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Traveling via B&B/hotel vs RV

georgelesley
Explorer
Explorer
First a bit of context. We have owned nearly all types of RV’s and have RV’ed for well over 20 years. Last year we sold our class A MH and have not bought another RV. We just returned from a 9000 mile road trip with our car traveling thru the Midwest and Rockies staying in B&B’s and hotels.

B&B’s suit our style much better than hotels. However, for quick one night stands, hotels are usually cheaper and are generally a better option for just a place to sleep.

B&B’s usually have a cleaning fee added and sometimes a “service fee”, which hotels do not so staying in a B&B for only one night is more expensive, but if the added fees are spread over several days the benefits of the B&B such as being able to prepare your own meals, often having separate TV’s showers, etc, tend to even the costs out

Both options especially multi day stays in B&B’s require reservations usually well in advance, thus locking you into a hard schedule, whereas hotels are often more flexible and have more liberal cancellation policies.

Contacting the owner/managers of B&B’s is not always as easy as a hotel for maintenance issues. We found some truly excellent, some never responded.

Since B&B’s are individually owned usually, the quality of furnishing and utensils is a **** shoot, some just like or even better than home, some pretty run down. With chain hotels at least the quality is usually more consistent with a particular chain anyway.

We did buy a picnic sized portable refrigerator that we put in the back seat of the car and plugged into 12V. That really made a difference in having the basics available to prepare basic meals.

Bottom line: for one night stands, hotel are usually the best option, like them or not.

For multiple night stays in one place, we much prefer the B&B style.

Cost wise, hotels may be cheaper, but when you factor in meal preparation in a B&B, over several days the costs even out, although some hotels offer some options there as well especially breakfast. We did note that since Covid came along, the hotels with breakfast are fewer and breakfast is often much simpler and less than it used to be, so beware.

One thing we really missed about the RV style of travel was the option of boondocking and the ability to change our plans on short notice. Another was the interaction you can have with fellow RV’ers at a campground. Staying in a B&B or hotel you don’t talk to other people much.

We are also looking into staying at campgrounds that have cabins for rent but have not really found a site that has a good listing of such.

So is another RV in our future? Maybe a small travel trailer we could pull behind our SUV. TBD.
George 20 yr USAF & Lesley
17 REPLIES 17

qtla9111
Nomad
Nomad
Same thing here, 22 years with an RV. I traveled for work most of my life and hotels were a common stay. Can't stand them. We have to use them on occasion, and the Mayan Riviera is not a standard hotel; beachfront, and all-inclusive.

We find that AirBnbs suits us best but requires some research and using the "SuperHost" is the best. We prefer a king-size bed but that is not an amenity option.

We would like to revisit the Oregon coast but with fuel costs (4800 miles R/T, 480 vs 130 gallons) and leaving the RV at home, we believe we could do much better in an Airbnb. We have thought about packing a storage container with what we consider must-haves for food items, drinks, and coffee.

Even in my work days, I always carried my own pillow, 4cup coffeemaker, and lightbulb (hotel lights are too bright). At this stage in life, I won't do without any of my comforts.

Rv rentals are out of the picture, way too expensive. I have been thinking about flying, car rental, and Airbnb as an option.

We really enjoy the RV lifestyle but I believe now we are looking for a hybrid lifestyle that won't limit us because of fuel costs, harder-to-find boondocking spots, and of course the weather.
2005 Dodge Durango Hemi
2008 Funfinder 230DS
Living and Boondocking Mexico Blog

Skid_Row_Joe
Explorer
Explorer
georgelesley wrote:
First a bit of context. We have owned nearly all types of RV’s and have RV’ed for well over 20 years. Last year we sold our class A MH and have not bought another RV. We just returned from a 9000 mile road trip with our car traveling thru the Midwest and Rockies staying in B&B’s and hotels.

B&B’s suit our style much better than hotels. However, for quick one night stands, hotels are usually cheaper and are generally a better option for just a place to sleep.

