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Affordable and Comfortable
I went on a driving tour of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia last June (2009). My "plan" was to drive until I needed sleep to be safe driving. So I didn't book anything ahead. Actually my "plan" was to use my laptop to search out my options. That didn't work out so well. Hotspots weren't that easy to find. So, I started out with a Travelodge in Everett Washington and then somehow ended up finding one at every place I stopped. Turned out to be a really practical idea. You kind of learn a little about how a chain is run as you book more than once. I probably would have gone with Motel 6, but I didn't get started with that, so it ended up being Travelodge.
Before I took this trip, I'd never even considered Travelodge. My choices were usually between Motel 6 and Super 8. But for whatever reason, I couldn't fall back into that.
Every Travelodge I stayed at was very neat and clean. Rooms didn't have some stale smell like sometimes you run into in public accommodations. Drapes were thick enough to block out street lights where necessary. The staff at each place was very helpful, answering my questions about local amenities, pretty much always having coffee when I wanted it.
The one hitch in my experience was that the reception of my laptop for the always-available Wi-Fi made its availability off and on. When I couldn't access the Travelodge Wi-Fi, the staff usually had no idea because I think the road warriors usually had a much better setup than I did. I had a PCMCIA card stuck in the slot on my Thinkpad. Works at home, but its way more uncertain on the road. Cheap computer, what can I say. I got a Netbook a while back and expect this aspect to work way better next time.
So, personally, I wouldn't hesitate to give Travelodge another shake. Maybe they are a TEENSY bit more than Motel 6, but not enough to discourage me.
Directions: North end of Bellingham, near offramp from I-5.
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