Where to live when stationed at Ramstein

by Susi Graf, Landlady

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When service members are stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, one of the primary concerns is finding suitable accommodation. Temporary lodging becomes a crucial aspect, especially during the initial days of relocation. In this context, premium short-term apartments emerge as an ideal solution, offering the comforts of home away from home. This article delves into the nuances of temporary lodging for military personnel, guiding them on where to live when stationed at Ramstein and how to navigate the landscape of military temporary lodging.

Understanding temporary lodging options

Temporary Lodging Facilities (TLF) - The concept of TLF housing is simple: provision of temporary housing for military personnel. These facilities are specifically designed to provide temporary lodging for service members and their families during a relocation or a permanent change of station (PCS). The goal is to offer a comfortable living arrangement until permanent housing is secured.

Military TLE (Temporary Lodging Expense) - A critical aspect of relocating for military duties is managing expenses, and this is where the military TLE comes into play. It is an allowance provided to cover lodging and meal expenses incurred during the transition period. The temporary lodging expense is not just a financial aid but also a means to ensure a smooth adjustment to a new environment. When overseas, the TLE is usually referred to as TLA - a temporary lodging allowance.

Authorized Temporary Lodging Expense - It’s important for service members to be aware of their authorized temporary lodging expense. This refers to the specific amount that the military will cover for temporary lodging. Staying informed about these expenses helps in planning and managing the budget effectively during the transition.

The benefits of off-base housing

Exploring private sector rental housing

While on-base lodging options are available, many service members opt for off-base housing. Private sector rental housing often provides more space, privacy, and an opportunity to immerse in the local culture. For those pondering where to live when stationed at Ramstein, exploring off-base options can lead to a more enriching living experience.

Advantages of temporary lodging in the private sector

Choosing to stay in premium short-term apartments off-base offers several benefits. These accommodations often come fully furnished, providing a level of comfort and convenience that can be particularly comforting during the initial adjustment period. Additionally, they offer a greater sense of independence and a chance to explore the local community, which can be beneficial for both the service member and their family.

Transitioning to permanent housing

While temporary lodging is a short-term solution, it plays a significant role in the transition to permanent housing. It allows service members and their families to take their time exploring different neighborhoods and housing options, ensuring they make an informed decision when choosing their long-term residence.

Choosing the right temporary lodging facility

Key factors in selecting temporary lodging

When it comes to selecting temporary lodging facilities, several factors come into play. Proximity to Ramstein Air Base, the quality of amenities provided, and overall cost-effectiveness are crucial considerations. Service members should prioritize locations that offer easy access to base facilities and essential services.

Importance of lodging receipts and reservations

Keeping track of lodging receipts is vital for ensuring proper reimbursement of temporary lodging expenses. Making advance reservations is equally important, as it helps in securing the preferred accommodation without the stress of last-minute searches. It's advisable to book temporary lodging well in advance, especially during peak PCS seasons.

Evaluating amenities and comfort

The amenities offered by temporary lodging facilities can significantly impact the quality of stay. Service members should look for accommodations that provide essential amenities like Wi-Fi, laundry services, and fully equipped kitchens. Comfort is key, especially when occupying temporary lodging for an extended period.

Navigating the financial aspects

Understanding meal expenses incurred

Meal expenses are a significant part of the temporary lodging expense. Service members should be aware of the meal expenses incurred during their stay in temporary lodging. It's important to budget for these expenses, keeping in mind that some temporary lodging facilities might offer kitchen facilities to prepare meals, potentially reducing overall meal costs.

TLE reimbursement process

Understanding the process of TLE reimbursement is crucial. Service members should be informed about how to claim their temporary lodging expense and the documentation required, such as lodging receipts. The reimbursement process is designed to partially pay members for their accommodation and meal expenses during the transition.

Managing extended TLE and allowances

In some cases, service members might need to stay in temporary lodging beyond the standard period, known as extended TLE. It's important to understand the policies regarding extended stays, including how it affects the temporary lodging allowance. Knowing these details helps in better financial planning and ensures compliance with military lodging policies.

Extended TLE and PCS considerations

Navigating extended TLE for service members

Extended Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) becomes relevant when service members require longer stays in temporary lodging due to various circumstances, such as delays in securing permanent housing or extended PCS travel time. Understanding the specifics of extended TLE, including the duration and additional allowances, is crucial for effective planning and budgeting.

PCS and transitioning to permanent housing

A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) often involves a complex transition, especially when moving to overseas locations like Germany. During this PCS travel time, temporary lodging acts as a bridge between leaving the previous station and settling into new, permanent housing. It's a period for service members to explore housing options, understand the local real estate market, and engage in house hunting activities.

Preparing for a permanent change

As service members move from temporary lodging to permanent housing, it's essential to consider all aspects of their new environment. This includes understanding local customs, proximity to essential services, and the quality of life in different neighborhoods. The transition from temporary to permanent housing should be smooth, allowing service members and their families to settle comfortably in their new home.

Making reservations and preparing for stay

The importance of advance reservations

Making advance reservations for temporary lodging is a critical step in the relocation process. With many service members seeking accommodations, especially during peak PCS seasons, securing a reservation early ensures availability and reduces stress upon arrival. Utilizing official military lodging resources or reputable private sector rental housing providers can streamline this process.

Adjusting to life in Germany

For service members and eligible civilians, adjusting to life in a new country can be challenging. Preparing for the stay involves more than just securing lodging; it's about acclimating to a new culture, language, and environment. Temporary lodging provides a transitional space to make these adjustments at a comfortable pace, especially in a country with a rich cultural tapestry like Germany.


Recap and encouragement

In conclusion, temporary lodging plays a pivotal role for service members stationed at Ramstein Air Base. From understanding the nuances of military TLE to navigating the transition to permanent housing, each step is crucial in ensuring a smooth and comfortable relocation experience. Premium short-term apartments offer a blend of comfort, convenience, and immersion into the local German culture, making them an excellent choice for off-base housing.

Final thoughts for service members

Service members are encouraged to explore these premium temporary lodging options. With thoughtful planning, understanding of financial allowances, and a readiness to embrace new experiences, their stay in Germany can be both fulfilling and comfortable. As they embark on this journey, remembering that temporary lodging is more than just a place to stay — it's the first step in making a new place feel like home.

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