For the past years of traveling around, I’ve probably never stayed in as many hotels as I did until I decided to become an adventure travel blogger. I am not the type of person who only stays at one specific type of place like Airbnbs or does van life. I’ve always been more of a budget traveler than have the privilege to stay at luxurious hotels or resorts. If you’re like this too and looking to stay at a hotel no matter where you’re traveling, I have decided to list out the best hotel brands that you should look into. Keep reading.
Pros of Budget Hotels
There are many more pros than cons as to why you should consider staying in a budget hotel.
I’ve stayed in hotels closer to national parks and some national park areas are starting to become expensive to stay around due to the high numbers of visitors touring. Budget hotels have provided that opportunity for me to still be in the area while saving much more.
Budget hotels will provide a minimum or limited amenities and services than a hotel that’s priced more, but sometimes that is all you need especially if you’re just looking to stay at a hotel for a short few days and you’re mostly going to be in and out of the hotel to go explore.
Budget hotel chains are really a gem to find in travel especially if you’re in North America. They provide comfort with a bed you can crash into for good sleep, get your hot (or cold) showers in, and have a place for your belongings.
I’ve listed the best hotel brands/chains for you to pay attention to when you’re going to travel based on all my personal experiences and I’ve based my personal experiences to choose these hotels chains based off lots of research!
1. Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Danggg these hotels are nostalgic to me because my friends and I would have a stay here just for us to hangout at in my late teens to early 20s in New Jersey. Its headquarters takes place in the city of Phoenix, Arizona (in my valley, in my current state), but they can be found almost everywhere in the states! There are at least 18 unique hotel brands under Bestern Western and they can all vary from some looking out to be more like lodges to some looking like basic.
Why I like Best Western:
- ✅ Customer service is great! They can get you in contact right away.
- ✅ Has award winning partnerships with many businesses, making an impressive portfolio and making it an impressive global brand
- ✅ Usually has great fees
- ✅ Great membership program
A Best Western Hotel Experience I Recommend: For my birthday in 2019, I visited Chicago with my mom and we stayed at a Best Western hotel called Best Western Grant Park Hotel. It was a very nice hotel to stay in for the meanwhile during my cold visits and it was located right by Grant Park.
I’ve stayed closer to Zion National Park. This one is called Best Western Plus Zion West in La Verkin, Utah and it was a great stay if you’re wanting to go check out the national park. Although it is still a drive away, the hotel was a great choice with great breakfast and a quiet location.
2. Motel 6
You might recognize this hotel from the way they look in the inside with its orange walls, curtains, and bed spread. They’re pretty basic looking and almost takes up the simple design after Scandinavian-styled interiors. If you’re looking for the cheapest option out of this list, this might be it.
Why I like Motel 6:
- ✅ Has probably the cheapest fees you can find in a hotel
- ✅ Pet-friendly
- ✅ Really caters to the budget-friendly travelers! With mostly free coffee to find per morning.
3. Days Inn
You can really get some “days in” at Days Inn. Owned by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, you’ll get to feel right at a cozy hotel room when you stay at one of their hotels. They usually offer complimentary breakfast that is enough to power you up for the mornings (however, don’t always expect it to be a filling breakfast with eggs and sausages/bacon).
Why I like Days Inn:
- ✅ Meets your basic needs for an affordable price
- ✅ Sometimes located in some of the quietest locations
- ✅ Most likely has free breakfast
A Days Inn Hotel Experience I Recommend: When I went to visit Provo, Utah during the wintertime, I stayed at Days Inn by Wyndham in Springville and was thoroughly satisfied with my stay there! It was SO cold around there but my hotel stay made me feel warmer with their heater. Not to mention, I thought my hotel room was clean and cozy and somehow matched with the winter theme as I was visiting during the holidays.
The location is right by the highway but it is also in a very quiet and safe location in Springville and I was surprised by the stunning views of the towering and in-your-face Wasatch Mountains.
You can’t miss this hotel brand from its basic blue sign. Once again, Wyndham really just takes the “win”. You may find a Travelodge is just around some of the best national parks in America, and I highly recommend this as an option. They have about 400+ properties so you may find a Travelodge in some of your desired locations.
