I see a lot of interesting fly-drive offers to different regions in the US. They all look very tempting. I would love to do such a road trip. The question is always, where are you going to stay with a rental doing such a road trip. Especially with small children, when you're are not as flexible by sometimes spending one night on a parking in your car.

Could I compare the US to France, where you will almost always find a good bed & breakfast in almost any town?

  • First off what are your expectations of the place to stay? B&B, Hotel, Motel?
    – Karlson
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 3:28
  • Just a safe place to stay. We usually have our tents with us, but where to spent the night while en route?
    – user141
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 12:24
  • We did a road trip on the east coast of the usa and canada a few months back and we had no problem getting rooms for the night they were easy to find and 99 % were great ! Enjoy your holiday :)
    – user4623
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 1:00
  • You must have a booking for the first night, otherwise they will not let you in. Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 15:26

4 Answers 4


There are great many options along the various highways and byways in the US for lodging, though if you are looking for B&Bs you would have to check ahead because they are usually small and may be booked.

When travelling on the interstates and other divided highways you would see signs like:

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This one is to indicate that at exit 14B there is a HolidayInn Express. Of course you could see a sign which will leave you wondering:

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But these are rare. Mostly along the roads you will find inexpensive chains like:

and a few others. Most of these are quite clean and safe to stay at though "mileage may vary".

One thing I would suggest is when you are travelling with kids is to actually plan out your route. For example, last year I went to a Finger Lakes region in the 2nd week of July and there was no hotels/motels/B&Bs to be had (except for obscene amounts of money) because of the local festival so check for those first and if possible make reservations ahead of time.


Hotels along the major highways and interstates are plentiful. My personal recommendation, if you'll be traveling with a smartphone of some sort, is to pull over at a rest stop an hour or two before you intend to finish driving and check out what your options are within 50-100 miles. Most of the major chains have good mobile sites/apps, and free wifi is relatively common at many stops these days as well.


I'm from England and work for an airline (i.e. air travel is cheap and easy for me). We've done fly-drive holidays in the US and Canada at least every other year since the kids were born. Pretty much every town and city in the US has motels and hotels on their edges. They're mostly OK. Some are excellent, some not so good. For a family with small kids a room with twin beds is probably the cheapest option. In my experience they're always double beds but check and see the room before accepting it. They never have a problem with you doing that.

Walk-in prices are the most expensive. If there's a phone number displayed, phone them for a price even if you're parked nearby. If you do just walk in, don't accept the first price offered. Say you'll have to check with your partner in the car and they'll often throw in a discount to stop you walking out.

Check what breakfast, if any, comes in the price. Often just coffee, perhaps a small sponge cake or similar. Occasionally a buffet.


As many people have said, cheap family-friendly lodgings are plentiful near interstate highway exits and other major roads. (In the US B&Bs tend to be pricier luxury accommodations; look for motels. Off-brand motels can be even cheaper but service levels can be spotty. You are unlikely to check into a chain motel in January and find that the heat doesn't work, for example.)

However, it is well worth getting reservations in advance -- even a few hours in advance -- as you might be surprised to learn what areas tend to sell out their lodgings either regularly or for some obscure local event. You will also usually get better prices booking online than by walking in the door.

If you have tents with you you can also consider some of the chain campgrounds (or other local campgrounds, but they are going to be harder to find online), but beware, in the US a "campground" is often primarily a place to park your RV for the night and may not be a friendly place to pitch a tent.

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