I've posted a few messages on here so far, and my friends and i have finally decided where we are going but we don't know what kinda places to stay while we're travelling. How much would we expect to pay for cheap hotels, and do we really wanna stay there? We are going to take some camping stuff with us just in case but my friends aren't really camping people, which is a shame cos i love it!
So any names of hotel chains or anything would be great!
places to sleep
Don't count out the campgrounds just because your friends don't like to camp. Most KOA's have camping cabins which are sparsely furnished, but give you a bed to sleep on and air conditioning if you're lucky. You're best bet would be to stop by McDonalds, Denny's, and welcome centers to pick up hotel saver coupon guides. That way you get a variety of hotels to choose from with their prices listed for comparison.
I agree on the KOAs; we've been staying in the Kamping Kabins for years. In addition to your bedding and food, be sure to take along a plug-in nightlight and also a couple of those cheap cloth folding chairs - you can use them either inside or outside the cabins. Don't forget - most KOAs have swimming pools and games rooms. You can purchase a discount card at www.koa.com, where you can also view the online directory.
If you feel the KOA lifestyle is definitely not for you, consider a Motel6. While not offering continental breakfasts like the express properties, they typically have clean rooms and are reasonably priced. Most Motel6 properties have a swimming pool, too. You can access an online directory at www.motel6.com. If you'd rather see something in paper, they will be happy to snail-mail a guide - just fill in your info on that web site.
KOA/Motel 6 Rip-off
I wholeheartedly disagree with the previous posters.
First of all, I hate KOA with a passion, and unless you want to take advantage of their community areas and/or RV hook-ups, there is almost never a good reason to spend that much money on a campsite.
Likewise, Motel 6's are notorious for small rooms, thin walls, poor beds and bedding, etc.
Think of it this way...let's say there are four people total in your entourage. Why pay $8 to $10 each for a low-quality facility when you can spend $12 to $15 each for more space, cleaner rooms, bigger beds, plus oftentimes a pool, exercise room, extended cable TV, internet hook-ups, etc?
I've stayed in plenty of motels in the last ten years or so and there are a few that stand out as being particularly good or bad in terms of 'bang for your buck.'
Big fan of Best Westerns and Baymont Inns. Particular disdain for Ramada, Motel 6, and most Hampton Inns, though reasonably priced Hampton Inns do exist out there, and when you find them, they're great.
My best advice...JOIN AAA if you haven't already. Aside from the roadside assistance, you will be privy to any number of maps, tourbooks, and campbooks for the areas you will be traveling through.
Good luck and safe driving.
Well said! --- As far as Motel 6
I hoped Angus would weigh in on this subject. I agree with all of his points in regards to Motel 6. A couple of additional gripes -- if you like bath tubs, you will never find one in a Motel 6. The dial-up connections are usually poor to fair in a Motel 6 and most require additional fees if using a laptop. Motel 6 does have a good advertising slogan...
On the other hand, we have found KOA's to be very reasonable and a good choice for a variety of road travelers.
Personally, I think that you should avoid chains when possible and stay in locally-owned hotel/motel whenever possible. You usually get great service, wonderful advice on things to do in the area, places to eat, etc., and the places usually have some type of local character that the chains lack.
Chains are still locally managed
Generally, I look for Best Westerns -- locally owned and operated but still required to maintain standards. Where available, I also seek La Quintas for their excellent dial-up internet access points.
This site has been a great help so far while we have been planning our trip. When we finally we go on this trip we will let you all know how it goes!