Improving My Family Vacations

Why It's Okay to Stay at a Motel

by Agustin Gimenez

Far too many people miss out on the benefits of staying at a motel because they think they're too good for them. Don't be one of these people. Many have tried to tarnish their reputation over the years, but motels often are—and always have been—just as good as hotels.

What Makes a Motel, a Motel?

The only difference between a hotel and a motel is the location of the room doors. If you access your room from an indoor hallway, it's considered a hotel. When the entrance to your room is outside, it's a motel. 

So Why Do People Think Motels Are Inferior?

In general, motels tend to be more affordable than hotels and less likely to be considered luxurious (although luxury motels do exist). That alone has caused people to turn them down, even though they're no different than hotels other than their layout. Over time, their unfounded bad reputation caught on, and now many people believe that motels are inferior to hotels. 

Most motels focus on providing their guests with a safe, clean, comfortable room at a reasonable price. They tend to be more modest than the sometimes over-the-top designs and endless amenities of hotels. However, there are plenty of hotels that follow this concept as well. 

You Can Get a Great Deal

If you can look past people's inaccurate beliefs about motels, you will benefit from having a great place to stay at an affordable rate. Why stay at an expensive hotel when you don't plan to use any of their amenities anyway? If you just want a clean, safe room with a comfortable bed, you can find a motel that offers all of that for a great price. 

Save Money in Other Ways

Hotels can sometimes have extra charges for things that they should include. For example, you might have to pay to park your vehicle or valet services, which is a rarity when staying at a motel. Many hotels also charge resort fees to cover the costs of their amenities, which is pointless if you're not planning on using any of them. 

Fewer Interactions with People

Nowadays, many people are extra cautious about interacting with others due to the spread of germs. Hotels tend to have crowded lobbies and small enclosed public areas, like elevators. Most of the public spaces at motels are outdoors, and there are usually fewer situations where other people invade your personal space.