By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com
These months between summer vacation and Thanksgiving weekend can bring great deals on flights and hotel rooms. Even during the busy season, though, a number of national hotel chains regularly offer rooms for less than $80 a night. Accommodations in this price range are notorious for uninspiring service, but that doesn't mean frugal travelers can't find good value at budget hotels. Cheapism scoured numerous online reviews to recommend four options where guests can generally count on a clean, comfortable room and even perks they might not expect for the money.
Related: Best travel sites to score dealsThese months between summer vacation and Thanksgiving weekend can bring great deals on flights and hotel rooms …
Microtel Inn & Suites (starting at about $80 a night for a double) is owned by the Wyndham hotel group and often receives the highest scores of any budget chain in consumer surveys focused on the hotel industry. Travelers will find about 300 locations across the country and reviewers consider the chain a good value overall. A continental breakfast is included in the room cost, a convenience even some high-end hotels can't claim.
Days Inn (starting at about $70 a night for a double) is part of the Wyndham family, along with Microtel, but offers more than six times as many locations throughout the country. Although the rooms and buildings may be somewhat dated, reviewers say they're usually clean and welcoming. Travelers will find a free continental breakfast waiting in the morning and many reviews describe the spread as generous and tasty.
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Red Roof Inn (starting at about $70 a night for a double) has roughly 350 locations. About a third of them have been renovated recently with new flat-screen TVs, modern décor, and new bedding -- none of which are often associated with economy hotels. Many, but not all, locations provide a free continental breakfast. Travelers with pets appreciate that Red Roof Inn doesn't charge a fee for allowing animals to stay (other hotels charge $10 or $20 per day or don't allow pets at all).
Motel 6 (starting at about $40 a night for a double) is often the cheapest option available and, with 1,100 locations, likely to be located nearby most popular destinations. Reviewers say the cleanliness, service, and comfort surpassed their expectations, although with prices so low, many don't seem to have set those expectations too high. This economy chain doesn't offer free breakfast, only coffee in the check-in area. For the lowest prices, reserve online ahead of time.
Many budget hotel chains offer free long-distance calls, but nowadays consumers are much more likely to inquire about Internet service. As it turns out, budget hotels tend to do better than luxury hotels (which often charge $10 to $20) when it comes to offering free Wi-Fi. Microtel, Days Inn, and Red Roof Inn include high-speed wireless Internet with the cost of the room.
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Still, if it's top-notch service and maybe a nice view you're after, it's worth checking around before assuming the economy chains are all you can afford. During holidays, for example, hotels located in a city's financial district may offer bargain prices on rooms usually taken up by business travelers. For a last-minute booking, try the app Hotel Tonight, which begins selling discounted rooms for the same night at noon and offers $25 off the first booking.
More from Cheapism:
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