02 March 2015

Here's another perk: military lodging!

Military lodging is a great addition to your travel and vacation arsenal. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware military lodging even exists! 

My wife and I have often taken advantage of military lodging facilities when we travel.  These facilities become particularly important when traveling to high dollar areas such as Boston, Washington D.C., and Key West. It is important to understand that many of these facilities are not managed or operated by the military, but may be located ON military bases.  This means active duty/Reserve/NG, or retiree status is necessary to get on base.  These hotels typically offer decent-to-great rooms near, or in, high-priced locales with the added benefit of a secure environment and base facilities for your use.

We’ve stayed at the Constitution Inn on a few occasions when visiting Boston.  The Constitution Inn is located ON the Charlestown naval yard facilities and you can walk right over to the USS Constitution, and visit its museum.  Our stay here included a good-sized room with a king-sized bed, and a kitchenette with a pool and gym in the basement.  The Constitution Inn is located within walking distance of Bunker Hill, and it’s also close to the Boston Harbor Ferry that takes you right to the Long-Warf by the aquarium in the financial district.  Boston, itself, is only about 2 square miles, so walking is a great way to get around once down there.  I think we paid about $110.00 per night - a bargain for Boston.  I understand the YMCA now owns the Constitution Inn, but it still offers a great military rate!

Wainwright Hall (http://www.jbmhh.army.mil/WEB/JBMHH/Newcomers/ArmyLodging.html) at Ft. Myer, Virginia is our hotel of choice when staying in Washington, D.C.  Ft. Myer is adjacent to the Arlington National Cemetery and is a great place to stay when attending military funerals or when just visiting the area.  Free shuttles are available to the nearest subway station, as well as to local airports. Joint Base Ft. Myer/Henderson Hall has two base exchanges; the nicer one is on the Henderson/Hall side of post and is a Marine Corps facility. You can walk right onto Arlington from the base - be sure to tour the Stables while there!  I also recommend you inquire about the “Twilight Tattoo” http://twilight.mdw.army.mil/ presentation, as it’s well worth seeing.  For about $180.00 per night we stayed in a beautiful two-room suite with a refrigerator and microwave, and complimentary breakfast.  Single rooms can be rented for less.  

When visiting Florida, we once rented a beach cottage at Patrick Air Force Base near Cocoa Beach (http://www.gopatrickfl.com/beach-houses.html). We rented it for the regular room rate of $66.00 per night because they weren’t able to get us a king bed in the on-post hotel – what a steal!  These cottages put you right behind the breakwater-berm about a hundred meters from the beach.  The cottage itself was scheduled for some upgrades and was a bit dated, but being so close to the beach with a full kitchen was worth it.  Again, facilities at Patrick are great, and being so close to so many attractions is priceless.  Prices currently are $1100-$1300 per week.

When visiting the Keys two years ago, we stopped in at Naval Air Station Key West and checked out the facilities there (https://www.navy-lodge.com/lodge_page.html?p_lodge_number=15. The rooms were nice and the price can’t be beat for Key West.  

We’ve also had the opportunity to stay at the Bob Hope Hotel at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio. This was another great facility on a great base with a lot of attractions, such as the incredibly huge Air Force Museum and the historic Presidential aircraft hangar.

The point is, there are many great and affordable places to stay at military hotels.  We’ve earned the privilege of being able to utilize these facilities, and many service members don’t even know they exist.  I hope I’ve been able to enlighten a few to this great benefit and would love to hear stories from any of the RallyPoint membership about their experiences at military hotels.

Comment below or start the conversation here and connect within the military community.

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