How To Stay on Military Bases Cheap

Off-duty military members can stay at bases when space is available

Navy Lodge Naples
Courtesy Navy Exchange Service Command  

If you are on leave and traveling either in the United States or Outside of the Continental United States (OCONUS), consider making stops at local military bases to save hundreds of dollars throughout your travels and stay in military base inns and lodges. 

Not only will your stay be less expensive per night, but you're likely safer on a military base and other amenities that are offered to military bases (PX, Exchange, Commissary) are available to you as well.

Who Is Allowed to Stay at Military Bases?

Military personnel on leave, military family members, and military retirees are authorized to stay at military billeting units as what is called Priority Two Space Available. The military members who have greater priority are those traveling on official business, extended stay training, and those with temporarily assigned duty orders (TAD).

How to Stay at a Military Base

Decide which military installation is closest to your destination or travel route. Make reservations for space-available accommodations by calling one of the following phone numbers:

  • Army: 1-800-GO-ARMY-1
  • Air Force: 1-888-AF LODGE
  • Navy: 1-800-NAVY-INN

The Marine Corps and the Coast Guard do not have central reservations systems. For those bases, you must call the billeting operation on the base.

You can make space available reservation up to 30 days in advance at Navy Lodges. The other services allow reservations up to 24 hours in advance.

When you arrive at your lodging destination, you'll need your ID card, and if active duty, your leave orders.

You will see that military base living or visiting (temporary billeting) quarters are comparable to chain hotels and motels. Depending on your location, you may even find beachside, mountainside, or other magnificent views available on military bases around the world. If traveling along the coast, you will find numerous Navy and Coast Guard bases along with some Marine Corps bases.

Where Military Bases Are Located

The bases of the Navy, Army, and Air Force both inside and outside of the U.S. are located in some of the most beautiful places in the world.

Some of the favorites among military members include

  • Navy: Key West, Coronado, San Diego, Virginia Beach, Panama City
  • Air Force: Fort Carson Colorado, Air Force Academy, Niagara Falls, Mountain Home
  • Army: Schofield Barracks Hawaii, Grafenwoehr, Germany, Vicenza, Italy
  • USMC: Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, MCAS Miramar, San Diego

Types of Military Accommodations

Navy Lodges are located around the world at most Naval bases. Whatever your travel needs, military bases are convenient and affordable. Due to base restrictions, not all Navy Lodges can be "pet-friendly." If you are traveling with a pet, call the Navy Lodge Reservation Center at (800) 628-9466 to make your reservation.

Navy Gateway Inns and Suites have partnered with commercial hotels in several locations, offering rates at or below per diem while providing safe and secure lodging that meets Department of Defense lodging standards.

Army Lodging is available to Active Duty, Retirees, DoD civilians, and their sponsored guests.

Air Force Inns are offered to Active Duty, retirees, NAF or DoD civilian employees, and sponsored guests. 

Coast Guard Recreational Lodging facilities are open to all authorized patrons. Active duty military members and their family have first priority. 

The Inns of the Marine Corps offer to lodge to eligible members as well. Reservations are accepted for all eligible personnel on an as-received basis for the priority category. Reservations and room assents are made without regard to rank or grade, or time of reservation.