What is Space A Lodging? Space A Lodging is when accommodation on military bases becomes open to the military community for leisure. When you become part of the military family, traveling to different parts of the country and the world becomes inevitable with deployments and orders. While this travel is not always stress-free, it has created a huge range of lodging near U.S. bases around the world. When this lodging doesn’t fill up, it is available for members of the military community for a cheaper price than standard hotels.
We will give you a run through on what Space A lodging is, who can obtain it and how it works under the 5 different branches of the U.S Military as well as our top tips. You can also learn more about Space A flying here.
For ensuring you get the best value accommodation out there with military rates, check out Sandboxx Travel.
What is Space A Lodging?
Space A Lodging is staying on military bases or at military accommodation for discounted prices compared to staying at hotels. Similarly to Space A Flights, when military bases have spare accommodation options, they open it up to the military community to use for leisure rather than have it remain empty. Unlike Space A flights, it is a little less awkward to arrange and due to the quantity of bases in America and around the world, it can be a little easier to get.
Who can avail of Space A Lodging?
Space A Lodging has no distinct policy across all military lodging and we would always recommend checking each base’s policy in advance. In general, it’s much more flexible than Space A Flights in terms of eligibility. The following list of eligibility applies across the branches but you should always check before booking your stay with your lodging choice.
The following are eligible for Space A lodging:
- Active and retired Armed Forces and Reserve Component members in a non-duty status and their family members.
- U.S. DoD civilians (both APF and NAF) on PCS and their family members in the Continental United States .
- U.S. DoD civilians (both APF and NAF) in a non-duty status and their accompanying family members
- Non-military uniformed personnel of the U.S. Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and foreign military personnel in a duty status, when authorized by the Commanding Officer
- Armed Forces and Reserve Component member retirees who retired from active duty and their family members.
- Un-remarried surviving spouses of personnel who died while on active duty or while in retired status and un-remarried former spouses who were married to military members for at least 20 years while the military member was on active duty to the Armed Forces
- Relatives and guests of Armed Forces members assigned to the installation.
How do I book Space A Lodging?
Unfortunately, each base has its own policy on booking and how far in advance you may book. Usually it’s 30 days or less in advance for booking Space A Lodging and each base will vary. Many also vary in terms of how long you may book for. Some of the busier military bases will only allow to book one night at a time in case the space is needed for those on orders. Booking is done through DoD Lodging website or by phone but we would recommend ringing the base lodging itself as they will have the most up to date information on space becoming available.
However when planning a trip in advance, always ensure you have the funds to stay in normal accommodation as space may not become available as you travel. For help with all your hotel and flight needs, check out Sandboxx Travel.
Military Lodging by Branch
Across all the bases, active service members and those on official orders are seen as Priority 1 guests with those eligible for Space A lodging seen as Priority 2. Priority 1 can make a reservation whenever they want. Priority 1 will not override Priority 2 guests once a booking is confirmed except for exceptional circumstances. So once you get your confirmation, you are not at risk of “getting bumped”. The advantage of being in Priority 1 is that they can make a reservation whenever they want.
Although the 5 branches all have their own accommodation organizations, if you are an eligible Space A lodger, you can stay at any of them so you have a wide selection across the country.
Reservations can be made up to 120 days in advance with Temporary Lodging Facility reservations up to 30 days in advance but depends on specific base and the lodging managers.
The on-base lodging at Air Force bases is the Air Force Inns. There is 89 locations worldwide and are viewed as high quality accommodation equipped with free Wifi, cable and house keeping. You can also go to the Air Force Exchange and use all base amenities which can include golf courses, pools and movie theaters.
Reservations apply on a first come, first served basis and usually only confirmed 48 hours in advance but this can vary.
The Army recently implanted the Privatization of Army Lodging meaning almost all on base lodging in the United States is now owned by the hotel chain IHG. This has resulted in an increase of prices but also can be used to collect rewards points and the quality of accommodation is improving. You can check out on-base IHG Hotels here.
Army Lodging manages all lodging outside the continental United States and limited lodging within. As result of the privatization of the U.S. Army base lodging, the non-U.S. base lodging has become cheaper. There is 18 international locations and are viewed as high quality accommodation equipped with free Wifi, cable and house keeping. You can also use all base amenities like golf courses, bowling and movie theaters.
Armed Forces Recreation Centers provide 4 amazing properties for vacationing. These hotels in Seoul, Korea, Bavarian Alps in Germany, Disney World in Florida and Waikiki Beach in Hawaii are designed just for relaxation and downtime.
The Marine Corps Lodging is run by Inns of the Corps. Inns of the Corps run both the temporary lodging and the recreational lodging with MCCS. The temporary and recreational lodging is found in the United States and Japan. All lodging has housekeeping, free TV with most providing internet and free breakfast. The recreational lodging is a mix of RV parks, campsites, cottages and cabins. Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance for Space A lodging.
Navy Gateway Inns & Suites provides the U.S. Navy. It offers rooms both at national bases and internationally in places like Italy, Bahrain and Crete. They offer comfortable accomodation as well as pools, outdoor areas and much more.
Navy Lodge also provides lodging at Naval bases in the United States and internationally in Italy, Japan, Spain and Cuba.
Navy Getaways offer vacation properties with the same eligibility as Space A for temporary lodging. You can choose from RV and campsites or hotels and vacation rentals in a wide selection of locations at cheaper prices than other vacation properties.
Coast Guard offer limited temporary lodging facilities with most being RV and camp sites. You will need to check each base individually for more information on booking over on the USCG lodging website.
National Guard offer a very limited selection of accommodation on their training bases and you will need to check each base specifically for more information.
Our advice on Space A Lodging
Space A Lodging can be a great way to see America and the world but it is not always cheaper than general vacation accommodation nor will it always be available in the location you want to travel too. To avoid disappointment, here’s some of our simple steps.
- Traveling during the less busy periods and away from PCS season (during the summer) should help your chances of getting a space.
- Check online for availability and how far in advance you can book.
- Call the individual lodging if you want to try take advantage of potential cancellations
- Please note that a lodging reservation does not guarantee base access so you should contact the relevant office if you wish to access anything on base.
When Space A isn’t your best option, check out Sandboxx Travel for all your travel needs.