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Boarding vs. Lodging: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 6, 2023
Boarding refers to arrangement of meals or both room and meals, typically in a residential facility, whereas lodging pertains to providing a place to live or stay temporarily, often without meals included.

Key Differences

Boarding fundamentally implies an arrangement where not only the accommodation but also meals are provided, especially seen in school or college contexts. Contrastingly, lodging predominantly focuses on the provision of a place to stay, which might be a hotel or any other temporary accommodation, generally without the inclusion of meals. These terms share similarities but also carry distinctions in the type of services they represent.
Schools or colleges offering boarding services provide students with both a place to live and regular meals, ensuring a stable environment conducive to study. Lodging, meanwhile, is often found in the context of travel, where individuals seek a temporary place to stay, whether it's a hotel, inn, or a rented apartment, with no obligation for meal provision.
Many might consider boarding to imply a somewhat longer-term arrangement due to its association with educational institutions, while lodging might be considered more transient and short-term. When one lodges, the assumption is a temporary state, while boarding can often imply a semi-permanent status defined by a term or period.
The term boarding is also applied in different contexts, such as boarding a plane or a train, which diverges from its meaning concerning accommodation and meals. Lodging, on the other hand, strictly pertains to securing temporary accommodation and doesn’t veer into other contextual applications to the same degree.
In essence, while boarding and lodging both pertain to obtaining shelter or accommodation of some kind, boarding leans more towards a comprehensive service including meals (or even an action, in different contexts), whereas lodging is primarily about securing a place to stay, usually without the additional services that boarding might imply.

Comparison Chart

Primary Focus

Accommodation and meals
Accommodation only

Duration Implication

Can imply a longer-term or semi-permanent stay
Often implies a temporary stay

Context of Use

Commonly used in educational institutions
Broadly used in travel and temporary stays

Inclusive Services

Usually includes meals and accommodation
Primarily includes accommodation

Additional Meanings

Can also refer to entering a vehicle (e.g., a plane)
Primarily pertains to accommodation

Boarding and Lodging Definitions


Boarding refers to a situation wherein animals, especially horses, are kept and cared for.
Her horse is boarding at a stable near her house.


Lodging refers to a place where someone lives or stays temporarily.
He found comfortable lodging near the beach during his vacation.


Boarding, in the context of sports, refers to pushing an opponent violently against the boards in ice hockey.
The player was penalized for boarding his opponent during the match.


Lodging can also imply the act of residing in a place.
He was lodging at a small inn while visiting the town.


Boarding can mean the act of getting on a vehicle, such as a plane, train, or ship.
Boarding will begin in approximately 10 minutes.


Lodging can pertain to a branch or offshoot from a plant.
The lodging of the tree was used to propagate new plants.


Boarding involves providing regular meals to those who live in a particular place.
The university offers boarding services for international students.


Lodging, in a historical context, refers to the provision of rent-free living accommodations.
The servant was given lodging in the attic of the manor.


Boarding can also refer to the practice of covering or sealing off windows, doors, etc., with wooden boards.
After the hurricane, many shops were boarding up their windows to prevent damage.


Lodging can be used to describe something that becomes embedded or stuck in a substance or place.
A piece of shrapnel found its lodging in the wall during the explosion.


A long flat slab of sawed lumber; a plank.


Often lodgings Sleeping accommodations
We found the lodgings on the tour rather primitive.


A long flat slab of another material, used as a structural member.


A place to live
Found lodging near her new job.


A flat, rigid, often rectangular piece of material used as a surface upon which to work
A cutting board.
An ironing board.


Lodgings Furnished rooms in another's house rented for accommodation.


Can “lodging” refer to staying in hotels?

Yes, lodging commonly refers to staying in hotels, inns, or any temporary accommodation.

Is “boarding” applicable to all modes of transportation?

Yes, "boarding" can be used in the context of various transportation modes, like buses, trains, ships, and planes.

Can "lodging" refer to a permanent residence?

Generally no, "lodging" usually implies a temporary place to stay, not a permanent residence.

What does “boarding” a plane mean?

Boarding” a plane refers to the process of passengers getting onto the aircraft.

What does “lodging” a complaint mean?

Lodging” a complaint refers to formally submitting or registering a complaint.

What does "free lodging" mean?

"Free lodging" refers to accommodation provided without any cost to the individual staying there.

Can “boarding” also refer to accommodations for pets?

Yes, "boarding" can refer to temporary accommodations where pets are housed and fed.

Is "lodging" related only to tourist activities?

No, "lodging" can pertain to any temporary stay, not strictly related to tourism.

Does "boarding" always imply a cost or fee to the individual?

Typically yes, "boarding" usually involves a fee for the accommodations and services provided.

Does “lodging” always include meals?

No, lodging primarily refers to accommodation and does not necessarily include meals.

What does it mean to be “in boarding” in school?

Being “in boarding” usually refers to a student staying in a school’s boarding facility, including accommodations and meals.

Is “lodging” related to rental accommodations?

Yes, “lodging” often implies rental accommodations where one pays to stay temporarily.

Can “boarding” refer to accommodations without meals?

Generally, boarding implies that meals are provided, but it may not always be the case.

Can “lodging” refer to accommodations in someone’s home?

Yes, “lodging” can refer to staying as a guest in someone’s home, often in exchange for payment.

Can "boarding" be used in the context of keeping animals?

Yes, animals, especially horses, can be kept in "boarding" facilities, like stables.

What does “boarding” commonly refer to in an educational context?

Boarding typically refers to a facility where students are provided with both accommodation and meals.

Can “boarding” refer to protection, as in boarding up windows?

Yes, “boarding” can mean sealing or protecting windows, doors, etc., using wooden boards.

Is “lodging” used in the context of plants?

Rarely, but yes, “lodging” can describe an offshoot or a section of a plant used for propagation.

Is “boarding” used in a financial context?

Not commonly, “boarding” is primarily associated with accommodations, transport, and a few other contexts.

Can "lodging" refer to a long-term stay?

Yes, "lodging" can refer to both short-term and long-term stays, depending on the context.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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