Why I like Travelodge:
- ✅ Great history of great customer service
- ✅ Located by the best national parks
- ✅ Ideal for both personal and business stays
A Travelodge Hotel Experience I Recommend: When one of my close friends, Leslie, came to visit Arizona, we decided to stay in Flagstaff to see the pine cone drop and then to head to the Grand Canyon the following morning. We stayed at the Travelodge by Wyndham in Flagstaff and it was a nice location with the snowy San Francisco Peaks in the background as we step outside of the balconied hallway. The room was just what we needed for the one-day stay and was at a great location for our plans. **Unfortunately, the hotel is permanently closed, but nonetheless, Travelodge is a recommended budget hotel.
5. Red Roof Inn
You’ll notice them right away when you see the red roofed buildings. Red Roof Inn has affordable prices with most locations being pet-friendly and having free wifi and free breakfast, which is all a win-win in my opinion.
Why I like Red Roof Inn:
- ✅ Usually has free wifi and breakfast
- ✅ Usually located at a good location with a good enough room
- ✅ Pet-friendly for one pet
A Red Roof Inn Hotel Experience I Recommend: One time my friends and I stayed at Tampa Bay’s Red Roof Inn. It was a nice hotel from the lobbyist to providing great comfort for us at the hotel room.
Wow, I’ve been staying in Hilton hotels since I was super young when my family and I would spend time by Atlantic City. They are probably one of the best hotels listed out of all these but also not the cheapest. There are so many hotels under Hilton, about 584+ of them! Not only are they one of the largest hotel brands in the country, but also all over the world. Although Hilton is also considered luxurious, they have a lot of hotels that fall in under budget prices too.
Why I like Hilton:
- ✅ Great elite-status guest loyalty program that many members are able to receive discounts and amenities
- ✅ Usually very clean and comfortable rooms
- ✅ Amenities are top-notch
A Hilton Hotel Experience I Recommend: The time when my family and I went on a road trip down to Florida and I stayed at one of the prettiest hotels I’ve been in at Marco Island. I highly recommend Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa. Although a little bit more pricier than all the rest I’ve listed here, you will still love the hotel experience and it is a bit more affordable than other 4-star resorts.
Once when my flight had us stuck at Tucson Airport after flying from New Jersey, United Airlines decided to accommodate us with a hotel to sleep in for a few hours. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Tucson was picked out for me. The hotel was very cozy, had a nice view with amazing breakfast, and it was located in a quiet safe area of the city. It was much needed after a loooonggg night with chaos that night.
7. La Quinta
You’ve probably noticed that Wyndham-owned hotels are a lot on this list and that’s because Wyndham has produced some wonderchildren. This hotel brand is pretty favored by hotel goers because its budgeted prices are so good for the quality of stay you get. In fact, Time Magazine covers why La Quina is NOT just a cheap motel brand and why many fans think it’s worth it.
Why I like La Quinta:
- ✅ No hassle reservations (so good for last minute check-ins!)
- ✅ Pretty standard to get free wifi and to see flat-screened HDTVs (so they’re up to date on tech)
- ✅ Breakfast is usually free
- ✅ A lot of properties are pet-friendly and are able to stay with no additional charges
8. Holiday Inn
The successful Holiday Inn has always been a traveler’s favorite because of its target towards families who wanted to travel together. I know I’ve spent some time with my family in this hotel and it is indeed a good choice. While there’s two kinds of Holiday Inns, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, both are distinctive. Holiday Inn caters towards families and Holiday Inn Express caters towards business traveler, staying in for a short stay.
Why I like Holiday Inn:
- ✅ Great locations
- ✅ Great amenities to enjoy (usually with a pool, room service, a fitness center, and comfortable lounges)
- ✅ Usually comes with complimentary buffet-like breakfast
A Holiday Inn Experience I Recommend: While traveling to Silver City, New Mexico, we stayed at Holiday Inn Express Silver City. It is a good location and a cozy stay with free breakfast to give you the opportunity to explore underrated city Silver City and Gila National Forest.
And lastly, another Wyndham wonder listed here. This hotel brand has over 800 hotels in 60+ countries! There’s a lot of locations to stop by if you want to stay here. It is affordable and is an attractive mid-scale option.
Why I like Ramada:
- ✅ Can be found in close airport locations, making it ideal for world travelers
- ✅ Impressive portfolio of properties
- ✅ Has contemporary designs and decor
A Ramada Experience I Recommend: During the holidays once, my family and I stayed at a Ramada Hotel called Ramada by Wyndham Los Angeles/Downtown West while we were visiting my sister in Los Angeles. It was a nice and comfortable stay in Los Angeles and I thought it was mid-scale, upon looking at the lobby and the golden stair case details and the courtyard design, which is what the hotel is known for.
Have you stayed at any of these hotel brands? If so, which one is your favorite from this list?