Author Topic: Motel prices in America  (Read 9743 times)

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marcel

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Motel prices in America
« on: April 08, 2012, 04:03:10 PM »
I hope someone here can help me with a quick answer. My parents will be making a roadtrip in the US next year, and they were wondering what prizes they should expect for an overnight stay in a simple roadside motel. By simple I mean, just a place to sleep and no extra luxuries.

I am not looking for any specifics here, just a general idea of how cheap you can sleep in US motels.


Edited thread title because it was misleading.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 05:47:32 PM by cass2591 »
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Judah

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Re: Motel prizes in America
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 05:24:29 PM »
It's going to depend on location.  Last month I stayed in a motel near Monterey, CA for $126 per night, but it included breakfast and it was in a high demand area.  Three years ago I stayed in a Super 8, which tends toward the lower end, for $189 per night, but it was also in a high demand area and included breakfast. I know I've seen some motels advertise $89 per night, which is pretty reasonable for a clean place to sleep.
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FoxPaws

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Re: Motel prizes in America
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2012, 05:40:09 PM »
Location sets the price. What costs $89 in the South or Midwest is $200 in New York or Chicago. Also, the closer to a major airport or tourist attraction, the higher the price.

Since your parents are driving, they have the option of stopping in suburban areas or even the smaller towns between major cities. Check the websites for some of the major chains. They often give discounts or deals, and at least you'd get a general idea of what fees are for a particular area:

Motel 6
Super 8
Comfort Inn
Red Roof Inn
Travelodge
Econo logde
LaQuinta
Holiday Inn Express
Best Western
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HorseFreak

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Re: Motel prizes in America
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 05:42:12 PM »
I've traveled a lot for job interviews and internships and have found places for as little as $50/night with free continental breakfast (cereal, juice, bagels). It really depends on the area and you do get what you pay for! I highly recommend Extended Stay America if you don't need the breakfast; they have kitchenettes with a minifridge and are generally pretty decent overall.

JoW

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 05:57:53 PM »
Price and availability also depends on what else is happening while you are there.   To keep the cost down you can plan your trip so you will not be looking for a motel room near a major sporting event. 

buvezdevin

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 06:07:48 PM »
Agree with all above posts, and I am usually a research, plan and book in advance traveller - but had a recent pleasant trip while not following my usual practices.

Depending on the degree of flexibility your folks will have, and if they will be in primarily high demand areas (where advance booking may be advisable) here's an approach which worked well on a car trip I took last year, involved use of an iPhone and two free commonly used apps:  Yelp and Trip Advisor.

We booked our first night at a particular historic bed and breakfast.  We knew the general area over a few states which we wanted to visit, stopping in or around certain cities and regions, but other than the first night's lodging the only definite plan we had for the trip before setting out was an evening activity in one place where we bought tickets in advance.

When we were near an area that held interest to us, we used Trip Advisor and searched for available places to stay the night, price points and reviews by others who had stayed there - it uses GIS to pull info for places in the vicinity.  We used Yelp similarly to find restaurants of interest.  The apps also had links to most places web sites, and booking telephone numbers.

We also used GIS mapping app on the iPhone to find how to get to anywhere we wanted to go.

It worked really well, we enjoyed all the places we stayed, ate, and visited, most of which we found on the fly and would not likely have identified otherwise, without putting in more advance research time than we cared to before that particular trip.
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kkl123

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 06:50:08 PM »
If your parents are members of the RAC, they're probably automatically eligible for AAA (American Automobile Association) services in the US, which includes a list of guide books with hotel and motel prices, locations and phone numbers.  While these are not comprehensive, it can give them an idea of the usual pricing for hotels and motels in an area, and help them make travel arrangements, choose routes, etc.  They have excellent maps, also, and driving times, as well as general summaries of the traffic laws for each state.  It would be worth inquiring about, imo.
http://www.aaa.com/aaa/sem/sem.htm?redirectto=http://www.aaa.com/?area=JoinSEM&skin=JoinSEM&

As far as motels, I'd suggest $100 a night as a budgeting tool unless they're mostly going to be in urban areas or touristy areas, and there I'd suggest $200-250/night.  B&Bs (which last time I was in the UK were some of the cheapest accommodations) are very expensive and upscale here.  In touristy areas, taxes and "mandatory fees" can double the room prices being quoted.  "Resort fee" and "Valet parking fee" are two things that signal to us to continue to look elsewhere when we see those in a listing.

Oh Joy

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2012, 07:10:27 PM »
I agree with other posters that $100 a night is a good starting point for beginning planning a budget...some more rural areas will be less and if they need to stay close to a big city or tourist area it will be more.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2012, 09:43:26 PM »
Not in the States but I've travelled to California a few times.  About 10 years ago, I was in San Francisco.  We booked an older Holiday Inn uptown, rather than on the waterfront, and it was still over $120.  And this was in June, mid week, with no big festivals or anything going on.  On the same trip, we stayed in a Motel 6 on the PCH that was less than $100 for the night.

