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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm going cross country. FLagstaff to Kalamazoo, without any freeways. I have 4 days, so no big rush. I don't know if I should make hotel/motel reservations in advance, or just pull into one every night. I'd rather not make the reservations, so I can stop when I feel the need, but I don't want to have to spend too much time searching for a place, either. What's your opinion/experience?
 

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Hi, I'm going cross country. FLagstaff to Kalamazoo, without any freeways. I have 4 days, so no big rush. I don't know if I should make hotel/motel reservations in advance, or just pull into one every night. I'd rather not make the reservations, so I can stop when I feel the need, but I don't want to have to spend too much time searching for a place, either. What's your opinion/experience?


Richie, I would probably do a lot more of that if mama wasn't with me. You can usually find a place to stay just about anywhere but she needs to know where she's staying for the night so I will typically reserve a room.
 

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i'll usually reserve a room and if I'm running late i'll call and let them know I'm on my way and to keep the room for me
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just was looking to be a little more flexible. I hate to stop at 5, when I feel I could do another hundred miles. Especially, if it's HOT and I'd rather ride in the mornings and evenings, avoiding the middle of the day.
 

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Some hotel chains now require a 24 hour notice to cancel reservations. On the other hand, you can often negotiate a much lower price over the phone for mid-week stays. I would suggest checking along your route for availability in any case, especially around larger towns. If there is a convention (or multiple events) going on, rooms may be scarce and expensive. Performing an availability check (google maps can really help here) at interchanges you think you could possibly use could greatly increase your comfort level and let you enjoy your enhanced freedom as you travel.
It has been many years, but I have experienced having to drive many extra hours late at night (along I 95) while dog tired due to no-vacancy signs. Not very fun and SHE was not impressed.
 
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Sounds like you are answering your own question.
 

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Some hotel chains now require a 24 hour notice to cancel reservations. On the other hand, you can often negotiate a much lower price over the phone for mid-week stays. I would suggest checking along your route for availability in any case, especially around larger towns. If there is a convention (or multiple events) going on, rooms may be scarce and expensive. Performing an availability check (google maps can really help here) at interchanges you think you could possibly use could greatly increase your comfort level and let you enjoy your enhanced freedom as you travel.
It has been many years, but I have experienced having to drive many extra hours late at night (along I 95) while dog tired due to no-vacancy signs. Not very fun and SHE was not impressed.


I did this to jaNICE once.......................................once


It was a meeting with ja(notso)NICE that has prompted me to make reservations now.:3dcool:
 

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@liflyboy here is another option for you and one that I have used.

Almost every hotel has wifi available. Make reservations a few days in advanced based on how you are feeling. By that I mean on Day 2 (and you already have a reservation for Day 3) think about how you feel, take a look at what sites you want to spend time at, weather conditions, and then make a reservation for Day 4. That will give you a goal to shoot for and also some flexibility in your travel plan.
 

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My friends and his wife that I travel with have an app on her phone, I think it's called "iExit". It tracks your location with the phones GPS, and tells what's at each exit (restaurants, hotels, motels, etc.). Then we stop at an exit and make calls to see what's available in that area, without having to run door to door checking price and vacancy. The app also has discount coupons.
 

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I drive until about 1 hour before I intend to stop. I then use my GPS to show me hotels along my route. I pick a chain that I know/like and make a couple of calls. I usually get one on the first or second call no problem. Like you I don't like driving around looking for a place. You can do the same thing with an App on your phone. I'm a Hilton Honors member and I sometimes use that to find the destination location about 1 hour before I stop. Good luck


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Usually when we stop for lunch we have a good idea of the progress we are making and how far we should go that day, I use expedia and get a room that way, if nothing is showing up for that location then I use google maps to seek out hotels and call them. Never had a problem not finding a room, campsite is entirely different, have had to stay in a hotel once in a while because the campsites were all full up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, all, for the advice. It's pretty much exactly what I wanted to hear. Most people are able to find rooms without travelling hundreds of miles out of the way. I downloaded iExit. It looks good. Probably more current than my GPS database. And is has gas prices!!!
 

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I would suggest you use booking.com. I usually get me a room with them around 2 pm or so. I have not had a problem finding something that way. I like booking but there are others like Expedia or hotels.com that also work. I don't like driving around trying to find a room and taking a shot at finding a good price. This approach has worked well for me
 

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We never reserve a room, cross country trip every year no problem finding a nice place to stay. We ride early and stop most times by 4 or so to beat the check in rush.
 

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I hope you'll post back with how it works out for you if you don't reserve ahead. I always want to do that, but I always chicken out and reserve rooms. One day...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have one big advantage in all this. I will have my wife sitting at home, so I plan on calling her late in the afternoon, and having her make me a reservation wherever I think I'll be ready to stop. She can shop it easier on her home computer than I can on my phone or ipad.

I'll let you know how it works out.
 
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