A road trip across the enormous area of USA is a great way to explore this country. It lets you take advantage of USA’s busy cities and also allows you to explore the countryside and get flabbergasted by the amazing natural sights you will drive along. It is truly a great experience.

This does come at a cost though. Long cross country road trips can become quite expensive. You have to rent a car, pay for gas (prices are low in USA but it will still add up) and you also have to find a place to sleep at, not to mention all the other expenses that you will encounter along the way.

Cheap USA motels for your road trip can be friendly to your wallet, while also providing you with a comfy bed to rest in after a long day in your car. This article will help you find cheap motel chains in the USA with hopefully the best price to comfort ratio.

Do You Really Need a Motel Room?

You might think that the motel room is not worth your money. Sure, you might be able to find options that give you a place to sleep at for less money or even for free, such as camping, hostels or Airbnb’s. You might not sleep in a motel every single night but when you can’t find a cheaper or more suitable option, it is great to be prepared and choose the best option that is available at the moment.

Sleeping in a car is an option that might seem great for people traveling on a really tight budget but it is really not advisable. Sure, it’s free, however, you will be uncomfortable, tired and really sick of it after a couple of nights in a car. Not to mention that it can be very dangerous and even illegal in some areas.

Whatever option you choose, it’s hard to ignore the fact that motels are affordable, always easy to find and equipped with a nice bed that you will really appreciate during your road trip.

Why motels are cheaper than hotels?

Motels differ from hotels in many aspects. Your choice depends on how much money you can spend, length of stay, and your immediate needs. Hotels generally provide more services than motels and are laid out and constructed differently. Most motels cost less than hotels because they offer fewer services. Hotels may offer room service, bellhops, or a concierge, who can accommodate the various needs of guests.

Hotels in small cities may cost less than a major chain motel in more expensive cities where tourists flock, such as Miami or Los Angeles. Motels commonly offer shorter-term lodging than hotels, and their overhead is much less than that of a hotel. 

TURO – Rent cars from people (just like on Airbnb)

How much does a motel room cost?

The average motel costs between $45.00 and $100.00, depending on location and demand. Motels in destination cities tend to cost more than those you may find along interstates. In most cases, motels attempt to offer the most convenience for the least amount by not offering extras, such as free breakfasts, free Wi-Fi, and premium channels on the television. They generally offer basic amenities that a weary traveler will appreciate. Comfortable beds, bath linen, and television are the basic requirements. Some may offer a coffee pot, microwave, and a small refrigerator. 

Certain non-chain motels may offer rooms as low as $19.00. The term, “fleabags” come to mind when they are offered this cheaply.

Which Are Cheap Motel Chains in the USA?

There are a plethora of motels in the USA. Some of them are independent, while others are part of motel chains that operate across the country. I will focus on cheap motel chains offering a certain level of comfort and services that you can more or less rely on.

Motel 6


Motel 6 is one of the most popular cheap motel chains in USA. Motel 6’s motels are focused on keeping the price as low as possible, while also providing their guests with the comfort they need after long days spent in a car or walking.

In 2008, Motel 6 started implementing a countrywide renovation program that aims to keep guests satisfied and to make all the motel rooms modern, stylish and functional. However, that’s not all. Another goal of these renovations is to make the rooms more energy-efficient and easy to maintain, which helps Motel 6 keep prices as low as possible and make budget travelers happy.

Motel 6 is focused on keeping its prices low, so they include only the really necessary things. For instance, you will have to pay extra if you want to have access to a motel’s wireless internet. You also don’t get a little shampoo bottle and other amenities you might be used to getting for free. Breakfast is not included nor offered but you can get free coffee in the morning.

It is clear that Motel 6’s motels are really a budget option, however, there is one upside in addition to the low price. If you are traveling with a pet, you can keep it in your room with no additional costs.

Super 8


Another greatly popular budget motel chain is called Super 8. In fact, there are more than 2 000 Super 8 locations in the world, most of which are in USA. It is part of Wyndham Worldwide, which incorporates many other hotel and motel brands.

Super 8 is also keeping its prices as low as possible, however, unlike at Motel 6’s locations, you get more for your money. The Internet is included in the price and you can also enjoy a continental breakfast at each Super 8 motel.

If you are willing to pay a bit more for a much more comfortable stay (generally speaking), you should probably opt for Super 8 instead of the aforementioned Motel 6.



Travelodge offers amazing accommodation all over the USA and around the world as well. They started in 1935 when building contractor Scott King opened the first one. It caught on immediately and it was fully booked for an entire year. Because the demand was there he slowly started expanding and now the chain boasts more than 40 000 guest bedrooms. Most of them have an on-site bar/cage restaurant and are always centrally located, they are the ideal base for travel, hence the name Travelodge.

