On December 12, 1925 the first Motel in the world was opened at the halfway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco California in the small town of San Luis Obispo. It was the brain child of Architect Arthur S. Heineman (1878–1974), and things have never been the same since.
The original Mo-Tel included both bungalows and attached apartments with parking outside each unit and some would have a private garage. In addition each location had laundry facilities, a grocery store, and a restaurant and each unit included an indoor bathroom with a shower. But there were a few things that unlike the motels of today, it didn’t include.
Today, when the weary traveler checks into a roadside rest establishment, he or she is just as likely to find broken plumbing, burned out lamps, bedbugs, blood stains, vomit and unidentified bodily fluids as they are to find a clean comfortable room to rest in for the night. And that is true of all establishments, including the big chains, not just the cut rate ones.
The Above is not the description of a crime scene, it’s just a motel room. In fact to be more specific, it is a room at the Swan Hotel in Maryland. And it is the latest room reviewed by the YouTubers behind Another Dirty Room.
But rest assured, this room is not an exception to the rule. In fact, I personally have traveled all across this country from San Diego to New York City and from Key West Florida to Portland Oregon and one thing I know is that when it comes to motels, you don’t always get what you want, or paid for.
But there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your family.
- Always ask to see the room before you pay for it. If it doesn’t meet your standards don’t be afraid to tell the manage “No Thanks” and head on down the highway.
- Don’t rely on Travel Services to make your reservations, many of them get kickbacks from owners or associations for booking rooms.
- Remember to always pay with a credit card. Then if you have a dispute about the room or you find you got more than you wanted, (bed bugs, lice, roaches) you can dispute the charges with your bank.
- And always remember a little Lysol goes a long way to killing germs. A liberal application especially on chairs, beds, and hard surfaces in bathrooms goes a long way.
As a rule, you get what you pay for. But staying at the Holiday Inn or La Quinta is no guarantee you won’t get a little extra something left over from the previous guests.