Chances are if you are living on or near a military installation you are seeing large moving trucks in your neighborhood. Many military families are in the process of moving to new duty stations during this time of year. If you are preparing for an upcoming move, staying in a military lodging facility can save you big bucks.
Here are four things you need to know about staying at a military lodging facility:
- Find out if you're eligible: Active duty service members and their families, retirees, Reserve and Guard members, and Department of Defense civilians on orders are eligible to stay at most military lodging facilities. Depending on your service member status, you might have a different level of priority when making reservations. For example, active duty service members on official travel orders will have priority over those in a leave status. You can check with the individual lodging facility for eligibility rules and priority levels (links below).
- Types of lodging: Most military lodging properties are located on installations, however many are within a short distance of the gate. There are also some bases that feature cabins at recreational areas. The Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) full-service resort hotels are four unique properties that feature family-friendly, affordable accommodations in premier locations.
- Pet friendly locations: Many of the military lodging facilities accept pets. Call the front desk of your desired location to inquire about the availability of a "pet friendly" room, any restrictions on pet size and number of pets. Keep in mind there is usually a pet fee and you must provide the pet's shot records. My family and I travel with two small dogs, a Beagle and a Chihuahua. Finding a pet-friendly room while on the road is always a stressor. Being able to stay at a pet-friendly lodging facility is a huge stress relief!
- How to make a reservation: Below is a list of websites to search for availability at participating lodging facilities. Most have easy-to-use online reservation systems. If you have pets or are not on active duty orders, I recommend calling the location's front desk to verify your reservation. The nightly rate can range depending on location and rank of your service member; there is no standard rate. According to the Navy Lodge website, "room rates on the average are 45 percent less than civilian hotels."
List of lodging locations:
- Army Lodging
- Army: Other lodging, campgrounds and RV parks
- Navy Gateway Inns and Suites
- Navy Getaways
- Navy Lodge
- Air Force Inn
- Inns of the Corps
- Marine Corps recreation lodging
- Coast Guard recreation facilities and temporary lodging
- Military specialty hotel The New Sanno, Tokyo, Japan
- AFRC resorts
- Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
- Shades of Green, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida
- Hale Koa Hotel, Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Dragon Hill Lodge, Seoul, Korea
Taking time to rest and recover from the daily stresses of military life is important and it doesn't have to be expensive. By choosing to stay at a military lodging facility you'll be able to stretch your travel budget. We like to use the money we save on fun excursions, local food, and unique treasures. Special memories don't just happen; they take planning and creativity. I encourage you to take the time to plan a special vacation and when you do, staying at one of these locations can help remove the stress of too much money spent and wondering where to stay.
My personal favorite military lodging facilities/resorts are Shades of Green, Hale Koa, Navy Lodge North Island, and Edelweiss Lodge and Resort.
Where have you always wanted to go?
What are your favorite military lodging facilities?