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Jun 28 2011

Road Trip Hotels

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When should you start thinking about where you’re going to stay on a road trip? It depends on the sort of person you are, and the sort of holiday you’re going to want to have. When I started discussing the roadtrip with herself, at first it was all smiles, then I watched as a realisation flushed across her face: What if the hotels we stay at are like the dive motels seen in US crime dramas?

I reassured her: This is the twenty first century. The US is full of hotels, and if like us you’re doing the sane thing and avoiding peak vacation times, there are always going to be vacancies somewhere… somewhere where we won’t wake up to find a murdered body in our shower.

The approach: Consider what you think of as a requirement in your hotel room. For me I’m going to suggest the following

Wireless internet (I’ll explain why in a minute. Preferably free WiFi… consider this when looking at prices)
2 beds (or 2 rooms) I snore and move about – we both want to be well rested in time for the next days travel.
Air-Con (Assuming the weather needs it)
Parking (Not normally an issue int he US, but I’m from the UK, I’ll take notice of this)
En-suite bathrooms

Thats about it.

The WiFi is the key, because, once you’re safely in a hotel room, you can whip out your laptop, and start looking for the next place to stay. In short, you only ever have to plan 1 day ahead. Which means you can be really flexible with your choice of route.

But – of course – you want to plan or contingencies, so its a good idea to get a few chain hotel brochures (you’ll be able to pick them up by popping round the various chain hotels at the airports) – this will mean if your computer dies, or wifi is non-existant, you can still call to reserve your next place ahead. The chains to look out for are Best western, Motel 6, Days Inn and Ramada. In general, I avoid the corporate hotels on roadtrips – other than maybe for a bit of luxury at the start or end.

There are two more things to consider:

AirBnB is an up and coming tool to find intereasting places to stay. It isn’t wonderfully geared up for roadtripping, but its well worth giving a look.

And you should grab a road trip guide, because that might point out some of the more interesting places you can stay: A hotel the shape of a teepee or the shape of a dog – both are available if you know where to look (and want a bit of kitch)

And then theres Vegas Baby

Yeah – near the end of my road trip, we plan to call in on Las Vegas… we’ll be using the usual hotel booking sites – Hotel.com, priceline etc, they should find us good value without too many problems.


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