Vacation season is about to heat up, and with it comes a dilemma – where to stay while you travel. Unless you decide pitch a tent at the state park or drive an RV across the country, you’ll need a place where, at a minimum, you and your young family can lay down for a good night’s sleep. With so many accommodation options to choose from it’s hard to determine what will be the easiest on your travel budget. Below are some brief descriptions of each type of temporary residence.
The most basic and least expensive of travel accommodations, motels are normally located off of major highways and other tributaries for easy access. Also known as motor inns, they are normally one to two floors with exterior hallways and doors, providing direct access to parking lots. Services at motels are minimal – possibly free coffee in the mornings and an outdoor pool. Super 8 and Motel 6 are two of the more common motel chains in the United States.
The very simple definition of a hotel is a temporary residence with interior hallways and entrances that is two or more floors high. Amenities and services offered by these establishments vary. Some may provide continental breakfasts, while higher-end hotels provide services like indoor pools, business and fitness centers, and complimentary meals throughout the day. Some hotels have on-site restaurants serving a variety of meals. How much you pay depends on the chain and the amenities offered. The largest hotel chains in the U.S. include Hilton, Marriott, and Holiday Inn.
Suite hotels are designed for individuals and families looking for more space and services than offered in standard rooms. Usually, a suite provides separate living and sleeping areas and comes with a refrigerator, microwave, and eating utensils. Because of the extra space, these accommodations tend to cost more than a standard hotel. Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, and Candlewood Suites are some of the more well-known of this type of hotel.
Extended Stay Hotel
Similar to suites, extended stay hotels are for guests who intend to live in the temporary residence for a week or more. Located in urban or heavily suburban areas, accommodations include separate living, dining, and sleeping areas and a kitchen with full-size refrigerator and stove as well as cooking and eating utensils. More expensive than a suite hotel, extended stay residences tend to offer its guests weekly rates. Examples of this genre include Residence Inn, Extended Stay America, and StudioPlus.
The most expense of the genre, luxury hotels tend to be located in major cities and highly populated areas and feature the finest amenities. Rooms and suites contain upgraded bedding and media equipment while common areas, such as the pool and fitness center, are well-maintained and top-rated. Concierge service, a spa, and high-end restaurants may also be offered. While many national luxury hotel chains exist – Renaissance, Crowne Plaza, and Four Seasons, for example – there are also a number of independently-owned establishments across the country.