When Choosing a Motel, Keep These Things in Mind

Motels were once associated with seedy joints frequented by gangsters and other undesirables. All that’s changed now and the only differences between motels and hotels are cost, size of the establishment and the absence of certain amenities, none of which take away comfort and safety.


Cheap accommodation is sought after not only by backpackers and students but travelers who don’t believe in spending hundreds of dollars for a night’s stay when they can enjoy the same at a much lesser cost. You get all basic amenities, laundry service, restaurants, bars and even heated pools.

There are, however, a few dubious motels that you should steer clear of. You can filter them out by following these simple guidelines.

Compare ratings

Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to check reviews of hundreds of past customers. Numerous travel sites have dedicated sections on honest motel reviews so it’s just a matter of making comparisons. For example, if a motel receives 4 out of 5 stars based on 10 or 20 reviews, it’s a place worth considering. If that same motel has been reviewed similarly in other sites, you know it can be trusted.

Choose motels to match your budget by applying filters provided in most travel websites. A short description of each including amenities will be provided. If a motel has a laundry service and no WiFi but still charges a relatively high rate, move on to another. Look for accommodation that includes a list of amenities you need even if it means shelling out a few dollars more.


Strategically located motels that have easy access to tourist spots, main roads, stores and restaurants should be considered because spending money on expensive cabs just to get somewhere is cost-prohibitive even if the motel’s rates are cheap. Those located a few minutes away from access points are usually a little expensive but you’ll save more at the end of the trip.


Look for special discounts such as booking two double-bed rooms and getting a single-bed room at a discount. If you’re traveling in a group the chance of availing discounts is higher. Off-season is the best time to get rooms at really low rates but you’re likely to miss out on events. Still, many prefer the quiet of off-seasons because there’s no crowd to beat and you can really take in the sights and sounds of a place.


Factors like cleanliness cannot be judged until you reach the motel. Customer reviews are, therefore, the next best way to finding out just how spic and span rooms really are. What you can find out early is the list of amenities provided. Aside from laundry and internet access, points to consider are parking, if you plan on hiring a car, allowance of pets if you have to travel with yours, late arrival in case your flight’s delayed, and accessible rooms if you use a walking cane or a wheelchair.

Most motels today have provisions for accommodating wheelchairs but a call to the motel management will yield answers to how large the doorways or bathrooms are and whether ramps are in place to access platforms.

If you still can’t decide what motel to choose, base your decision on referrals from friends and family. Their reviews are genuine and you’ll get a detailed report on a motel’s standing.


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