Author Topic: TransAmerica trail and others - prevalence of lodging?  (Read 2508 times)

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Offline ambroseya

TransAmerica trail and others - prevalence of lodging?
« on: August 06, 2013, 10:30:38 am »
We are hoping in a couple of years to be in a place where we can tour for 6+ months. We plan on beginning with Transamerica as a good starter. We would have a child with us as well (timing of the tour will be related to child's ability/maturity as well as financial stability, and he would be homeschooled while we were on the road).

However, we are going to have expenses as any touring bicyclist has, and we want to mitigate these expenses by working on the road (we do already run our own business). We would want to put in approximately 50-60 mile days (hopefully all in AM with an early rise), eat a large lunch in a town, and retreat to a hotel or similar to work, 5-6 days a week (we might still ride the 7th but we wouldn't work the 7th). Since our planning is so far off and things change, i don't want to buy the maps until closer to our trip (it could be a few years).

What is the availability of motels/cheap, reasonable lodging with internet access, along the route currently? What would *current* average prices be? (Obviously, the cost of the motels eats into the money needed, so the price would dictate the percentage of time we'd have to work.) Ideally, we've considered taking Transamerica, and then going on other routes and just continuing to go. Alternatively, would it make more financial sense to pay for an internet travelling hotspot, and be less dependent on the specific amenities of a lodging place? We would still need power, etc., and so we do not plan on camping.

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAmerica trail and others - prevalence of lodging?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 11:13:07 am »
Here's a link to the journal of a couple who did the TransAm in 2011 and 2012. Each day's entry tells you exactly where they stayed, provides contact information for the accommodation, and details how much it cost. Their average motel cost was $84 for 76 nights. They deviated from the TransAm route after Missouri (eastbound), and they were RV-supported for the last part of the trip, so lodging details are not provided for the eastern part.

For comparison, I did the TransAm in 2010 with camping equipment, and my average overnight stay cost was $2.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 11:14:43 am by John Nelson »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TransAmerica trail and others - prevalence of lodging?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 11:25:15 am »
The good news is that WiFi is pretty much ubiquitous.  Almost every motel has it, and there's usually another source -- at least in most towns -- if there's not a wireless-enabled motel.  That said, you don't always get to choose which town and which day you lose the wireless, so you might want to communicate to your customers that you may be off the grid for a day every now and then.

Availability?  In the east (say to Wyoming), there's a motel every 15-45 miles, averaging roughly every 30 miles.  Further west (and north), availability drops to one every 50 miles.  The ACA maps do a pretty good job of alerting you to services like lodging.  Try searching google maps for Town, State, motels -- you'll find a lot more.  There's a couple of holes -- Jeffrey City, WY is the famous 120-mile stretch with one motel, and things are pretty thin west of Dillon, MT until Hamilton.  Getting through the Tetons and Yellowstone requires excellent planning and 6-month lead for reservations (difficult to plan that precisely), or luck and persistence calling until you catch a cancellation in the last 5 minutes.

Some people can find motels for $50-75, but I averaged $100 per night in a motel four years ago.  I don't know what the intervening downturn and time have done to that average.

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: TransAmerica trail and others - prevalence of lodging?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 08:12:46 pm »
Just a heads up on motels. Just because a town has a motel or motels doesn't mean you are going to get a room when you would like to have it. There are things like events, construction and harvesting workers that can nick your plans.