How Much Do Motels Cost?
Motels are basically just hotels that are usually located near major freeway exits or large highways. They are usually just intended as a place for travelers to stop and stay for a night or two, and then to be on their way. They typically aren't as fancy as hotels for this reason, and so they are often cheaper as well. But how much you pay for a motel depends on many factors, with the most important factor being the country where it's located. Since prices can vary so much per country, the following factors and prices only apply to USA motels and should help you get a good idea of what you can expect to pay when staying in a motel in the United States.
Big City Prices
Motels in big cities usually range from about $45-$80 per night, but are sometimes in the $90-$120 range depending on where in the city they're located. The ones in big cities are usually the most expensive because they don't need the business as badly since customers are constantly coming and going. They do compete with each other since there's so many motels in large cities, so this helps keep the prices from going over $80 in most cases. You may be able to find cheaper rates if you work out a weekly or monthly rate, but it usually won't be too significant and obviously not worth asking about if you only plan to stay in the area for a night or two. Motels located near bus stations or airports are usually more expensive, because customers entering or leaving town will usually want to stay near these places. However, the most expensive motels are usually those that are located in tourist areas where there's a high demand for the rooms and where customers are more willing to spend their vacation money. Motel rooms in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles are usually in the $85-$100 range, while they're about $20 cheaper near the LAX airport.
Small/Medium-Sized Town Prices
Motels in small or medium towns typically range from $30-$50 per night, but sometimes you'll even find them as cheap as $25. If you can find any that allow you to pay weekly or monthly, than the rate would be even cheaper than this in most cases. This is assuming that the small town is not near any major cities, such as on the outskirts of one, and that the local economy isn't too strong. For example, a typical motel room in Fort Pierce, FL costs around $35-$40, with the city having a population of 40,000 and not near any major cities. West Palm Beach is largest nearby city, which is about a 1 hour drive away. In West Palm Beach the typical price of a motel is around $45-$60. For small or medium-sized towns that are directly next to a large city, the average rate would be similar to that of a big city's rates or only slightly less.
Many motels have shared public bathrooms, to where everybody on certain floors shares one communal bathroom. This helps the motel have more space to build more rooms, and will usually mean cheaper rates. The rooms may still have a sink or a small kitchenette, but the toilet and shower may be in their own public room. Customers staying at the motel will usually just wait until someone is not using the shower and toilet before using them. In some places there will be more than one shared bathroom for a whole floor of occupants to use. A motel in a big city that has a shared bathroom will usually be between $25 to $35 per night, which is much cheaper than the rates that include private bathrooms in the rooms. In a small town or medium-sized town, the rates may be even cheaper than this.
If you're paying for your room with cash, the deposit you have to leave can vary from place to place. The usual rates you'll come across will be anywhere from $20-$60 per night. It can definitely be cheaper or more expensive than that range though, depending on the company. Once you check-out of your motel the next day, your deposit will be returned to you, assuming you didn't destroy the room during the night and checked out on time. Sometimes there will even be an extra charge just for paying with cash or with a certain type of card, but this is rare and if there is a fee, it's usually small. The deposit is much more common and majority of people do get these back when they decide to leave. While it's usually associated with cash payments, there can also be a deposit placed on your credit or debit card. Usually they will charge an amount, in addition to the daily rate for the room, and then refund it back to your card the next day upon checking out. You should always ask if there's a deposit when paying for a room with a credit or debit card.
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