Author Topic: Hotel/motel vs camping  (Read 13790 times)

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Offline redbike

Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: March 11, 2007, 11:03:13 pm »
I am planning a southern tier, coast-to-coast trip starting early May. Does anyone have advice regarding the difference between a credit card, hotel/motel option vs camping. For instance, what is the cost difference? What is the comfort variable? Is there a difference as to what is easiest to find in a timely manner? This trip will be unsupported with one other person. I have done week long supported tours before (Ride the Rockies). Any other thoughts on the subject would be helpful.


Offline miles2go

Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 01:16:39 am »
Best of luck to you on your touring adventure!

Of course comfort levels will always depend on the person in question.  You don't see India on everyone's list of "must see" touring destinations do you?  :)

For Nancy and I, as well as most of our experienced touring pals.  We all carry camping gear and it varies as to how much we use it.  Hotels are much more expensive but sometimes hotels can put you right where you can't get pitching a tent.  Sometimes pitching a tent can put you right where you want to be, or with who you've met along the way.

You'll meet more fellow CTC tourers in the campgrounds.  You'll see more of the towns by staying in hotels.  Blend the two together in a fashion that suits you.

Cheers,


« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 03:19:54 am by miles2go »

Offline litespeed

Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 11:25:22 am »
In my experience camping is usually cheaper (except for west Texas), friendlier and quieter. Motels can be noisy with people carrying on in the parking lot. Campgrounds usually quiet down at nightfall (with the occasional Saturday night exception). In motels it's easy to stay up late watching the boob tube. In a tent you just go to sleep as there is nothing else to do. With motels you sometimes have to take a smelly smoking room. Motels, however, are usually handier to eating places. I don't pack food so I try to eat before stopping for the night at a campground.


Offline Kelly

Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2007, 04:32:09 pm »
The Southern Tier sounds like a great route, I'm sure you'll have a fun time.

It seems that most cyclists go through a progression of sagged rides such as Ride the Rockies, moving on to short hotel trips, short camping trips and then to long self contained camping.

I would respectfully suggest that you try a weekend self contained camping trip before you commit.

One issue is the additional weight of camping gear. It is a change when you are accustomed to just you and the bike. Some people take only a tent/sleeping stuff and not cooking gear. Others take the entire house.

Sharing expenses with another person makes traveling much more reasonable.

Have a good time!

Kelly


Offline redbike

Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2007, 10:53:22 pm »
Thanks for the insight. It is helpful to me. Does anyone have a rough idea of what is the typical price range for campgrounds on the Southern Tier? Also a typical price for hotels?


Offline litespeed

Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2007, 05:33:21 pm »
Get a KOA directory from your local KOA or go to  koa.com. It will give you a good idea of camping prices. Private campgrounds are usually a bit cheaper but not as well maintained.
You will be surprised at how cheap motels are in west Texas towns like Van Horn. They were under $20 when I went that way in 2004. Otherwise I paid $30-40 for motels.
In out-of-the-way, non-touristy towns in the deep south you can often get a very nice, high end motel for $50 or so.
And most anywhere you can often knock down the price on a motel with a little friendly haggling unless it's the only one in town.



Offline randyberlin

Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2007, 11:43:17 pm »
It looks like I'm the odd man out; But I love credit card touring. I like eating out and sleeping in clean sheets after a hot shower. Also I like to ride with very little weight. I can cover about 80 to 100 miles and the difference in the cost of ($100/day) can be made up with longer rides in fewer days. I don't feel like I'm going too fast with my head down but I also don't feel like I'm plodding along. For me it's the only way to go.


Offline DaveB

Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2007, 10:53:24 am »
It looks like I'm the odd man out; But I love credit card touring. I like eating out and sleeping in clean sheets after a hot shower. Also I like to ride with very little weight.

I agree with your take on credit-card touring.  I'd much rather have a clean dry bed and a hot shower followed by a good meal after a day of riding, particularly if the weather is less than ideal.  

