Editor’s note: This article by Heather Sweeney originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
From PCS moves to vacations to cross-country trips to visit friends and relatives, military families rarely stay put for long. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for cheap places to stay during those times when we’re not at home.
Here are some great deals for military families to find cheap lodging on the go:
Most military installations offer temporary, space-available lodging for low prices, such as Navy Lodges, Air Force Inns, Army Lodging, Inns of the Corps. These facilities are typically geared toward service members traveling on orders or families who are PCSing. Reservation policies vary between service branches and facilities so call ahead for more information. Find your local installation on Military.com's base guide.
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Armed Forces Recreation Centers
Thinking about organizing a unique vacation? Stationed overseas and wondering where you can stay while exploring a new country? Check into AFRCs.
Armed Forces Recreation Centers, or AFRCs, are Joint Service Facilities operated by the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs. These affordable full-service resort hotels are located at vacation destinations throughout the world, and they’re available to service members and their families. Room rates are based on rank, pay grade, duty status, room size, and/or room location. Try to make your reservations well in advance because the facilities tend to fill up quickly.
Where exactly are these AFRCs located?
Probably the best known AFRC is the Shades of Green Resort, which is in Orlando, Florida within Walt Disney World. Not only do you get affordable prices on room rates, but you can also get discounted tickets for Disney World venues. (We also have the scoop on the popular Disney military discounts.)
The other AFRCs include the Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Dragon Hill Lodge in Seoul, Korea, and the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Another option is the New Sanno Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, which is operated by the Navy.
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Are you looking for more of an outdoor adventure for your overnight needs? Some military installations have cottages, cabins, and townhomes that can be used for vacation rentals. And some bases even have military campgrounds and RV parks that provide things like BBQ areas, laundry and play areas for the kids. (Click to read more about who can use military campgrounds.)
Military Discounts at Hotels
For those times when your travels take you nowhere near a military installation, plan your overnight stay at hotels that offer military discounts. Many hotels offer military rates, including:
- Best Western
- Choice Hotels
- Embassy Suites
- Hawthorn Suites
- Hilton Hotels and Resorts
- InterContinental Hotels Group
- La Quinta
- Motel 6
- Red Lion Hotels
- Red Roof
But even if you find a hotel that doesn’t advertise a military discount, make sure to ask for one. You never know. That cute little bed and breakfast you stumbled upon might give you a discount just for asking.
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