B&B’s usually have a cleaning fee added and sometimes a “service fee”, which hotels do not so staying in a B&B for only one night is more expensive, but if the added fees are spread over several days the benefits of the B&B such as being able to prepare your own meals, often having separate TV’s showers, etc, tend to even the costs out

Both options especially multi day stays in B&B’s require reservations usually well in advance, thus locking you into a hard schedule, whereas hotels are often more flexible and have more liberal cancellation policies.

Contacting the owner/managers of B&B’s is not always as easy as a hotel for maintenance issues. We found some truly excellent, some never responded.

Since B&B’s are individually owned usually, the quality of furnishing and utensils is a **** shoot, some just like or even better than home, some pretty run down. With chain hotels at least the quality is usually more consistent with a particular chain anyway.

We did buy a picnic sized portable refrigerator that we put in the back seat of the car and plugged into 12V. That really made a difference in having the basics available to prepare basic meals.

Bottom line: for one night stands, hotel are usually the best option, like them or not.

For multiple night stays in one place, we much prefer the B&B style.

Cost wise, hotels may be cheaper, but when you factor in meal preparation in a B&B, over several days the costs even out, although some hotels offer some options there as well especially breakfast. We did note that since Covid came along, the hotels with breakfast are fewer and breakfast is often much simpler and less than it used to be, so beware.

One thing we really missed about the RV style of travel was the option of boondocking and the ability to change our plans on short notice. Another was the interaction you can have with fellow RV’ers at a campground. Staying in a B&B or hotel you don’t talk to other people much.

We are also looking into staying at campgrounds that have cabins for rent but have not really found a site that has a good listing of such.

So is another RV in our future? Maybe a small travel trailer we could pull behind our SUV. TBD.

B&Bs are great for meeting the caretaker/s, managers, and sometimes the other guests. Their cleaning standards aren't going to be that of the similarly priced hotel, in my experience. 37 years ago this month, I paid $115.00 per night @ a B&B in a historic section of Santa Barbara, CA. Would much rather have stayed in a hotel.

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
In the USA, we typically use the RV (sold the boat a few years back so that is no longer in the mix). Most winters lately we've been traveling overseas and generally use airbnbs (no these have nothing to do with old style bed & breakfast places or hostels).

Since we generally only cover 100-200miles on a travel day with the RV and travel 2 days or less per week, when you compare the extra fuel to the lower cost of a campsite, the dollars aren't pushing us away from the RV...plus you have all your stuff.

Your experience is generally consistent with our experience:
- Another advantage to hotels is if you arrive late, they typically have a 24/7 staffed desk. With an airbnb, you have to make arrangements for a late check-in (sometimes at an extra cost), which inevitably get confused.
- The cleaning fees have gotten a little out of hand. For a month stay, it's usually not a big deal as it gets distributed over many days but in Bangkok, one place had a $100 cleaning fee...then the owner let us know when we checked in...for $3 we could have the cleaning lady come in extra times during our stay (and when we did, she took a solid 2 hours doing a really good cleaning)...huh?
- If you are traveling by car, consider putting together a plastic tub with some cookware and spices. Because yes, what is available in the apartments varies wildly. Even overseas, we usually drag around 6-8 of our more commonly used spices in our luggage.
- Since we usually stay for a longer time we are usually looking for a comfortable couch or other seating areas. Sitting on the bed gets old real quick.
- Also look for a place with laundry. Once you go longer than a week, it's nice to be able to throw a load in at the end of the day rather than taking 2-3 hours at a laundromat. (in some places it's cheap to have someone do it. In Merida Mexico, the little old lady across the street would do a big load for $3 and it came back pressed (including socks and undies) in a package a 1/4 the size we gave it to her.
- If you want to visit cities, airbnb is often more convenient than RV as parking a car (or going without) is generally easier. Assuming the city has a decent transit system, makes sure you are easy walking distance to a station.
- We usually eat breakfast in, a big lunch out and then a light dinner in. Helps keep the costs reasonable and is easier with an apartment.
- More an issue overseas but check what floor the apartment is on and if they have an elevator (key point...Floor 1 in most countries is what we would call the 2nd floor...so if it's on the 3rd floor with no elevator, you are hoofing it 4 floors up)
- For those paranoid about who sat on the toilet seat...I'll take a freshly cleaned toilet where I push the lever and never have to deal with the deposit ever again and I can take a shower as long as I like.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Cassy0110
Explorer
Explorer
I also prefer BB, it's much cheaper and the atmosphere is great