They are also located around National parks. Their quality is superb and they aim to provide the best value motel. Everything is modern and stunning. Their standard rooms offer comfortable king-size beds for your leisure. They treat your experience with utmost care so they do everything to make sure your room is perfect for your needs. They include a beautiful clean shower room, a spacious desk and a TV with Freeview and WIFI. You even get coffee and tea making facilities. Some rooms include blackout curtains, led lighting and plenty of power throughout the room with USB desk and bedside charging points. The employees are kind and friendly and ensure your stay is the utmost enjoyable. We definitely recommend staying in Travelodge.

America’s Best Value Inn

America’s Best Value Inn - Cheap Motels USAPRICES & AVAILABILITY -> BOOKING.COM

In the past 13 years, they have grown from 2 properties to more than 1000 locations throughout the whole of North America. Even though they have grown so fast they haven’t placed quantity over quality, which is rare nowadays. It is perfect for all types of travelers including families, senior citizens or business professionals. Definitely a stay you won’t regret. The staff is very kind, understanding and goes out of their way in order to help you, it is truly remarkable. The rooms are extremely clean and beds are comfortable what else could you wish for? They have one of the best breakfast offers around and the housekeepers are amazing with charming personalities as well. If you need a place to crash, this is the perfect option.

Free parking is included, the internet is really high speed so it is suitable for businessmen. It is perfect for non-smokers and there is also a self-serving laundry machine where you can wash your clothes. Pets are allowed and they even have an outdoor pool for your leisure. They even have a meeting room for business meetings and fax machine. Wheelchair access is available and every guest is treated with exceptional comfort, quality and service at the most affordable rates. It is the best bang for your buck and you have them all over America.

Microtel Inn and Suites


Microtel Inn and Suites is another hotel chain owned by Wyndham Worldwide. Microtel often ranks at the top of consumer satisfaction surveys and is also a great option to stop during your USA road trip.

Yes, it is a hotel chain, not a cheap motel chain, but Microtel’s rooms are still very affordable. Microtel Inn and Suites is considered a budget option, however, it’s not nearly as cheap as Motel 6 for instance. Good news is that the price difference will most likely be noticeable as soon as you enter your room. Rooms are generally smaller but also nicer and more luxurious.

Red Roof Inn


All Red Roof Inn hotels and motels are easily distinguishable thanks to their red roof, which gives this budget USA motel chain its name. The brand covers more than 500 locations across USA, most of which are southern and eastern parts of the country.

Like Motel 6, Red Roof Inn is also pet-friendly and a great option if you are traveling with your loyal animal companion.

Econo Lodge


Econo Lodge is another great option for a budget traveler seeking for a great value. It has almost 1000 locations across USA, most of which are located conveniently very close to major roads you will find yourselves on during your road trip.

All Econo Lodge locations offer free breakfast that will give you the energy you need for another long day spent traveling and exploring.

Days Inn


With over 1700 properties, Days Inns are popular choices, as well. A part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, they offer convenient locations and comfortable, spacious rooms. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and a fitness center or pool. All of the Days Inns by Wyndham, except La Quinta by Wyndham, offer reward points that can be used for free night stays.

The Days Inn brand offers a variety of room choices. Days Hotel is usually found in more highly populated cities and is a full-service property with all of the amenities associated with a hotel. Days Inn, Days Suites, and Days Inn & Suites can offer either full service or limited service. 

Prices average between $66.00 and $123.00. Use of the term “hotel” in reference to the Days Inn may be misleading given the definition distinction between hotel and motel. The property is considered a two-star hotel, which, in hotel industry jargon, means that it is basic and clean, but offers far fewer amenities than the average hotel. They are generally less than five stories and usually are well located to accommodate motorists who will spend the night and continue on their way the next day. 

Jameson Inn and Suites

Jameson Inn is a good budget-friendly option and boasts over 120 properties in 14 different states, mostly in the Midwest. They offer an assortment of amenities, such as continental breakfast, free HBO, and a fitness center. The rooms all have a microwave and refrigerator, and they offer the typical hair dryers, iron and ironing board, and coffee/tea makers.

Unlike most budget Inns, they provide live music in the bar area and allow vaping in designated areas. For travelers who are interested, they sell e-cigarettes and eLiquid, which is the fluid used to fuel the electronic cigarette. However, smoke-free rooms are available for motorists. They advertise the properties as convenient whether you are spending one night, or you plan a lengthier stay for business or vacation. The average cost is $55.00 to $83.00. 

They are pet-friendly and offer weekend and Valentine specials. The company has been in business since 1987, but it only began franchising in 2012. Headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia. These motels are a good option for budget-weary travelers who want comfort, convenience, and a smattering of Southern hospitality. Free parking in these and all other motels helps to keep the budget on track.

You might also wanna check out these best hostels articles:

Best Hostels Los Angeles
best hostels nyc
Best Hostels in Miami

We hope you will enjoy your road trip and stay in above-mentioned places! Check out also cheapest hotels in USA on tripadvisor if you would like to spend a bit more and enjoy more comfort.

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cheap motels - usa road trip