4 Tips for Choosing a Motel in an Unfamiliar Area

Staying in an unfamiliar area and not sure which accommodations to choose? If you're not careful, you could end up staying at the worst motel in the area. While looking at online reviews is a good start, there are some other key steps you'll need to take if you want to choose the best possible motel. Get it right, and you might become a regular at this place! Safe and pleasant accommodation is important, so don't rush your choice.

1. Check online reviews

To get a general idea of what's available in the area, you'll want to do an online search. Look for motels with plenty of reviews, but be wary if they're all five stars, as there could be review manipulation going on. The best motels will have a mix of honest reviews with details on the positives and negatives of each place. For example, one motel might be great for couples but not for families, while another could have great customer service but terrible decor.

2. Ask locals for advice

You can't always be sure an online review is genuine, so in-person recommendations are preferable. If possible, get chatting to the locals and ask what they think of the nearby motels. You don't have to walk up to a stranger in the street - you could ask the server at a restaurant, or the checkout assistant at a shop. Even better, try and speak to another traveller, who may have already stayed in several of the motels in the area.

3. Drive past a few to compare

The external appearance of a motel says a lot about how well it's run and looked after. Once you've got a few names on your list, take a drive past each of them and compare. As well as general upkeep, take a look at how many cars are parked outside. A good motel will have plenty of cars parked outside without being completely packed. You should also be able to observe the general demographic of the guests you see coming and going.

4. Request to see a room

Found a motel you think is perfect? Before committing to your stay, ask if you can take a look at one of the rooms. Most motel owners will be more than happy to oblige, and you'll be able to check for cleanliness, decor, and availability of things like towels and hairdryers. If it's not right, don't be afraid to say no.

Finding a motel in an unknown area doesn't have to be hard. Do your research to avoid staying somewhere that isn't right.