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How to Save on Road Trip Hotel Stays


August 4, 2023

Planning a road trip? Lodging can be one of the biggest expenses. With some planning and insider tips, you can lower your hotel costs and stretch your travel budget further. This guide will walk you through finding affordable hotels along your route, researching rates, and more ways to save on your road trip lodging. 

Grab your road trip playlist and let’s hit it!

How to Find Hotels Along a Route 

Mapping out your route ahead of time allows you to research hotel options at each stop. Here are some tips for finding affordable hotels along your route:

  • Use Google Maps or another routing app to map the start and endpoints. Add stops along the way at cities where you plan to spend the night. 
  • Check the distance between stops. Plan for a maximum of 8-10 hours of driving time per day. Hotels at halfway points or just off the highway can be cost-effective options.
  • Search for lodging in each overnight stop cities. Filter by price, amenities, reviews, and more to compare options.
  • Plan for four-legged friends! If you’re traveling with pets, be sure to click “Pet-Friendly” under the Amenities filter on to find hotels that accept pets. Read each hotel’s terms carefully – traveling with pets may require extra fees and other conditions, such as a pet carrier to house unattended pets.

Repeat this process for each city stop along your route. With some advance planning, you can find comfortable and affordable chain hotels, independent motels, or inns in cute downtowns.

8% Off for Military, First Responders, Nurses, Teachers, Medical Providers, and Students

How to Search Hotels on makes it easy to compare lodging options and find deals in one place. Here are tips for using to book affordable hotels:

  • Enter the first city you’ve chosen for your overnight stop into the search bar at the top of the homepage, the date you’ll arrive, and the number of travelers. Then, hit SEARCH.
  • Use the filters to narrow results by price, star rating, amenities, hotel name, distance from attractions, and more.
  • Sort hotel prices from low to high to see the most affordable options first. You can book quickly right on the site.
  • Pay close attention to the total price with taxes and fees included, not just the nightly rate. The total is displayed below the nightly rate.

Download the app to book hotels on the go, view maps to hotels, and access travel confirmations from your phone.

With a few clicks, you can compare hotels across your whole road trip route and score some savings.

10 More Road Trip Savings Tips

Hotels are just one (big!) part of your road trip experience. Here are a few more tips to help you save on food, gas, and more.

  1. Pack snacks and a cooler of food/drinks from home to avoid pricey gas station and restaurant stops.
  2. Get gas from wholesale clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club to save on fuel costs. Apps like GasBuddy help locate the cheapest gas stations.
  3. Travel during the off-season to avoid summer gas and lodging price hikes. 
  4. Shop grocery stores in your pit-stop cities for affordable pre-made meals or deli options rather than dining out. 
  5. Use public transportation to get around the cities you stop in, which can save you money on gas and parking fees.
  6. Split costs with travel companions by dividing up expenses or purchasing items together.
  7. Take scenic routes off the highway to enjoy sights for free instead of paid attractions.
  8. Join rewards programs like AAA for access to discounts on gas, dining, and attractions.
  9. Check tourism websites for cities along your route to look for attraction and dining package deals and coupon books. 
  10. Save with Shop! Get 8% off for Military, First Responders, Teachers, Nurses, Government Workers, and Medical Providers when you book on

With a little flexibility and planning, you can find comfortable and budget-friendly hotels across your next road trip adventure. Safe travels and enjoy the journey!