How to Choose a Good Motel When You're on the Road
When you're on holiday or are travelling for business, it's usually good to make motel reservations ahead of time to ensure you have a room waiting for you when you arrive at your destination. However, if you're on the road without a motel reservation, you might note a few tips on what to look for when searching for motels.
Be careful about motels with shared balconies
A balcony attached to a motel room can be a great spot for relaxing and enjoying the view, but a shared balcony can mean noise and distraction from your neighbours. If you do stay at a motel with a shared balcony, request a room on the first floor, as guests are less likely to be rowdy on the balcony if they're in close proximity to the front desk.
Look at license plates
Check the license plates of cars in a motel parking lot, and choose a facility with lots of out-of-state plates. Local visitors may be using the motel for unsavoury activities, whereas out-of-state visitors are probably tourists like you! Out-of-state visitors may also be tired from travelling or may be in town on business and need their rest, so they may not tolerate much noise or distractions. On the other hand, locals who are using the motel to stay after a wedding or for other activities may tend to be loud and bothersome.
Note what is offered or included in the room price
Don't assume that a motel will always offer free Wi-Fi, movies and the like, or that it will even have a coffeemaker in the room! Chain motels may all offer the same packages, whereas independently owned facilities will decide for themselves the perks that are included in a room rental. A small motel may not even have Wi-Fi, or it may only have it in certain areas of the building, and you may need to pay extra for internet access. Whatever the case, always ask about any amenity you need in your room rather than assuming it will be included.
A motel should allow you to examine a room before you sign in, but if not, at least consider the cleanliness of the parking lot and lobby. If the grounds are unkempt or the lobby is rundown, this often means the rooms won't be any better! Avoid motels that are dirty on the outside, as they'll probably be just as dirty on the inside, and choose one with a clean exterior and lobby area.