Whether you're hitting the road for a vacation or looking for a cheap weekend getaway, the hunt for inexpensive lodging begins at your computer and with some resources on your local installation.
Consider on-base temporary lodging facilities along your route. At a Navy Lodge, you'll pay about 40 percent less than you would at a comparable hotel, said Kristine Sturkie, spokeswoman for the Navy Exchange Service Command, which oversees the Navy Lodges. The lodges now allow pets less than 40 pounds.
To find locations and information, go to https://www.navy-lodge.com/index.html">the Navy Lodge site. For information on all the services' temporary lodging facilities at bases around the world, visit http://www.dodlodging.net/">DoD Lodging. Note that the map at the top of the site includes lodging only on Air Force and Navy bases. Links at the bottom of the page will take you to http://www.armymwr.com/portal/travel/travelresources/lodgingcampingRV.asp">Army and http://www.usmc-mccs.org/lodging/index.cfm?sid=rf&smid=1">Marine Corps bases.
Click on the map to see the bases in a given region. The site will give you specifics on the amenities, telephone numbers to call for information and reservations, and e-mail addresses.
Whatever your service branch affiliation, you can stay at any of these facilities.
Along with hotel lodging, military-owned recreational areas have cabins, cottages, RV parks, tent sites, apartments and other lodging. http://www.armymwr.com/portal/travel/paths/">Visit Army MWR and click on your state to bring up all the recreational sites at every installation in every branch of service.
For example, at Barstow RV Park and Lodging, at Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., a one-bedroom, fully furnished apartment rents for $49 a night.
You can find hotel discounts at your installation's information, ticket and tours office. The offices have different names, but they are part of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation division or Air Force Services.
Lots of hotels are offering military deals, especially with the downturn in the economy.
If you're on the road and driving near a base, stop in or call the local installation's ticket and tours office. The staff will likely be able to help you find discounted lodging in the local area, as well as discounts on local attractions.
You can find these http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil/ismart/MHF-MI/">offices online, too. Under "Program or Service," pull down "Travel Office." This is not official travel, so in some cases you may have to pull down "Morale, Welfare and Recreation" and call to find the number for the tickets and tours discount office.