Paycheck Chronicles

Lodging Costs Vary Dramatically


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?

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