2112
Explorer II
Explorer II
When I read B&B I think of the traditional Bed and Breakfast, which is usually a boarding house style environment in someone's home. We didn't care for renting a bedroom in someone's home. I felt like I was tippy toeing around the host and other guests. Be quiet when you come in late, don't turn up the TV too loud, etc.

We use VRBO and just rent the whole house, condo, beach house, etc when not staying in a hotel.

As far as making last minute VRBO arrangements, we were in a hotel in Glenwood Spings for a few days. After that we had reservations in Aspen for 2 days and then a 3 day VRBO stay in the Divide area.

A severe snow storm was coming our last day in Glenwood. We knew if we stopped in Aspen we would be snowed in and might miss our Denver flight out. We called VRBO management, explained the situation and they changed our 3 day Divide stay to 5. The house was available 2 days early. They had others in the area to offer if it wasn't.

We rode out the storm in Divide and made our flight home.

That was the 1st and only time in my then 58 yrs that I have operated a snow shovel
2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCab Max Tow, 2084# Payload, 11,300# Tow,
Timbrens
2013 KZ Durango 2857

WinMinnie02
Explorer
Explorer
Agree reasons for Rving vs hotel / B&B still valid regardless of gas prices, parking space issues, etc. Anytime we need to travel more than an hour the RV gets the nod, small Class C - future may go to Class B. Of course we also travel overseas and stay with family and hotels.

ferndaleflyer
Explorer III
Explorer III
Before I retired I had worked and traveled all over the world. Never had a RV out of North America. I hated living out of a suitcase and even though I always tried to stay in the best hotels some were dumps at best. Even stayed in some hostels in Europe. Its just the way it was back then. Now that DP in our barn has served us well and continues to. The only disadvantage to me as mentioned above is around big cities which I try to avoid. But sleeping in our own bed, going to our own bathroom, getting a drink when I wish, not having to pack everything up every time we move. Thats priceless. But everyone needs to do what they LIKE and live your own life.

pasusan
Explorer
Explorer
We always travel with our B. It has everything we need in it including sleeping space, meal preparation space, and bathroom space.

That said - we often rent a fancy cabin with our daughter. When we do that we have our fridge and cupboards stocked and we pull stuff out of the B and load up the cabin's fridge and cupboards. We don't like eating out - the cost and the uncertainties...

We think we've got it figured out...

YMMV 🙂

Susan & Ben [2004 Roadtrek 170]
href="https://sites.google.com/view/pasusan-trips/home" target="_blank">Trip Pics

Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
We've tent camped, RVd, used hotels, B&Bs, VRBO properties, cabins-just about everything. All have their ups and downs. B&Bs have the advantage of including breakfast and you don't even need to put your shoes on! We've never had any issue getting a hold of management for the few issues we've had, nor have we ever had a cleaning fee. If it's a quick overnight stay we generally will choose a chain that serves breakfast since it's quick and easy. For long-term stays we will use a VRBO/AirBNB property so we can cook should we choose. Those do come with cleaning fees which gets offset by our cooking some meals.

