If you are a planning a week-long vacation somewhere in the U.S. and are trying to find a cheap hotel, you should consider an extended stay hotel instead. When traveling, it is easy to get in the mindset that ordinary hotels are your only option, but with the proliferation of extended stay hotels, you can get a fully furnished apartment-style unit cheaper than a comparable hotel room in many cases.
Pricing of Extended Stay Hotels
There are many extended stay hotel chains now (just Google “extended stay” to find ample examples of them), and they are not all created equally. Some are owned by up-scale hotel chains, and tend to charge up-scale prices. Many, however, are pretty good deals (better than a cheap hotel, anyway) once you understand their pricing.
In my experience, extended stay hotels are no cheaper than your ordinary cheap hotel if you stay for fewer than seven nights. Once you hit seven nights, though, you start paying weekly rates which can be significantly cheaper (e.g., $30 instead of $50). Extended stay hotels are designed to appeal to people who need to stay for a while (weeks or months), and the rooms are priced accordingly.
Use Extended Stay Hotels for Week-Long Vacations
If, therefore, you are planning a week-long vacation (i.e., at least seven nights), there is a good chance that you can get a better deal with an extended stay hotel than with a cheap hotel with comparable furniture and size.
You might be wondering what the catch is. Are the extended stay suites smaller than an ordinary hotel room? Is the furniture less plush? Is the unit lacking in amenities? These are all good questions to ask when you make your reservation, but in my experience the answer to all of the above is “no.”
In fact, many extended stay suites are nicer than the cheap hotel you might be considering as an alternative. They usually have functional kitchens, functional working/sitting areas, and all of the amenities you expect in a hotel room. To the extent that anything is lacking, it will usually be add-on services like room service. If you are taking kids on vacation with you, be aware that most extended stay hotels do not have a swimming pool.
Whenever you go on vacation, you should do your research and make sure that you are getting a good deal. When doing your research for a week-long vacation, though, be sure to check out extended stay hotel options because they will frequently be a better deal than the cheap hotels you might otherwise consider.