Hotels, Tent Camping, and Cabins – Which is Better?
Last month my family and I headed across the Country, (Indiana to Colorado), on a 5 week journey. In that time we stayed at a number of hotels and motels, we camped a lot, and a few nights we stayed in log cabins at a KOA and one at the NRA in Raton, NM. Out of those three options for lodging, this is what we have to say about each:
Hotels / Motels –
I have little good to say about hotels and motels, and here’s why. Our first night out, we went to a Days Inn. This was in my opinion, one of the worst ones we stayed at, and we only stayed for 3 hours before we ran from the place, coughing and choking because there was so much mold and dirt in the room and building. Unfortunately we have severe environmental illnesses and allergies, which made this all the worst for us, but that really is no excuse for how bad moldy this hotel was.
The second hotel was a Motel 8, and I have to say that it was the nicest of all the hotels we tried on our trip. The girl working when we checked in was so sweet and nice, and very helpful. The rooms were clean and mold free, (this was a rare find!), and the free breakfast was awesome! Motel 8 ROCKED!!!
We tried a few other hotels and found most of them very dirty and moldy, (mold really is becoming a very big problem everywhere), and would not even stay at them. We stayed at only two other hotels, the last one we ran from after only one hour! The one before that was a Best Western, and it was probably my biggest disappointment because we were quoted a price of $80.00 total for the night, but at check out was charged close to $100.00 for the night. That was not the worst though. When I went to take a shower I discovered the bathroom had not been cleaned after the last person was there, and not only was there soap scum and residue in the tub, but the was what appeared to be human waste around the floor of the toilet. My husband went to the front desk and told the gentleman about the issues in the bathroom and was given a rag and cleaner to clean it up. So I scrubbed the bathroom so I could take my bath. The excuse we were given, was the cleaning girl was new! Sorry, but at $100.00 per night, that is not good enough for me, especially when I am left to scrub up someone else’s crap. Don’t get me wrong, I am an easy going person and quite nice, but that really ticked me off, so we complained. We were told the manager would call us, but we are still waiting and it has now been 4+ weeks. In my opinion, Best Western’s are very costly, and do not take care of customer issues.
That is how our hotel / motel experience went. Now to tent camping.
Tent Camping –
Tent camping can be really awesome, but there are a few inconveniences that go with it. If you are camping in an area that is very windy, your tent can take a lot of abuse, and may cave in on you like ours did. Now we stayed in some pretty windy places, however we still expected our brand new tent to last more than a couple of weeks. Our tent can still be used, but now we must stake and rope it all over the place. Another inconvenience to tenting is sleeping on the ground. The ground can tear you up bad, especially if you have a bad back like we do. Memory foam padding helps a lot, but it needs to be at least 4 inches thick. Air mattresses are another good option for sleeping comfort, but they can get holes easily, especially if you are camping in the desert and happen to pitch your tent on a cactus, we did that, LOL. If you stay at a Colorado State park though, they provide gravel pits to pitch your tent in, and they are awesome! I had very little trouble at the Colorado State Parks campgrounds as far as sleeping is concerned, and my back was out and hurting long before we got to them, but I was able to comfortably sleep with only one inch memory foam padding and a sleeping bag under me. The gravel pits are awesome, and so are the Colorado State Parks. Another inconvenience is cooking and washing dishes, but with team work from the whole family, it’s not too bad. If you have bladder control issues, you can have a problem, as some bathrooms are a good walk, if not a drive from your campsite. The upside is most all campgrounds have laundry facilities, as well as showers, so you and your laundry can stay fresh and clean. In order to select the best one, a comparison can be done between hotels and cabin camping tents. The place that will be in the budget and relaxation of the person should be selected. Different services should be provided so that the best one will be made available to the person.
Cabin Camping –
Outside of RV camping, (never been yet, but it is our dream), I’d have to say that cabin camping is the best choice of the above choices. Most of them are made out of solid logs, no carpeting, (carpet is horrible if you suffer severe allergies like us), they are generally located close to the bath / shower rooms, and laundry facilities, and have a double bed, and a bunk bed. They are much cheaper than a hotel room, and just a few dollars more than a tent site. Many campgrounds have bigger cabins too, with bathrooms and kitchens, they are more costly, but still cheaper, and much nicer than a hotel / motel.
The bottom line is, State Parks are generally much better scenery, more wildlife to enjoy, and about ½ to 1/3 the cost of KOA’s and alternative camp sites. We have memories and pictures of deer, rabbits, antelope, and other wild life that wandered in and around our campsite in the state parks, while our memories of KOA’s are planes, trains, and automobiles.
So, the next time you are traveling across the Country, you may want to look at your other options before checking into that hotel. Your memorable experience may be better experienced in a tent or a cabin in one of the many campgrounds across the Country.