How do I find the cheapest motel(s) in my area?

So, I need to find a motel that I can rent a room in for a night (or less?) for less than $40 in San Diego County. Thing is, I have no idea how to go about this. I’ve been Googling and Yelping fairly aimlessly for an hour and haven’t managed to beat that price (and that one was only so easy because it was a big national chain). How do I find the absolute cheapest? Are there boards or other sites dedicated to finding this kind of thing?

I also noodled around a little and it looks like you might have some success looking through the white pages. Find some that sound cheap and call them. :slight_smile: Good luck!

Thanks for the tips! I’ll check them all out.

If anyone has any other ideas, too, I’ll be checking back in regularly. One thing is that it has to be a private room, not a hostel dorm.

the more desirable the location , the higher he hotel price. By the beach, expensive, downtown expensive. near the airport expensive. near the stadium expensive. The farther away from those locales, the cheaper.

There are many motels that rent by the… err… hour. Found (IME) around truck stops and state/US highways that have been outdated by freeways. I’m sure these exist in San Diego.

The yellow pages suggestion is as good a place to start as any. Avoid the Motel 6 and look for the “Route 6 Inn” type of place to find the No-tell Motel.

Have you considered googling hostels in the area, instead of motels? They usually provide dormitory-type housing for significantly less cash than conventional hotels or motels.

San Diego, like most (all?) California big cities, has neither truck stops nor pre-Interstate freeways.

As I have said, I am looking for a private room, not a place to stay. More along the lines of hekk’s suggestion.

Well, I don’t how helpful this will be, but I just went to, and checked their rates. For Chula Vista, midweek, they had a room available for $43.19. For San Ysidro, midweek, they had a room for $39.99. The prices will be higher on the weekends, I’m sure.

I would think the cheapest prices in the county are going to be in Chula Vista, San Ysidro and Lemon Grove, so I would focus my search on those cities. Try plugging them into, and see what pops up. Don’t take the prices that show on TripAdvisor as the last word. You can often get cheaper prices by going directly to the hotels’ websites.

There are the crappy, filthy roadside motels, many of which you can still find, but seriously, why would you want to stay at them?

That’s all that’s available for under $40 a night. Personally, I’d rather take a shower at a truck stop and sleep in my car than sleep on a mattress in a fleabag hotel, but YMMV.

In addition to and their ilk, always check out and They often offer rates that are cheaper than anything you’ll find on these hotel search websites, and they’re a step up from the fleabag places.

I would use the white pages and avoid google. The type of place you can get for that money are usually the old Mom and Pop places that don’t have websites. Go straight for the whitepages and look for the smallest add. The cheaper the hotel, the less money for ads.

Might be a good idea to bring your own sheet to lay over the bedspread. Ick

You’ll probably find out that all the cheap motels have no advertising budget so I doubt you’ll find much of anything on the internet.

Try some of the old hotels in the downtown area where they put up transients and the like. After all, you did say “cheap.”

If you’re not picky about where you stay, you could always try Priceline and see what you get.

Have you read this thread?

BTW, I found a great deal on Just for those of you who check out this thread because you want to find the same thing…

Time spent beyond any of the major websites (Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia) will generally be of diminishing marginal utility. At least for the U.S., AFAICT, most travel reservation engines are powered off of the Sabre system ( or something much like it. Inventories and pricing appear pretty consistent across the different websites.

Slightly off-topic (though it may benefit the OP either way), there was a website that I used to go to that gave detailed reviews of hotels by guests of those hotels. You could get a really good idea of what to expect from this site.

Unfortunately, I never bookmarked the site and now I can’t find it. A few months back, I reserved a motel room in advance to break up a long road trip, arrived very late, like 3 am, and found that the place was a dump. I didn’t have any other options at that hour, so I slept there for a few hours dreaming of bedbugs and unknown substances splattered on the wall.

Anybody know what this hotel review website is? website I mentioned in an earlier post may be the site you’re talking about.

I’ve been spending a great deal of time on it lately looking for a Vancouver hotel, and noticed a number of reviews mentioning bedbugs, which is a detail, as you might imagine, I found quite helpful in reducing my possibilities list.

It lists hotels from around the world, although it’s definitely more aimed towards US and Canada, I’ve found. Still, it’s a very useful website.