Thursday, January 23, 2014

Save the Best For Last - Choosing Your Road Trip Accomodations

When I started out my road trip career (around age 3 months), chances are, you didn't book motels/hotels ahead of time.  You just sort of drove along, figured you were tired, stopped and checked in.  Either that or you stopped the truck in the middle of the night and realized you were parked on the Continental Divide the next morning.  Or the parked Starfire next to the railroad tracks in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Because there was no internet, no travel guides, maybe a Frommers book, you simply followed a map and took what you got when you got there.

Man, it was simpler back then.

In 1991 I planned our first road trip that was mine and mine alone - well, and my brand new husbands.  I was a grown up (stoplaughing).  We knew we were going to Disneyland (which sort of smacks the previous "grown up" phrase to bits).  That was pretty much all we knew.  We would drive until it got sorta dark and then start checking out motels.

By this I mean we would literally walk into the office (no reservations), ask to see the room, check the bed, check the shower and decide then and there if we wanted to stay.  Price was a huge factor.  It had to be cheap.

By cheap, I mean poverty cheap.

In Tillamook we started at one end of town, checked three motels along the way and ended up backtracking to the first one.

This was just how it was done.

Photo courtesy of JC Imagery


Now we have the internet, TripAdvisor, reviews, Google, Bing, streetside views, Groupon, everything except virtual holograms that put you in the room.

When we started planning our Washington/Oregon trip we started out with a map and mapquest.  (Actually, the map was from Mapquest).  We plugged in our destination and then figured on the halfway points based on how many miles were in between.  We picked a town and started our hunt.

Five things had to be on the motel-menu:

  • Two queen size beds
  • Breakfast
  • Pool
  • Air Conditioning
  • Value - not necessarily cheap, but a good value

For the most part we got all five.  One didn't have a pool, one didn't have breakfast included (click here for my rant on that bit of trickery) and, once, value got tossed in lieu of comfort.

We found out that the pool wasn't that important, that breakfast was and ending the trip with the nicest motel really rounded out the trip.

When we walked into Pelican Shores in Lincoln City, Oregon, we didn't want to leave.  It was a good thing we didn't book this place first then have to follow it up the remainder of the trip.

This was the view.
Photo courtesy of JC Imagery

Walking in, we were awestruck with the view (helllloooo, did you see that sunset?), but only saw one bed.  I knew what to expect, but the rest of the fam didn't.  In a huge state of panic (finally getting past the view), my daughter walked stormed past the kitchen, crabbily checked out the bathroom then walked stalked  past it.

Into the second bedroom.

Baaaoooom, baby! 

The mood changing capabilities of a teenager is something scientists should look into.  Someone could make a bucket-load of money if they could capitalize on this phenomenon.

Our photo, not the one from the website.
Photo courtesy of JC Imagery


The beach was literally out our door, to the left, and down the motel stairs.

Photo courtesy of JC Imagery

The fact that it had that second bedroom meant that, after being stuck in at Toyota Higlander for three days, meant we could spread out.  (Read: the teenager could veg in peace.)

This place rejuvenated us enough that the next morning we were able to drive six hours home in peace.

To see more of Pelican Shores or any of their other Westover properties, click here:  Pelican Shores.



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