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Hotels a review so far...

July 14th, 2015 at 07:24 am

Quick note my neighbors listed their house yesterday for $729k. Exact same layout, size, age, and condition. One difference is side by side parking instead of tandem. I'm curious if they can land a buyer quickly.

I wrote about how it can be hard to break an old habit. My DH and I were both raised on cheap places to stay. This trip though since we are staying in hotels for 28 days I've tried to minimize costs since we are eating out a meals pretty much. But of course we are camping for about a week broken up. Which will help bring the average down. But I am trying to stay below a $100 a day for food and $100 day for hotels. I also told my DH if we are below $100 on the hotel it makes the food for the day more palatable spending $100. Which isn't easy for a family of four three meals a day. If we were staying in one city a guaranteed hotel with a fridge and not packing up daily we could nake sandwiches. But the daily grind of driving makes it harder and not knowing where we are staying.

The first night for $62 was really a great deal for the red roof inn. Great location off the freeway and they took dogs and free wifi. The dog issue is a pain in the butt. With a dog when traveling you are worrying about them barking snd disturbing thneighbors. We arrived around 10 pm and left at 630 am. So literally a place to sleep that was safe and clean and convenient. It was very clean and exterior was nice. And very kind about the dog. I was not about to stay any where I'd have to sneak him in. Really a great deal.

But our hotel in Niagara Falls was cheap and terrible. It was supposed to be $48 all in buy we lwft after one night so it was $96 for a hotel that said wifi but didn't work. And was quite dirty. But niagara falls is a tourist destination so we probably should have spent
more. Our really bad mistake for a place to stay.

The econolodge in bay city michigan was great for $59.60. It had wifi, laundry, even a hot breakfast of waffles, bagels, etc. Very clean and easy to get on and off the freeway. My DH agreed it was a good pick. I'm not sure I guess a breakfast for a family of 4 at McDonalds would run $10?

The k royal inn in st igance michgian was not a bad deal for $71.6. The first room we had smell so they switched us without argument. There was a pool and laundry to use. And the breakfast while not hot was fine. A little pricey i felt but a tourist town during peak season to go to Mackinac island.

Then we were supposed to stay at America's Best inn but due a mixup we were switched to the Best Western in Sault Ste Marie. The best western was really great. It was the same price because of the mixup so we paid $63.41 for a very clean, upscale compared to what we had been staying ing. The breakfast was hot and nice. A bargain.

We then camped at picture rock national lakefront for $14. Can't be beat, but the flies nearly ate us alive. We barely got out of there.

We moved onto Green Bay where we stayed at the Radisson by the airport. It was $90.96, more than I wanted to pay but after reading reviews online of the motel 6 we decided to go with something we felt was safer and cleaner. It was way to high class. It was attached to the Oneida Casino and very nice. But no breakfast and it was a pain in the ass to park because of the casino. But it was really big, nice, and spacious. One major negative was the lack of guest laundry.

Then we headed to Minneapolis and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express by the Mall of America for $84.88. Again more than we wanted, but this was by far the best deal. They were super accomodating, brought us a fridge for the room, and just really clean and helpful. The laundry of course was super efficient taking credit cards to boot. The breakfast was hot and varied. And the location near the mall was great.

We then ended up at the Ramada Inn in Mitchell, SD. OMG it was terrible and worse because we paid $76.22. Part of it was how small the town was but we wanted a shorter drive instead of Sioux Falls to Badlands National Park. It did have a hot breakfast but the hotel was dirty, disgusting, and beetles everywhere in the room. Tons of bugs and just overall gross. Granted I know from reviews no hotel in Mitchell is very clean, so from reviews I had read I was expecting bad. But I can't imagine how much worse some of the cheaper places were. At least we got to see the Corn Palace and have a shorter drive to the badlands.

So far we'd spent $619 on hotels for 9 days and we were heading into the camping portion of our trip. I'll talk about what we saw and how we camped later.

It has been worth every penny. What we've seen and experienced has been unbelievable. Until you've driven cross country the vastness of the country doesn't hit you. It unbelievable the beauty and diversity of our country. I am so happy to have had this experience and I know my kids won't really remember it. I am having a fabulous time experiencing it with them.

8 Responses to “Hotels a review so far...”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    So glad you're having a great time! It was worth all the planning and stressing out. Smile

  2. snafu Says:

    Sounds like a really mixed bag of accommodation. Would it be easier to check on-line for Red Roof Inn and Holiday Inn Express in planned stops? I'm hoping you're keeping all gas, accommodation and food receipts as they have potential to be tax deductions for 2016 filing once DH gets employment.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    Did you end up more winging it? How far in advance are you booking? Just curious. Did you ever say which transport you decided on? Have you considered checking out AirBnb? Have heard good things about it, though probably easy to use in more populated places and/or with a smaller traveling group.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    I see the Comfort Inn chains--Choice Hotels?--has a deal where if you stay twice with one of their hotels--can be Comfort Inn, Quality, Cambria, whatever --you get a $50 gift card. You have to be a Choice member, but for cheaper places, I think they're good and the $50 helps.
    It's choicehotels.com

  5. Carol Says:

    I agree so much about the wonders of driving across our country. You have to experience it to believe it!

  6. scfr Says:

    The Holiday Inn Express in MPLS sounds like a great deal given the location and breakfast. Getting a hot breakfast right where you are (no need to locate a restaurant, park, wait for it to be cooked, or tip) can make a huge difference and really start the day off right.

    Glad to hear you are having such a great trip so far.

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    When my brother and I were in elementary school, my family went on 4 or 5 cross country/multiple state trips. They really were great trips (for the most part) with good memories. By the time we went on the last one, we'd been through around 35 different states (besides ones we'd already lived in at one time.)

  8. livingalmostlarge Says:

    We are having a great time and I am booking hotels usually on my phone as we drive to the city. No pre-planning done. So it's been a hit or miss. But to give us the most flexibility in staying where we like it. For example we decided to stay longer in the black Hills.

    English castle thanks. I signed up. Previous stays don't count since i usually use third party like Expedia or priceline.

    Mm we are using our subaru and it Tight. Buy that's from all the camping gear which is being put to good use. We may camp from here on out. Airbnb is not as cheap.

    Snafu problem is not sure where a we are stopping until we are on the road.

    Frugal Texan I hope my kids have the same memories. I'm hoping we are able to continue road tripping and seeing us ans Canada. I can't believe everything I'm seeing. I saw some of Yellowstone when I was 14 but it was from Las Vegas and a quick trip.

    It's very different to road trip so far and see so much. Being from Hawaii I've never experienced or seen it like this. Neither has my DH. This is amazing.

    We plan on doing Zions one winter.

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