A couple of years ago, we were in Mammoth, in the Sierras, on the Thursday night before President's Day Weekend.  It was less than $100.  I was surprised, seeing as it is a real tourist town.

FoxPaws list is good.  More rural areas will be cheaper than cities, as a rule.  But a town/city with a high tourist factor will be more expensive, like New York and San Francisco.
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Sophia

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 10:12:27 PM »
Huge range based on location.  For example, when I traveled all the time to San Jose an ordinary room was around $300/night.  A hotel near my house has been advertising $37/night. 

Since it is roadtrip, I think they need to look into particular hotels in particular locations.  Slight changes to where they stop for the night can make a huge difference. 

Harriet Jones

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 11:12:01 PM »
Huge range based on location.  For example, when I traveled all the time to San Jose an ordinary room was around $300/night.  A hotel near my house has been advertising $37/night. 

Since it is roadtrip, I think they need to look into particular hotels in particular locations.  Slight changes to where they stop for the night can make a huge difference.

ITA. Even a few miles can make a difference.  A motel closer to a city can cost more than one a few interstate exits out.  Sometimes the closeness is worth the extra cost, sometimes not.

Definitely look at the online reviews!

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 11:16:28 PM »
If you share what regions they will be driving in, we can maybe give more specific info. in the southeast, there are free travel magazines at visitor centers and restaurants, gas stations along the interstate highway. These have coupons for reduced rates at motels along the interstates. Last year we stayed at a motel outside Miami for $36 per night, included breakfast. Stopping at visitor center for south Carolina, we got help to call for a reservation further down the road for about $45 per night. There are lots of older, clean motels that are economical.
Only thing to remember, if they will be traveling during a holiday weekend there may be less availability and getting reservations might be a good idea. They can get advice at visitor centers as they travel.

kareng57

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 11:30:18 PM »
If your parents are members of the RAC, they're probably automatically eligible for AAA (American Automobile Association) services in the US, which includes a list of guide books with hotel and motel prices, locations and phone numbers.  While these are not comprehensive, it can give them an idea of the usual pricing for hotels and motels in an area, and help them make travel arrangements, choose routes, etc.  They have excellent maps, also, and driving times, as well as general summaries of the traffic laws for each state.  It would be worth inquiring about, imo.
http://www.aaa.com/aaa/sem/sem.htm?redirectto=http://www.aaa.com/?area=JoinSEM&skin=JoinSEM&

As far as motels, I'd suggest $100 a night as a budgeting tool unless they're mostly going to be in urban areas or touristy areas, and there I'd suggest $200-250/night.  B&Bs (which last time I was in the UK were some of the cheapest accommodations) are very expensive and upscale here.  In touristy areas, taxes and "mandatory fees" can double the room prices being quoted.  "Resort fee" and "Valet parking fee" are two things that signal to us to continue to look elsewhere when we see those in a listing.

Good point about B&Bs.  Lots of Europeans are accustomed to them as very economical accomodations - but for the most part, that's not the case in North America.  (There are a few exceptions - in the Canadian Maritimes we did encounter a few situations where families moved the kids all into one bedroom for the summer and rented out the other as a B&B.  The bathroom was still the one shared with the family).

Generally though in NA they are really destinations in themselves - often more of a weekend retreat for "locals" willing to drive an hour or two, rather than inexpensive tourist accomodation.  They often include features such as antique furniture, down duvets, hot tubs/spas, and a delivered-breakfast.  Very nice, but at a definite non-budget price.

A PP gave good advice re some budget chains, but there are still a lot of mom-and-pop motels in NA that can offer good value.  AAA guidebooks are very good, and TripAdvisor has good reviews as well (for the most part).

Dindrane

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 01:11:06 AM »
The deal with B&Bs kind of depends upon the area.  In lots of places, they do cost more than an average motel room, because they offer more ambiance and a real breakfast.  But in some places, they really can be competitively priced with chain motels, and are often nicer places to stay.

In the city I live in, even a cheap chain motel will run you $100-$120 per night, sometimes more.  When my parents visit me, they pretty much always stay in B&Bs, because while those also cost $100 per night, you get a heck of a lot more for the money.

So it's definitely worth looking at B&Bs, particularly in areas that have a lot of them (since that can be a sign that they are competitively priced with other lodging options), but others are right that they are often not particularly cheap.

But in general, I'd say that roadside motels cost on average $100 per night, with variance based on location, region, and time of year.


marcel

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Re: Motel prices in America
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2012, 02:18:18 PM »
Thanks for the answers. We looked around the sites of a few of the chains that foxpaws mentioned, and did some searches in different areas of the US they plan to visit (mostly west USA) I found depending on region that the cheapest places vary from $40 to $70, since they are really looking for the very cheapest options
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