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What is a motel?

A motel is usually located on the side of major highways, interstates, and ring roads, and offers an easy and convenient place to pull up the car to rest the night. Motels are a long-time favorites of the road-tripper and the budget traveler. Motel rooms tend to be simple, comfy affairs with multiple beds and an ensuite bathroom, while some cheap motels even offer pools, games rooms, and other extras.


Motels vs. hotels

What's the difference between a motel and a hotel? It's a classic question, and there are plenty of reasons why you'd want to seek out a roadside motel over a conventional hotel. Firstly, you often won't have to dodge the traffic and enter a big city to find a room when staying in a motel since they are usually conveniently situated close to big roads and junctions. Then there's the price, which is typically lower for stripped-down motel-style rooms. Finally, there's the almost guaranteed space you have for the car in a motel, which is great for roadsters and business travelers alike.


Why should I stay at a motel?

A major bonus of staying at a motel is of course the price. These simple roadside lodgings can often be super-easy on the wallet, leaving more dollars for you to explore local attractions and sights. They are also convenient for travelers coming with the wheels in tow – most motels offer on-site parking spots, always close to main highways.


Where do you find motels?

Motels have their roots in early 1900s America, which is why you'll find the bulk of this accommodation type dotting the United States. They pepper the highways that run coast-to-coast and all sorts of cities and roads in between, from New York to LA, Miami to Seattle. That said, if you asked, 'show me motels in Europe', that would be doable, too. And they can be found in Asia and the Middle East and beyond.


How much does it cost to stay in a motel?

The question of how much are rooms in motels isn't simple to answer. Motels are generally considered to be some of the most affordable stays out there, which is understandable given their conventional location close to highways, and the normally simple room amenities.

It is possible to find feature-rich motels for more money, which may come with pools. Also, when you're searching for the closest motel to a major attraction you can expect more amenities.


How to book a motel?

Finding the perfect motel for that budget jaunt across the United States or a European road odyssey should be easy. All you need to do is enter your planned dates and destination on Expedia and then sort your results to show only this type of accommodation. If you use the search field on this page, it's already calibrated to show you motel options. You can even use the map feature to pinpoint off-the-beaten-track motels, filtering accordingly.


What do motels offer?

Major chain motels usually offer pretty much the same across the board. They have simple, affordable suites along Route 66, up on Interstate 80, and everywhere cars roam. A parking space for the car right next to your room is the main perk. Service is typically bare bones, which means you'll have loads of privacy to rest up before hitting the road again come morning.

Then there the more luxurious motel choices – some have outdoor pools, high-speed internet, and even game rooms for the kids. The true road trip might forgo these more palpable options in favor of "roughing it."


Motels close to me

Search for a motel nearby destinations of choice using Expedia's search field above. Our accommodation wizard can help you find a motel close to wherever you are right now, just fill in the spot and today's date, and you're good to go.