Monday, June 24, 2013

7,369 Miles - The Places We Stayed

While nothing beats staying with family and friends, you might need to stay in a hotel every now and then when traveling 7,369 Miles, 1 Month, 3 Weeks, 4 Days, 10 States, with 1 Suitcase, 1 Duffle Bag, a Toddler and an iPod. 

Here's what we learned along the way....

Before our trip I downloaded some apps thinking they might come in handy. They did! The one we used almost every night was Trip Advisor. If we were in a big city we used Hotel TonightWhat we loved about both of these apps were the reviews, pictures of actual rooms and the prices. 

Trip Advisor advertises as, reviews and advice on hotels, resorts, flights, vacation rentals, travel packages, and lots more! 

Hotel Tonight advertises as, a last minute deal for unsold rooms, with discounts up to 70%. 

If you find a hotel chain that you love sign up for their loyalty program, if you stay with them long enough you can turn your points in for free nights or gift cards.

Here's what most nights looked like for us:
  • Decide how far we would drive before stopping
  • Find a McDonald's for free wifi
  • Get a snack while Mama searches for a room
  • Call the place to make sure they have rooms available and ask prices
  • Book it online if it's cheaper and the reviews are great

If the reviews were mixed or the only places available didn't look great on the outside ask to see a room. Most hotels would show us their nicest room available in our price range, sometimes the clerk would look at us strangely but it was worth asking, the one night we didn't ask to see the room, we barely slept thinking we'd wake up to some large critters crawling around and we had to wash our feet with a washcloth before getting in the bed because the floor was so dirty.

We also made a mental check list of what we wanted in a hotel:

  • A king bed, since Caden didn't like sleeping in the pack n play and wanted to sleep with us
  • Wi-fi, to check out what cool local sites we could visit the next day
  • TV
  • Hot breakfast, I felt like we were saving money and time with this option.
  • Once a week or so we needed a place with laundry facilities. 

Our Favorite Places:
  • Miller Park Lodge - Jackson, WY - Very close to the Grand Tetons & Yellowstone National Park. Newly renovated, you could smell the fresh carpet and paint and Caden loved the in room jacuzzi tub. Muffins & Donuts for breakfast.
  • Redmond Inn - Redmond / Seattle, WA -  Large room, nice laundry and workout areas and a big hot breakfast.
  • Diamond Lake Resort - Diamond Lake, OR - This one is off the beaten path. While the room itself wasn't anything special, the food and the scenery were fantastic! If you love fishing  or just want to enjoy the beauty of Oregon this is the place to go, they offer cabins for the whole family too.
  • Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort - Anaheim, CA - Close to Disneyland, nice pool and spa.

Honorable Mentions: 
  • LaQuinta Inn & Suites - Vancouver WA - Warm cookies at check in and a great breakfast.
  • Stratosphere - Las Vegas, NV - Great view of the city at night, swimming pool on the roof.
  • Mar Clair Inn - Tillamook, OR - Large, clean room, outdated a bit.  
  • Hi Tide Resort - Seaside, OR - Large, clean room, outdated a bit, nice view of the pacific ocean.

Please Note: All views and opinions are mine, I was not paid to write this.
Credits: Stock Image:

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