(The following post doesn’t have much to do with trucking but you can be rest assured that I will be going back to that topic in the near future.)
Jack and I stayed in about 25 different hotels and motels on our long road trip to the States and through Canada. We perfected a routine about choosing and booking hotels that I want to share with you in case it will save you any time or grief in the future.
Each day I would make reservations for the next day’s hotel stay. First, I would pull up the town we were going to stay in on www.tripadvisor.com. (via smartphone or laptop) I would find the hotel list for the city, then check the box “Pets Allowed” on the left hand side (and sometimes “Kitchenette”). Of that new list I would choose one of the top rated hotels after reading a few reviews. I skipped anything that indicated lots of noise or smells, and always read the “Terrible” reviews of a hotel I was going to pick (since that’s where someone is going to complain about bed bugs!).
The next part is important. Instead of calling the 800 number that is provided on the TripAdvisor site I would put the name and address of the hotel into Google and bring up the direct phone number. If you call the 800 number provided it will take you to a calling center that will try to place you in one of their hotels. I fell for this several times. Once, a woman insisted to me that a certain hotel was booked up (I had already seen that it had availability through the TripAdvisor site but I gave her the benefit of the doubt in case she had more up-to-date information than I did). She then tried to convince me to stay at one or two different places. Whether they were more expensive or not I don’t remember, but I figure now it was one of the hotels that paid them more money. (The 800 number calling center must have a database of hotels that pay to be promoted.) When I insisted these other hotels wouldn’t work for us, that I would have to talk to my husband and call back, she relented and said wait wait, let me check again on the one you originally called about. And guess what, it mysteriously had a pet room open for the night we needed.
I feel bad for “tricking” the TripAdvisor website this way. I really like TripAdvisor, in fact I relied on it greatly for this purpose. But I want to make a reservation with a person at the hotel I’m going to stay at, not someone thousands of miles away from it. I want to ask a question about parking or the stairs and have someone not just say yes yes it won’t be a problem, but to get a real answer from someone who works at the hotel and lives in the town I’m going to stay in.
On part of the return trip we were hauling a trailer so needed ample parking. It got to be a bit of a hassle because then we needed a hotel that accepted pets AND had a big parking lot (which is not a choose-able option on TripAdvisor). One hotel we called in Canada actually suggested a different hotel that had a bigger parking lot. So it really helps to call the hotel directly, especially if you have special needs.
One good TripAdvisor find was the Terrace Motel in Munising, Michigan. We met Larry, the owner, and snapped a few pictures of the place.
Be sure to stay at the Terrace Motel if you are looking for a clean affordable place to stay and are passing through the upper peninsula of Michigan, or if you are wanting to explore the beautiful Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore which is nearby. (To see photos of Pictured Rocks click here for a link to my bird blog.)
By the way, thank you for each and every comment that is made. I enjoy seeing them and even if I don’t answer each one, do know that I read each one to Jack!