Lodging Costs Vary Dramatically

Army lodge.

After a few years around the military, I have finally gotten the hang of the hows and whys of the costs for the various types of military lodging available.  Maybe.

Each branch of the military has their own lodging, and the Navy sort-of has two different options.  These include the Air Force Inns, Inns of the Corps, Army lodging of various names, Navy Gateway Inns and Suites, and Navy Lodges.  What is amazing to me is how different the prices can be between the various branches and locations.  The differences can be huge, even for locations that are quite close to each other.

In my experience, the Air Force has the least expensive lodging.    For example, a three bedroom bungalow at RAF Alconbury in England runs less than $70 a night, with smaller units having less expensive prices.

Navy Gateway Inns and Suites (NGIS) are also pretty affordable.  I’ve stayed at various locations around the country, at prices generally ranging in the $60-$70 rate.  Some of the locations are fabulous, such as the NGIS at Dam Neck, Virginia.  What affordable beachside accommodations!

Marine Corps Lodging prices are middle-ish.  For example, the Crossroads Inn at MCB Quantico prices are room, $84.00; efficiency/king, $92.00; suite, $105.00.

The Army seems to be near the higher end of the price continuum.  At the Army Lodging at Ansbach, a family suite runs $135 a night, plus $7.50 for each additional person.  Admittedly, this is one of the Army’s more expensive locations.

The Navy Lodge is also pretty expensive.  Depending on location, a room might be $100, and a suite even more.  What amazes me about Navy Lodges is that they are often located right by the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites that have much better prices.  If I’m paying, I will always choose an NGIS over a Navy Lodge, just because I am cheap.

When traveling for leisure, it pays to consider all the options and see if you can find a less-expensive option that will fit in your plans. For example, many military dense areas have more than one type of lodging available.  It can save you a lot of money, especially if you are staying for many days or have a large family.  Be sure that you are comparing all the costs and amenities, including extra person charges and included breakfast.

Why pay more when cheaper choices are out there?

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • KenLand

    If you can’t get on post lodging and or civilian lodging is more than the per diem rate, contact your DTS Administrator. There are a few exceptions to the rules.

  • metfan lou

    I feel the prices are excellent and great value. I took an elderly relative to Key West for a few days to give him a “last” vacation and the Navy Lodge was a savior. The cheapest accommodation I could find off base was 350 dollars a night and the Navy gave us half of a duplex with full kitchen, two bedrooms washer and dryer, etc. for 125 dollars a night. Left us with a money to do a lot of the things on the economy. Thanks Navy! The staff was great too.

  • ekc

    check out Snead ANG billeting in Reno for $27 a night and within an hours drive to Lake Tahoe skiing or Camp Williams ANG billeting near Salt Lake City, Utah, also within an hours drive to the Canyons and Park City for skiing. Both are excellent facilities and run by friendly, professional staffs…..your “always looking for a bargain” retired skiing comrade:-)

    • ekc

      Camp Williams price….$21 per night. Also use the Armed Forces Vacation Club and watch for their promtionals. I got a two for one special in the Vail area, small suite with bedroom, sleeper sofa in the living room, fireplace and kitchenette (with grocery store nearby, free shuttel to Beaver Creek ski and $1 shutte to VAIL if 62+ or $4 shuttle if under…..either way, much cheaper than parking prices there.

      • ekc

        ok, I am obviously the 62+ category:-)….”two weeks” at the Christie Lodge special was $349 + tax……the price many pay for one night around here….

  • KenLand

    Destin Florida AF Annex has 3 bedroom cabins for $50/night.

  • romlc4

    Destin Florida AF Annex? Which AF base?