Lodging for the budget traveler
First of all :
-it may be a good idea to order directories by mail or to print them, it'll be practical on the road.
-To print rebate coupons for motel/hotel rooms (it's the internet version of the guide you can obtain by going to a roadside Visitor's Center) : http://www.atsicoupons.com/
-don't forget to pick-up your free motel/hotel rebate coupon guide at each state's visitors center and ask for cheap places, restaurants and stuff. A smile goes a long way with someone who's been there all day answering the same questions over and over.
-take advantage of any AAA membership, AARP or Govt employee discounts in motels
-usually the smallest cities have cheaper rates, try to stay in the suburbs instead of the big cities.
-remain polite while bargaining, being pushy and rude won't give you a better rate and definitly not a better service.
-always take a look at the room/cabin before paying.
Here are a few ideas on where to sleep if you're on a budget :
CHEAP MOTEL ROOMS:
-motel 6 (usually the cheapest room among the big chains):
-Budget Host Inn : they have cheap room but they're not so many of them, pick-up a directory when you see one because I didn't find any url
-Interstate Inn and 1st Inn (cheap rooms, sometimes not very clean):
-Mom & Pop Motels : usually roadside motel rooms, frequently old even crappy, relatively clean depending on the owner and the location, kitsch decor but cheap and gives you the opportunity to chat with locals.
MEDIUM RATES MOTEL/HOTEL ROOMS
-Red Roof Inn
-Super 8 motels
MEDIUM-HIGH RATES MOTEL/HOTEL ROOMS
-Econo Lodge, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Quality Inn, Rodeway Inn,
HIGH RATES MOTEL/HOTEL ROOMS
ALTERNATIVES TO HOTEL/MOTEL ROOMS :
-YMCA/YWCA in big cities sometimes have rooms for travelers : http://www.ymca.com/index.jsp &
-University residence (usually during summer)
-B&B's are a great alternative for motel rooms, but they're usually much more expensive than motel rooms
CAMPGROUNDS AND CABINS
-Camprounds and RV Parks :
-The Campground Network
-KOA Camprounds directory (usually between 20-35$)
-National Parks, National Monuments and State Parks
-Bureau of Land Management campgrounds (usually between 5-12$)
FREE CAMPING/SLEEPING IN THE CAR (in other words if you like adventure):
are havens for travelers in the US : they sometimes rent rooms, or you can just sleep in your car in the parking lot, they have clean showers, cheapest gas, cheap food, souvenirs, camping supplies, maps, private phone cabins, laundromats, 7/24...
note : I know Flying J has a frequent fueler program, you can order a frequent fueler card for free that gives you rebate on gas and products, I'm sure other truck stops have that kind of program too. Don't forget to ask for a free directory it's always practical to have it on the road.
-TA Travel Centers
-Pacific Custom Brokers : www.pcb.ca
Ok I guess that's enough for one day:-)
Have a nice trip and drive safely!
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-17-2008 at 08:09 AM.
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What accommidation is considered cheap and what expensive?
Is 60$ expensive for a non-fancy hotel?
The price of motels will depend upon a number of factors, including where and when you are booking. On average $40-60 is a pretty typical number for a budget motel, while you can often pay up to $100 for a more moderately priced room. However, if you are booking on a weekend, in a major city, or when city is hosting a convention or other event, prices can and do go up.
i used microtel hotels to be fairly priced at about 45 to 50 a night and they was very nice indeed.
Also palm springs have cheap hotels
don't know if someone posted this already, but if you know someone who works at a hotel you can get thier friends and family discount
Thanks for the excellent post. I was looking for a cheap motel. All I want is room to sleep for the night and that's it. I don't care about the "continental breakfast" they have. I wonder how people even eat that. Amazingly unhealthy stuff.
The breakfasts vary a lot
Some have continental breakfasts that are really just a roll or a muffin, maybe cereal, and that's about it. But I have seen full-spreads with bacon, sausage, eggs, fruit, pancakes, waffles, cereal, etc.
I'm not much of a breakfast eater myself. I like to get an early start and I'm particularly not interested in breakfast so early in the morning so the "free" breakfasts don't really interest me.
But I do think some of the chains have done a good job providing a more interesting breakfast with some healthy choices. I'll leave it to those with more experience staying at, and eating at, these places to chime in on which chains have more healthy choices available.
That's all I look for too. The only amenity I want is Internet access, so I usually stay at a Super 8, the entire chain advertises free wi-fi but it doesn't always work. Now that more and more Motel 6's have wi-fi (3 bucks a night) I'll probably start using them too, they are generally cheaper than the Super 8.
Originally Posted by dinesh75
Motel 6 has no breakfast, just free coffee in the lobby. Super 8's have varying amounts of breakfast, all I grab is a glass of OJ and a cup of coffee unless they have a waffle machine, then I'll eat one of those.
I will not stay in either chain inside cities, they are usually in less desirable areas, run down, and not particularly cheap. I try to avoid my overnight stops in cities whenever possible. If I absolutely have to stay in a city, I'll eat the $100+ bill for something like a Hampton Inn.
Motel 6 tend to be cleaner than Super 8 in my experience. I only use the latter as a last resort or if they are modern enough that you can get away without them having been cleaned since they were opened. Good news that Motel 6 are installing wifi...
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