The best way to locate a hotel to stay in while traveling is to obtain state hotel information booklets/pamphlets, which are often left in restaurants or gas stations located at exits off the main highways. These booklets all contain discount coupons for the participating hotels, with prices much lower than prices available if you called a main hotel reservation service.
Normally, you do not have to plan by making advance bookings. Virtually all hotels located off these highways have some vacancy. This way you can continue your travels if you are not tired, or you can pull off the road and stop sooner should you become tired, or if the weather is bad. And, if the hotel you choose should happen to be booked, you can continue a little further to the next hotel.
However, if you are traveling with children, especially young children, we strongly recommend you do make advance booking arrangements. There is nothing worse than young, tired, cranky children if you’re looking for a hotel.
Please note that not all hotels or motels have an adequate amount of cribs or roll-aways for all guests. It is important to mention this request, and obtain a confirmation of this, in writing if possible. For the same reason, you should probably check into the hotel or motel earlier in the day, to avoid the possibility of having the last crib or roll-away accidentally given to the wrong party.
And a hotel or motel with a swimming pool, game room, etc. will allow the kids to enjoy themselves and blow off any steam from sitting in a car all day.
We have found that getting on the road early in the morning is best. It will allow you to get in many miles while the kids are still tired and may sleep for a few hours. For that reason, we also like to stay at hotels that include a quick continental breakfast. It’s simple, fast, and easy, and doesn’t waste valuable time early in the morning.