer an outstanding option for private renewal, including hot showers, various excellent food, and assorted beers. Budget minded military travelers should eat at Tsui Wah Eatery, the Hainan Chicken Rice is cheap and excellent, as are the other food specials.
Incheon airport has always been a favorite among many travelers, military and civilian alike. Want to learn more about Korean customs and culture? Want to enjoy hitting a few golf balls at a driving range? Want to savor a variety of foods or just find a quiet spot to rest and relax? Then you’ve come to the right airport. Incheon stole the coveted top spot for Best Airport in the World by airport review site Skytrax in 2012. Military families can learn about culture (enjoy a 12-stringed Korean harp exhibition or learn how to make a traditional Korean handicraft in the “Cultural Experience” area); for your convenience, Wifi is available throughout the airport; plus you can enjoy excellent deals on entertainment and some creative ways to pass your time like a man-made ice skating rink. For Army, USMC, and Navy with a lot of time between flights, the airport also offers several tours with different focuses including culture, and shopping.
Dubai International Airport
Dubai’s airport follows the trend we see in the city – everything here is over-the-top, overstated, and remarkable, with top-notch shopping at the top of the list. The Middle East’s largest airport hub contains the world’s largest duty-free airport shop, at a monstrous 58,000 square feet, as well as extravagant extras. Furthermore, the spotless, shiny interiors also house a 24/7 gym, with all the bells and whistles such as a pool, shower area, and massage options. Army, Navy, and USMC members plus military families can enter for a (1/5,000) chance to be a millionaire in the airport’s Dubai Duty Free raffle and promotion. Other raffles are also available for a luxury car and motorcycle, if that suits your tastes better.
Munich International Airport
When we think of Germany, we instantly think about the beers! And Munich airport doesn’t disappoint, by offering plenty of ways to appreciate the best of Germany’s brews. Airbräu is a Bavarian-style bar complete with its own beer garden and brewery on the premises, where Army, Navy, and USMC travelers can watch the talented brewmasters in action. Military families shouldn’t miss the time-honored outside German Christmas market from late November through the end of December. You will get to savor the spiced wine and bratwursts, and try your hand at ice-skating, rounding out your winter-wonderland dream.
Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver’s attractive airport boasts a contemporary, nautical theme that provides a welcome remedy to air travel, especially for military families who have spent countless hours in the air or stuck at airports. The adventurous should try the sushi bar, where the food is traveling to you on a conveyor belt, tatami rooms, and lounges; adults and children alike should take a moment to take in the local art from the Pacific Northwest, or spend time at the 31,000-gallon tank full of marine life from the region. For the Army, Navy, and USMC travelers, the airport provides a chapel for quiet reflection and prayer, or, wedding services, for those wanting to start their honeymoons off at the airport!
Amsterdam’s primary international center for air travel is a chic mix of shopping, dining, and art that showcases everything Dutch, from the wooden clogs to luscious chocolates, providing a cheap and quick way to experience the Dutch life. Art lovers must stop at the free Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, the first museum in the world to be a part of an airport, with no entrance fee and a multitude of exhibits, both temporary and permanent. Finally, for Army, USMC, and Navy passengers craving some time for rest and relaxation, the Silence Centre is just the place, offering a serene sanctuary, free of digital equipment and distractions. Be sure to keep track of time and make it to your gate on time, for it’s easy to get lost in this airport.
As one of Europe’s busiest airports, Zurich’s international airport is a contemporary, well-organized airport, with lucid signage, and accommodating employees—all essentials that are especially significant for military travelers. For active-minded Army, Navy, and USMC travelers, the airport also offers cheap rentals for bicycles and rollerblades—an excellent way to get over jetlag and exercise while taking in the stunning Switzerland landscape. The airport just went through a four-year overhaul that ended in 2011, the result of which was two terraces sitting on the roof with observation areas, media stations, and an area for children to play in , complete with a mini-plane and control tower for military families to explore.
San Francisco International Airport
Are you dreaming of enjoying some fresh sourdough loaves and sipping on some Californian wine? Then the San Francisco international airport is just the place for you. Though the recent addition to SFO causing the most press is its calm, yet compact Yoga Room, at just 150 square feet, located in Terminal 2 for the fatigued Army, Navy, and USMC traveler to find a place to relax. Military families can get nifty souvenirs at the Museum Store, or act like a local foodie at local favorites like The Plant Café for tasty, organic fare, Yankee Pier Seafood Restaurant for fresh seafood, and Perry’s, an outpost of San Francisco’s classic tavern or the food court for cheap and affordable eats.
From loads of duty-free stores offering brands like Burberry, to a restaurant from famed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, and pubs ideal for relaxing over some pints, Heathrow hits the spot for what can be a exquisite, typically British experience for all military families looking for a deal. For Army, Navy, and USMC travelers who are looking for a measure of the British way of life, don’t miss the Terminal 5 Expo, a presentation highlighting British painters, sculptors, and photographers. Furthermore, it was just announced that approximately $40.7 billion will be spent on general upgrades.