For some the roadside motel is as American as the stars and stripes. Even those who have yet to visit the USA are aware of the budget motel so favoured by travellers in countless Hollywood movies. For some screen characters it was a stop on a road-trip. Think “Thelma and Louise”, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” for comedy, and for horror, we all know what takes place at Bates Motel in “Psycho”.
These days the interstate landscape is dominated at major intersections with the big brand chains. From Motel 6 to Travelodge, Econo Lodge, Super 8 and Vagabond Inn all are in the budget motel category. You have to leave the multi-lane highways and take the slower routes to find the individual, family-run budget motels. These have familiar neon signs and often modernist mid-century design.
In fact the word “motel” can be traced back to 1925 but it is in the post WWII years that they spread across America. But the fastest growth in the 1950s and 1960s.
Travellers have demanded greater comfort and familiarity recent years. The roadside budget motel scene has moved upscale with more budget hotels with additional services such as restaurants, coffee shops and business services. Many hotel chains have developed budget hotel brands for roadside locations. These include Holiday Inn Express, Ramada Limited, Red Roof Inn and Howard Johnson.
Around major tourist destinations, such as the Disney parks in California and Florida, motels are more than overnight stops off the highway. Vacationers use them as economic accommodation for their stays in the area. Especially in Florida, European vacationers may stay for a week or more. Also specialist brands have developed for longer stays, offering enhanced kitchen facilities and laundry services.
Searching for the best Budget Motel and Hotel Deals
Use the search box below and enter your destination and required dates. The results will show a range of accommodation that can be ordered an way to suit – from lowest price, motels or hotels – even luxury hotels if that’s what you want. Use your smartphone and the phone optimised site even offers “budget hotel options near me”.