How to calculate cost of motels for 11 nights?

Hi all,

So I have to do some kind of price calculations for how much 11 nights of motels would likely cost for our upcoming vacation. There are 3 people. We’re traveling through Oregon and California (possibly down to Death Valley.) To be honest, I don’t want to do it this way, and I’m still trying to talk my sister and her partner into renting an RV-- so I’ve been given the task of figuring out how much it would likely cost to do it the other way.

Still, it has to be realistic. It’s obviously going to look like the RV option makes more sense if I calculate everything at $200/night hotels or figure on us renting two rooms (which we wouldn’t be doing). But we’d be staying at Motel 6’s, and Comfort Inns, and that kind of thing. So I do want to be accurate.

Does anyone have any idea of what the best way would be to go about this thing?


Pick a route and an itinerary, including places where you’ll stop. Look for hotels in each city and see how much it costs to reserve a room for that night. That should give you a very accurate number.

I agree with Chuck - prices will vary greatly depending on locality, especially in various parts of California. Far too much to guesstimate an average rate.

Try for Comfort Inn and all their related chains.

Pick a realistic travel itinerary - don’t expect to travel 15 hours a day. I would think moderate-szied towns would be cheaper to stop in, while big cities might have some questionable locations and small tourist destinations will have limited options for hotels.

Almost all the major motel chains have online booking, which will give you the chance to guarantee a room if you plan a fixed itinerary; or at least give you a ball-park figure.

Most motel rooms are two queen beds, which should be OK if you can sleep through any noises. (Who snores?) I haven’t done that route for 10 years or more, but IIRC back then $60 to $90 a night was pretty realistic. Not much in Death Valley IIRC but it was a few hours from there to Vegas; we left LA in the morning, drove up through the valley to the inerpretive center(?) near the north end, and then back up Zabriski point and were in Vegas not long after sundown. Hope your air conditioning works.

The Hearst estate is pretty neat, but when we went by there we barely made the last tour which left pretty early (about 3PM or so, IIRC). You park at the bottom and get driven up the mountain.

I just would not like to be the one in the back seat unless it’s a big car or you’re short.

Just a thought, if you book all the rooms through Choice Hotels (Comfort, Days Inn) you can get a significant discount and some free nights. Call their toll free number and have a chat they will be happy to help you plan. I tour with bands for a living and this saves a small fortune. The other chains will do much the same thing, have a good trip.


Death Valley is 48 degrees at night in January! :wink: I think I’ve convinced them, though… we’re taking the RV route. But thanks for all the info. :slight_smile:

I’d subtract about 10deg off that. I know we can get overnight lows in the 20’s in the Mojave/High Desert area. Desert areas give up all their heat overnight, as there is little humidity to retain much heat.

Prices vary greatly depending on locality AND dates. To take an example I’m fairly familiar with, hotel prices in San Francisco can double or triple if there’s a large convention in town.

So to get an accurate estimate there’s no shortcut but to check out what the prices are in the places you plan to stop on the dates you’ll actually be travelling.