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  1. Default Mom and Pop hotels/motels

    I do alot of car trips, was wondering if anyone had a book, or website that I could get info on Mom and Pop hotels/motels or cheap stays!!! I am needing the TN, KY, VA, area........!!! I just want something clean and cheap, not picky!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default In my experience -- "Mom & Pops" are more expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by SillyGal View Post
    I just want something clean and cheap, not picky!
    I have a fair amount of roadtripping experience and with very rare exception I have never found Mom-&-Pop motels to be much of a bargain. You might find this article helpful, which I wrote for penny-pinching students, and also this post by one of our low-cost experts, Gen.


  3. Default Mom & Pops

    In line with what Mark said -- I like Mom and Pops but the problem is finding a good one. It's often more trouble than it is worth. You have to be careful -- always check out the room before you commit. For the little money you sometimes save, the extra effort isn't always worth it. In the past few years, I'm only about 50/50 in finding worthwhile Mom and Pops.

    They are hard to locate ahead of time -- you won't find their presence to be extensive on the web. And when you do, quality and cleanliness are impossible to judge online. If you are determined, one way to find them is to use MS Streets and Trips and turn on the locating feature for lodging -- it will map them for you. Then it is easier to get a phone number and address.

    About the only time I spend time looking for a clean Mom and Pop anymore is when I am on a trip without making advance reservations.

    One more chain you might consider that I've heard lots of good about -- Red Roof Inns. Cheap & clean according to reports from friends of mine. I am a Motel 6 guy -- although they are not as inexpensive as they used to be.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Cheap sleeps

    I have to agree. I haven't had exceptional luck with Mom & Pops, which is part of the reason I tend towards camping on many trips.

    I do have some memories that I'd rather forget of broken air conditioners, bathrooms with a collection of used soaps along the top of the shower stall, and the ever-present funny smells.

    When I was spending time on the road working (a few years back), I recall a couple of places that brought thoughts of bunkers in the Middle East, doors that did not latch completely, and out-of-balance cots. Nothing will wake you up faster than flipping over your sleep apparatus! Most of these were the "weekly rates" type of places - you know, with the liquor store next door and the adults-only store across the street. Needless to say, by the time we were done working for the day, we didn't feel like spending a lot of time searching for the ideal, yet affordable, place.

    Though not usually overly-picky, I do have my limits, and getting a good night's sleep is a priority of mine. Much has been learned since those days.

  5. Default Cheap Motel at Santa Monica?

    Actually... I will be making an overnight run to Santa Monica (from Phoenix) on Sunday night, and need a place to sleep for just a few hours on Monday morning.

    Does anyone know of a clean, inexpensive lodging near or in Santa Monica that I might try? AZ Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Finding Mom and Pops

    I guess I've had a little more luck than others finding Mom and Pop places. While they usually aren't much cheaper than a low end chain like a Motel 6, they usually are in that same price range.

    The trouble is finding good ones if you are traveling on an interstate. Generally, I've found you can have the best luck finding the mom and pop motels on the edge of a city along the main (or what used to be the main) US highway.

    What's difficult is that often these roads are no longer US highways (many have been downgraded to state routes or no designation at all) and they often run parallel to the Freeway, but since most interstates attempt to bypass cities and US routes go right through them, it can be a several mile detour down city streets, which can be a challenge when you don't know exactly where you are going.

    Of course, if you have time and aren't already exhausted when you are looking for a room, the hunt can sometimes be one of the fun parts of a trip!

  7. #7
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Motel 6 every trip for me

    I've made many trips up and down the west coast, and every time we've usually stayed in a Motel 6. The one time we stayed in a Mom-and-Pop in Redding, CA that we found in one of those coupon books you get at the Visitors Center, we found not only was it increadibly difficult to find, but they "only" had the Presidential Suite availble, which did not qualify for the coupon. When we actually entered the room, it showed some nice large cracks from the last quake that rolled through.

    We have stayed at some other motels, such as Sixpence Inn off of I-5 north of Grapevine, CA, and that was nice.

    My advice has always been to look for Chains or Trucks. The Sixpence Inn we stayed at was popular among truckers coming from the Mohave Valley area. Personally I feel if a place is popular among truckers, it must be fairly nice, as those folks look for a bargain that doesn't feel like a slum.


  8. #8
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest


    We found if the motel is a mom and pop, and has the Best Western label too, it usually is OK.
    Rare though, and getting rarer.

  9. #9


    When we road trip we always try to stay at the “mom & pop” motels. There is always one or two in every town. We ask to check the rooms first and we have refused a few but in most part we can find them very easy. If not, the next town is usually only 20 minutes away. Then there is a Motel 6 and Super 8 or some other chain that will be easy to find. Finding lodging should not take longer than one hour even if you’re picky. The trick is start looking for a place before the fatigue sets in. like Midwest Michael said “the hunt can sometimes be one of the fun parts of a trip!”


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