If you stick to the plainer chain or mom-and-pop motels and away from major tourist areas the cost isn't much more than camping and the comfort is much better.

BTW, camping in tourist areas isn't cheap either and most of your "neighbors" will be in motor homes or trailers with generators and TV's.  It will be neither economical, quiet or restful.  

For meals, the same technique applies.  Avoid high priced restaurants and your daily meal costs can be very reasonable too.  

The final attraction is being able to ride a bicycle with minimal weight that retains most of it's agility and responsiveness.  Somehow riding a packmule loaded down with a twice its weight in luggage doesn't seem like plesant riding, it seems a lot more like work.

Oh, yes, credit card touring doesn't have to isolate you from other people or eliminate the possibility of being invited to stay or eat at someone's home.  


Offline RoverPass

Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 04:36:44 pm »
I'd definitely go the camping route. You should be able to find campsites for half the cost of your average hotel room. I'd check out this site for finding campgrounds:

https://www.roverpass.com

Offline PeanutButterShammyCream

Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 05:45:04 pm »
In my opinion, camping is a HUGE part of what makes the bike touring experience special. I believe that it really connects you with the land that you are riding through, and it FULLY ENGULFS you in the bike touring experience. Plus, camping is makes the bike tour more difficult, which helps you grow through those difficult situations.

Offline aggie

Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2018, 06:00:57 pm »
Camping will definitely be cheaper than hotels/motels.  I've done a good chunk of the Southern tier at different times of the year.  During the late spring humidity increases quite a bit in the eastern half.  I have difficulty sleeping when camping when it is very humid so it is nice to have an air conditioned room at night.  I do bring along some light camping gear just in case I can't stay a motel.  (I had to camp in Langtry, TX- between Comstock and Sanderson because of headwinds.)  I always carry a little bit of food just in case as well.  When I had to stop in Langtry there wasn't any place to eat.  Like DaveB I really enjoy at hot shower and real bed at the end of the day.  The bathroom sink also makes a good place to clean clothes.  It really depends on what you like to do, what you can afford and what you don't mind putting up with.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2018, 07:22:34 pm »
In my experience camping is usually cheaper (except for west Texas)

How much do camping spots cost in Texas?  And if anyone else wants to throw in amounts for camping spots in various parts of the USA.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2018, 07:36:37 pm »
If you stick to the plainer chain or mom-and-pop motels and away from major tourist areas the cost isn't much more than camping and the comfort is much better. 

For meals, the same technique applies.  Avoid high priced restaurants and your daily meal costs can be very reasonable too. 

A couple years ago I stayed at a motel in western Iowa for $65.  It was a dump basically.  It was in a smaller town in the middle of nowhere.  $85 for a motel in a medium sized town last year in eastern Iowa.  Town had 10 thousand people so it was a big town I guess.  No tourists in these towns.  Motels are at least three times the price of camping.  That is a fact.

If I want to be really cheap I can get by on $10 a day for food eating in restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores.  But basically the cheapest supper restaurant meal you will find anywhere is minimum $10.  Add in $2-3-4 for breakfast food to get you going in the morning.  And $3-4-5 during the day for food.  $20 is minimum for eating out and not cooking.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2018, 11:23:44 pm »
I’ve paid as much as $50 for a so-so camping site (in Maine) and as little as $30 for a nice motel room (in Tucumcari). But on average, a motel will cost you about 4 times as much as a camp site. On the TransAm, I averaged less than $2 a night to sleep (because so many places were free).

Offline staehpj1

Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2018, 07:38:08 am »
In my experience camping is usually cheaper (except for west Texas), friendlier and quieter.
I agree except for the West Texas part.  I just went over my notes for the west Texas part of my ST ride and I stayed for free more often than I paid.  I stayed in a campsite that I think was 10 or $12 and another that asked for a donation in a big donation jar.  I did stay in a room a couple times and slept in roadside picnic areas or similar places.  I paid more on the gulf coast, but it still wasn't bad.