Cancellation policies vary from property to property as they do with campgrounds. We are more the "set in stone" type of travelers but we do change on the fly sometimes and are willing to accept any penalties that may apply. Our biggest criteria is location-unless it's nuts cost is secondary. Yes, I am aware that a lot of people are not that lucky. We do miss the RV lifestyle but since we don't have more than a week or two at a time it severely limits how far we can go. We are taking our fifth trip to Alaska next June and would not be able to get there if we had an RV. We also have plans to do more travel in Europe, which we can't feasibly do in an RV. We did, however, see two European RVs in Canada when we were there a few weeks ago.

The long and the short of it? We all have our reasons for traveling the way we do. One is not better than the other, it's just different. Biggest thing is just get out there!

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

Douglas Adams

[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

GizmosMom
Explorer
Explorer
In addition to using our own bathroom facilities and eating in restaurants less there is the pet situation.

I recently calculated two trips for a fall trip, with one driving in our car and the other in our 26 foot motorhome. We have a 6 pound Yorkie. It was difficult to find a pet friendly hotel with good reviews and reasonable prices. Laquinta hotels let pets stay free. Other chains wanted from $10 to $30 per night extra for the dog. It has been a while since we stayed in hotels and the prices were very high. Then at our destination the cost for lodging was $180 per night vs. $35.00 for the RV park.

In the end, even with the high cost of gas, the RV trip was the way to go!
Marilyn w/ Joe, 2016 Class C Sunseeker 2430 SF, often pulling a Ranger bass boat. Traveling with Trigger
Smudge & Gizmo are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge

Cristian123
Explorer
Explorer
As you compare costs between RV travel and hotel arrangements, keep in mind that costs vary widely. Generally, the larger your family, the better your opportunity to save money with an RV. Savings also grow with the length of your trip. We haven't decided yet where and how to go in the fall, so I've already taken additional projects at work in the hope to earn extra money (fortunately, the guys from https://writinguniverse.com/essay-types/synthesis-essays/ agreed to help me). Also, it has to be noted that your travel destination plays a great role as large cities are not RV-friendly. As for me, I like both B&B and RV traveling. These are just different kinds of trips. I guess it depends mostly on the place I'm going to visit and on the people I'm going with.

Lwiddis
Explorer II
Explorer II
Good analysis of B&Bs vs. hotels. Without an RV I would miss having a potty and sofa available for quick snooze.
Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad

RetiredRealtorR
Explorer
Explorer
We love to travel, and we love to travel in several different ways.

While Class A motorhome travel is usually our first choice, travel by car is something we enjoy immensely.

We love staying off the interstates and going through small towns. And, we LOVE eating in restaurants. The small town cafe's and locally-owned eateries are almost always a treat, and provide many memorable experiences, and have allowed us to meet some great people over the years.

We usually don't do B&B's (primarily due to the inconsistency and extra fees), but try to stick to a few particular hotel chains, primarily for the consistency. Yeah, I know about all this "my own bed" and "who sat on the toilet before me" ... but in 51 years of marriage, neither my wife nor myself has contracted any kind of cooties as a result of our motel stays :C Plus, a nice free breakfast is usually a great way to start the next day (some chains do a much better job with this than others).

Another part of this mode of travel we enjoy is not having to make our bed, clean the bathroom, or do extra laundry along the way.

Traveling by car, we NEVER have to guess whether we can make our way in and out of a particular locale, or if parking is going to be an issue.

That all being said, I don't see us selling our RV any time soon, but sometimes the comfort and fuel economy of traveling by car makes for a very nice, low stress trip for us.
. . . never confuse education with intelligence, nor motion with progress

Nv_Guy
Explorer III
Explorer III
We recently had to attend an event where we had to stay in a hotel. While the room was nice, we found having to eat at a restaurant to be expensive and a hassle. I found unhooking and setting up was less work than schlepping baggage up to and down from the room.
As far as cost, food would be a big cost savings for us since we rarely eat out when we have our RV. Higher lodging cost is offset by additional fuel cost.
Biggest issue was we also missed our own bed, pillows and bath. While I understand RV travel brings its own challenges for us I don't see a move to hotel /B&B for us.